Women in Business: Women Helping Women-Profile Karlyn Abdalla
Love, Love this lady. Karlyn was one of our very first customers when we first opened Get Healthy nearly ten years ago. I was impressed with her healthy lifestyle and attitude from the moment I met her. She has been a dedicated and loyal customer for a decade, and is now someone I consider a friend. I am proud to present to you our latest Women in Business Profile, Karlyn Abdalla
Women in Business: Success & Sharing Bio:
Hi! I’m Karlyn Abdalla and my husband is Dr. Abdalla, the recently “reFIREd” local veterinarian. I have three sons, one daughter-in-love, two step-daughters, two sons-in-law and 11 grand kids! Although not originally from Louisiana, I’ve lived here since 1983.
My dad was born in Starks, LA and married my mom, a beautiful Yankee from Boston. He was in the Navy so we frequently moved all over the USA until we “settled” in New York in the 70s. I graduated in 1976, enlisted in the Air Force and headed out for the great unknown. I trained as a Russian linguist in Monterey, CA, traveled to Japan, then NSA in Washington, DC and finally ended up in Tampa, Florida.
Sadly, my dad drowned at Wide Waters in the Sabine River. We drove over for his funeral in August, 1983. That trip was the catalyst for us moving from Tampa, Florida to DeQuincy, LA.
Since our relocation, I’ve had a wide variety of training and job descriptions. I worked extensively in ministry for almost 20 years in our church in Singer, LA. I’ve also worked as a bookkeeper for Randy Branch and Julie Ozsoy, a personal assistant for Judge and Mrs. W. E. Hall, Jr. and, finally, as the Practice Manager of our Clinic, Beauregard Veterinary Clinic here in DeRidder. Last year my husband sold the practice after 34 years of serving our community.
Since my teen years, I’ve studied nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and alternative medicine. In 2015 I was dealing with some other-than-optimal physical issues and my path crossed with Dr. Sharnael Wolverton in Denham Springs, LA. One of her passions is Young Living Essential Oils. After talking with her about health, emotions, and living abundantly, I knew I was going to buy a Starter Kit before I got off the phone with her. After getting my Kit, I quickly realized I had found my new passion!
How do you best describe your business?
Young Living is a direct sales company. We have therapeutic grade essential oils, nutritional supplements, makeup, personal care products, OTC products, cookware, etc. All of Young Living’s 600+ products are carefully formulated and researched by their staff of highly trained scientists. Young Living provides pure, effective, therapeutic-grade essential oils and innovative wellness products that meet their rigorous quality standards.
What is the best decision and the worst decision that you ever made about your business?
The best decision was to be willing to invest in personal development and training to upgrade my skills and increase my confidence. Thankfully, I haven’t made what I would consider to be my “worst decision” in the business.
What was the best and worst advice that you received from someone else about your business?
The best advice was to invest in myself. A lot of us, in my opinion, are so used to investing in others that it’s foreign or selfish to think about investing in ourselves. We’re constantly giving of our time, talent and energy to something or someone other than ourselves. We are usually too tired by the end of the day to even consider what we might really enjoy doing. Sometimes, we put our dream(s) on the shelf waiting for an elusive opportune time. If we continue to wait for what we perceive to be the “perfect” time and the “perfect” circumstances, we might miss out on something amazing that God has for us.
The worst advice was to avoid getting involved in an MLM.
What was the catalyst that led you to start your business when you did?
I don’t actually have a defining moment when I stepped over into the business side of Young Living. I bought a Premium Starter Kit because I knew it was the modality that complimented my lifestyle. However, because of FDA and FTC compliance laws, I’m not able to share specifics about my actual bottom-line decision to use essential oils. I began to use the products to support and strengthen my body. I benefited from the products so much that I started sending Kits and products to my family, friends and also began using them in our Veterinary Clinic. When I started to get a small commission check once a month, it was a seed that was planted about possibly considering doing Young Living as a business.
What was the hardest part about actually opening your business?
I lacked the confidence in my ability to step out and teach others with what I perceived to be my “limited knowledge”. Since then, I’ve learned that I don’t have to have an arsenal of information to be effective. I don’t think there are too many people who know absolutely EVERYTHING there is to know about all of their products. It’s an ongoing work. Progressive. Growing. Changing with new products and new research. If you wait until you “know everything”, you might never start.
