MONICA STANTON: Executive Coordinator in Santa Barbara, California
“I just returned from the Atlanta Global Conference, and to be honest, for the first time since my first conference in 2008, I wasn’t excited about going. This was surprising to me, as I have always eagerly anticipated each conference. I heard the theme was ‘Breakthrough’, and I was sure I would hear about all the amazing breakthroughs everyone was going through, reaching new heights in their Shaklee businesses. This was not the case for me. But I went.
On the first day, I heard Tasha Starr speak about the 3 year ‘winter season’ she had with her Shaklee business, and the struggles she had that left her feeling like walking away from it, the feeling that she was ashamed of the ‘dry’ period she was experiencing, and how the passion she once had for her Shaklee business had been sapped out of her. I was stunned, because I had just recently come to the realization that I had been going through my own winter for 5 long years.
But first, some context; I was introduced to Shaklee in 2006. My daughter, Grace, who was 12 at the time, had just been diagnosed with a kidney condition of ‘poor prognosis’ with an inevitable kidney transplant on the horizon. Much of our time was spent at UCLA Medical Center and Cedars Sinai. Nothing could have prepared me for this. But I was determined and began an earnest search for a natural doctor who could help rebuild her health. I have a degree in the Biological Sciences so I knew the power of the human body and real science was what I was looking for. And I found Dr. Brouse, a brilliant scientist and compassionate man, who introduced me to Shaklee.
I always believed in natural health, but I found myself in a new world of rapid advanced learning about optimum health: the natural supplements industry, kidneys, chemicals in the home, and the human body’s drive to heal itself. We Shaklee-ized our home and made it as chemical free as possible. This is a big change if you are living like most of our nation, and requires many baby steps, but we took them. Diligence, hard work, and time eventually brought our daughter to remission. We were ecstatic. The rest of the family benefited as we started on the Shaklee supplements ourselves, with serious and mysterious chronic allergies gradually disappearing.
Grace was on several powerful Rx medications we were told she would need for the rest of her life. The side effects were making her life one of very poor quality. But she became stronger and more stable and we gradually weaned her off all the medications. I was homeschooling my 2 children, and I started sharing about Shaklee with anyone who would listen.
My upline, Gina Forcatto, shared the Shaklee Opportunity with me as a way to pay for the supplements we needed. This was interesting, but not in the forefront of my mind. But a Small Business magazine highlighting Shaklee families and a ‘Join Me’ DVD she mailed me got me thinking. I announced to my family that I would give a Shaklee business a ‘try.’ I bought the First Step Guide brochure, read it cover to cover, and in 2007 casually began to share with my homeschooling community.
My Shaklee ‘business’ started to grow, and became official in 2008 with a Gold Pack. Some of my lovely members shared my passion and began to build their own Shaklee businesses. By early 2012, our awesome team made it possible for me to pay for all of my family’s Shaklee products and more, helped me further build my family’s health, go on 3 incentive trips double-qualifying twice, earn a Shaklee car, and reach the title of Executive Coordinator. My ‘summer’ mountaintop beginnings with Shaklee were fun and exhilarating, it was unstoppable. We had gone from a dark place of disease and hopelessness to better health and an amazing Shaklee lifestyle!
But later that same year I chose to attend to increasingly difficult matters with my marriage. Unfortunately, this resulted in a divorce. It was complicated and took 2 1/2 years to settle. Without getting into the details, the process required that I stop building my Shaklee business. Walking away from what brought me so much joy, hope and fulfillment was extremely difficult. At the same time, my daughter had turned 18, and was doing great with 100% kidney function. But like many 18 year olds, she tested her limits, and setbacks followed. Health challenges and rebuilding myself and my family was my priority.
As we all know, inactivity breeds doubt, and after almost 3 years of this, I needed something to jump start myself. I made a run for the very first Chairman’s Retreat and earned it. It was a great experience, one worth striving for. I felt ready to roll.
