There are few accomplishments in Shaklee more gratifying than reaching the prestigious rank of Master Coordinator – unless it’s achieving this milestone during a global pandemic.
“Diamonds are created under pressure,” says Julie Veenstra of Port Colborne, Ontario, who became a Master in July 2020. “When the going gets tough, leaders are developed. Our character is shown by how we respond to our environment. So, during these past few months, I’ve seen people on my team dig deeper and get more creative and show their tenacity. It wasn’t easy, and that’s what made this appointment more special. We worked for it, and knowing that gives great satisfaction.”
Julie – a proud mother of five and grandmother of one – was introduced to Shaklee products in her twenties. She was so pleased with how she felt after using them that she was compelled to share them, and the business opportunity, with others. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect because, back in 2002, she was newly single with a young son to support on her own. Choosing a Shaklee career helped make that so much easier than she’d ever imagined.
“Being able to buy a house as a single mom is one of the achievements that stands out most in my mind,” she recalls. “That feeling of accomplishment when I picked up the keys was really amazing and made possible because of the Shaklee income I was earning.”
Since the beginning, Julie was inspired to achieve success by people in both her biological family and her Shaklee family. “My mom was the biggest influence on my business,” she says. “She’s the one who got me started and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Master Coordinators Martha and Ivan Willmore also impacted my business and gave me unconditional love and support. They would always go the extra mile just to make a difference. Master Coordinator Tasha Starr was also an influencer in helping me believe in the bigger picture, and that we can achieve remarkable things when we make the decision to do so.
“I have to mention my kids, too,” adds Julie, who remarried and had three children with husband Andrew. “For several years I was busy growing a family; at every Shaklee conference, it felt like I was showing up with a new baby! Now my children are watching me. My seven-year-old daughter is already talking about taking over my business one day! I’m inspired by my kids to reach for more so they can see that more is possible.”
As Julie’s family grew, so did her business and the rewards for all the hard work she put into building it. “There are many wonderful memories from Dream Trips and Top Achiever International Trips,” she says. “I’m extremely thankful for the last Mexico trip because my mom also qualified for it, and we didn’t know it would be our last trip together. One other memory I’ll never forget is the feeling of standing on the Great Wall of China. My luggage hadn’t shown up yet, but at least I was there! That Wall reminded me that we put things together brick by brick, one step at a time. But if we keep going, we can leave an amazing legacy.”
The trip Julie was supposed to take later this year – to California for the New Master Coordinator Ceremony – has been postponed, of course. But that hasn’t dampened her excitement about eventually being pinned at Shaklee Global Headquarters in Pleasanton, followed by an exclusive dinner at the home of Roger and Sloan Barnett. “When the day comes when we can travel freely again, I look forward to personally thanking Roger for keeping this company true to Dr. Shaklee’s mission,” she enthuses, “and for believing so much in our mission that he’s willing to invest with his heart, time, and money to ensure our success. And, to be honest, I’m looking forward to a reason to wear something fancy again!”
She’s also eager to celebrate her appointment to Master Coordinator with Andrew and their children in a special way, even though that may not happen anytime soon. “We plan to buy a travel van/RV and truly utilize our portable life,” explains Julie, who’s been home schooling her three youngest children.
“For now,” she continues, “I’m still focusing on solidifying and growing team members so they’re well on their way to hitting their goals. I want to empower others to believe in themselves. This whole journey has been so life changing for me – first for health, then for finances. But it’s also become about adventures, and community, and freedom. It’s helped me grow as a person and step with confidence into this next level of leadership. More than ever, I want to support other leaders who want more from life but haven’t yet been empowered to believe they can get it. Help enough people get what they need and you’ll get what you need.”
Over the years, Julie has taken advantage of many Shaklee programs and business incentives to build and maintain her group. These include the popular Prove It Challenge™, which she says makes it easier for people to start in Shaklee with its “strong foundation, simple sharing, and sweet rewards.” And she’s anticipating continued growth this year thanks to the Cash in on Summer incentive (July 1 through September 30, 2020), which includes a cheque match of up to $500 on the earnings of any new Distributor sponsored, up to a total of $1,000.
Julie has the following advice for those who want to achieve the same kind of tremendous success she has: “Never give up. Always show up. Be willing to go the extra mile. Make that one more phone call. I’m always amazed at how much we can accomplish when the results become non-negotiable. When I wanted to earn the trip to China, I told my mom it looked impossible. She said, ‘Well, what do you have to do? It’s always impossible if you don’t try.’ That has stuck with me. But the best part of this is that while the results are wonderful, the actions needed to get those results are a reward in and of themselves.”
Now that she’s accepted that she’s really a brand-new Master Coordinator (and isn’t just dreaming she is), “this is the most confident I’ve ever felt,” Julie says. “The ‘what ifs’ are gone. I’ve always been someone who loves chasing the possibilities and seeing a bigger picture, but it feels really fulfilling to step into the next level of leadership. Greatness is in each of us, and this business is one that encourages people to take off the layers that hinder their potential and empowers them to be more, do more, and live more.”