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#GlowGetter of the Week – Gina, Military Vet to Work at Home MomBoss

#GlowGetter – A driven busy woman, who strives to achieve her goals in life, while attaining a beautiful glow inside and out.

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This week’s #GlowGetter of the week, is Gina May Hallam. Gina is a 17 year military veteran, turned stay-at-home Mom and Entrepreneur. She and her husband, Jason, live in Navarre, Florida, where they raise 3 sons. Gina and I met through the social media, and she is someone who I have looked up to for inspiration, guidance, and encouragement when I began my R+F business two years ago. Gina is a powerhouse at marketing and she and I are self-professed “Font Snobs”! Hahaha! Her personal story that she shares with us, gave me chills and I think they will for you too!
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In 2014 I was on active duty military in charge of oversight of our Spec Ops Wing armory. In my 17 years on active duty I had deployed 9 times and when I wasn’t deployed it wasn’t uncommon for me to work an average of 70 hours a week. I missed a lot of important moments with my family, but in the changing economy, I always took comfort in knowing that at least I had job security and decent healthcare.
In 2013 that all changed when the defense budget was cut to an all time low, forcing several of the service branches to identify career fields that would need to downsize. My secure job of 17 years was one of them.
The military laid out a few programs to accommodate the large transition of career military personnel and as a result I was given three choices:
– Be rated against my peers in what we jokingly coined “The Air Force Hunger Games”,
– Retire early reducing my pay to roughly $900 a month
or
– Take a severance + a 25% add-on to buy me out of the rest of my contract.

With 3 boys at home and a husband still on active duty our family couldn’t afford to retire early unless I paid down our mortgage and paid all of our bills off so after several weeks of contemplating, I decided to take the severance.

A lot of people thought I was crazy. In the months following my separation I had planned to start my own IT consulting firm, but in the middle of writing out my business plan I realized we were going to have to make huge financial sacrifice to get my business off the ground. The financial sacrifice would mean that I wouldn’t earn an income for at least my first two years (not uncommon for most small businesses).

We were scared, and I felt as if I was letting my family down. It was around that time, at one of my lowest moments, that I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from my friend Lisa. The post included a photo of a stack of blueberry waffles sitting next to her laptop with the caption “I love working from home” and in that moment it dawned on me.

I’d spent over 17 years setting an alarm and rushing from place to place with very little time for myself and my family. I hadn’t sat down to enjoy breakfast and a cup of coffee in years. A simple as it was the fact of the matter was, Lisa’s post represented something I’d never had: Freedom.

So at 36 years old with no sales experience, no knowledge of skincare, and no clue how to run a successful home business I found her website and I joined her in business.

Within my first two days I had earned my first promotion and at my one year mark I promoted to the top 2% of the entire company. 10 Months later I promoted to the top 1% of our growing company earning an incredible trip to Napa with my husband.

3 years later and I’ve managed to replace the military income that took 17 years of my life (and countless hours away from my family to achieve.)

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The men and women of our military do an incredibly selfless job protecting our freedoms and the gifts that came from my military service are something money cannot buy. I’m grateful for my time in the service but even more grateful for opportunities like Rodan + Fields where veterans like me get the freedom to refocus on family and earn an income in the process.

The decision to leave the military was not an easy one. In the days leading up to my decision I came across this quote from Nelson Mandela that has since changed the course of my life “May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears”.

So many people allow fear to keep them locked in situations where they’re forced to compromise their time, their family, or their freedoms… a little hope can change everything.

What do you like to do in your free time and what is one of your hobbies?
I love art, creating things and painting.  I do a little writing but I love making beautiful things.  When I was a little girl I used to make fashion magazines and I wanted to be a fashion designer.  I’d spend hours drawing beautiful dresses.
What are the three things that are most important to you?
The three things most important to me are my faith and spiritual growth, my family and helping others.
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Gina and Jason on their wedding day, 2007

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What were the defining moments in your life that helped you realize your calling? 
I grew up with a mom who was an alcoholic and I never felt like I fit in anywhere.  While other little girls would show up to school with their hair pulled back nicely wearing clean clothes and carrying packed lunches I showed up with matted hair wearing whatever I could find that morning, usually starving.  I felt a lot of shame for the way I was growing up.  I felt less loved.  By my junior year in high school I had finally found stability living with my dad and step-mom and I felt a pull to share my story with others.  I wanted to make others feel less alone.  One day after telling my story in a health class my teacher looked at me in amazement and said “wow, you’re incredibly resilient”.  I had been called many things in my life, but resilient wasn’t one of them and I had no idea what the word resilient even meant.  So I looked up the word and what I read helped change how I looked at myself.  I had always felt so broken and damaged.  The word resilient became a newer version of me and I started working on the shame that had held me back for most of my young life.
What is a quote or saying that you live by?
Never take comfort in your enemies’ misfortunes.  It was a mantra I came up with in high school.  It’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned in life.  People may do horrible things, and as much as we may want the laws of karma to quickly spin in our favor seeking vengeance, and wishing bad on those who have wronged us make us no different.  When we take comfort in their misfortunes life has a way of humbling us.  It’s our job to let go and allow them to grow on their own journey.
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Gina, and children at a malaria clinic in Bamako Mali.
Through the ups and downs of your life what is the greatest lesson that you have learned?
Growing up with an alcoholic parent made me extremely codependent.  I was loyal to a fault and I would set myself on fire just to keep others warm.  What I’ve learned is that I don’t need to be useful to be worthy.  Worthiness is something we are born with.  How people see us has nothing to do with who we are.  I spent entirely too long hustling for everyone to find me worthy, when it was never their approval that was necessary, it was my own.

 

Follow Gina on social media! Instagram and Facebook

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Thank you, Gina, for sharing your story! Keep rocking it, Mama!

 

 

This is Gina’s unique story. INCOME DISCLAIMER: Rodan + Fields does not guarantee that Consultants participating in the Rodan + Fields Program will generate any income. As with any business, each Consultant’s business results may vary. Earnings depend on a number of factors, including individual effort, business experience, diligence and leadership. Potential Consultants are urged to do their own due diligence prior to making any decision to participate. For statistics on actual earnings of Consultants, please review the Income Disclosure Statement

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