How I Left the Classroom {sort of} and Created a Successful Online Business

In my former life, I was a teacher, a passionate one at that. And in my opinion, if you’re truly called to that profession, it never leaves you. In fact, I’m still doing that teacher thing. However, my current classroom doesn’t have walls and the students are generally much larger human beings. And I’m still just as passionate as ever … only this time there are no limits on the number of people I’m able to help.

Let me explain.

Something happened to my heart the second I laid my eyes on our first child … my ambitions faded off into the distance and I decided right then and there that I was going to be a stay at home mom. Just like that. God changed my heart. Had you asked me ten seconds before I gave birth if I was going to “continue working”, I would have looked at you like you have ten heads. Of course I was going to continue working.

Oh wait, scratch that.

Nobody is taking care of this kid except me.

Those were fighting words.

Trading lesson plans for diaper changes proved to be a hard a transition for me, but I eventually got the hang of things. I found my groove just in time to add #2 to our family about two and a half years later. I began to uncover those dreams I had as a little girl, the ones that involved me being a stay at home wife and mom. I’m not sure how my ambitions had previously masked those dreams, … but I remembered that this wife and mom thing was at the very inner core of soul. So after our second son was born, in those sweet moments of being the mom to two boys, I convinced myself that I must be living my dream.

Kind of. Sort of. Not really.

It wasn’t exactly what I had pictured when I was a little girl. You see, from the outside, it seemed like we had it all. A nice big house, nice cars, nice things. But behind the scenes, things were falling apart. I was at a loss on how to cope with it all. I was stressed. I was worried. I was trying to be a good wife and mom, but there were days I couldn’t keep myself together. Lots of crying. Lots of sadness. I had reached a point where I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror … I was a frail, fearful and hopeless version of myself.

{Sister, have you been there?}

At a yearly well visit with my doctor, without any prior knowledge of what was going on at the time, he asked me why I was not eating. I mean, eating is a basic life skill that we all need to survive, right? It hit me like a ton of bricks. Failure to thrive. There was so much stress in my life, I was forgetting about that really important part of my day called eating. I know what you’re thinking … who forgets about food? Apparently I did. I was so busy trying to take care of everyone else and figure out this mess called my life, that I was dwindling away to nothing. I had no appetite and when I did decide to eat, I didn’t care what I ate. M&M’s and Diet Coke for breakfast? Sure why not.

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went by boat to a solitary place.” Mark 6:30-32

So yes, God sometimes chooses to speak through your OB/GYN. I returned home from that appointment and something else happened that I will never forget. The house was completely quiet and somehow I was alone. Moms, we all know that never happens, right? The boys were napping simultaneously, so I’m thinking God intervened on my behalf. He must of had something important to say. I sat on the barstool in our kitchen and as I talked to God, he spoke loudly to my heart.

“Little one, take care of yourself, so I can take care of the rest.”

“Um, what Lord?”

“Get it together and do your part, it’s go time!”

When God tells you it’s go time, you GO! God truly began to move in my heart, so I moved forward out of obedience. I knew I had to start doing three things: spend more time with God, eat well and release stress in a healthy way … which for me means exercise. As a previous gym-lover, I was skeptical about the whole “home fitness” scene. But, that gym membership mixed with my own excuses were getting me nowhere fast, so I knew I was going to have to do something different to get something different.

Enter Beachbody.

I started working out at home with a program called ChaLean Extreme about 3-4 times per week. I was highly skeptical about Shakeology because I was underweight, not overweight … why in the world would I need a meal replacement shake? It turns out, I needed Shakeology more than I needed the workouts. Shakeology provided that nutrition that I had starved my body of for so long. It changed my relationship with food and I started to not only crave that dense dose of nutrition each day, but I started eating more and eating healthier. People started taking notice that I looked different, that I looked healthier and happier, I even got a few compliments!

I began to feel alive for the first time in a long time.
I started to remember who I was.
It felt like someone had placed an oxygen mask over my face and I was finally able to breathe.

