Talk about digging her heels in! Initially, a shoe habit brought Orenthia, of Newark, New Jersey, to Avon in 2007, when she was looking for some extra funds to support her love of pretty footwear. However, “I found that I was actually making more money than I expected,” she says, and when Orenthia was downsized by her employer shortly after, she decided to become a full-time Representative – and never looked back.
“Now, I don’t depend on anyone for a job. Now I’m in control,” she enthused. In fact, Orenthia embodies the idea that “beauty is the journey, empowerment is the destination.” The message, she says, “inspires me to focus not only on the beauty aspect of Avon but to truly appreciate and want to share the empowerment, personal power, and opportunities for growth a partnership with Avon affords women.”
MW: How did you start your phenomenal journey with Avon?
OR: When I started with Avon, I had no plans on making it a career. I already had a lucrative, full-time position, but I simply wanted to earn some extra money to support a shoe habit of mine. The more I worked at it, the more I saw my profits increase. Shortly thereafter, amidst the economic downturn, I was down-sized at my job. I decided to focus on my Avon business full-time, and I’ve never looked back.
MW: How do you find that ideal balance between being a mother, grandmother, businesswoman, and entrepreneur?
OR: I truly love and enjoy the work that I do but my family and my faith are the most important things in my life—they ground and energize me and help me focus on what’s really important. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of work, I take a minute to spend some time with my husband, children and grandchild. Just being with them helps me refocus and remember the reason I work my business as hard as I do. The time I spend talking and laughing with them really rejuvenated and recharged me.
MW: What is a typical day consist of for you businesswise?
OR: I’m really focused on sales, since that comes most easily me. I spend most of my day marketing and selling Avon’s great products and that has helped me to earn recognition as one of Avon’s top selling representatives in the nation. I recognize a need to spend more time daily on the leadership side of my business so I’m working on creating more balance between my sales and team leader roles so I can better mentor my team and help them to realize their dreams and goals with Avon.
MW: What are some of your motivational tips for an aspiring entrepreneur or businesswoman to continue to stay on the path of being independent from a 9-5 job?
OR: The most important thing anyone can do to be successful in their own business is to learn the compensation plan, create a game plan, and then take action to follow through. No one’s going to do this for you—you’ve got to set your own deadlines and goals, and then stick to them. But the pride you feel when you achieve those goals is unlike anything else you’ll ever experience. There are no ceilings in this business, so you can take it as far as you want to go. I’d also recommend studying the career paths of successful entrepreneurs—even if they’re in a different field, it can help you to see how to advance your own career and how to take chances without risking too much. If there are areas in which you are lacking, or skill sets you need to master, find the resources to improve those areas. Finally, I’d advise people to work on growing their network and being a resource to as many people as possible. When you build genuine relationships with people, you never know who might be in a position to help you someday.
MW: What one word would describe you for 2016?
OR: Driven. In just eight years, I’ve taken my business from a solo project to a team of 90 people. This year, I want to take that even further. I want to quadruple my team, learn how to make the most of the newest media technology, and be completely debt-free. I know I’ve got the drive and dedication to make that happen.
MW: What motivational tools do you use to stay focused on your business and personal goals? And who inspires you to continue to push forward to financial, emotional, and spiritual success?
OR: I spend a lot of time listening to and reading motivational material. I use my car as my classroom, so while I’m driving I’m listening to one of the many masters of motivation and self-development and that keeps me focused and motivated. Another thing that inspires me to keep pushing, is seeing how far the women around me have come. I’ve been able to help a lot of women shape their careers and find financial security, and that’s incredibly rewarding. But at the end of the day, the person that keeps me going is me. This is my career, and I’m completely in control of it.
MW: What else makes you happy?
OR: Well, all these years later, I still have that shoe habit! I also love meeting new people and really getting to know their story. My husband says I’d talk to a wall if I could. I’m very happy that I have the freedom to choose what my day will be like. Finally, the thing that makes me the happiest is my family. Being able to spend time with the people I love is what life is all about.