Today you’re hearing a story from one of our team members, Falinda Farley. She has been a customer and team member since 2011, and she’s sharing her story of leading with authenticity and love throughout her career.
When I started my first job as a TV Producer, I never imagined that years later, I’d be working from home as I am now. But the lessons I learned working in television, as well as my experiences homeschooling my children for 11 years, have prepared me to be the leader I am today.
My husband Mark & I have been married for 36 years, and we have 7 living children. I started my career as a TV Producer, but when Mark and I started raising a family, we were committed to living on one income. Money was tight, but we believed it was the right choice for our family.
We homeschooled our children for 11 years, and this was a wonderful experience for us. As my children got older, I was able to start giving back by volunteering. I have always believed that it’s important to give back based on what you have received.
A New Opportunity
I was introduced to the Life on Your Own Terms team when I was attending a local women’s networking group. I was skeptical at first, because I had been introduced to MLM companies, and those didn’t align with what I was looking for.
It took 3 tries, but finally, when my husband and I looked at the company together, we decided to become customers. However, I still did not see myself as a leader. I wasn’t sure if I could actually build a business.
Once I started using the products, though, and realized that they were making a difference for myself and others, I decided to begin referring others. I realized that this was a practical business because the products were everyday products that everybody needs. I didn’t have to convince anyone that they needed to buy these products–it was just a matter of where they were going to shop.
Becoming an Authentic Leader
In order to truly grow my business, I needed to realize that I was, in fact, a leader. Thankfully, Beth Schomp became a visionary and mentor in my life. She brought out skills and qualities I didn’t even realize that I had in me.
I’ve learned that leading with authenticity means having a clear vision of where you are going. It is also based in servanthood–you have to care more about the people you are leading than you care about yourself.
Leadership also means becoming aware of the person I am working with and knowing what motivates them. As a mother, I learned that my children would reach milestones at different times. It didn’t mean that one child was better than another–they were just different.
I bring this understanding into leading my team as well. I seek to support my team members just as I supported my children. I see myself as a cheerleader for my team, cheering them on towards their goals.
Most importantly, being an authentic leader means leading with love. Love is, in my opinion, the greatest tool of leadership. I used this tool as a TV Producer, as a homeschooling mom, and now as I build my business. When people recognize that you truly love them, they are willing to listen. If you don’t truly love the people you are leading, then you shouldn’t be a leader.
The Benefits of Living Life on Your Own Terms
Being a part of this team and living life on my own terms has allowed me to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. For example, my youngest son is in the NYC ballet. I love going to see him perform. And when my oldest daughter had her first baby, I was able to go and stay with her for 7 weeks. I’m able to stay involved with my children’s lives and be there for them thanks to my business.
I’ve also experienced the joy of being part of a team. With our Life on Your Own Terms team, no one is left out there as a lone ranger. We have friendships and we are helping each other along the way. This is the heart of the team. I’ve never experienced this in my other roles throughout my career.
Looking to the Future
As I look to the future, I’m filled with hope. Most of my peers are winding down in their careers, but I have a forward focus. I want to use this position that I’m in to help others. Whatever time I have left, I want to make a difference.
Falinda and her husband Mark have been married for 36 years and live in North Carolina. They are parents to 7 living children, Falinda loves using technology to keep in touch with all of her kids. She also enjoys using her gift of hospitality to make others feel welcome – whether in her home or out and about.