We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Davenport and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As a former TV anchor for NBC, I had what some would say was a dream job. Sure, on the outside I had an amazing life working at KPRC channel 2. But when I got home, I was miserable. While I loved my co-anchors and producers, I found myself wanting MORE. I didn’t want to wake up at 2am to do the news anymore. I didn’t want other people raising my children (daycares, babysitters, etc). I didn’t want to work 50, 60 hours a week. I didn’t want to have only 3 weeks vacation – I wanted to travel the world and fill my passport and my mind with amazing adventures. I wanted to design a life I loved. And that’s when I knew I needed to be an entrepreneur. I checked into owning franchises, but the upfront investment was daunting. I have friends who started small businesses, but it takes 5 years on average to break even. If I was going to leave television, I needed to know I could potentially replace my contract and the income I was used to making. But with no sales experience and no business experience, I wasn’t sure where to turn. I had the drive, the grit, and was willing to bet on myself – but I didn’t know where to turn. And that’s when I found Arbonne.
Arbonne is a social selling company where you are not paid for recruiting, and you do not make more money based on the numbers on a team. I liked that I could focus on their products, and not focus on having to enroll a certain number of people. I liked that I could build an Arbonne business around my own schedule. I liked that it was only $49 to open up my online storefront with Arbonne. I loved their commitment to their plant-powered wellness lines. There was a lot a liked – but as a journalist, I wanted to learn more. After all, journalists are the most skeptical people out there!
I knew there weren’t any guarantees, and it’s an effort based business. But what I found while digging into Arbonne’s business opportunity, was a 90-day money-back guarantee. I figured I had 3 months to make something big happen. With my contract coming up with NBC, if I was going to make a jump I needed to do it asap.
There is NEVER a good time to get out of your comfort zone and do something scary or new. You just have to jump! And so I decided to go for it- what did I have to lose?? I have never regretted my decision. After 3 months, I resigned from my job as a morning-show anchor and finally owned my life – it was the best day ever!!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Did you know that what you put on your skin gets into your blood stream in a matter of seconds??? I had no idea until I did a story while I was a TV anchor at KPRC Channel 2, called ‘The Truth Behind The Makeup Counter.” I was shocked to find out what was in products that I had on my bathroom sink – from the drugstore products up to the high-end skin care. I couldn’t believe the US allowed so many toxic ingredients in our products…..and they were in my own home! With both my husband and mother as cancer survivors, I couldn’t keep this information to myself. When I found that Arbonne banned over 2,000 ingredients from their products, I was intrigued! Arbonne is a plant-powered, Health and Wellness Company. It’s been around for 40 years, with products for everyone. If you have skin, and if you eat, we have products for you! And being a Certified B-Corp, Arbonne puts the importance of people and the planet right up there with profits. I love the culture, the community, and the commitment to clean products from Arbonne. So I jumped right in!
It thought I would have to have sales or business experience, but it’s an even playing-field for everyone; Arbonne is like a turn-key business in a box. I was thankful they have all of the research and development, the experts, the marketing materials, etc already in place. I just had to sell the products! I found that we naturally refer people to things we love. And today people are looking for clean skin care, safe baby products, plant-based acne lines, and a an easy-button for weight management. We have clean products people are looking for, and they can order right from my online storefront. I love helping people re-direct what they are currently buying to something that is better for their skin and their body…..with a price tag that’s easier on their wallet! Educating others about healthy products, and getting paid to do it, has been a perfect fit!
My biggest challenge in the beginning was realizing other people’s opinions are none of my business. I was so used to checking TV ratings each day, wanting to be everyone’s favorite morning show anchor. I had to get over myself, and over my pride. If I wanted a life I never had, I would have to do something different I had never done. And no one’s else opinions were paying my mortgage. I had to get out there, put my head down, and work. It’s called NetWORK marketing for a reason – the word WORK is in there. My life looks so different now – Arbonne has given me choices and a way to truly live a life by design!
In all of this. I’ve learned that to do anything big, you have to bet on yourself. You have to have grit, determination, perseverance, and a drive. You can’t let one bad day, or one bad month get you down. I found that reading 20 minutes a day helped my mindset so I could stay on track with my goals. John Maxwell, Josh Medcalf, and Jon Gordon are my go-to authors. Even if network marketing isn’t your thing, these authors are worth checking out!
I want the world to know that network marketing is a fantastic, viable industry – there is no other industry that would allow me the freedom to stay home with my 4 kids while building a lucrative, global business. While there are no guarantees in Arbonne, and my story is not typical, but I realize……who wants typical?!!?! Most people shrink their dreams down to meet their income, instead of building their income up to meet their dreams. When is the last time you wrote down 10 things you wanted to do or have in your life?? Many people can’t get to ten, because they’ve forgotten how to dream. God put us on this earth with amazing potential, and I couldn’t stand the thought of settling for “good enough.” I want to do big things, show my children the world, and bless others along the way.