And with that, a dream was born in my heart. I became a Beachbody Coach and the idea of Fit Revival began to flood my thoughts. As I started to see change in myself both inside and out, I HAD TO share this with other women. I had to help other women make this same discovery for themselves … that things like the dishes and the laundry could wait and that time spent caring for myself was far more important. I wanted them to see that taking care of yourself is a critical part of taking care of your family. You have to LIVE better so you can GIVE better. My family deserves that. Your family deserves that. When you change a mom, you change an entire family. THAT is powerful stuff.

As I was finally getting myself together, our financial situation changed dramatically. God was preparing me to come to face to face with the toughest year of my life. Things were starting to pile up so we decided that I would return to teaching. It was a hard pill for me to swallow. As much as I loved teaching, it devastated me to be away from my boys each day.

But God had a bigger plan.

As I was making that transition back to teaching, those dreams took a back seat. There was so much going on in my life and things were truly at rock bottom. October rolled around and the devastation of leaving my children every morning was also taking it’s toll. I was exhausted, I was sad and all of those healthy changes I had made in the months before were the only things that were keeping me going. I cried and prayed during my drive home each day because I didn’t know how I was going to have the energy to make it until bedtime. I know not everyone is the same in this, but it was traumatic for me to spend more time at work than I did at home. The people who meant the most to me were getting my seconds. That killed me. I knew that I had two choices, 1.) I could get happy with the current situation, or 2.) I could make a change.

So I decided to fight for my dreams. Remember those fighting words?

When God plants a dream in your heart, He will pursue you, sister. Is there a dream in your heart that needs some action? I began sharing my struggles and passionately pursuing other women who needed help. I realized I was not alone and that women were desperately seeking community with other women. I realized that we all just need each other. I realized that there were women out there who empowered each other and who had the same kinds of dreams and goals for themselves and their family that I did for mine. I realized I was going to have to stand my ground. I realized it wasn’t going to be easy. I realized that God was asking me to go to battle, not just for my family, but for your family, too. I realized that my gifts as a teacher and as a leader could be used in other ways.

As I started to share parts of my story, my coaching business started to take off. It didn’t happen all at once. I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands … working full time and still having the responsibilities of wife and mom was hard. And if you’re a teacher you know that your job isn’t over just because you’ve left school for the day. There are papers to grade, reports to write and lessons to plan. I had every reason to walk away from my dreams because of my situation. I could have given up on the dreams God planted in my heart because things were just too hard and I was just too busy. But instead, I used what time I did have and refused to complain about the time I didn’t have. Looking back, God multiplied those efforts.

I kept things simple and stayed laser focused on my desire to be home with my children and find restoration in our home. It was, by far, the hardest year of my life … have I mentioned that yet? But for the first time, I experienced a season of God being my “more than enough” … something I always knew, but not something my heart truly believed until that point. It took getting to a place of complete and desperate dependence on Him.

I just kept truckin’ along. If I was anything, I was consistent. If I was anything else, I was determined.

No matter what, I did something for my business every day. I took one baby step towards getting to stay home with my children every single day. Inaction is a step backward in my book. I took action on helping other women get healthy so that they would stand with me in this movement to make ourselves a priority so that we can do the kingdom work of taking care of those we love to the best of our God-given abilities. I did that every single day.

What I also discovered during that really difficult time, was that I still had to make sacrifices. If I wanted my circumstance to change, it was going to take sacrifice that at times didn’t make sense to those on the outside looking in. I mean, wasn’t I already sacrificing enough just being at work each day? The answer is no. Just because things are hard, doesn’t mean I’m entitled for things to magically improve on their own.

Being a Beachbody Coach and helping other women with their own fitness journey was better than therapy for me … yeah, I said it and it’s the truth. It kept me focused on staying healthy for myself. It also kept my focus off of my own mess. By reaching out and helping others, it helped me to not dwell on what was going on around me. I was happier than I should have been, and looking back, I have no idea how I made it through. I just know that God carried me and he used my role as a coach to do that.

Here I was, someone falling apart, helping others put their broken pieces back together. What all of those people didn’t realize, is that I needed them as much as they needed me.

