This week’s interview is with Courtney Harvey of Usborne Books and More! I have known Courtney for many years, we grew up in the same town and even worked at the local bank together. She is now mom to two beautiful boys and is passionate about youth literacy. She has been working hard to grow her business for a year and a half and I have been inspired by her passion. You can visit her website or send her an email at [email protected].
What is your business?
My business is Usborne Books and More! I promote literacy, help get books into the hands of children, and help others achieve financial and personal success!
How long have you been doing this work?
I have been with Usborne since January 2015! Goes by fast!
How did you get in to this business?
Honestly, I fell in love with the books years before consulting for the company, but was never offered the opportunity. I now realize that timing is everything, and it wouldn’t have worked out before because of where I was in my life. But when the opportunity was offered from one of my best friends, I couldn’t resist. I believed in the product, the company, and our mission!
Do you have other work?
I do a little bit of consulting for a podcast, and freelance graphic design work. I also have very demanding 5 & 3 year old bosses here at home!! Being a wife, mother & working my Usborne Books and More business are my main gigs!
Do you consider your creative work a hobby or a business?
I consider this my business. It has to run like a business, and be taken care of efficiently if I want the financial return that I set a goal to make.
Do you want to be full time someday?
YES! My goal is to have this be my full time career when both of my boys are in school full days. I want to have a business that allows me to work from home, and create my own schedule, so that my focus is never too far away from my family. What is nice is that I am already generating full time income on a part time work schedule, so the income potential is really exciting!
How do you work around your kids and their schedule?
It’s all about balance, organization, and prioritizing. Keeping office hours for my business and team has been important, and it has kept me accountable, while maintaining a sense of balance and boundaries. It is hard to turn your phone off- especially since my business is almost primarily on Facebook, but it is essential.
Working with your partner to create some good working time, so that you have the time you need to accomplish your goals is important. That way, you can take the time you need to be with your kids. Because I am a stay at home mom, I am constantly balancing working and playing with the boys! I don’t ever want to leave them so I can work- but during quiet time I can get a LOT done! I do a little work first thing in the morning when the boys are still sleeping, during quiet time in the afternoon, and then some more at night after I have spent time with my family and husband!
What is the hardest part of having kids and a business?
There never seems to be enough time. Honestly. But I’m pretty sure everyone feels this way! Being productive after an exhausting day with the kids can be hard, but working hard and earning a wonderful income that essentially sets you free is more wonderful than hard!
Why have you chosen to do this work?
This business really chose me! My son was struggling with speech, and I needed to get my hands on some incredible books. I wanted to do something that gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride, and challenge myself. I knew that I needed more than to be a wife and a mom. These books changed my sons life. Seriously- he went from not wanting to listen to 1 page of a story to asking us to read 10-20 books at a time! I want to offer that amazing gift to other kids and parents! It’s truly important work!
Does it help you financially or creatively or both?
Both! While the extra income is why most people join a direct sales company, I think people underestimate the power of a wonderful community and a great team! Financially, this opportunity has changed my life. I am no longer waiting tables part time at a restaurant, away from my family. We have been able to save, for the first time in our adult, married life! The sense of accomplishment is incredible. While this is my source of income, it is absolutely my creative outlet too! I can create my own graphics, create fun videos about our products, and connect with the amazing men and women on my team to brainstorm new ideas!
What are the tools that you use to do this business?
I use Facebook as my primary tool. I also use Instagram, an automatic post scheduler, called Post My Party, and training tools offered by Usborne!
What is your greatest challenge?
Getting past fears of failing, and allowing that fear to limit me. It is something I work on every day, and has become common practice for me to get past. My favorite question my mentor asked me was “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” It’s something I ask of my team members now, who feel anxious in new situations- because it changed the way I ran my business!
What has been your biggest win?
Oh there are so many it’s hard to pin point just one! A few months ago I ran a book drive for a local foster home, and it was incredibly successful. I had the opportunity to deliver the books and meet some of the foster kids in person. The way that the kids responded to these books- it was like someone handed them diamonds. Reading really does offer us a safe place to be when we have no where else to go, and these kids really needed these treasures in their lives. It was an incredible feeling!
Also- helping and watching my team members transform their lives through this business is a massive win as well!
Would you suggest that other mothers do this type of business?
How hard is it to break into this business now?
I found that my friends and family were so supportive and helpful when I first started, which really helped me get going! It can be hard in this day in age where we are being inundated with direct sales on every kind of social media website. If you are passionate about your product, your company, and why you are doing this, your passion will radiate and people will want to do business with you! If your heart is in it, and you are willing to do the work, you will see results quickly!
What tips would you give to someone who want to be in this business?
Do this FOR yourself and your family. Not TO your family. This business should never burden your family, or take you away for longer than is truly needed. It is a privilege working for Usborne Books and More, and creating a healthy work/life balance can be achieved. Work hard, reward yourself, and remember to appreciate those little moments with your family that go by fast!
We all have this one life to live; this one opportunity to make a huge difference to those around us. Life isn’t some “thing” that we have to get through. We should be thriving through it. There are always going to be challenges- no matter what you do, but finding something that gives you a feeling of belonging, purpose, and financial freedom is wonderful. Take that opportunity and run. Make your life spectacular for yourself!