But shortly after, on a Saturday morning coming home from a Smoothie Workshop, I was at a stop in freeway traffic when a distracted driver rear ended me. I got a concussion and neck and jaw injuries. I had to stop all the physical activities I loved, and walks were limited to 10 minutes per day. Concussions and focus do not go together, and doctor visits, insurance paperwork, and medical bills took precedence in my partially-working mind. All of this took its toll on my confidence and happiness. It took me 6 long months to begin to feel normal again. By the way, thank you ‘MindWorks’! No inflammation from the CT scan.
Meanwhile, the clock was ticking because my marriage settlement agreement required that I purchase the home I co-owned with my ex by August 1, 2017, or put it on the market. Santa Barbara is an expensive place, so a move to another home that would meet our family’s health requirements would have meant moving to another city. By God’s grace, I became full owner of our Santa Barbara home in February this year. It was a long, difficult transaction with many puzzle pieces, and while in escrow my ex stopped further support for my daughter who was still trying to rebuild her health. So I put on my general contractor hat to quickly build a rental room to help fill the financial gap. Immediately after, a slab leak flood in my kitchen affected 4 rooms in my home, and we had no kitchen for nearly 4 months. I kept my general contractor’s hat on. Truly, when it rains, it pours!
During these difficult 5 years, while I could not focus on building my Shaklee business, I did my best to take care of my Members, and my customers continued to purchase their products. Little did I know just how substantial a business it was that I was building. Shaklee is my only ‘job.’ My bonus checks kept coming each month, and I learned that my income was still greater than some I know who have stressful full-time jobs they hate. Having a solid customer base and a customer care system made so much possible for me. My home and family are settled in, I am able to support my daughter fully, and I have a beautiful new kitchen, laundry room and bathroom and my living room wood floor was saved. My daughter’s kidney function is in the 80-97% range, no transplant, and she is helping me with our Shaklee business. I own my home in beautiful Santa Barbara, and my hard-working son comes home to us during college breaks. I am sharing health and hope with many great people, many who become my friends, and I have peace of mind of a secure financial future for me and my children.
Faithfully taking care of my Shaklee business, no matter how small each act felt, also brought me new builders. Three first time attendees joined me in Atlanta, and 2 were celebrated on stage, one as a Sr. Director, and one as a Director. It brought me great joy to watch all of them be inspired the way I know Shaklee inspires. And my Shaklee business is once again beginning to grow, it’s starting to feel like spring…
A Shaklee business is more than a good income, trips and cars (I love all three!) It gives you room to experience amazing personal growth and attend to things that matter the most. I admit, like Tasha, I also felt shame about my long winter season. But just before Atlanta I had arrived at what Tasha had shared, and saw that all I had accomplished empowered me, and made me a better, stronger, and more authentic and compassionate person. My Shaklee business made it all possible, it allowed me to do what I wanted to do, to be with my children, rebuild our family, continue to build health, keep and beautify our family home, and to restore happiness and empowerment to our lives. What a great thing to model all this to my children, and to share with others!
If there is a message to my Shaklee story, it is to commit to the process of building your Shaklee business, and it will stay with you and take care of you. It will wait for you if you’re busy! And it will run with you when you are ready to run. Doesn’t that sound like a faithful best friend? Believe in and take care of your Shaklee business, because it will take care of you in ways you cannot even begin to imagine!”
Monica is the definition of having a breakthrough, by realizing she is so much more amazing than she gave herself credit for and restarting her life and her business again and again. Sharing in the joy of her new leaders walking across the stage at Shaklee Live for rank advancement is a beautiful new beginning!
She has been a courageous member of her branch of our Ewing Organization Shaklee tree. Consider the long history of her Shaklee lineage…
Bob & Pat Ewing Family, PMCRD (joined in the 1960s)
The Don & Carolyn Spargur Family, SRMCRD (joined in the 1960s)
The Thomas & Jennifer Kirsch Family, SRKEY (joined in the 1970s)
The Don & Pat Simecka Family, SRMCRD (joined in the 1970s)
The Gina & Sergio Forcatto Family, SRCRD (joined in the 2000s)