I was so excited to speak with Allison this month because she is a girl boss in the E-commerce world. She is a mom to three darling boys and a former nurse turned into a Rodan and Fields consultant. (I had to be honest before moving to Austin I had never heard of Rodan and Fields and I was SO curious about it and how much money the consultants could make.)
AH: Can we just title this one #hotmessmom, please?
AC: Not a problem. In a former life, you were a nurse? What type?
AH: I always worked in pediatric critical care- from ICU to cardiac ICU to Neonatal ICU. I was such a softie at the time and had to develop thick skin.
AC: What drew you to nursing?
AH: Most of my family has a medical background and I sort of stumbled into it. I started out as an interior design and dance major. My dad was adamant that I had a paying job after college and be able to stand on my own two feet- rather than become a dancer in NY who was a starving artist and struggled. My dance instructor was also a nurse so it seemed possible for me to do both. As it turned out I loved the intensity of my job as a nurse; the caring for the sickest of the sick, the urgency of the situations and how I had to constantly make decisions on the fly. It quickly became clear I was meant to do this job.
AC: So what happened after you had your first child, Austin?
AH: After having Austin I really struggled with the decision of whether to stay home or go back to work. But I just couldn’t bring myself to leave him. I stayed home for a year and after about 11 months of being home, I missed having that work outlet and felt like I had lost part myself. I went back to work as a nurse in an outpatient setting because the hours were better. He was in preschool and getting sick all the time. I would have to stay home or call in and I was already only working part-time. Darren’s job was not as flexible so it fell to me. Around the same time I found out I was pregnant with Graham and hospitalized with kidney stones, I ended up having to resign while I was pregnant to finish my pregnancy on bedrest.
AC: So how did you stumble into the Rodan and Fields world?
AH: After my second kiddo was born we had moved back to Florida to be near family. I had been staying at home full time for a while and LOVING being with my babies, but that longing for more was surfacing again once we had settled in our new home (sensing a pattern here?). Everyone in Panama City worked, which was different than my mom network in Atlanta, so I felt so lonely and isolated. I had been searching for a part-time option that was going to give me the best of both worlds. I knew being home full time with two kids was great for them but not necessarily best for me. I had to get creative and had considered all sorts of options. There was no pediatric ICU in Panama City so I tracked down a manager opening one and she had been looking for someone with my background to help her develop that program part-time. It felt like it was meant to be. After accepting that job, I saw my college friend, Arden, post on Facebook about Rodan and Fields and I was in the market for good skincare products, so I reached out to her.
AC: When did you officially decide to take the leap to join Rodan and Fields?
AH: After talking to Arden, I remember getting off the phone with her and thinking “That’s great. Good for you.” I was impressed with her for going for it! But, that was it. I wasn’t really picturing myself doing it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued. After all, I had just gone back to hospital shift work- while I loved my job- the reality was that most of my income was going to pay for childcare. The idea of having extra income without having to put in extra shifts was appealing. I started using the products and I could see a difference in my skin almost immediately. My husband noticed, my mom noticed, my aunt noticed- I have freckly skin with some sun damage from growing up in Florida. My mom and aunt wanted to try products, so I called Arden and she said: “You know, you should do this too and they could be YOUR customers.” It was like a lightbulb went off. I did have a sense of hesitation about jumping into direct sales but I really respected Arden, and the other women she had partnered with were former college classmates who had a ton of career success. I just intuitively knew if they saw value in this and were having success- it would probably be smart for me to take a closer look. Ultimately I was nervous, as this was SO outside of anything I had ever done before, but I knew it was an opportunity that I didn’t want to look back and wonder “what if?”. So I said yes!
AC: What was your initial investment and how long did it take you to make it back?
AH: When you become a consultant you actually don’t have to purchase ANY products, but Rodan + Fields offers various business kits that have our products at a huge upfront discount. I saw the value in having personal experience with the products I was choosing to represent, so I went with one of the bigger business kits. But even still, my initial investment was under $1,000 and I made that back in my second month. I had considered other businesses before, but all of them would have required a HUGE upfront investment, not to mention a storefront, accountant, staff, marketing, etc. Rodan and Fields is all virtual and handles ALL of that for us; the print marketing, billing, shipping, they handle inventory and ship directly to our customers so that I don’t have to stock anything. And because we are an E-commerce business, all of the transactions take place on my corporate provided website. It was truly like getting a business in a box, for under $1000, and it includes a 60-day money back guarantee. It was a no-brainer for me.
AC: It is so vastly different from what you did as a nurse so what do you like about it?
AH: Honestly, at the core of it- it is still helping people. It is taking a skin problem and figuring out how to help them fix it. I know it seems small in the grand scheme of life but helping people gain confidence is something I really love. When people have skin concerns like redness, melasma, or acne, it can really affect self-esteem. It is so rewarding to be able to help people get past that. With my nursing background, I also was really drawn to the science behind the products. Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields are practicing dermatologists, and they were also the creators of Proactiv. They are brilliant in business, but also really know from experience what works for skin. Everything goes through years of rigorous independent clinical trials for efficacy and tolerance testing prior to being released.
AC: What kind of training do you get? There is no formal advertising for the products. How do you know how much or how little to share on social media?
