Our May instalment of MBTribe welcomes Natalie, wife to Koen, mum to two boys Sam and Toby and an entrepreneur.
Natalie has an online business selling botanically based, vegan skincare, make-up and nutrition as an Independent Consultant with Arbonne. Her passion about creating a lifestyle by design with the freedom to make choices, help others and give back provides her with the perfect cocktail of personal and professional.
Name: Natalie Bouckaert
Location: West Sussex, UK
What inspired you to become part of Arbonne?
After Toby was born, I decided not to return to my corporate job, but chose to support my husband setting up his Health and Fitness business. It made perfect sense for me to look after the marketing and admin side, giving me the freedom and opportunity to work from home and be there to look after the boys. This all worked brilliantly, but deep inside I knew I had an intrepid entrepreneur waiting to get out and wanted to use my own talents, make money independently and make a difference to others. I wasn’t short of business ideas, but I only had limited financial resources and needed something that I could get off the ground quickly. So, in 2015 when the Arbonne opportunity was suggested to me by a friend, I was initially sceptical, but decided to take a look anyway; and I’m so glad I did!
It was the perfect “business in a box” with low start-up costs, that could fit around my busy life. I loved the ethics of the company, the green commitment and the opportunity to generate an income from the type of products that I was already buying. Plus, I could be part of an amazing group of women (and a few men) totally committed to creating a life by design, achieve their dreams and help others do the same. I could continue to be my own boss and work on my own terms, never having to ask someone else for time off work for sports days, to look after poorly children or go on holiday.
How do you balance work and home life?
Like most mums, “busy” seems to have become the modern default! Because I work from home, I have to be very disciplined with my time and make sure I plan my week really well, otherwise I can get easily distracted and not get things done that I’d hoped to.
My work is very sociable, so I definitely have the opportunity to network and socialise.
I spend lots of time with the boys (usually taxiing them around to their various clubs) and as a family we spend the weekend with friends, at home in the garden or watching a movie.
My husband and I have recently started going on a date night once a month. We realised that most of our time was spent working or running around after the kids and although we have a great and loving relationship, we didn’t spend much time together just as a couple, which we really missed.
Describe your typical day from AM to PM.
Two days are rarely the same, which I love! The typical parts are getting up around 6.30am – I like being up before everybody else, to get things organised, say my affirmations and prepare myself mentally for the day ahead. Once I’ve made the boys breakfast and seen them off to school (with hopefully the right books and PE kit), I walk my dog Murphy. I’m very lucky to live in the countryside, so have beautiful rolling, green fields and an abundance of nature on my doorstep. I often take this time to listen to personal development audio books, something I would never have done before Arbonne, but they inspire me greatly and have helped me overcome many of my self-limiting beliefs. I also schedule in a circuit session at the gym a couple of times a week, as I’m really working on losing some weight and improving my health. Other than that, my days are spent meeting with customers sharing products, having a coffee with potential business partners, training on or off-line, conducting workshops and networking. Once the boys are home, the late-afternoon routine of clubs, tea and homework begins. Later I often do another hour or so working on my business in the evening, before settling down to a good book before bed.
In the next 2 years where do you see yourself and Arbonne?
There’s so much I want to achieve in the next two years, I feel so motivated and excited about the future. I have an amazing team of ladies whom I’m helping to grow their Arbonne businesses and reach the next levels. In turn I’m being supported by my mentors to grow to the next level of management, achieve greater financial flexibility and have the opportunity to make choices. I would love to travel more, move to a larger house, support the charities I’m passionate about and help my children with their education and future aspirations.
What advice/tips would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Firstly, really do your research, make sure that the product you plan to sell or service you offer is something that really solves a problem for someone else. Think carefully about the customers you want to help and what you have in common with them. People are naturally attracted to others who are similar to them, have shared experiences or they can relate to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who have more experience in your industry or people’s opinions you respect – professionals will be flattered that you’ve asked and you can learn from their successes and mistakes. Better still, get yourself a mentor, who can keep you moving forward and help you to reach beyond your comfort zone. Remember that if you want to get different results from the ones you’re currently experiencing, then something has to change and change can be daunting, so having support through that can make all the difference.
And most importantly, have fun. Choose a business that really makes you feel alive, that makes a difference to others and helps you achieve a lifestyle by design.
Interview and Copy by Mama
Images by Natalie Bouckaert