Getting past the mental roadblock: How to work hard and work less


I grew up on a North Dakota farm… grain, milk cows, beef cattle… the works. We worked really hard. My parents especially. They put in blood, sweat, and tears for every penny they earned and oftentimes for many pennies they didn’t even end up getting if it was a bad year.


My wonderful, hard working parents on the farm.

As kids, we learned a lot about money by watching our parents. And what we learned was that money was two things:

  1. Always worked hard for
  2. Never talked about publicly

Those lessons have stayed with me. I by no means work as hard as my parents did and still do on the farm. But I do have a great work ethic and my time is always spent wisely. But, in my new job in direct sales I’ve found myself struggling a bit with this life lesson.

Direct sales is a field that grows residual income not linear income. Instead of being paid a dollar for every hour you put in, you put in hard work up front then watch your dollars grow even with out having to put in more work. It’s a feeling I really had to get used to. Don’t get me wrong, I work really hard in my Rodan + Fields side gig. I have time for about 10 hours a week and in those 10 hours I am putting the peddle to the metal. I am proud of that. But what goes against the lessons learned in my youth is that this hard work now (and from months and years before) is beginning to allow me to work less hard, work less hours… yet, make more money.

It’s a little bit of an adjustment for a girl who grew up often working sun up to sun down and sometimes not making anything. It is a little bit of a mental roadblock for me. I can spend a weekend relaxing with my family, watching movies and playing with kids, and my income is ticking upward, paycheck growing, and I didn’t lift a finger for it over the last 48 hours. Umm… this farmer’s daughter feels a little guilt. Sometimes a lot of guilt.

But then, at the same time, I feel smart. Smart because isn’t that the goal? Work harder, work smarter, and inspire and teach other to do the same so that you can do what matters most… spend time with your family doing the things you love? I know in my head and heart that I am on the right path, doing the right thing. I worked very hard to get where I am in direct sales. I put in blood, sweat and tears for my customers, my teammates, myself. I just happened to do it in a business channel that allows that hard work to grow, beyond the work and hours I need to put in to do so. I lead my team, they lead theirs, they grow, we grow, it all compounds. And here I am still putting in the same 10 extra side gig hours a week, still hustling in those hours, but having my income grow by hundreds of percentages.

Can you feel in my writing the back and forth I’m feeling in my mind?

I was talking with my friend who just happens to be a psychologist and a money coach. She shared that so many people struggle with this roadblock, like me. So many, especially in rural farming communities, grew up working for every penny, and that work ethic was able to make us financially smart, allow us to see the value in a direct sales career and how our hard work can reward us ten-fold. We also grew up keeping our income and financial success or hardship or anything money related to ourselves. So any outward sign of wealth was kept hidden.

So, when we succeed in direct sales, and need to share this success to help and inspire others, it feels against our nature. When we get to take a day or a week off work or a lifetime off the 40 hour a week grind, we feel uncomfortable. We don’t know what to do with our hard-working selves.

My money coach friend smiled at me. She told me I knew that what I was doing was smart. That I knew I was working hard. And that I needed to shed just that small part of money-lessons bestowed upon me as a youth. Keep the work ethic, the humility, the hustle. Throw off the guilt and be joyous and grateful to have found a career where hard work multiplies income. And then, when I feel restless, in need of some good hard work, I now have the ability to spend that time freedom I earned to dedicate my new hours of hard work to others in need.

Thank you to my parents for instilling in me the money lessons you did. Thank you Rodan + Fields for allowing me to use those lessons to grow my business and help others do the same and use my extra hours to still do hard work, just serving others.

~ Michaela

                  I always love to connect. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if this post resonated with you!                     I’d love to hear from you, share stories, talk ideas. 


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