Have a Decided Heart
Cecilia Stoll of Edmond, Oklahoma, was an ordinary person who thought great things only happened to extraordinary people. But she had faith, and so she made a leap with Arbonne that changed her life, and the lives of countless others, forever.
One of my favorite songs says, “Faith is stepping out onto nothing and landing on something.” When I joined Arbonne, becoming an NVP never crossed my mind. I lacked belief in myself in a major way. However, I learned that when you take a step of faith, God moves in. And with God all things are possible.
Born and raised in Brazil, I came to the U.S. to go to college. I put myself through school working on campus, got a degree in psychology, and started working as an executive secretary. I was frustrated with the 8 to 5 routine and living paycheck to paycheck. At one point, our finances were so bad that someone from our church anonymously donated $200 to help us pay our bills. When I opened the envelope, something stirred in my heart. I was grateful, but at the same time I wondered who would give money away without attaching their name to it to be thanked later? I remember thinking, “If I ever have extra, I want to be that $200 person! I want to give! I want to make a difference in people’s lives!” I started praying for an opportunity. I knew that if something didn’t change, our lives wouldn’t look any different 5 years down the road. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
Soon after that, my friend, Martha McIntyre, shared Arbonne samples with me. I used the products, bought them at a discount, and shared them with my friends. Six months later, I jumped into this incredible opportunity. I had two huge fears: speaking in public and failing. I didn’t jump in because I knew I would be successful. I jumped in because there was no other option for my life to look different. Martha did my first three presentations, and then I had to do one by myself. I was hyperventilating, my voice was shaky, I had red blotches on my neck, and my whole body was trembling. I had to read, word for word, the presentation script. I was horrible! However, people bought products and I didn’t die! That was a major breakthrough for me! I learned that night that success is on the other side of your comfort zone.
I followed what Martha McIntyre and Neta Irwin taught me, worked my business consistently, and stayed focused on the journey. I attached myself to the activity and not to the outcome. I decided to trust that if I continually did what they told me, it would eventually work. I gave myself no way out; I was doing this! I had a decided heart. Three years after joining Arbonne, I became a Regional Vice President and had the honor of having our Founder, Petter Mørck, speak at my car presentation in Oklahoma! About one year later, our first child, Connor, was born. I loved being able to work from home; I could be a full-time mom, and I was making more than I ever did as a secretary. Six years after joining Arbonne, I became a National Vice President, just five days before giving birth to our second child, Hailey.
My 6-year journey to NVP wasn’t easy. I struggled with rejection, cancellations, no-shows, people’s lack of belief in this opportunity, people quitting, and self-doubt. For a long time, I felt as if I was the only person on my team who was committed. I wondered many times if it was worth it. I felt like quitting over and over.
It’s normal to ask, “Will this ever work for me?” or “Is it worth it?” I really believe that only those who are still standing after asking these questions deserve to get to the top. One of the reasons we get such huge rewards at the top is because we are willing to risk so much at the bottom. But you have to decide at the beginning that walking away from this is not an option.
I’ve learned so much along my journey: This business can be worked part time, but not “sometimes.” If you’re not coachable, you won’t be a great coach. There are no shortcuts. Belief is a decision, not a feeling. If you don’t quit, you will make it. Your commitment is directly reflected in your calendar. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the willingness to do what you’re afraid to do in spite of your fear. You cannot pass on belief to people who don’t want to receive it. You don’t decide your future; you decide your habits, and your habits decide your future. Whether you think you will succeed or fail, you are right. If you work your business with integrity and honor, it will be blessed! If you are not willing to grow personally, you won’t be able to build leaders.
I feel so blessed! I stepped out onto “nothing” and what a “something” I landed on! Every month I get on my knees and thank God for the abundance in my life! Because of my Arbonne business, I’ve been able to work from home and participate in my kids’ activities. I’ve been able to help my mom in Brazil in many ways. My kids have college funds and our family has been able to go on multiple mission trips to Africa. We’ve made great memories on great vacations. We have retirement funds and we are debt free. The friendships I’ve made have made me better. The personal growth I’ve experienced cannot be measured!
My successline leaders have taught me more than I could ever teach them, and I am so grateful for all they add to my life! I want to mention so many, but I only have room for a few. To my 10 direct NVPs, who are in the trenches day in and day out serving others: Thank you, Carol Bowdell, for being the first NVP to promote on my team! Thank you, Gina Ballew, Linda Parker, Deanna Herrin, Donna Melchert, Georgianna Yerton, Autumn Shields, Susan Kilborn, Kristi Moses, and Kerri Scott! I love, admire and respect each of you! Thank you to all the RVPs, AMs, DMs and Consultants in my entire successline! I am so grateful to be on this journey with you!
Many people have molded and shaped me along the way, and I am so grateful for each of them. Petter Mørck, thank you for your vision. Rita Davenport, thank you for your belief in me. Neta Irwin and Martha McIntyre, thank you for coaching me and seeing me as I could be, and not as I was. Arbonne Home Office, thank you for your endless support!
Connor and Hailey: You have been my Why from the beginning and mean the world to me! I am honored and blessed to be your mom! You inspire me to be better every day. I love you more than you can imagine!
Most importantly, I thank God for giving me courage, strength and faith! He called me to this journey, and those He calls He equips. We were created for a purpose, and this business is an incredible vehicle for us to become all we were created to be! My dream of becoming that “$200 person” seemed so big at the time, but God had bigger dreams for me and those He would bring to my organization. Leaders in my business have built orphanages and schools in Zambia, homes in Haiti, shelters for battered women, and churches. They have helped underdeveloped countries get clean water, helped rescue girls from sex trafficking, and have fed the hungry. They’ve written books that speak life, and they volunteer in their communities. They’ve become foster parents and adopted orphans. The world is better when people who desire to make a difference become successful. Everyone on our team is infected with a contagious desire to be a difference maker. This is just the beginning. The best is yet to come! My dream is for Arbonne to be known as the best network marketing company that gives back!