How do we make money while traveling full-time?

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We are asked this question a LOT!

Most people think we must be wealthy to travel full-time. One of the main questions we get is “how can you afford to travel full-time?”

Usually, it’s because people are curious. They wonder if they too could somehow figure out how to do crack the code if you will.

It’s a very valid question and also has very different answers for each full-time traveler/travel family we meet as well.

Ways to travel around the world

For many, they are only traveling for a year. They saved up a set amount of money and budgeted for it. They own their home and rented it out or maybe put everything into storage so they could have their life back when they return. This is not us.

Then there are those who work as they go and then hop in-and-out of their hometowns and lives for months at a time while they worked bar-tending or on fishing boats (and the like) to small budgets much like Backpackers who stay in Hostels or on tight budgets and usually travel SE Asia or South America because of the cost of living. This is not us.

We’ve met people who travel full-time for their jobs. Shawn recently met a military contractor who has traveled to most places in the world. Anywhere you can think of, he’s been there. He travels full-time for work and sees the world this way. This is not us.

We have also met people who live on the road and find work as Yoga instructors, Teachers, Doing odd jobs, etc. working to pay their way in each country they go to. For example, we have met some ladies in Cambodia who have studied Yoga in Australia and then found out that other countries will allow you to have longer visas if you have a skill set they are needing more of…like Yoga instructors. So, they hop around countries applying for work visas for their particular trade in order to travel. Usually, they are in that country for months to a year at a time though. This is definitely not us.

How we make money

We have a direct sales business. We joined as Independent Consultants of a company – Scentsy Fragrance. Think along the lines of Pampered Chef, Avon, Tupperware, and even Amway.

Shawn joined the business as an Independent Consultant in December 2008 because he loved the Scents, wax and electric warmers which were safe and really great smelling. We had dogs, cats, and 2 young kids and we’ve had candles explode before.

We were super broke at the time as my recruiting business went under which took away the majority of our income. We weren’t just broke. We lost our savings. One of our two cars were repossessed. Our heat was turned off during winter for 2 months. I was in the food bank line each Monday. You get the idea. We were living in a sad country song and I can’t stand country music.

Anywho, Shawn joined Scentsy even though we were broke. He wanted to build an online business and see if he could bring in enough money each month to maybe just keep the power on.

The only problem was that we also had our cable and internet turned off. How can you build an online business with no internet? We had 1 car. I was out of work and couldn’t find a job so I joined the Network Marketing business my parents were in. I did well but didn’t like selling legal plans. 

If you want to know the whole story you can watch this interview we did (below) for Scentsy years ago…before we became full-time nomads. We both cried in the video recounting our trials. If you want to get to know us better, watch it.

Now, if you’re still with me… here’s what we did.

Over the last 11 years, Shawn and I have worked our butts off, especially the first 5 years, to sell, recruit and train, and grow our business internationally.

We worked our way to the top of the company as SuperStar Directors (less than 1% of all consultants reach this level) and have remained here since 2012. 

Scentsy Superstar Directors
Scentsy Superstar Directors

We still sell and work hard to build our personal business while also helping others build theirs as well. Some of those “below” us actually make more than we do because they sell more or have more people in their teams than we do.

I say this because that question of “Oh, isn’t that a pyramid scheme?” comes up by those who are ignorant of what the difference is between Network Marketing & Direct Sales vs Pyramid Schemes.

They are not one in the same. There are plenty of brick and mortar businesses who are actually pyramid schemes. DS & NM businesses are legit and legal and help families like ours. 

And, we were able to raise our kids and be there for them at home and at all of their events. We were both able to volunteer at their schools and Shawn was one of the only dads able to be at school during the day. Having the flexibility to be there for our kids was more than we could have hoped for.

How we became Location Independent

Now, our business model is a party plan company. You have home parties and show off your warmers and wax and all of our other cool products (my personal favorite is our counter clean – it can clean everything from kitchens, carpets, upholstery, shoes, shirts…everything) and hang out in someone’s living room for 1-2 hours, make friends & contacts and have a good time. It’s a fun business.

But, we didn’t want that kind of a business for ourselves as we were both working and had 2 busy kids. We wanted to build something different for ourselves. Shawn was able to build his business and promote to Director (first big leadership level in Scentsy) within his first 10 months. But, he was working full-time and became overwhelmed. This is where he asked me to step in.

I didn’t want to do home parties. I didn’t even want to be a consultant but honestly, I lost my recruiting business and we needed the money and I didn’t like the other networking job I had. And, I couldn’t find a flexible job that allowed me to be home with our kids when they weren’t in school. So, I needed to find a way to build the business in a way that worked for me.

