I love a good inspiring story, and today's episode delivers that! Hear from my friend, Samantha, a very successful entrepreneur, and her story from poverty to success and the lessons she learned along the way about being a mom, a wife and a woman.
Links in this episode
- Her podcast – www.revolutionoilspodcast.com
- Her website – www.samanthaleewright.com
- Revolution Oils Business Bootcamp Podcast
- See all of the episodes from The Merry Messy Moms Show here
- Join in the fun & conversation in The Merry Messy Moms Show Facebook group
- Interested in a Young Living business? Feel free to email me here, or check out my story here.
This is the very inspiring story of Samantha Lee Wright, a mom of two, a doula, owner of an essential oils business, and the owner of the world's largest essential oils podcast, and her family's journey from extreme poverty and barely surviving, to now thriving and successful and the lessons she's learned about herself and life along the way. How she went from feeling like she deserved poverty and a life of struggle, to realizing she could overcome it with some dedication and belief. We got emotional while talking – it is quite a powerful story and I just know you're going to enjoy it!
Samantha Lee Wright is the producer and host of the world’s top rated podcast in its category, The Essential Oil Revolution. With over 1.5 million downloads to date, she's helped thousands of people from all over the world learn how to take control of their health.
She's a sought after leader in the world of essential oil news and discovery and makes learning about essential oils approachable and inspirational with stories, humor, and enthusiasm.
She lives with her husband and two kids in the mountains of North Carolina where she also co-owns and operates a local doula agency; High Country Doulas.
Living off the grid in the mountains
Her and her husband, Shamba, met when she was 19 and he was 24 in Chicago. They dated for a while and then got married, and she took him to the remote mountains of Boone, North Carolina.
They wanted to live off the grid and found a wonderful sustainable living community in Boone. They loved their very simple lives, living off as little money as possible and very sustainably, doing things like carrying five gallon buckets of water up and down the hills around their house.
They got pregnant – everything changed
And then she got pregnant, and of course, as we all know, everything changes! She realized she could no longer live in a 100 sq. foot hunting cabin in the woods, carrying that water to the house everyday. And some of her friends did live that life with kids, but she knew it wasn't for her.
Shamba was a carpenter and she was a doula, and neither made much money at the time. They got used to living in poverty, as Shamba worked 50-70 hours a week at multiple jobs and still weren't able to make ends meet.
Hopeless began to set in as they lived in poverty
The baby number two came along and they really began to feel hopeless. They weren't sure what to do with the careers or how to make more doing what they were already skilled at doing. Samantha didn't feel like she could really be an entrepreneur – she didn't feel worthy or deserving of success. She told herself that she made these decisions with her life and basically this was her payment, a life of poverty is what she deserved.
A neighbor changed the course of her life!
Then along comes her neighbor, Becky Webb, who really changed the course of her life. Samantha started talking to her about how her Young Living essential oils business was going and to her surprise, she found that Becky was making $8,000 a month! It was more than they were making in a year!
So she set up a coffee date with Becky and got to share how she created this amazing business. She says it's a date she will never forget. However, Samantha wanted a “get rich quick” answer and Becky wouldn't give that to her. She told her about the oils, and the farms, and the company and left her with the book, The Four Year Career, and after that she became enthralled with building a business part-time, from home as a mom. A passive income where you're not trading time for money, which were all new concepts to her.
She started an essential oils business
So she told Shamba, let's try this! She failed miserably at first and made a lot of mistakes. But she stuck with it and then started to get things right. She started her podcast about a year into that journey and now two years in, her husband is about to retire from construction and they are off all of the government assistance they were on before!
She was able to tear up her food stamps card
They stopped qualifying for food stamps about a year into having her business, but she couldn't get rid of the card because she didn't feel like it was real. She was also scared – what if all the money stopped coming in? What if it failed? So she kept the card just in case.
Two years into owing her business, she realized she really never was going back to that place of poverty. Her life really had changed and she was able to accept it without the fear.
So she got on Facebook live and cut up her food stamps check for her friends and family to see. It was a very powerful moment!
Her husband is now an entrepreneur, too!
She remembers when Shamba was working all of those hours – he's only 35 but the work really wore out his body. He got a fleck of a nail in his eye at one time – she was just hoping he could get out of the industry without a major injury.
So he's going to join her in her businesses, doing the jobs that the assistants have been doing. And he's also starting his own fitness channel on YouTube!
