Several years ago, Michelle Chingâ€™s college experience wasnâ€™t that different from milÂ¬lions of other young adults across the country---the 2008 Colville graduate was trying to pay her own way by working nights as a cocktail waitress while attending school full-time. She also took occasional work as a lifeguard at a water park on Oahu, studying fashion design during the day at University of Hawaii.
But the long nights began to take their toll on Chingâ€™s studies, and most importantly, her health.
â€śI went a little crazy,â€™ the 22-year-old admits. â€śI was hanging out with my friends too much and not focusing on school.â€ť
Staying out too late and partying too much, Ching got her wake-up call when she received her transcripts in the mail and saw that she was failing a course. She also saw her energy take a downward spiral as the late nights took their toll. She knew something had to change. Thatâ€™s when a friend suggested she become a ViSalus Ambassador.
ViSalus is a multilevel marketing company based in Los Angeles, with offices in Troy, Michigan. The company markets weight management nutritional products, dietary supplements and energy drinks in the United States, Canada and the UK through a network of approximately 76,000 independent distributors.
A complete blessing
For Ching, it was the perfect opportunity to take control of her future and get her life back on track. She learned everything she could about the company, undergoing training and using and selling its products. She became an official ambassador for ViSalus in 2012.
The persistence and motivation paid off. Today, Ching is living in Florida and earning three times the average salary of a full-time U.S. worker. Already, she has made over a quarter of a million dollars, and she shows no signs of stopping.
She has found her niche.
â€śItâ€™s a complete blessing,â€ť Ching says of her new venÂ¬ture. â€śThereâ€™s no way I could have had that success if I had just kept dong what I was doing.â€ť
When asked if her business savvy is hereditary, Ching pauses, considering her upbringing. She moved to Colville when she was three-years-old with her mother and brother after her parents divorced. She would go back to Hawaii every summer to visit her father. Growing up, she loved to play softball and also joined the dance and drill team in high school.
â€śMy mother is very religious; she always taught me to appreciate the smaller things in life,â€ť reflects Ching. â€śThen going between Colville and Hawaii, I got to experience two different cultures growing up. My dad and brother are both very motivated; they own their own construction business in Oahuâ€¦I think I was just brought up with the mindset that if you want to do something, you can do it.â€ť
Beating the stats
Chingâ€™s story marks a triumph in the challenges of finding a successful, fulfilling career for todayâ€™s young people. According to the U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April alone, the number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons increased to 7.7 million. Some 2.5 million were part-time employees specifically because they could not find full-time work. In the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recent survey, only six percent reported job creation plans.
The accomplishments didnâ€™t stop with Chingâ€™s newly gained financial independence. She decided to take her own personal growth to another level, pouring over self-help books, taking calculated risks, learning from her mistakes and trying not to repeat them.
â€śI became the type of person I would want to follow,â€ť says Ching. â€śI decided that there were things I wanted to imÂ¬prove about myself; about my attitude toward myself and other people.â€ť
After moving to Orlando, FL, Ching is looking forward to the next chapter in her life. She is working toward making her first $1 million, and would eventually like to own homes in Florida, Hawaii and Europe. She says some day she would like to have a famÂ¬ily and she wants her children to be able to travel and expeÂ¬rience other cultures like she did. She also has plans to finish her fashion design degree.
Though her goals are personal, she realizes that no one gets there by thinking only of themselves.
â€śThe best thing about my job is I am helping people make changes that positively impact their life,â€ť states Ching. â€śWhen you help others, you help yourself.â€ť
Ching adds that she hopes people in Colville and the surrounding areas will read her story, for no other reason than, â€śI find it a real honor to speak to those in the community I grew up in.â€ť