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Sarah LeBlanc – Learning to Re-Apply Her Teaching Talents

Posted by on Friday, August 28th, 2015

Once a booming metropolitan region at the onset of the 20th century, Detroit has since been through some difficult times. Yet, the spirit of its residents has remained loyal, and city pride has kept Detroit a center for business, culture, finance, and transportation throughout its rehabilitation. As a resident of the Motor City, Sarah LeBlanc developed a deep connection to Detroit, relating to its struggles, and finding parallels in her own life as she channeled that characteristic Detroit determination to overcome. A couple since high school, she and her husband knew that no matter what life threw at them, they would make it work together—and there were plenty of obstacles along the way. Due to budget cuts in the educational system, Sarah was left without a job on numerous occasions. It was difficult not knowing, from one day to the next, whether there would be enough money to provide for their family. Finally, Sarah reached a point where she was tired of scraping by. Ready to rebuild her life, she embraced a business opportunity that enabled her to use the skills she already possessed to take control of her future.

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Laying the groundwork

In 2010, Sarah decided to attend her friend’s Rodan + Fields® business launch. She had never heard of the company, but she immediately recognized the Doctors—in high school, she had experienced positive results after using their previous product line to treat her acne. She was excited to try their latest brand. “My friend was raving about the eye cream, so I started using that. I was pregnant with my first child at the time, and within weeks, people were commenting on how rested I looked—that was shocking to me because I was exhausted and barely sleeping! I didn’t realize then that that little jar would later change my life.”

Sarah continued to use the products, never considering the business aspect for herself. Then, in 2012, another of Sarah’s friends started her own R+F business. Again, Sarah attended the launch party to show her support. “After having my son, I had horrible acne—my face was a disaster. My friend told me I needed to try the UNBLEMISH Regimen. A few weeks later, the acne was gone—my skin had never looked so good. I kept getting compliments from people and I’d refer them to my friend. Finally, she told me that, although she loved the referrals, it was silly for me not to start my own business and have them be my customers. But I immediately shot the idea down—I didn’t think I could sell anything.”

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Sarah with her business partners and friends, Elisa Noeske and Lesley Nizza.

Another year went by, and Sarah watched her friends grow their businesses while she continued teaching kindergarten. But she was growing dissatisfied with the educational system. More tests were being given and regulations were changing. “There were people constantly coming into the classroom and critiquing. I wasn’t comfortable with the direction the school system was headed. The things that were happening didn’t align with my belief of what education should be about and, for the first time in my career, I started to question my job.”

Ready to restructure

In 2013, while on maternity leave with her second child, Sarah’s financial situation shifted significantly. Her time off was unpaid, and she had only accumulated ten sick days. While home, the student loans she had taken out for her master’s degree kicked in, and suddenly, her bills were doubled—while her family’s income was cut in half. They were able to get by for a while, but eventually, it was just too much to keep up with. “I remember checking my bank account and seeing that I only had $14.72 left. I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know what. I considered coaching or tutoring, thinking those were the only other things I could do that fell within my skill set, but both of those would have taken me away from my kids even more. I was at a loss, yet there was this little voice in my head that kept saying, ‘What about R+F?’”

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Sarah with her team at the 2014 R+F Convention in Atlanta.

Sarah finally decided that she’d been watching from the sidelines long enough. She called up her friend, and in June of 2013, she enrolled as an Independent Consultant. She started sharing her business right away, and from the first month, was relieved to discover that she was earning enough to cover groceries and gas. Six months later, working 10 to 15 hours a week, she replaced her monthly teaching income, and nine months into her business, she achieved Premier Level V. “I think teachers often put themselves in a box of ‘this is what I know.’ I, too, had a fear of starting my business and not being good at it, but I discovered that the act of teaching incorporates so many skills—communication, positivity, organization, leadership, reactive thinking—and all of that can translate to this business. With R+F, I’m using talents I already had; I’m just learning how to apply them to different facets of my life.”

Rebuilding and repurposing

Sarah found that her business gave her something positive to focus on during a difficult time. Rather than stressing about finances or the frustrations at school, she concentrated on building and developing a team. “My business gave me my joy back and changed my mindset. Being around such supportive people helped get me out of my funk. I love feeling connected to others—part of a community—and the camaraderie that I found with R+F was exactly what I needed. Everyone is constantly helping each other grow and learn new things.” The supportive environment lifted Sarah’s spirits, and she was able to channel that positive mentality into other areas of her life. “I was able to bring that attitude back into the classroom, and despite the things that were happening, I was able to stay enthusiastic.”

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Sarah with her husband, Sam, and their children, Lucas and Colette.

