For me, someone telling me that they are comfortable in their skin is a big deal and rare. This is one of the many things I love about June’s featured Wonder Woman! She wanted to keep her portraits natural and take them outdoors to reflect who she is. With that said, she chose to keep her skin barely touched by makeup. Just a dab of lip and cheek stain and fake lashes. I tell you this because it’s important to her to be real with you. She is down to earth and so friendly. She taught me a bit more about the direct marketing business model that I have brushed off in the past. For some it’s a way to earn money on their own terms. I do love learning from others! So let me introduce you to someone who works hard and has fun too!
We are all in search of the best ways to care for our skin, am I right ladies? Allow me to introduce you to Koren Sloan, who takes genuine pride in helping her customers look and feel better and who has found the freedom she’s always lusted after by running her own business. Read on to learn all about her and her company!
Name: Koren Sloan
Business Name: Brand Partner Nerium International
Web Site: http://ksloan.nerium.com
Phone: (704) 681-1274
Location: Nerium products can be purchased online by anyone in the United States, Mexico, Canada and South Korea.
Describe your business in 50 words or less.
Nerium International is an anti-aging company with breakthrough products that are validated by years of scientific research and development.
Why did you start your business?
I was working a job that I was very unhappy at and was really looking for change. I was applying for new jobs and the idea of relationship marketing never crossed my mind as an avenue to pursue. One day I was on Facebook and I saw a picture of my friend’s husband: it was his Nerium night cream before and after photo. I reached out to her to find out more about the product, but when I heard about the company and what their mission was (the mission of the company is “Make People Better”), I couldn’t stop thinking about it. After doing some more research I decided I really didn’t have anything to lose so I jumped in. I thought it would be a fun way to meet new people and make some extra cash on the side. It is of course that, but it turned into so much more than I could have imagined. I am forever grateful for that Facebook post!
What’s different about you versus your competitors?
Nerium products are rooted in years of research and actual science. I love learning about where the ingredients were discovered and the story behind them. There are patented ingredients that you can’t find anywhere else. The products are simple to use and affordable. The ingredients in our products focus on not just dealing with the signs of aging that you are experiencing but also targeting the root causes of aging. I love that. As a relationship marketing company, we are different because we provide free inventory to our brand partners. Many times people struggle to make money in relationship marketing because they are constantly spending. Nerium has such a low overhead and you get your own product plus your inventory for free once you have brought on your first three customers. I could probably list many other reasons I love this company but I think that one really sets us apart.
What can your customers expect from you?
My customers can expect me to be real with them. I am not a salesperson. I want people to try my products and hear about my company because I know it can help them look better, feel better, save money, save time, the list can go on. I never want people to feel like I’m not being genuine.
What was the last big milestone or benchmark you hit and how did you reach it?
The last benchmark I hit for my personal goals was to sign up my 100th customer. I was really excited about that because it just felt like, “Wow I’ve really helped a lot of people!” I love my customers and getting to 100 made me stop and really think about new ways I can let them know they are appreciated. I think in an online world it can be hard to connect and I know I haven’t always been the best at letting my customers know my appreciation in better ways than an email so that is something I’m actively working on. Hitting that benchmark was just a part of remaining consistent and staying the course. It can be easy to feel defeated sometimes but it’s important to never give up!
What is the most misunderstood part of your business?
The most misunderstood part of my business is the business model itself. This breaks my heart because I think how many more people could have their lives impacted if they only had an open mind. There are so many relationship marketing companies out there and while many of them are amazing and providing people with great products and lifestyles, some are not so amazing and it seems once someone has had a bad experience with one of those companies it ruins their image of the industry. In other parts of the world, network marketing does not carry this stigma. I hope that through my business and the way my company does business I can help people realize that this can be a great way to purchase quality products and, if you want, it can be a great way to make a part-time or full-time income.
What part brings you the most joy?
