Defining success for yourself is something we discuss a lot here at Business Building Women. Too often we get caught up in how others view success and adopt those definitions for our lives. For one person success in their business may be becoming a millionaire, for another it’s making enough money to pay for a date night each month and for another it’s simply having something for themselves regardless of the money amount. There is incredible freedom in realizing your version of success doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s.
Carrie Buddenberg, Beauty Guide at LimeLife by Alcone, is a perfect example of defining success for yourself. Her focus is on helping other women. Helping them regain confidence, deal with skin issues, build their own businesses and provide income for themselves. She doesn’t define her success by a number but rather by the lives she positively impacts. Let us tell you, she is beyond successful!
We have had the pleasure of knowing Carrie for several years now and would be hard pressed to find a more genuine, dedicated and caring person. Carrie pours her heart in to everything that she does and runs her business with drive and determination. You can find out more about her and the products she carries on her website, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a mom of two beautiful little girls, Blair is three and Bristol just turned one. I love being a girl mom! I got married young and not long after, went through a long and hurtful divorce. I was left feeling insecure, damaged, ashamed and unlovable. Of course, when I least expected it, I met the man that would change my whole mindset about myself. Dereck, my husband, was completely the opposite of any type of man that I had dated but that was exactly what I needed. He was a hard-working, caring and respectful person. I could trust him without a shadow of a doubt.
Without walking my path, I would have never appreciated the type of man Dereck is. I knew what I wanted my future to look like I just was completely wrong about what kind of man it would take to get me there. We got engaged after a year of dating, married a year and a half later and became pregnant with our first daughter a month later. We have built our family on Christen values, love and respect. My husband has played a huge part in my confidence with having my own business. A business owner himself, he knows what it takes. He has supported and pushed me from day one.
I went to college at AIB College of Business in Des Moines, IA and got my Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Business Administration with an Associates in Financial Services. Along with running my LimeLife business I am working as an Office Manager/Accountant at Decorah Chevrolet Cadillac. I also do all the books for my husband’s business.
In our free time, we enjoy watching TV and movies and love to go to and watch dirt track car racing. I am addicted to Cherry Pepsi, pizza and cookies. After I wake up, I must have a cup of coffee to get my day started. I love to play around with makeup, not to cover my natural beauty but to enhance it.
How did you get into your business?
I have always had a passion for makeup. My mom, who is one of my biggest supporters, taught me how to properly apply makeup. Of course, I am a very realistic person and pursued a college degree in Accounting and Business Management. Living in a very small town, there is not much of a career in makeup application and I could not afford to take time off from my job to pursue the courses I needed to take to become an esthetician.
I started looking into direct marketing companies but for years I could not find a company whose products I fully supported. I had happened to come across some videos on why people were loving a new direct marketing company, LimeLife by Alcone. I had never heard of it but was intrigued. They carried professional makeup and all-natural skincare products. That is exactly what I was looking for, professional products. I remembered one of my college friends was a Beauty Guide, so I asked her for information and samples.
I had been looking forever for a foundation I loved. I’ve always needed a full coverage because I have dealt with acne. I tried the foundation and it was the best foundation I had ever used. I immediately fell in love and was surprised that I loved all the products. I had always liked different brands of products but not one whole line. That was exactly what I was looking for, a company where I could full-heartedly recommend all the products with confidence.
I had an “ah-ha” moment where I called my sister and told her, “I know what I want to do for the rest of my life! I wanted to align myself with LimeLife by Alcone and make a living off my passion, even if it only becomes a hobby.” I felt a message from God telling me, this is exactly what you are supposed to be doing. I trusted my feelings, immediately signed up and haven’t looked back. On April 24th I celebrated my second anniversary.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been getting over my own fears of what others think of me. I am an introvert that is completely content with staying in and watching movies.
I remember the first night when I got my starter kit from LimeLife, I was going to do my first live unboxing my goodies, but I could not bring myself to hit the go live button. I think I sat there and panicked for a good 20 minutes. I decided I was going to write everything out, record it and then post it; dip my toes into the water if you will. I sat there for hours messing up over and over but I didn’t want to give up. The harder I tried the worse it got. Finally, my husband had to come out and say, “You are going to bed!” I just started pushing the go live button before I could even think and after a couple of times, I had gotten over that shaking scared feeling. It truly does get easier the more you do it.
I had to learn to say, “Who cares?” Your fans will love you no matter what and the people that are not your fans do not matter. People want to see the real you. You connect better with people when you are just yourself, imperfections and all; as no one is perfect.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
Honestly, how hard it was going to be. There are people out there that have fast success but for most people, a slower pace is more realistic. I kind of thought, “I love these products! Why wouldn’t anyone else? Everyone is going to purchase these from me!” I learned in a hurry that when joining a ground level company, where people don’t know the name, they are more hesitant on purchasing or trying.
This is a business and for your business to succeed it takes a lot of work. Just think, at a corporate job you work 8-9 hours a day. Your business is going to take that much work or more. Consistency is key.
