Women Building Bridges


Betty Quattlebaum

Betty QuattlebaumWhen most people hear the expression Appalachian poverty level, they know it means being pretty poor. Poor yes, but there is an individual pride and pioneering spirit amongst the mountain people. Betty would know; she grew up in the mountains of Appalachia, the only child of hard-working parents who eked their living from the hills and a few acres of bottom land. The comforts of home meant there was electricity. When Betty became of school age there was the option to walk down the road to the one- room school house where her dad’s cousin taught seven grades in one room, or to literally walk a mile up a mountain and another mile down to catch the school bus to a regular grade school (which used to be the Mission school where her dad lived when he was orphaned as a boy). Her dad, determined Betty would get the best education available, wouldn’t hear of her being taught by his cousin who basically told stories from WWII all day. Betty developed a thirst for learning as well as wanderlust . . . she traveled the world through the pages of books and dreamed of the day when she could do it for real.
“Dad gave me mixed messages as a kid”, says Betty. “On the one hand, he encouraged me to get an education, get good grades, and in his opinion, employers would beat a path to my door. It was probably because of his insistence that I became the Valedictorian of my class. On the other hand, he always encouraged entrepreneurial activities, such as delivering Grit newspapers (google it) to local farms. He even gave me a small allotment of land on which to grow, manage, and sell my own tobacco crop. We cultivated the soil with horse-drawn plows and hoed the rows of plants. My father would hire field hands for $3.00 per day, and he would pay me the same wage to work in the fields. However, when I was cultivating my own allotment of land, I was not paid a wage, but got to keep the profit from the sale of the tobacco instead. I was no stranger to hard physical work, and being a tomboy, I would do anything to stay out of the kitchen!”
Because of her dad’s death in her senior year of high school, her local college plans had to change as there was no way for her mom to earn a living in the mountains. Betty took her SATs three days after her father’s funeral and she began college at George Mason University in Northern Virginia where she and her mom had relocated. She dropped out of GMU in order to work, and met her first husband while attending a few semesters at a local community college. Her entrepreneurial spirit alive and well, Betty and her husband opened their own restaurant while in their early 20s. During this time, she was introduced to network marketing by her father -in-law. Betty remembers that they filled the basement of their new home with $3000 worth of soap, which she attempted to sell door to door. Despite this inauspicious beginning Betty developed an interest in the industry because she watched her father-in-law go on to make a fortune in the business internationally. There’s nothing like success to get your attention!
Betty married again in her early thirties, lived with her new husband for a few short years in Germany, where she finished her degree in Business Administration and indulged her growing desire for travel and adventure. Her husband died of lung cancer, and Betty stayed on in Europe for another year before returning to the States. She spent a couple years in real estate as a residential agent before going into residential lending.
Betty learned to go with her strengths, including vision, being a big picture person, and knowing how to stand on her own two feet and make decisions. Betty hit her stride with the mortgage banking industry, where her penchant for action got things done. By the mid-90s she earned an income that few in Real Estate achieve; she was a powerful and attractive woman who enjoyed the lifestyle her income made possible. But her early experience in the network marketing industry continued to haunt her–the idea that she could have a global business–with residual income, without being tied to a geographical area. She dabbled in the industry over the years, looking for the right company that would bring her closer to her dream.
Due to some bad business decisions, Betty lost it all, the vacation land, the boat, even her home. She moved into the basement of her mom’s house. There is a devastating sense of powerlessness that goes with having no money – “I was emotionally bankrupt,” Betty reminisces. “I had over $100,000 of credit card debt. But more than net worth, I was engaged in a battle for the recovery of my sense of self-worth. I guess I was going to find out how much grit I really had.”
Betty finally found the network marketing company she was looking for in XanGo, and in October, 2003 she set about rebuilding her world.
“As essential as money is to living a life of choice and contribution,” Betty says, “sometimes women are reluctant to talk about money, and even have negative programming – in their mind about money – that prevents them from reaching their potential, and helping others.” She says men are often more comfortable with the world of business. Most women didn’t grow up as little girls with the dream of running a successful business. At least not most women of the baby boomer generation. Betty wants women to talk about money. Straight talk. Starting with, without money you are powerless. Life without money tends to be life by permission, rather than by self-direction. Without money, even the concept of giving back is nothing more than a dream. “Money itself”, says Betty, “ is not the goal. The goal of all humans should be to discover and pursue their own particular passion in life. Women need to dream again, and ask themselves what passions they would pursue if money were not a limiting factor. It could be anything, from travel, to animal refuge and rescue operations, to building wells with clean water in third world countries, to building churches, to making sure elderly parents can live a life of dignity, to staying home with the children, . . . and maybe even bringing Dad home.”
“Unfortunately, dreaming is not enough. It is a beginning, but dreams cannot become a reality until they are put on paper in the form of a plan. Women have to learn to ask, and answer the tough questions; to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Whether we like it or not, God is in the details.”
“Women in the traditional workforce go to work and focus on other people’s goals and priorities. They are not in the habit of focusing on their own. They think like employees, not like owners. They need to think of themselves as owners, beginning with being the owners of their own life.”
Betty sees network marketing as the only vehicle available today that can give the average woman the freedom and sense of ownership she so desperately needs. “But she needs to see network marketing as what it is, a real business, and she needs to treat it with the respect a business deserves. For example, I see housewives financing their network marketing business from their household grocery budget rather than opening a separate account; enthusiasm quickly wanes when the family decides that all network marketing does is take time away from the family and costs the family precious resources. We need to educate wives and moms on how to break even on the first month of business as well as ignite in women an interest in learning about the positive tax ramifications of owning a home-based business. The best way to ensure the support of spouse and family is to show a positive cash flow quickly as opposed to draining the family budget.
Betty is quick to point out that it is rare that a network marketing company offers a compensation plan that actually makes this possible, but that is precisely why she is with XanGo and their 50/50 partnership with their distributors. But she returns to her focus on acquiring financial and business literacy: “Women don’t have to go back to college to get this, though that can be part of their dream. But they do need to be open to thinking a different way; that this is not about running around selling products to all your friends and then quitting when you have exhausted all of those possibilities. Network marketing only makes sense if it is treated as a legitimate business model that gets discussed, planned for, and implemented in a professional way.”
“Women are nurturers by nature, and it seems when there is a family demand, it is expected that their business priorities be consistently subordinated to their husbands needs or wants”, Betty concludes. This can quickly derail a business plan, particularly when the woman is building on a part-time basis. The one common denominator we all share is our 24 hours in a day, and how we choose to use this most critical of resources makes all the difference in the world. How we spend our allocated daily business hours, and who we spend it with, will directly correlate with how quickly we are able to build a successful business.”
Betty found the horse to ride to recover her life. It is network marketing, and XanGo in particular. She is a member of the Millionaire Club and travels the world with her friends, again. Most of all, she is using XanGo to pursue her own personal dream, of creating and promoting a refuge for animals.
If you’ve never really owned your life, this is how to get it.
If you’ve had ownership, and lost it, this is how to get it back.
This is the industry.
XanGo is the company.
As Betty says, “This is awesome!”