Braille Monitor May 2006
by Todd Eliason
From the Editor: The following article was published in Success from Home, Volume 2, Issue 1. This publication is sold on newsstands. Each issue is devoted to a different company. The following article is reprinted with permission.
For many years
Sharon Gold was president of the NFB of California. She has also served on the
board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind. She now lives in
Texas, where she conducts a very successful business from home. Here is the
It took Sharon Gold only five months to make a six-figure income, but this EcoQuest star likes it when the light shines on others.
Sharon Gold is blind. Now that that’s out of the way, she’d prefer you not bring it up again. The last thing this strong, independent woman wants or needs is your sympathy—she’s doing just fine. Thank you. Blind since birth, Sharon has never let her condition slow her down. “I don’t tell people I’m blind because I don’t want them to have any preconceived notions. When I meet them, they’ll obviously find out, and when they see that I can do most everything they can do, they’re very accepting of me,” she says. That steely determination and internal fortitude have helped the former schoolteacher build a thriving EcoQuest business that has provided her the freedom to once again help others reach their potential.
For twenty years Sharon was an elementary schoolteacher at Edwards Air Force Base in California, working to shape and mold young minds; and she enjoyed what she did. “I loved the kids. They were so interesting because they had traveled so much and brought interesting ideas and stories to the classroom that I found very refreshing and enlightening. It was fun.”
She then became a reading specialist and found that experience to be very inspiring. “I’d take kids who were three years behind, and I’d bring them up to at least a year ahead. I thought that was very rewarding, too,” she said.
After two successful decades in the school system, however, Sharon took on a project close to her heart—she was elected president of the National Federation of the Blind of California, a nonprofit organization. “I defended the rights of blind people to have a job,” Sharon recounts. “People think that blindness is a big issue. They think if you can’t see, somehow you’re less of a person.”
As a result Sharon often doesn’t tell people she’s blind, choosing to let her actions do the talking for her. “I travel with a cane; I use Braille; I’m able to cook and clean my home--except that I don’t have to clean my house anymore.” Sharon says laughing. A maid service is just one of the perks she’s enjoyed from her successful EcoQuest business. In fact, her search for a cleaner environment for her home was what initially brought Sharon to the Tennessee-based company. “I had terrible allergies and was all stuffed up and taking two or three allergy shots a week—and they weren’t doing me any good.”
When Sharon met an EcoQuest distributor at a business seminar, he suggested she get involved in his company. “I said, ‘I’ve bought about every indoor air filtration system out there, and I’ve thrown every one of them away.’
“And he replied in a very quiet voice, `You won’t throw this Living Air system away.’ His quiet confidence got my attention, and so I thought maybe I should hear what he had to say,” Sharon recalls.
Sharon decided, if she liked the product, she would do the business. “I then put one unit in my house and one in my office, and I couldn’t believe the difference. So I purchased a Success Pack to get my business started. I was convinced that I could sell six of anything,” she said.
Sharon’s initial goal with her EcoQuest business was modest. “I was just looking for some part-time income. But all of a sudden I started receiving huge checks, and I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “It took me just five months to make a six-figure income.” And she’s now on her fifth bonus car. “I have a lot of people who want to help chauffeur me around,” Sharon says about her car, which the company provides.
Sharon believes training is the key to success for those new to the business. “We try to get new recruits to come to what we call success initiatives so that they can see what the company is all about and how it operates,” she says. “I also like them to tune in to our Lifeline Calls and listen to our CEO Mike Jackson tell the story of the company. Our corporate leaders are very much involved in helping them become a success.”
And just as she did selflessly for twenty years as a schoolteacher, Sharon is once again helping others grow in unique ways. “You meet the nicest people in this business. I tell people that they are not only going to make money in this business, they’re also going to make a lot of good friends to help them learn and grow and build their organizations. And that’s really important.”