[Ch. 8 of 9] If At First You Don't Succeed...
May 17, 2019
Does life ever throw curve balls at you? Is there a dream you've been working towards, but each time you take two steps forward, you also take one step back?
Any dream worth achieving comes with hard knocks. And those hard knocks make you wiser, and the achievement of your dream that much more rewarding.
Let me share my story in case you encounter setbacks—to help you find the wind beneath your wings...
You would think with me hearing the formulas, and all of the incredible changes happening in our family and for other people, that growing this as a business would have been easy.
But that’s not the case…
As you know, the first product I made for the screaming toddler was a single bottle.
Then my instincts told me to make 6 bottles. And within 3 days, 6 bottles sold. As I would make larger batches, calls would come, and products would go out the door.
It’s important to realize that most people didn’t have computers, cell phones were rare, and the internet didn’t exist as a platform for selling, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to grow my small business.
And then one evening, I was invited to dinner with one of my girlfriends and her friend that was visiting from out of town.
Her friend was the spa director for a 4-star resort in Puerto Rico…
…we began working together for about a year in creating a spa program.
Once the program we put together was a success, they wanted to bring my products into all 200 of their spas around the world.
As we entered final negotiations, we were suddenly told that the government had decided to resume test bombing in the area of Puerto Rico where the spa was located.
Therefore, the spa was closing.
And just like that, this opportunity vanished.
About 4 months later, I received a call from someone who had worked with the executives at Estée Lauder and Nordstrom.
She had started with the brand when Ms. Lauder was so new she was making her creams in the bathtub.
I’ll never forget receiving that first voicemail.
She said, “Kaliana, this is so-and-so with Estée Lauder. I’ve heard about your products, and I’m so excited—I’m trying to hunt you down.”
This was the beginning of a 2-year journey, working toward a half million-dollar deal with Nordstrom. We flew ourselves and staff around the country for meetings. The more the deal grew, the more that was asked of us, including stopping all of our sales to individuals, stores, and practitioners in order to offer an exclusive deal.
We believed so strongly in our products and the person we were working with, that we spent our savings, inheritance, and cashed out our investments to make it happen.
To keep a long story short, we discovered one day that we were being misled.
While the person may have had good intentions, and been who she claimed to be (she had been close friends with a family member for 15 years), she also suffered from alcoholism, and we didn’t know until too late…
…the deal fell apart overnight.
45 days later, 9/11 happened.
Had we done the deal with Nordstrom and began manufacturing, we would have been stuck with all that product and a second mortgage on our home. We would have lost even more than what we had previously invested.
I used to say, “I couldn’t have bought that education; all of what I learned through the experience.”
But then a friend responded one day, “oh, but you did pay. You spent a small fortune on that learning experience.” And that is true.
But I came out of it much wiser. I’m way more savvy today as a result, and more clear on decisions and the direction to take my company.
But honestly, at that time I was burnt. And until I could heal my resentment, bitterness, and heartache, I was unable to move forward.
It took me a year of healing. And then one day, I thought... you know, I’m a healer. It’s what I do. Making these products is my music, like playing a guitar. I just can’t not do it.
From there, I just began growing it again. We worked diligently. My husband would drive me to stores, and I would go inside and show them my line. We kept growing it, getting sales reps, and new accounts.
I became a respected speaker at conferences, such as for the regional health food stores in the Southeast and Midwest (SOHO and MAHO). And by June of 2015, we were in stores all across the country, including being approved for Whole Foods Market.
We had just purchased the plane tickets for my fall tour, and two days later a tragedy happened to my family.
I don't know if life has ever come at you so hard that you just weren't sure you'd get back up again. I share my story with you to help you see there is always light at the end of a tunnel...sometimes you just can't see it.
I want you to know I'm here for you. I understand how difficult the journey can be at times. And I also want to help you find your light at the end of the tunnel.
You were born to do something special, something only you can do.
I hope that my journey can help you find strength and hope in the toughest of times. Remember—the greater the challenge, the more rewarding it feels when you get there.
You've made it this far. You may be bruised emotionally or scarred physically, but you've overcome challenges that may have felt impossible while in the thick of it.
I believe in you.
In the next couple of days, I’ll share with you about the boating accident, how it impacted my family, and what we did afterwards to heal.
Look for the subject line “[Ch. 9 of 9] Life After Tragedy"
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treat. This information is based on research and knowledge by the author, and the ideas are not intended as substitute for medical advice. As with any products it is suggested that you check with your medical practitioner prior to use. The author disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any products mentioned herein.