Some consultants were doing things called basket parties. They put a warmer and wax and scent samples in a bag or basket and dropped it off at a client’s home or work for them to borrow for a week. If they sold anything to their friends, family or co-workers then they earned Host Rewards.

They didn’t have to clean their homes, we didn’t have to go spend hours preparing, driving, setting up, doing a song and dance and then packing up. Shawn and I used our online website building and SEO experience gained from helping to build up my Recruiting business that has since closed and created online forms for people to fill out who wanted to host a basket party… anywhere in the USA and then later, Canada. 

Over the next 2 years, I was sending out 10 basket parties via USPS Flat Rate boxes at any given time. I was making my own samples and marketing hard. I would also recruit many of my basket party hostesses and we became top recruiters thanks to these parties. 

Over these first 5 years, we also promoted to SuperStar Director. That doesn’t mean that we made a ton of money or anything, it just means that we met the basic requirements to earn the title.

We went on lots of earned trips to places like Hawaii, Mexico, New York City, Greece, the Caribbean, etc. By training others who wanted to build businesses like ours, we were able to grow exponentially. We also managed to stop doing basket parties because we built up our online and returning customer base of orders to reach monthly personal sales numbers that we were comfortable with. 

For me, I also found fulfillment not only training and helping others see their own potential but…to practice Public Speaking. It’s something I love doing and, in 2011, Scentsy let me go on stage in front of 1600 consultants at a regional event…and let me speak, alone – on stage with a microphone! I can’t even count now how many events I have been asked to speak at. That personal growth was huge for me and pushed me way out of my comfort zone in the best way possible.

Scentsy SuperStar Directors walking the Stage at an annual convention in 2014
At a Scentsy Convention in 2014. Top leaders (SuperStar Directors) walking the stage. The top 1% of Scentsy

We aren’t about being the Top sellers or recruiters any longer. We don’t care if we make a million dollars a year (we don’t, not even close). I don’t need to speak on stage again unless I’m needed as I’ve now scratched that itch. We just want to afford to pay our bills, travel and help others along the way. That’s it. 

How much money do we make?

I’m not going to tell you exactly how much money we make. Do you tell people how much you make a year? Probably not. It’s nobody’s business, right?

But I will share this with you. We make enough to pay our bills (yes, we have bills). We actually make almost the same amount we made 4 years ago when we lived in a rented townhouse in Mukilteo, Washington (just north of Seattle). 

The same amount of rent we paid in Mukilteo is what we generally use for our monthly budget to pay for housing. The money we paid for our car payment, insurance and gas is what we usually pay in monthly transportation while we travel. Our food budget is a bit higher but then again we don’t have to pay cable or electric so it’s a wash really.

Anywho, now you know how we make our money. My goal in the future is to add to our income by my blogging and marketing of our travel stories and branding. So far I’m just doing it for fun. I might write a book one day as well but not just yet. 

We are happy with our lives and where we are. Of course, we’d love to make more money but it’ll happen when it happens. We have everything we need right now though. We travel and live on a budget and are pretty ‘thrifty’.

One question most people have is HOW we budget and figure out everything. Make sure to Subscribe to my Blog Email List because I am coming out with a free course teaching you how to budget like we do. 

If you are interest in Joining and starting your own Scentsy Business message us by visiting our website.

Complimentary Photo from Several Years ago for all leaders from Scentsy
Complimentary Photo from Several Years ago for all leaders from Scentsy

And one last thing, to stay in compliance with the laws of the land, I must share with your our Scentsy Income disclosure statement. 

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19 thoughts on “How do we make money while traveling full-time?”

  1. Love that you were able to put your country song in reverse. I think anyone who’s struggling will relate and be inspired to keep moving forward. And you’re still motivating and helping others!

  2. This is so awesome! I love the “rawness” in your video.

    I love Scentsy. I actually used to be a candlemaker 😉 Love candles and wax tarts.

  3. Lisa Manderino

    What a great opportunity to be able to travel and see the world. I know it was hard work to get there! To be successful at MLM’s is not easy!

  4. Inspiring story you have. I’ve heard of Scentsy but haven’t tried one yet. Anyway, glad things worked out for you and hope your story will reach more people for inspiration and help things turn around for them as it did for you.

  5. Such an inspiring story about how real hustle pays off. Loved how you guys know what you wanted and busted your hump to make it happen. Nothing worth having is without sacrifice. The very few people I know that make it with the MLM model worked super hard.

  6. Taci- Life Beyond Zebra

    Always love to read a good success story! My goal is to make enough to pay my bills and still have freedom to travel too.

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