Being an entrepreneur thanks to Arbonne has been the perfect fit for me! Getting to run my business from my couch with my cell phone is SO much better than the commute, the ratings race, the negativity and insanity of the TV business. I love that I can be fully present with my children, and teach them what hard work can do. And so I challenge you today: where will you be in 5 years if nothing changes in your life?? This is your sign! Take the chance, keep your options open, and go after your dreams!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m all about colorful, interactive adventures – so this itinerary is one where we will pedal, paddle and peek at some of my favorite places in Houston.
We would start our day off slowly, at “SlowPokes” coffee shop across from Levy Park. That’s going to be our only “slow” thing we do today, as we sip our lattes and grab rental BCycle and explore Levy Park before heading out on a mural hunt through Houston. Some of my favorite murals include The “Love You Wall” at 350 W. 19th Street. and Three other murals not to miss include the “I Believe Good Things are Coming” mural at 1718 Houston Ave, the mammoth “Houston Curtain Mural” at 1018 Cleburn Street and the entire building at 2101 Winter Street (literally ALL of the walls of the building are fabulous painted pieces!)
There are nearly 50 murals throughout the city, so you can keep pedaling if you like or checkout the company called “Joyride Houston” for a guided tour! But we are about to hop off our bikes and hop into one of my favorite stops: the Montrose Hotel! This is the spot for yummy, contemporary European cuisine – even with some artisanal cocktails if you need refreshing spritzer after the morning of pedaling. Don’t leave until you take in a few of the 400 pieces of eclectic art on display – a nice way to enjoy local artisans work!
We still have big plans after brunch, so we we are headed to rent kayaks from under the Sabine Street Bridge. You can’t beat the views of the Downtown Houston skyline from the water, as we paddle up to the Waugh Bridge and back!
To cool off before dinner – but still on the theme of hands-on exploration, we would put up our paddles and head over to check out the newest immersive art installation in the city – at the Museum of Fine Arts. . It’s such a vibrant and interactive experience as you wander through the hanging crochet art that is suspended from the ceiling. The SunForceOceanLife exhibit is a labyrinth of colorful fun and a great way to cool off after our outdoor adventures.
Our tour would begin to wrap up as our appetites ramp up. It’s time to check out the Travelers Table in Montrose for dinner! This posh spot is the perfect place to indulge in their curated global cuisine. A favorite is their Soft Shell Crab Pad-Thai or their Moroccan Lamb Tagine at this globally-inspired eatery. Finally, our last stop of the tour would put us at the Mutiny Wine Room for some fantastic wine flights in the Heights. The ambiance and drinks are just what you need to wind down and reflect on our jam-packed day of explorations, food, drink, and fun in and around the Bayou City!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mentor is someone who I looked up to, got advice from, and followed in their footsteps from the earliest times I can remember: my own mother! My mom, Diane Allen, was one of the first women to be a television new anchor in the 1970s -a true trailblazer. She overcame major adversity and broke down walls to be one of the top TV news anchors in Philadelphia and Chicago. I admired her drive, her grit, her integrity, and her character. I tagged along to the TV station as much as I could as a kid. My mom taught me to go after anything I wanted, no matter the obstacles. When she left TV news, she was elected as a State Senator in NJ, where she served for 20 years. There are now laws named after her, as she was one of the most influential people in the state of New Jersey.
I followed in her footsteps in television, working my way up at different NBC stations across the country. I could lean on her for advice, critiques of my journalism, and encouragement when the often brutal industry got to be too much. I was one of the youngest to be hired as a morning-show anchor at KPRC at the age of 28, and loved being welcomed into Houstonian’s homes from 5-7am each morning. But when I got burned out of the ratings race, and wanted more (more time with my kids, more time to travel…..just MORE) I knew I could turn to her. She had “pivoted” from TV to Politics, while running her own production company as an entrepreneur. I wanted to be an entrepreneur , and live a life I designed…. not a life by default. I didn’t mind working 40 hours a week – but I wanted to choose which 40 hours a week to work. She encouraged me to dig into books on mindset, personal growth, and business. After all, leaders and readers!
When I jumped into the network marketing industry, I thought she might question my decision. But after researching Arbonne and even having her accountant look into it, my mother joined me in business! After all, there aren’t many companies where you get paid on products and don’t get paid on recruiting people. We both believed in sharing plant-based, healthy products, and we loved that we didn’t have to recruit huge teams to be successful. She encouraged me that it was okay to experience failures – but that I had to keep moving forward. She taught me about setting big, audacious goals and going after them. It’s not get-rich quick…..but if I worked a little every day, that it would pay off. And boy, was she right!
While she is retired from politics and journalism, I love that my mother and mentor now gets to learn from me. I am so thankful that I get to do business and life with my mom! I know I am blessed to have my mentor right beside me as I grow as an entrepreneur, speaker, leader….and mother. I have the best role model around!