In this week’s episode of Make It Happen: Powered By Avon, former pre-school teacher and Avon entrepreneur Carla Lytle shares her insight with host Evy DeAngelis on the importance of taking risks — and celebrating the unknown.
EVY: How did you start selling Avon?
CARLA: I used to be a teacher full-time, but decided it wasn’t giving me the lifestyle I wanted. When I was younger I dreamed of traveling, and I didn’t dream of the financial struggle that would come with my chosen career path. The big turning point for me was I didn’t want to look at the prices of items at the grocery store anymore. I wanted to buy name-brand cereal, and I just wanted to add stuff to my cart without a coupon. It was my mother, who is now my upline, who would always bring up the opportunity of Avon. My aunt sold Avon when I was a little tiny girl so I grew up with the products. Eventually I was like “Ok, I’m gonna do this. I’m going to at least try it. Why not.” So I did, and I started to make a little bit of money. But I still had my full-time job.
EVY: What made you decide to make Avon your full-time job?
CARLA: I feel like when you go to school, and you finance it yourself like I did, and you have the student loan bills coming in every month, you feel really attached to that career path. But I was actually laid off, and I got a new job, and I was laid off again three months later. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I believe firmly that when one door opens another door closes. I have belief in that. So I went straight to the grocery store, I bought a bottle of champagne, and I said “I don’t know what’s next but we’re going to celebrate regardless.”
EVY: What advice would you give to people in their 20s who may not have considered this kind of entrepreneurship?
CARLA: I tell everybody to give it a try. Sometimes I feel like people agonize over decisions that are just about trying it. What’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t work out for you. But at least you tried it, and you gave it your best...You’re in your 20s! You’re young! You’ve got energy! You’ve got this great future ahead of you. Go out there and grab life and make it happen for yourself because you 100% absolutely can if you’re willing to put in the work and you’re willing to try.
EVY: Is there something you would have said to yourself when you were first starting out?
CARLA: I think I would tell myself to take my Avon business seriously from day one, because I didn’t. If I had taken it seriously from day one, I would have been three years closer to everything that I’ve gotten in the past 11 years. I’d also say that learning is a lifelong process. You’re not only learning about new things to do and new ways to do things, but you’re also learning about yourself. I have grown and learned so much through my journey with Avon. And I’m a totally different person than when I started. When you become more, you can be more for other people.