As a girl, I dreamed of becoming a doctor. So, growing up, I did everything in my power to make that dream a reality. I worked hard to succeed and earned the right to attend the university of my dreams on a four-year academic scholarship. I still remember the day I left for college when a well-meaning gentleman told me it wouldn’t be long before I’d get snatched up by some guy, secure my “Mrs. degree,” and leave my dreams of becoming a doctor in the dust.
Four years later, I graduated cum laude from the Brigham Young University College of Biology with a Bachelors of Science in Zoology, Pre-Medicine. At the time, women were a minority in the sciences and my peers were predominantly male. Few women graduated with my degree and even fewer graduated in the top 10 percent of their class, the percentage that filled medical school seats. I had everything a good life coach will recommend. I had a plan, with goals and steps and benchmarks. But even though medical school was everything I had dreamed of and worked for, when I reached the end of my junior year, something didn’t feel right.
FOLLOW THE GUT
I’ve never been one to ignore my gut, no matter how unconventional its promptings. And I’ve always had to do things because they were right for me. Medical school wasn’t right. And so, I made a decision, one that caused me great personal anguish at the time. I chose not to attend. Instead, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in preventative medicine. Six weeks before graduation and a month before I defended my thesis, a miracle happened: a perfect baby girl came into our lives. At that moment, my measure for success was turned on its head. I knew exactly why medical school wasn’t right for me. Suddenly all other accomplishments, an MD included, paled in comparison to my newest title: mother.
This is not a popular perspective in the business world. Stay-at-home Mom, isn’t a particularly prestigious (or well paying) career. But I’m here to tell you that I didn’t lose my drive or my intellect after 12 years of raising 4 children. Quite the contrary, parenting was the ultimate learning experience. The challenges I faced in school, and in my upcoming career paled in comparison to those I faced as a mother.
FACING THE MONSTER WITHOUT FEAR
One year after my youngest was born, the challenges our family faced became greater than the resources we had. Our oldest daughter was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Watching her battle the heartless monster that is mental illness was the most difficult thing I’d ever experienced. Reasoning and rational thought stood no chance with this tyrant. I couldn’t fix it, nor could I make it go away. And even though my husband worked in the medical field, the benefits available to us were pitiful. I needed to expand the resource pool. So, I went to work.
Within six weeks I’d broken into one of the most competitive fields in the sales market. I became a rep with the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world, selling (as my kids love to put it) drugs out of the back of my van. The tailgate on the back of my dodge grand caravan lifted to reveal cartons and cartons of medical samples and pharma paraphernalia.
With this company, I earned local, regional, and national awards. For the first time, an organization took my husband and I on all-expense paid awards trips. He was even able to go deep-sea fishing off the Florida coast. (I was there too, meclizine patch intact and Dramamine in hand, puking off the side of the boat. Chumming was my official role.) My success in the field led to promotions and advancements, opportunities to learn, grow, train. I quickly found myself as a sales trainer, in the management development program, and in a specialty sales role, all prestigious positions and indicators of success.
And yet, I found myself constantly on the road, my “territory” taking me further and further from my children more frequently. Once again, I felt the unmistakable discontent that I’ve come to recognize as a cue for change, a course correction in its seedling stage. So, I stepped down, out of specialty sales and into a job share position in Idaho.
Two years later, my husband and I took a trip to Yosemite to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. I lost my pharmaceutical job on the summit of Half Dome, facing the infamous granite staircase and cables. At the time of my dismissal, I was ranked #2 in the nation for one of the meds I was selling. I was successful, and highly paid. I had earned many awards and was known for my ability to turn a tough territory around. But none of that mattered. To this company, I was merely a very expensive number, one that was easy to dismiss.
My husband was understandably upset by the call. I was oddly at peace. In fact, I was almost amused by the irony of the situation. How many people can say they lost their job on the summit of Half Dome at the peak of their career? Perhaps the peace and positivity I felt was a testament to my faith in a loving Heavenly Father who had always provided and sustained me in prior situations. Or perhaps it was the calm that comes from seeing a bigger picture – one that had led to righteously rebellious decisions in the past, decisions that defied logic to the rest of the world. In that moment, I made the decision that I would NEVER be a number for corporate America again!
This is what led me to a career in an industry that many view with skepticism and derision: a career in direct sales, with a business based in my home.
ONE DOOR CLOSES; ANOTHER ALWAYS OPENS
Too often we get stuck in tired, fear-based thought processes. We believe that legitimate businesses must be run from an office away from the home or require expensive start-up and overhead costs. I’m here to tell you that derision for direct sales, or any other unconventional business strategy is incredibly outdated. In the business world deliverables are king. And I delivered.
I became the first consultant in a new venture and built my business up from there. As of the start of 2017, my little direct sales company was selling over a million dollars in product each month and well on its way to two million! My company has well over 10K people in it to date and I coach a team of over 500 – mentoring many as they work towards accomplishing their income objectives.
Together we help customers improve the quality of their lives through the products we share. Direct sales may be unconventional, but it was a blessing to me.
PAYING FORWARD BLESSINGS
I’m a firm believer in paying my blessings forward. That, more than anything, has been my motivation to start tauschajohanson.com.
I dreamed of helping people as a doctor for the entire first half of my life. Some would say I’ve failed to reach my dream. I disagree.
I’ve realized the most important part of my goal. What I do now is perfectly consistent with my initial aspirations: I wanted to serve and help. I wanted to add my knowledge and expertise to people’s lives to benefit them and improve their situations and outcomes. And I do. I may not prescribe medications that kill bacteria or perform surgeries that improve function. But I DO prescribe activities and training that eliminate roadblocks and kill doubts. And I DO perform trainings that can improve my partners’ lives for years to come.
Maybe it’s not what you’d expect from someone with advanced education and a successful prior career. But, if you knew me, really knew me, and the Righteous Rebel inside me, and if you understood my business for what it REALLY is, you might not be shocked at all.
You’ll find that this entrepreneur thing is a perfect fit.
Tauscha Johanson is a team building expert, and personal success guide. Contact her personally today and get your business where you want it to be.