She never felt like the typical mother
She never felt like she was the typical mother – the kind that plays with their kids, cuddles and holds them for a long time. Even tying their shoes wasn't something she wanted to do. She knew she wasn't the homeschooling type, and now her kids are doing really well in public schools.
From the beginning, being a mom was hard for her. She felt like she lost a huge part of herself, part of her individuality, autonomy and purpose in life. It was really hard to stop working and she struggled with depression with her first child, and felt very lonely and isolated.
Starting her own business was a saving grace for her. Not only was the money something they needed, she felt like she gained a piece of herself back.
She became a student of business ownership
She poured herself into learning as much as she could about owning a business. She listened to podcasts while driving her kids around and during nap time, and just immersed herself with business knowledge as much as she could. Nap times were magical! She was so productive, and also at nap time. She ignored the dishes and laundry and focused on building a future with her family.
Anytime she wasn't 100% focused on her children, she was 110% focused on her business.
With her second child, she just carried her can a baby carrier and the whole nap time bounced on a ball and worked on her computer!
Sacrifices that paid off
It was hard – she had to turn down birthday parties and send the husband and kids, and she turned down nights out with her friends.
But now? Now that her business is thriving she is free to go out with friends, and can actually show up to birthday parties with a gift! Whereas before, she'd go to the party with no gift, praying they'd serve food so her kids would have something to eat that day.
She eventually made enough money to put her two kids in a halfday preschool program, two half days a week, which felt like an eternity to get work done!
Stigma of being lazy on Food Stamps or not college educated
Shamba worked sometimes four jobs, 50-70 hours a week. That defies the stigma that being on food stamps means the person is lazy or not contributing to society! He also has a bachelor's degree in fine arts in sculpture. He actually started a sculpture business right before they got pregnant, but it wasn't big enough yet for him to support the family so he scarified his dream for his family.
She is so grateful to him for that sacrifice and that fueled her desire even more to create financial freedom for her family. So that her hard-working husband could do what he loves and is passionate about.
She still has seasons of hustle where she turns down everything to get her business to the next level.
Mixing business and friendship
Her mom always told her, don't mix business with friends. However, she has broken that rule and sometimes it hasn't been good for the friendship, and in other situations it's made the relationship stronger and more beautiful. She has learned so much from the mistakes she's made in her business.
The stigma around network marketing and MLM's
Both Samantha and I have found that network marketing is an ideal place for moms – we can work when we want, from wherever we want, as much as we want, and work our jobs around our families and not the other way around.
Samantha is very passionate about this! At first she had no idea that companies like Mary Kay are network marketing companies and she's thankful now that she didn't know at first because the stigma's might've stopped her from doing it at all.
Referral marketing is huge right now
The business world has changed so much as it is with social media – referral marketing is a huge part of how companies advertise so it's a perfect time to join a network marketing company.
People are realizing they can buy their products from a store where the money goes to people they don't know and who can't personally help them, or buy online where it's easy but there's still no really support, or have the best of both worlds and buy from a friend online and support her helping her family.
She has a big vision for future American families
She feels like in today's time, it's really hard to comfortably support a family of four with just one parent working. So she has a big vision that the average American household economics will look completely differently in 10-20 years. Part of that will have to be Americans cutting back and not thinking they need as much stuff, and supporting more small businesses so that more parents can be home to raise their kids.
Fear is what holds us back from success
Fear that we can't do it, that we will put a lot of time and energy into something that will fail. Fear that we aren't good enough or smart enough to have what we want.
Like with her podcast – she had no clue how to succeed or even do it at first. She just dedicated herself to learning all she could about it to make it successful. And she's still learning as she goes.
One mom's success story – moving out of her mom's basement
One of her teammates is a single mom of a 14 year old girl, and she had lived in her mom's basement for 10 or more years. I want to spend our daughter's teenage years in our own home so I want to start a business to help with that dream. A month ago Samantha received a message from her that it was going to happen!
Now her passion is to help other families
Now that Samantha is no longer worried about survival, she's really happy with the money they're making and while making more would be nice, her passion is to help raise up and support other moms and families so they can get out of survival mode, too.
She says that most people probably wouldn't look at her bank account and think, you're successful! You've made it! But for them, it's a completely different lifestyle and they're happy. And they'd both rather Shamba be home more with the kids and be more involved in family life if that means they have less money coming in.