AH: You have access to so much training when you start. We do have a HUGE library of corporate provided resources and also each consultant is trained and mentored by their team. The diversity of women who are consultants is astounding: corporate executives, pharma sales reps, doctors, beauty industry leaders, teachers, stay at home moms, yoga instructors, nurses, celebrities, professional athletes, Olympians, fashion magazine editors-you can imagine how many different layers of information we are privy to with all those backgrounds as a part of Rodan and Fields. Finding the balance of sharing on social media is something that we get a lot of training on. From learning how the algorithms work on social platforms to how to share in a tasteful way. Our work is part of our life, not our whole life. So we really try to focus on sprinkling business in with everyday lifestyle posts, just like anyone else would.
AC: Can you be a consultant and not be on Facebook?
AH: You absolutely could! I have had people work with me who weren’t on social media at all. This business is all about relationships and building trust, and you can 100% do that without social media. I do find the social platforms are SOOO valuable, personally, I think you could stay off, but why would you want to make it harder on yourself? The benefit of FB is being able to stay connected to people from all aspects of your life. We also have private Facebook groups for training and communication.
AC: What is the biggest misconception about Rodan and Fields?
AH: That people are “too busy” to add more to their plate and that most consultants are stay-at-home moms. This is simply NOT TRUE! Most consultants start this business while working full-time jobs, alongside raising kids, or both. Because it is a relationship business we find the busy people tend to be good at prioritizing their day and getting things done. They have a bigger network and tend to have the most success. I fall into this category myself. I started my business while working long hours and having two preschool-aged kiddos at home. If you look at most successful people, they have multiple streams of income. What started as my “side gig” quickly became my “full-time gig.” I still have goals that involve getting back into nursing someday, but I will never give up my RF business. It is just smart. The flexibility to work from your mobile phone gives us the freedom to do this anywhere at any time.
AC: I have to know- how much or how little money can you make selling Rodan and Fields?
AH: Well… this question is really hard to answer- because it is different for everyone. You can make this business what you want, so some people truly are only interested in selling products to a few close friends and are happy making just a few hundred dollars a month. Others see the bigger vision and grow to lead teams of thousands and can make six figures a month. I always hesitate to even share that, because the number just sounds absurd, but it is true. There are people within my team structure who make $200, $2,000, $20,000 a month..(yes, per MONTH) and more. So it just depends on your personal goals, and how hard you want to work, and how well you develop and train your team.
AC: It seems like you have a ton of perks: vacations, gifts, cars, etc. I saw a consultant on Facebook the other day who received LV luggage from the docs.
AH: YES!! Seriously I think the biggest perk I received working at the hospital was a beach towel and a gift card to the cafeteria. Being spoiled like this is a perk for sure. You might get a cash bonus, prize, or even a vacation from the corporate team, or a gift from your business partner for hitting a goal. Sometimes the most impactful reward is just being recognized and cheered on for achievements and hard work. This is the most supportive and positive work culture I’ve ever been a part of. I have been on leadership retreats to Mexico and Florida. We have SO much fun together. Darren and I are being treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to Banff, Canada this summer as a corporate incentive. You can even earn the white Lexus with our car program. That’s my next goal.
AC: Let’s talk motherhood. You had 3 kids within 5 years. Were 3 kids always in the plan?
AH: #3 was a “conversation” before we realized it was a reality. Graham was 2 and Austin was almost 4 and I found out I was pregnant with Owen. He was a BIG surprise but turned out to be exactly what our family needed. We had a lot going on in our personal lives at the time, a huge business deal was in the works for my husband, we moved to Texas, and we found out my mom had cancer and was starting aggressive treatment immediately. He was “the happy” amongst all stress and chaos! We call him our bonus baby.
AC: Describe each of your boys:
AH: Austin- Creative/Inquisitive/Intelligent
AC: What has been harder: being a mother, being a pediatric ICU nurse, or starting/growing your Rodan and Fields business?
AH: Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done.
AC: How do you balance being a mom of three with having your own skincare business and a team you have to mentor?
AH: It is not easy. Running a business from home means working around the kids’ schedules and finding time to touch my business every day. Tons of people join but they end up not sticking with it because they push the business aside. You can’t just sign on as a consultant, sign up people on your team, and sit back. You have to mentor, train and lead- I am there to help them find their voice and their way with R&F. Sometimes when you have those days when everything is overwhelming and you are stressed out with motherhood and business you second guess things. I think “What would my alternative be?” To quit and stay home and just be a mom- that doesn’t quite fulfill me. There is no other job that I can have full control over my schedule, be there for all the field trips, all family dinners, and on weekends with my husband and boys. I had reached the top of my pay grade as a nurse- with this job the possibilities are endless if I put in the hustle and hard work.
AC: So would you say Rodan and Fields is a fit for anyone?
AH: It is a fit for anyone that wants to do it and work hard. We always say it’s not for everyone, but it can be for anyone. I always pictured myself as Allison the nurse and mother, but “Allison the entrepreneur” is a new side of myself that I’ve really enjoyed discovering. It has challenged me to push past fears and self-doubt; I have experienced so much personal growth because of it.
AC: If you could go back and give pre-kid and pre-Rodan and Fields Allison advice, what would it be?
AH: Ohhhh this question is easy. Don’t be in a hurry to get to the next step (be it marriage/buying a house/starting a family). Enjoy this stage for what it is, and focus more on finding YOURSELF and what makes you tick and brings you joy. Travel the world; prioritize travel over possessions. Don’t be afraid to take risks or take a path that looks different from others. And finally, go to grad school. Even if that means taking out loans and being broke for a few years. You will have to wait 20 years to have the chance to do it again and you’ll regret it!!
Thank you so much, Allison!
Allison’s Rodan and Fields Website