What do you wish you had known before starting your business?
I wish I had known more about the avenue of direct sales. I didn’t even know what the term “MLM” meant! It wasn’t anything I had ever thought about or been interested in before. But the more I understand about it, the better it is! I used to order our supplies, etc., at our Clinic from different vendors, who ordered their supplies from vendors, continuing the cycle. When each supplier has to add their fees to the product, the consumer usually is the one who takes the brunt of the necessary additions. In direct sales, the distributor gets their products directly from the manufacturer and there aren’t any middle-men. I see that as a win-win position.
What is your best advice for someone considering opening her own business?
Do the necessary research to satisfy your desire, but don’t get so stuck in the “what-ifs” that you never take the first step. There will always be some risk associated with many things in life, but venturing out into the “unknown” is a wonderful and exciting journey. I’d rather take the road less traveled and stumble a bit and even fall a few times, than always wonder what it would have been like if I hadn’t stepped out. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~ Napoleon Hill
Did you have a mentor, or a woman in business who inspired you (at any age)?
Dr. Sharnael Wolverton Sehon, my Young Living Team Leader, is the one who inspired me the most. I was so excited to be involved with our essential oils that I was always seeking to learn as much as I could about them. Right away, I started going to Baton Rouge for our Team meetings. After the “open” meeting, there was always a business meeting. Since I had gotten up so early and driven the three hours, I felt like it would be kind of foolish to leave just because the second hour was for the business builders. I always learned valuable insight into the business side. She is also a lover of books, learning, teaching and educating. She gladly and willingly invests herself and her resources into others.
What skills do you think it takes to be successful as a woman in business?
People skills, for sure! Belief in the products. Authenticity, honesty, and integrity. Ability to communicate well. Patience. Perseverance. Teaching skills are quite beneficial, too. Also, establishing well-defined boundaries to limit burn-out.
What has been your proudest business moment?
Probably when I made the first rank in Young Living. Dr. Sharnael was talking about the actual statistics of people who choose to move beyond being a member to a Distributor. Approximately only 8% of members decide to pursue the business side. I was thankful that I had actually made the decision to spread the message of the therapeutic benefits of using essential oils.
What are your plans for the future with your business?
I plan to continue teaching and educating people who God brings into my path. My heart is to see people walk in abundance in their spiritual, emotional and physical lives. Life is not about dreading and barely “surviving” day-to-day; it’s about being a thriving, vibrant, loving being who is a valuable part of society. I’ve lived in survival mode and that is NOT living. Since I’ve “been there” and now I’m walking on the path of joy, expectation, and excitement, I know it’s something that’s attainable for others. I know what Young Living has done for me and I’m excited to bring that experience to those who are ready for change.
Do you have any recommended resources for women considering going into business?
Being in direct sales there aren’t as many personal things at stake as there are in owning your own business. For that reason, I haven’t been as driven to educate myself from the angle of being a business owner. For essential oil education, spiritual and emotional training, I have chosen to learn from Dr. Sharnael Wolverton, Dr. David Stewart, Ph.D., Karol K. Truman, Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton, Sarah Harnisch, Lindsey Elmore and Doug Corrigan to name just a few. Last year I traveled with some Team members to Mastermind in Orlando and that was the most exposure and training that I received about direct sales. Mostly, I learn from our frequent Facebook live Team trainings, CDs and YouTube. There are a few important books that I have on my “to read soon” list: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Go-Giver and Making the First Circle Work by Randy Gage.
What do you think has helped the most with the success of your business?
Perseverance is paramount. Setting small, attainable goals and also, seemingly impossible ones! There will be great successes at times, but there will also be tough times when you wonder why you continue to invest so much of yourself in what you’re doing. Being teachable. Realizing that there are always ways to improve. Being willing to invest in myself and my business financially and with my time and energy. Having the support of your spouse, your family and close friends is wonderful, but not always available.
Do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with other Female Entrepreneurs?
Allow God to make you who He created you to be. Don’t miss out on becoming who you really are. Be grateful. Keep moving forward. If you find yourself frustrated or stagnating, reach out to someone who is an encouragement to you. Look for the positive instead of whining and making excuses. Take responsibility and choose not to blame others. Continue to improve on beautiful you and you’ll begin to see who God made you to be—unique and fearfully and wonderfully made!
Facebook: @karlynabdalla and @OILfortheGLORYofGOD