Tracy Willard – A Working Mom Builds a Foundation for Success
Friday, August 30, 2013

In 2007, Tracy Willard was living the American dream. She drove away from her beautiful Montana home each morning to a rewarding job, and at the end of the day, returned to her husband and two little girls. A educator of fifteen years, she had recently landed a position in the department of education at Montana State University, which is a dream come true for a passionate teacher. She looked forward to her days at school and evenings at home, secure in the comforts of sauce simmering on the stove, her daughters’ laughter, and stories at bedtime.  She and her family lived a charmed life, filled with dinner parties, summer vacations, and ski resorts. There were warm summer nights with friends and cocktails, and long peaceful walks through the beauty of Montana’s grasslands. Tracy had everything she had ever wished for herself when she was a little girl, dreaming.

Tracy Willard

Then, in 2008 the U.S. economy began its downturn, and its fall became worse as 2009 approached. Like many Americans, the economic downturn hit Tracy’s family hard. As her husband’s company struggled with significant losses, the Willard family was challenged in ways they had never experienced. Suddenly, the idyllic life they had known was shattered. In this humbling experience, she began to feel lonely, isolated from the world she once knew. Many of her friends didn’t know what she was going through, because outwardly, all appeared calm. Tracy existed like a ghost within the walls of a decaying castle. Its structure all but demolished; its foundation shaken.

That foundation is what really matters, and Tracy’s foundation is her family. Her marriage suffered underneath the collapse around them, and she painfully recalls those dark, silent nights. “We had nothing positive to talk about, and I was worried about keeping my marriage together. I didn’t blame him for what happened, but I found myself having these critical thoughts.” She recalls that in her heartbreak, alone with those negative voices, she promised herself she was not going to let anything ruin her marriage and break up her family.

Tracy despaired over how to go forward, and how to put the pieces back together again. She struggled to keep her emotions calm, her children stable, her marriage together. “I sat on the floor of my closet and prayed that we would get us out of this downward spiral we were in. I prayed with all my heart for that, and then I went on a walk.” That walk turned out to be the beginning of her answered prayer.

When Tracy set out on a walk that afternoon, she had no specific direction in mind. She took a remote country path, where she had never seen another person walking. To her surprise, within minutes she ran into a friend. They started talking about Tracy’s situation, and that is how Tracy got introduced to a business opportunity in direct sales. It wasn’t a career she had ever thought of for herself, but she would do anything to save her family, and told herself she could do this. “I had no idea what I was doing when I first started this business. I was a teacher, and knew nothing about this,” she admits. “But life is about change, and if it meant helping my family, I could change, and learn something new. My father learned to cook and speak Italian at age 65, so at 40, I could learn a new business.”

She did learn, and over time she gradually built up her business. She believed in the products, and she worked hard to learn what she didn’t know. Her and her husband had hope, something to grasp onto as the storms of life raged on around them. Then one day, something else happened.

A massive hail storm hit her town that year, sending giant balls of ice down onto the roofs of cars and houses, leaving behind devastating damage. But unlike before, this disaster actually saved the economy. The damage from the hail meant insurance claims all over the area, and jobs were created for roofers, contractors, and mechanics. The economy was regenerated, and Tracy’s husband was able to get work as an insurance claims adjuster. The worst was over, and Tracy, her husband, and her two little girls had weathered it all.

Tracy Willard and Family

Tracy’s family is now thriving under the sunny skies of southern California, where Tracy continues to excel as a Level V Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields. She has been rewarded with a supportive team and has a bigger vision of setting up an organization that will help teachers have the opportunity to travel, something she knows most teachers can’t afford to do. When she earned her Lexus, she celebrated by hosting an event to honor her team and raise money for the Orange County Second Harvest Food Bank. “It was a full circle moment,” she says, remembering how wonderful it felt to be able to deliver the check to a food bank, just like the one that had been there for her and her family in their time of need.

Looking back on the crisis that befell them in Montana, she reflects on how it made her stronger: “I knew that I had it in me to get through that time, and that belief is what kept me going.”

Life can seem like a whirlwind of change. We can’t always predict the weather, but we can hold onto what matters, and that kind of strength can never be shaken.

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18 responses to “Tracy Willard – A Working Mom Builds a Foundation for Success”

  1. Such a beautiful story or hope and perseverance.

  2. Such a beautiful story of hope and perseverance.

  3. Cheryl Phan says:

    I so admire your honesty about your situation. Over and over I hear stories of (prior to getting in this business) everyone that had a successful business when they were introduced to Direct Sales and replaced their 6 figure income in a short time. Thank you for humbling yourself and not being embarrassed or afraid to tell the truth about your situation. Your story is one that most people can relate too. I think you have an amazing story and God has truly blessed you and your family. “When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you; but merely opening your hands to receive something better”. God bless you and your family you deserve it. Cheryl Phan West Palm Beach, Fl

  4. I love you & your family sweet friend ! Without this storm we would never have met and become not only great friends, but business partners as well ! You really are what dreams are made of ! Love you xo

  5. Wow!!!! Tracy what a great WHY !!!I’m so thankful for you and sharing such a great story…..What a journey with lots of tears and
    now smiles.You are a wonderful leader and so glad you are a part of Rodan and Fields.

  6. I still get tear-eyed reading your story. You are such a light and an amazing inspiration. I’m not alone when I say I’m thankful you took a leap of faith in your darkest hour. Think of all the lives that have changed for the positive because of it!! Love you, Tracy

  7. Nicole Polido says:

    Brings tears of happiness to my eyes every time I hear/read this. Love you my forever friend…

  8. Brought tears to my eyes….happy endings always do!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story – I love hearing it because the truth, honesty and compassion resonates with so many people, including me. You are an inspiration.

  10. Nancy Lehnert says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It me and probably many others previous hope.

  11. Nancy Lehnert says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It me and probably many others precious hope.

  12. Jen Griswold says:

    You are the kind of friend I treasure. Honest, genuine, and always looking for the best in the world. I adore you Tracy Willard and am so lucky to have you in my world!! This story is just a wonderful depiction of your awesomeness!

  13. Dinah says:

    Praise God for His provision and thank you for sharing your witness.

  14. Rita Brown says:

    Thank you, Tracy for sharing your story. That was so brave of you. I can relate to so much of your story. You are an inspiration. Your story gives me hope that I too will be successful in this business.

  15. Rosalie says:

    May God continue to bless you with
    the success you so richly deserve.

  16. Teresa Hayes says:

    So love this story! Thanks for your honesty and sharing your journey!

  17. Tracy,
    You have inspired me! I am honored to have this R+F connection with such a strong spirit!

  18. Jenn Reinke says:

    You’re amazing and inspiring! Loved your call yesterday!

Here we celebrate the success of a few unique individuals to demonstrate what is possible with Rodan + Fields. There are many ways Consultants find success and enjoyment in the business, such as attaining great skin, gaining valuable business skills and building relationships. For info on typical results see the Rodan + Fields IDS.


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