Two parts, on the customer side I absolutely LOVE when someone tells me that they went somewhere without any makeup on and they were complimented on their skin. I have never worn makeup but I know many people who feel uncomfortable leaving the house without it. For me, someone telling me that they are comfortable in their skin is a big deal. On the side of building my business, I love when a team member really sees what their future can hold, when someone decides to have goals and dreams again – that is a big deal. So many of us just wake up every day and do the same thing over and over and don’t even know what we are going after. When people have an extra income stream and positive influence around them, it’s incredible to watch them transform. I think this is very near to my heart because I know how I personally transformed. I can remember watching the welcome video when I joined Nerium and it saying “you can dream again” and I just cried and cried. Who knew how badly I needed to hear that!? It was a powerful moment for me in my life when I realized I hadn’t been dreaming about my future.
What are the pros and cons of having your own business?
I’m going to start with the cons so I can end on a positive note. It can be very difficult to manage yourself. Many people would love to believe they are very self motivated but having your own business really challenges that. It can be hard to not be working all the time. I find that I want to respond to emails and calls as soon as they happen. While I believe that me being available is crucial to my business, I also believe that boundaries need to be set and that we have to allow ourselves time off.
Now the pros! You make your schedule, I love that. I worked crazy hours in my old job and I rarely got to do things I really love. I love to hike and now I can go do that in the morning and work in the evening if I want. I can even work on the mountain! I love being able to work from anywhere. The freedom is definitely the biggest gift. I also love all the amazing people that I’ve met. Being in business for yourself you get to network and meet such amazing people. I’ve learned so many new things. It’s hard to believe that I wouldn’t have this group of friends if I didn’t do this. I even work part time with an amazing organization called Lady Savant, I love the work I do with them and the community they have created!
What do you wish you had known before starting a business?
I wish I would have known what a roller coaster of emotions it would be! I’m sure everyone feels that way. Now that it’s been a few years I know the waves are coming but in the beginning it’s scary to experience so many new emotions!
What is one piece of advice you can give to any woman starting her own business?
See it through. You are going to want to quit. You are going to question yourself. You are going to be questioned by people you love and trust. Not everyone will be supportive. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. But, it’s totally and completely worth it. Never ever ever give up.
Any upcoming events or promotions you’d like to share?
I’d really just love everyone to learn about Nerium International. Check out my website and connect with me if you want to be on my mailing list to know about future events and new products. If you say that you saw me here on Diane’s blog, I will send you a special gift in the mail (because who doesn’t love getting actual fun mail)!!
What motivates you?
Freedom. Personal freedom, time freedom, financial freedom. I want to live life on my terms in all aspects. I want to travel the world and not have to worry about anything.
Best time-management tips?
Plan your day before the day begins. This changed my life.
Where’s your happy place?
I love to hike and my happy place is the summit of any mountain. The feeling of accomplishment and the view when you get to the top is the best feeling in the world.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I love french fries. I mean, it’s serious. I really love them!
How do you spend your free time (if you have any)?
Besides being outdoors, I really love my pets and to read. I could cuddle on the couch with my fur babies and a good book and that would be a great day for me!
If you are a mom, have you found a balance between home and family? If so, tell us how!
I’m not a mom, except to my adorable dogs and giant cat. 🙂 I am very inspired by women who have several children and run a business. One of my closest friends in Nerium has 5 small children and I always tell myself when I want to make an excuse about time that if she has time then I definitely have time!!
What’s your all-time favorite book and movie (business or otherwise)?
I love to read and so it is hard to say what my favorite book is but a book that I recently read that really impacted my life is “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. I loved his straightforward speaking style and really it has dramatically changed my day to follow his advice on how to better your mornings. I recommend that book to everyone I meet. My favorite movie is “Singing in the Rain.” I watched it so many times growing up with at my grandma’s house and it just holds such a special place in my heart.
A favorite quote or expression that guides you?
I really love the quote “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” So many times we get defeated in our own thinking. Believing in yourself is so important.
I had so much fun with this lady at her photo session! We laughed and talked a lot. Thank you Koren for sharing your story and wise words.
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*Any reference obtained from the Diane French Photography website to a specific product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by Diane French Photography of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document or website do not necessarily state or reflect those of Diane French Photography.