Interview with Devonna Cowdrey – National Director for ViSalus Sciences
I am a 42-year-old mom of two boys, ages 9 and 3. We live in the country and raise Red Angus cattle and Boer-cross goats. I love living in a small community and raising our children in this environment. My oldest son shows cattle, so we spend much of our time preparing for and going to livestock shows. I’m officially a Stock Show Mom! My husband and I met in college and will celebrate our 20th anniversary this December.
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Beginning in my college years, I made and sold a variety of handmade items, clothing, jewelry and home décor. Later I started an embroidery business out of my home, which eventually led to the purchase of an established retail embroidery shop in town. After many years of growth there, my business partner and I decided that being mommies was more important than working 6-7 days a week, so we moved the shop back to my house. I still operate the embroidery shop today, along with the other services we offer of screen-printing, vinyl transfers and signs.
My journey with ViSalus started back in November of 2011 when I saw a Facebook post from a friend who was a ViSalus Promoter. I immediately knew after talking to her that I wanted to use the products to lose weight and improve my health. After researching the company, I also knew I wanted to promote the #1 Health Challenge in the Nation, the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge. ViSalus is the fastest growing company in the United States right now with triple digit percentage growth over the last 18+ months! An incredibly powerful slate of products paired with a compensation plan like none other in the industry are allowing ViSalus to change lives both physically and financially.
What did you do before launching your own business?
I worked for 12 years in Information Technology in the Oil and Gas Industry, before becoming an Assistant Professor at Tarleton State University, where I have taught Computer Information Systems classes for 8 years.
How did you fund your business?
The cost to become a ViSalus promoter is only $499, so I just paid it out of pocket, which was GREAT!
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?
My working hours vary, but many times I work 12+ hours a day (many of those while my family is sleeping!). The trade off is that when I want to take time off to do something with my family, I can! Much of my time is spent in my home office, but I also work “in the field” meeting people to discuss ViSalus, providing samples, and hosting Challenge Parties where people can come and learn about the products and taste a variety of shake recipes in a fun, relaxing environment
How would you rate your success?
At this point, I have been quite successful, earning three promotions in just 5 months. I qualified for my BMW that is paid for by ViSalus in just 3 months!! I’m now shooting for Presidential Director, which will earn me and my spouse an all-expense paid trip to Atlantis, Bahamas. I make weekly and monthly commissions also! Success with ViSalus is determined by how hard you and your teamwork to promote the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge and the ViSalus business opportunity. The sky is the limit!!
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
Having time for everything is quite the juggling act sometimes. It’s a great thing that women are good at multi-tasking! I still teach full time, run the embroidery shop and promote ViSalus, so sometimes it is a struggle to have time to get it all done. But in the end, I know all my hours will pay off. I will not sacrifice time with my family; so much of my work is done at night or when my family has other things to do. I am very thankful for cell phones, texting, email and Facebook, which make all of my jobs easier.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Never give up! You will face difficulties, obstacles and heartbreak along with lots of joy, happiness and excitement in your entrepreneurial journey. Keep your eye on the prize; never forget why you are in business for yourself, and never let anyone put out your fire! Listen to your mentors, be coachable, and never stop learning. Read non-fiction books regularly.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
Very carefully! Spending time with family is my number one priority and I work everything else around that.
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