Finding Time for the Important Things
Life is busy. Life as a mom even more so. The pace is demanding, the expenses can be intimidating, and it’s easy to lose sight of the person you used to be and the person that you want to become.
These certain truths explain some of the chief benefits of the right home-based business: you set the schedule, you decide your level of commitment, and you get to choose a business that will suit all your unique you-ness.
That’s certainly why Jonelle Swiger – Wine Guide, wife, mother of two – is making the transition from part-time to full-time with Traveling Vineyard.
Family is priority number one for Jonelle. Despite her youthful love of travel (and quite a few adventures abroad), she’s happily settled back in her hometown in West Virginia, on a piece of her family’s farm.
Until recently, she worked with her husband at their pipeline company and with her mother at the guesthouse they co-run. Evenings and weekends were a flurry of homework and ballgames and backcountry adventures with the kids. Her positive attitude and love of her family made every challenge worthwhile, so it took a new venture to show her something that she’d forgotten: herself.
Jonelle the Wine Guide
Jonelle found Traveling Vineyard by chance and signed up without ever attending a tasting. She had an overseas wedding to attend and a quick jaunt into the world of direct sales seemed like a great way to save up the cash needed for the trip.
By the time she’d reached her financial goal a few months later, she was completely hooked.
It turns out that being a Wine Guide is fun. Always a people person, Jonelle found every tasting a chance to share some great wines with new friends. The Traveling Vineyard community welcomed her with open arms and the business itself gave her back a part of herself she hadn’t even realized she was missing.
Her whole family noticed and were delighted by the change: she was happier, livelier, and having that crucial “me” time was making her a better wife and mother, too. With her team growing and her earnings starting to become a serious income, she began to think longingly about setting aside the other jobs to focus on being a Wine Guide.
When her son curled into her lap and asked her when she was going to just market wine so that she had time to snuggle him more, her mind was made up.
And so, starting April 2016, Traveling Vineyard is her full-time job.
Tastings with Jonelle
Over a year in, with her business and reputation established, Jonelle feels comfortable picking and choosing tasting dates that fit into her schedule. She doesn’t do more than 8 a month, a few on weeknights but mostly weekends.
She spends a few hours a day on Traveling Vineyard tasks. She handles social media updates and coaching her team members while the kids are in school. And the boys love ‘helping out’ with her 30-minute tasting prep, putting together her slip boards while she packs up the wine samples.
She’s found that networking and recruiting don’t require much deliberate effort. Traveling Vineyard appears pretty naturally in her casual conversations as she goes through her day, so she gathers events and team members without much concentrated effort.
She finds the whole process to be pretty low-key. To Jonelle, tastings are about creating an environment to enjoy good company, good wine, and good food. No extra frills required.
Daily Life with Jonelle: A Balance of Family and Self-Care
Before this month, Jonelle’s day was pretty much nonstop. She managed to sneak in a few moments for herself before the kids got up and her other jobs pulled her in, but there wasn’t a lot of leisure.
Now that her hard work is paying off and her Wine Guide business is prospering, she’s excited about the new vistas opening up. A direct sales daily schedule can look however she wants it to, and hers now looks a lot more manageable:
- 5:30 am: Wake up, devotional, meet up with a neighbor for friendship therapy & morning workout
- 6:50 am: Get the kids up, fed (chocolate chip pancakes & sausage, without fail), and out the door
- 8:00 am – 10:00 am: Traveling Vineyard work
- 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Jonelle Time (varying from day-to-day):
- Volunteering at the boys’ school
- 4:00 pm: Kids home from school
- 4:00 pm-bedtime: Family Time (unless she has a tasting):
- Kid activities: baseball practice and games, extracurriculars.
- Dinner/family cookouts
Weekends are a mix of family adventures and tastings. She’s hoping to take up some old hobbies with her new free time: photography, triathlon training.
Jonelle’s Personal Traveling Vineyard
The last year and a half has given Jonelle a whole new perspective on her priorities. She’s felt more comfortable placing more importance on the things that make her happier.
Her tastings energize her, her team excites her, the new financial freedom eases her burdens. (The incentive trips to Cabo and Jamaica don’t hurt either.) By the grace of God and with the support of her family, she’s found a daily life that amazes her.
And most importantly, no longer working 40+ hours even before she comes home to house and family duties means that her sons get all the snuggle time they could possibly want.