Thursday, January 1, 2009

Linda's Story

The minute I looked into my first baby's eyes, I knew I could never hand him over to be raised by someone else while I went to work to provide for our family.

This presented a dilemma as I did not have the luxury of a husband who was willing or capable of bringing in the income we needed. Thanks to an overly optimistic father who taught me I could do or have anything I set my mind on, I began the search for ways I could support and be home to raise my family.

I did everything from:

- piece work for a wedding catalog, working all night after babies were asleep.
- vacuum sales
- newspaper route
- school bus driver
- diet counseling

Anything I could to be a “stay at home” mom.

I decided to open a lollipop factory. In a short time I had numerous employees, (babysitting teenagers), had borrowed $80,000 for the FDA kitchen and had maxed out the operation. I was living the supposed "American Dream" of owning my own business.

I only wished I had been warned about the huge cost with overhead, wages, employee taxes, workman’s comp and so on. Not to mention the commitment to be there 24/7. I had very little time away from the factory. But it did provide a modest living and a way for me to have the children with me. It became a family affair.

Like many in my situation, I was burning the candle at both ends, hardly taking time to breathe. I had opened an Antique Boutique and Scrap Booking store. I was very involved with my church, working 2 days a week with the youth and by now I had five very talented children involved in dance, piano and sports.

I was the ultimate human-“doing” and very little human-“being”

I had been taught pretty good coping skills, (my ultra optimistic father) i.e. “just take one day at a time” or “pull yourself up by the bootstraps and keep on going” or “just give thanks and it will all work out”.

From the outside looking in, it appeared I was dealing with the stress remarkably well. In reality, “coping” and pushing through each day is not “dealing” with.

I learned that you can get away with that only for so long. At some point the stress and anxiety, if not released from the body, will manifest in some other way.

For me it came in the form a brain tumor.

I was diagnosed in the midst of training for a marathon. I thought I was in the best physical shape of my life, yet emotionally I was “running” from everything that was amiss in my life….an abusive husband….my lack of self-esteem….my fear.

I was put on medications that completely disabled me, of which I was told I would have to continue taking the rest of my life. Life as I knew it was gone. And for someone who’s self-image was tied to how much I could get done in a day, this was devastating. As quickly as my business had grown, it fell apart. When you don’t supply your distributors, you don’t make money. The income was gone and the bills were pouring in.

Kicking and Screaming to a MLM meeting.

It was at that time that I was dragged kicking and screaming to a Network Marketing meeting.

YUCK, something I swore I would never do.

I was in a very hopeless and desperate place, literally dying on the couch. 'Like I am in any condition to sell anything to anyone' But my gut told me I needed that company’s product. I could not ignore that nagging feeling. So I followed my intuition and called my sister Anne at midnight to borrow the money to get involved from her credit card. I only wanted to make enough money to pay back my sister and stay on the product.

Anne let me know that she would probably get divorced over this. She also cried to me that she desperately needed $1,000.00 to give to an attorney to protect her 1year old foster baby from being taken away and given back to the mother that had tried to suffocate her. Something inside of me told her that I thought we could raise the $1,000 and enough money to pay back the card before any interest was charged. My sister gave me her card #, I am sure only because she couldn't say no to her dying sisters plea.

I set to work, the only thing I knew to do.

That business took off and within 4 weeks we had the $1,000 to give to the attorney, we paid off the credit card and both Anne and I were receiving weekly deposits between $500 - $1,000/week. By the end of my first year I had made over $100,000. With zero overhead and no employees to deal with!

It changed my mind about network marketing!

During that next year the brain tumor was out of control. I was traveling a lot trying to help everyone, still “running” from the pain of my loveless marriage and the fear of who would raise my children if I died. I was in and out of the hospital; took two trips to Mexico to seek alternative treatments not available in the United States; my 14 year old son, (the oldest of the five), had a horse roll over on him breaking his back in three places…. obviously I was not able to work my new network marketing business at all, yet my income, doubled!

The doctors told me I had to “DE-STRESS” my life or I would die.

As you all know, that is so much easier said than done! Finally I found the strength to leave the 19 year long abusive relationship that I had been determined to save. After my life being threatened and fear for the children’s safety, I threw what I could in big garbage bags, took my 5 children from their beds at 4 o’clock in the morning and ran away. I left the house, furniture, clothes and the state to start over and heal.

I was able to do that because of the residual income that I had created, a concept I didn’t really understand until then. Every Friday for over a dozen years a check has been deposited into my account. I never had to worry about finding a job or how I would get the next gallon of milk or how I would be able to support my children when I was not in a position of health to work. I wasn’t “all better” but I was now free to take care of me, to get the help I needed to heal.

Thought I Could Fix It, Love It All Better

Looking back, I realize why I stayed so long. First, I thought I could fix it, love it all better, keep a positive attitude. Failure was not an option. Second, fear of a life outside of how I had pictured it to be, the perfect happy family. Being a divorced, “sick”, single mom of five that everyone felt sorry for was not how I wanted it to be. Money had also been a reason to stay. I could not possibly support everyone by myself…especially with a brain tumor. The residual income from that “dreaded network marketing” gave me the freedom and the options to leave when I had to. I am forever grateful.

The joy of not only creating that for yourself, but for those that you love and care about as well is indescribable. I love that about this business! My sister Anne was able to adopt that little baby (Cora), my parents saved their home from foreclosure. And countless others still receive weekly checks years later as a result of the work we did together. It is life saving!

I hope that none of you ever have a brain tumor. I pray that none of you are being abused. But I’ll bet there are those of you that are already working two jobs and still not making ends meet. I’ll bet there are women reading this that dread dropping their children off at the daycare, but have no choice. You may feel trapped and discouraged. I promise that there is another way, there is hope, less stress, more time, more love and financial security.

Open up and let it in. Accept your Abundance!


  1. A fascinating read, Linda. I had no idea.

  2. Linda Stay is one of the MOST AMAZING women alive. Beating brain cancer, and a bad marriage, yet touching everyone she meets with a positive attitude & infectious joy is the mark of an angel. I am happy to know her. JACK ARMSTRONG, Artist, L.A.