Worokya Duncan grew up in LeFrak City (aka Iraq), Queens. It was the kind of place where smelling urine in the stairwell or the elevator was a common aroma of sorts. It was the kind of place where you’re both scared to walk to the bodega by yourself, but proud when you could quickly get in and get out without meeting anyone’s eye. It was out of this type of place that her mom, a single mother from Liberia, worked to get her the best education a teacher’s salary could buy. Years later, she is working on her 4th degree, and is a teacher, too. In her “spare” time, she is also a wife and mother of 3: 2 boys and 1 girl. We interviewed Worokya for this edition of women entrepreneurs and here are her responses on life and her business.
Please list a quote or motto you live by and state why.
Marianne Williamson- “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Describe your business. List location, phone number, website.
I am not the conventional business owner. With my schedule and my 3 dependents, I was unwilling to begin a business that would open me to a lot of liability. I discovered a company that uses pure, safe, and beneficial products, and has been around for 30 years. It is a health, beauty, and wellness business, known as Arbonne International. There is no one location, as my office is my laptop. My website is http://www.worokya.myarbonne.com and you can find all the information about the business and the products on my site.
What motivated you to open your own business?
My 2nd child was born 10 weeks prematurely. In fact, I went into labor while teaching an 8th grade History class. Due to his health issues, I was forced to take some time off of work. Being the independent type of woman that I am, I did not intend to continue taking money from my husband for bills I’d incurred on my own. Starting my Arbonne business enabled me to not only pay my bills with a little something extra, but more importantly, allowed me to meet other people who needed the opportunity. I was able to point some people in another direction, the Arbonne direction, to change their lives.
Did you have any initial fears or concerns that you had to overcome when opening your business?
The fears were HUGE! I didn’t like talking to people. I was no sales person, and I wasn’t sure I could be convincing. The thing is, I didn’t have to be anyone other than myself. I am able to speak and I have skin. That’s all I needed. You talk to people and see where they are in life. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t wash their hair, or doesn’t want to look and feel good. Once I got in the door, I was relentless. I’m happy to say that I have made a goal of getting as many “no” responses as possible. I know that after getting those, the “yes” is right around the corner.
How did you develop your concept?
Arbonne is wonderful in that the business model is one of consistent training and support. Business schools everywhere are teaching about MLM, with Arbonne as the benchmark.
How much capital did you need to get started? Did you use any creative funding sources?
The cost for the start-up is $109. This gets you training, samples, catalogues, and presentation guides. All of this with no need to store or ship from your home and 0 liability. What could be better?
How do you market your business? Do you use any creative marketing strategies?
I have a website and I use Facebook as well. Other than that, I simply talk to people. I give Arbonne products as gifts, and Arbonne products are the only health, beauty, and wellness products I use in my home. When you come into my bathroom or look on my bedroom bureau, it is all you’ll see. That gets people asking questions.
Are you or your business on Facebook? Twitter? Linked In? Please list.
I am on Facebook, but my business is listed at http://www.worokya.myarbonne.com.
How do you manage employees if any?
I don’t have to manage employees, but I train those who want to own their own business. We are all motivated people who don’t need managing per se. Guidance is what I’d like to call it.
What are some of your day to day struggles as a business owner?
My main struggle is making sure that when I am with my family, I am 100% with them; when I teach, I am 100% teacher. The wonderful thing about Arbonne is that I choose when I want to work and how much I want to. I don’t have to neglect my other responsibilities to make this work.
What brings you the most joy from your work?
What brings me the most joy is actually using the products and seeing what they do for me and my family. All 3 of my children deal with eczema- or should I say, dealt with eczema. Using the baby products from Arbonne, their skin as so smooth. I use the products too, so I feel confident when I speak to others. I love that I don’t have to lie to anyone.
Any advice you’d like to offer to anyone interested in your line of work?
I’d say, don’t be afraid. The worst thing that could happen is that you’re back where you started. You can’t even imagine the BEST thing that could happen.
Would you like to offer a promotion to the readers? If so, please list.
The first 10 readers who would like to start an Arbonne business and actually signs up, I will send them one FREE Arbonne product. For anyone who would like to purchase products, for any purchase of $150, I will send $25 worth of Arbonne products FREE!
© 2015, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.