By the following summer, God was working miracles in our home in so many ways. I hadn’t quite reached my income goal to be able to stay home, but it was close enough to take that risk. We made the decision for me to quit teaching and spend more time on coaching. I honestly could not believe that after less than one year (ONE year!) of really working hard on my business with very part time hours, I was able to quit my job, stay home and continue contributing financially to our family.

The consistency paid off. The sacrifice paid off. It all paid off.

God grew me more in that one year than he had in my previous 33 years. I had grown as a person, a leader, a mom, a wife and business owner … looking back, that year seemed like an eternity. I had hit a ton of roadblocks and questioned things over and over. But in reality, a year is a short time to make big sacrifice for long term gain. Every single bit of it has been worth the reward of seeing my two boys every single morning, taking them to school, picking them up, being home when they are sick and taking days to go do fun stuff just because we can.

I fought for my family. God told me that if I would take care of myself, He would take care of the rest. He did and He over-delivered on His promises, sweet sister.

So now it’s been four years since this journey began. Financially, my income has grown to a multiple six figure income over the past four years. That’s more than I could ever make teaching, even with my master’s degree in administration. I was able to help my family climb out of a difficult time. We are 100% free from credit card debt and have paid off all 5 student loans. I own my education. That’s freedom! We are able to pay all of our bills the moment they come in and contribute to our church in a way we never dreamed possible. Last summer, we took our family to the beach for a week, something we would not have been able to do just two years prior. This summer, we’re going back for two weeks and taking our parents with us! We moved from the city to the country where our boys can enjoy 4 acres of land in a town that we love. We live in our “forever” home, something that seemed like an impossibility just a couple of years ago.

Physically, I am strong, I am healthy, not too skinny or frail like I was when this began. I’m an athlete. I know how to take care of me so that I can be the mom, wife, business owner and life changer God has called me to be. I’ve discovered that being healthy is about equipping myself to be more and do more for Him, not about how I look.

Personally, the Amber today would not recognize the Amber from four years ago. The lessons I have learned, the struggles that have been overcome, the experiences I have had, have shown me who I am. The real me, the best me. The me that is alive and FULL of LIFE. Our family has been restored and our marriage has been made stronger. Are we perfect? Far from it. But I’m proud of us for taking a stand for God’s best for our family.

Becoming a coach has made it possible for me to rewrite my story, to use my mess and turn it into a message. I have learned how to lead and use the gifts God has given me. The same gifts that inspired me to become a classroom teacher are the same gifts that I’m using today as a coach. I’ve been given opportunities to speak, write and share my story … all things that would have never happened had I not become a coach. Team Fit Revival has grown to almost 3000 amazing men and women who are on a mission to change lives, including our own. They are a second family to me and I consider it an honor to do life with them every single day.

Now my goal is to help as many women as possible realize their potential and empower them to take action to grow into the person they were created to be. My “why” has now changed from getting to stay home with my children to teaching others how to use Beachbody as a platform of change and opportunity to achieve their dreams.

I am just your average wife and mom … with a big, huge dream. I want women to love themselves. I want them to feel equipped to love on their families and those most important to them. I want families to be reunited and made stronger. I want the chains of debt to be broken and for circumstance to not define who we are. I have come to realize that Team Fit Revival coaches are the most passionate, caring, loving and hard working people I have ever met in my life. I want my children to be surrounded by these people. That’s the kind of legacy I want to leave.

I believe that we can change the world that way … one woman and one family at a time.

What about you? Is it go time? Do you have a big dream? Are you ready to take action? Is it time to call greatness out of you? I’d love to chat with you and see if our team is a good fit for you. You can find an application to join our team here. Or, if you’re just ready to go for it, click here!

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Amber Bailey
Work from home mom on a journey to experience more of Jesus in everything I do. I love fitness, nutrition & helping others live out the calling on their life.

Written by Amber Bailey

Work from home mom on a journey to experience more of Jesus in everything I do. I love fitness, nutrition & helping others live out the calling on their life.

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