On the flip side though, I had no idea the amount of support I would receive in joining a direct marketing company. I have an amazing team of ladies that are always there for me and have become my family. You are not in this business alone. There is so much training from the best people in the industry. You get to align yourself with other great businesses, like Business Building Women, who want to support and help you succeed too. The community that can come from a direct marketing atmosphere is one like no other.
If you could narrow your success down to one thing, what would it be?
I do not measure my success based on sales volume or number of people on my team. I measure my success by the women I help become more confident in their own skin. I have been equipped to help them with any skincare or makeup issues they are having, while giving them product recommendations with confidence.
To me, I am successful because I have been able to continue to run my business while staying genuine to the person I am. I have been able to take products I love and share them with everyone; not sell them. I will continue to be successful because I love what I am doing. One thing I am always going to continue to have, because of this business, is regained confidence in myself.
Where do you see you see yourself in a year?
In a year from now, my customer base is going to be even larger because I am going to continue to share these products and help women find what work for them. I am going to be a supportive leader for my team, that is going to grow even more over the next year; we will rank up together. I will continue to support my LimeLife sisters in succeeding in their own business.
I will keep aligning myself with other women business owners for support and guidance. It doesn’t matter what business you have you can encourage and learn from each other. I am going to keep learning new things every day to help me grow as a business owner and a person.
What are your top three tips for women starting a business?
Tip #1: With any business it takes time and work. Even if it takes years to become a successful business, don’t give up. Success doesn’t happen over night and does not need to be measured in rank, commissions, team size or sales.
Tip #2: You should not rely on your “warm” (friends and family) to be your sole source of support and income. You will need to branch out and market yourself to connect with people you don’t know. Your friends and family will want to purchase from you to support you but that will not keep your business afloat.
Tip #3: No matter what business you want to start you should be passionate about it and believe in the product or service you are providing. You want to be able to share your products or services with people and not have to sell them. A relationship is built on trust and if your customer trusts your recommendations that is when you will see returning and happy customers. You will build trust by being a positive and genuine person that truly believes in what you are sharing.
Whatever product or service you are selling, learn everything there is to know about it. When customers are coming to you with questions, you are the expert, so you need to know the answers. If you don’t know the answer, then know where to look or who to ask. I know when I first joined LimeLife and still now, I watched many Beauty Guide’s lives and read my product guide to continue to educate myself on what the product is, why it should be used and how to use it. You want to be able to educate your market.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I get up about 5:30 so I can take a shower and have a cup of coffee before my girls’ wake up. If I get to apply makeup before then too, that is a bonus. I apply my makeup and take some pictures in the great morning sunshine to post later, on my social media platforms. If I have enough time, I will jump on Facebook live to do a makeup tutorial.
I get my kids ready and off to daycare. I work at my job at Decorah Chevrolet from 8-5. If I am caught up on my work, I work on my LimeLife business online. The best thing about my business is I can work on most of it from anywhere if I have a computer or my phone.
At night I pick up the girls from daycare, we have supper, baths, and bedtime. After they go to bed, I might hop on a Facebook live or if there is any videos or samples that I need to get out to customers I will do it then. I watch some TV to de-stress from the day and bedtime around 9:30.
I love that my business can fit into any open spots I have throughout the day. I can email, message, text anyone at any time. I don’t have to have set hours or a brick and mortar building that I must sit at. I can do as much or as little with my business through my day.
Weekends are when I like to do one-on-one appointments, makeup applications, and parties.
What is your business motto or quote you live by?
Stay genuine to yourself while being brave and kind.
If you were starting your business over again, what would you do differently?
Honestly, I would to not product load right away. For the record, no one told me or encouraged me to do this. In LimeLife they discourage product loading. My mindset going in was, I am going to do all these vendor events and I want products on hand. People will be less likely to purchase from me if they must order online. How can I sell products if I don’t have them? You must invest in your business to be successful. So, for me in the beginning I pretty much ordered two of everything in the product line. One for sampling and one to have on hand for purchasing. I can tell you right now I still have some products that I originally purchased when I started 2 years ago.
What I would suggest, build your sampling kit. I do feel it is important to have a sampling kit not only for your customers to be able to try all the products but for you too. It is a lot harder to share a product if you have never tried it. Remember, you want your customers to trust you and it is harder to trust someone if they don’t know the products. If you have tried the products you can explain in detail: the smell, the texture, how it applies, how it lasts and so much more. I would learn everything there is to know about the products. Watch for awhile and see what products are the most sought after in your market and then keep those on hand.
In my area vendor events were not successful for me. People were usually just walking through and stoping at the booths they knew. In my experience, people were less likely to stop at my booth because they had never heard of LimeLife by Alcone. I did events for a year and got my name and business cards out in the community. I have since been trying different avenues such as: Instagram, Pinterest, email, one-on ones, special occasion makeup application and my own blog. Vendor events can get pricey and are a lot of work. There are so many ways to share products you must find what works best for you.