Sarah’s business also provided her with new opportunities to utilize her teaching skills. “I like being in a position where I can help people, and I wasn’t getting those opportunities at my job anymore. R+F provided an outlet for me to pour my nurturing energy into. It was a perfect fit because teaching is what I do best. With my business, it’s just a different age and a different subject. Seeing others succeed is so motivating. Whether it’s coaching a teammate as they grow their own business or teaching someone how to properly care for their skin—when I’m helping others, I feel like I have purpose and value.”

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Sarah at her Lexus event with fellow Lexus Achievers, Kristie Welte, Kristin Rys, Elisa Noeske, and Lesley Nizza.

A successful renovation

In June of 2015, after ten years, Sarah retired from her teaching career. She is grateful for the opportunity to run her own business while still getting to be a present mom. “Before, I was constantly running at such a fast pace, and I was exhausted when I came home. Now, I have more energy to devote to my kids, and I’ll never have to miss their first day of school. The time I now have with my family is huge—you can’t put a price tag on that.” Sarah is also relieved that she has been able to take some of the stress off of her husband. “Giving ourselves some breathing room when it comes to our budget and maintaining control of our financial future has been such a blessing. You never know what can happen, and this is giving us the ability to prepare for whatever happens down the line.”

Every year, Sarah’s family takes a trip to Crystal Lake, and over the past three years, it has become a tradition for Sarah and her husband to visit the wineries there and reflect on how different their lives look. “It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come and what a difference one year can make. One little ‘yes’ has changed our lives.” Eventually, Sarah would like to help change others’ lives in Detroit by getting involved with organizations that advocate for the city—especially in the areas of education and child welfare.

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Sarah is grateful for the extra time she now has with her children.

Sarah’s business has shown her that she is much stronger than she thought. “Just because you are down and out and things seem to be crumbling around you, it doesn’t mean all is lost. That’s when you need to pick yourself up and hustle that much harder. We aren’t trees; if we don’t like where we’re at, we can move.” After overcoming her own obstacles, Sarah has learned that no matter what comes up, she can persevere and will come out stronger because of it. “Feeling bad for yourself doesn’t fix anything—you have to do something. And my business has taught me that I can do so much more than I thought. We are all more than a label. I always thought of myself as a teacher, but I can apply that passion in ways I never expected. You can do anything you want. You have an abundance of skills; you just have to learn to hone them and bring them out—and being able to teach that lesson to others has been absolutely amazing.”

The information, materials and views provided by a Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant during this presentation are her or his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Rodan + Fields. Rodan + Fields makes no representations about the accuracy of the information. The stories shared may be atypical experiences among Consultants who join the business. Actual earnings vary significantly, and no income is promised or guaranteed. Potential Consultants are urged to perform their own due diligence prior to making any decision to participate.

For information regarding earnings under the U.S. R+F Compensation Plan, see the Income Disclosure Statement.

For information regarding earnings under the Canada R+F Compensation Plan, see the Income Disclosure Statement. We estimate that in Canada the typical plan participant will earn between $1,700 and $2,000 CAD per year.

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7 Responses to “Sarah LeBlanc – Learning to Re-Apply Her Teaching Talents”

  1. Mary B says:

    Way to go Sarah, Ben, and Lou and Coco. Congratulations on your hard work and accomplishments. God bless. Love ya!

  2. Sara Dwyer says:

    Sarah-
    Congratulations on your successes! Your great support, not just to your team, but to the magnitude of R+F Consultants who benefit from your inspiring words of leadership and support. Although you are no longer teaching in a kindergarten classroom, your classroom is now filled with many grateful R+F business partners, of which I am a proud member. You, my dear, pay it forward like a true leader. Thank you and may your blessings return umpteen-fold.

  3. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your story and for the wonderful training that you did this Sunday. So grateful.

  4. Megan Qualls says:

    Wow! What a treat to find your Redefine Blog today! I’ve listened to the RR call you did last Sunday night three times and love your infectious enthusiasm! Thank you for sharing and for your unbridled excitement for this business!!

  5. Dian Rosier says:

    Thank you for your dedication to our business. Your words are an inspiration to a new Consultant such as myself!

  6. Sara Dwyer says:

    Such a great story! I love how your story makes us all feel better about making a difference – and savoring the memories and building a legacy for your family and a great team of empowered people! Way to go Sarah! Hugs to Sam and the kids. Can’t wait to see you at convention!!

  7. […] a few months Lesley had been following the successes of her college roommate and sorority sister, Sarah LeBlanc. She was also a teacher, but had recently started her own Rodan + FieldsⓇ skincare business, and […]

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