“We don’t serve the world by trying to be like everyone else” with Emily Wright and Fotis Georgiadis
I have since discovered that my femininity, expression of emotion and ability to connect with humanity is my greatest strength. Rising up to my full authentic potential gives those around me permission to do the same. My favorite quote is “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Today I am living the beauty of my dream and, by doing so, I get to light the same spark in others. Each of us has individual and divinely given gifts, and it’s up to us to recognize them and use them as a force for good in this world. We don’t serve the world by trying to be like everyone else. We must stand out and shine our powerful, unique light.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Wright. Almost two decades ago, Emily came into the essential oil business without even really knowing what essential oils were. She explains, “I was actually a little embarrassed that I ended up working for a network marketing company, and on top of that it was a company that sold ‘voodoo’ oils.” However, over time her perspective shifted. She had two powerful experiences with the oils that empowered her as a mother to take care of her children in a natural manner. These experiences also made her very passionate about empowering other moms. As for network marketing, Emily says, “I had only had negative experiences in the past, but I have since realized that, done right and with integrity, the person-to-person model of network marketing actually works really well when you lead with a quality product. I have found it to be the most powerful business model in the world.” Emily never expected to be where she is at now, but she says, “Life has a way of molding you and providing experiences that prepare you for the person you are to become. Being part of doTERRA® has caused me to grow beyond what I thought was possible, and I love nothing more than to help others grow and find their purpose.”
Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was introduced to essential oils in the late 90s. A friend of mine insisted that I work for a little essential oil start-up company. I was resistant at first because I thought the idea of using essential oils as medicine was strange, and I didn’t want to set myself on a career path that wasn’t well respected. I was a young mother doing my best to raise two young children. When my daughter, who was just a year old at the time, had an emergency health challenge, I recalled the research I had read about peppermint essential oil. I decided to put it to the test. I was amazed at how quickly it worked. After a few more experiences like this one, I became obsessed with learning everything I could about essential oils and how they worked and have been enthusiastically teaching about their powerful benefits ever since. I want every mother and individual to be empowered with nature’s most powerful gifts to care for themselves and their families.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
That’s a hard one. I have so many. As we source essential oils from over 40 different countries around the world, as Founding Executives, we have the opportunity to meet with the people who are sowing the seeds, caring for and harvesting the plants and skillfully distilling the aromatic compounds. I met a woman named Veronica a few months ago as I was visiting with our sourcing partners and farms in Kenya. Veronica’s husband was killed in an automobile accident when she was pregnant with their fifth child. Overnight, her whole world changed. She had been a homemaker who enjoyed a comfortable life and was immediately put in a position of having to provide for her family. She could no longer afford to pay her children’s school fees. She began making ropes from the fibers of plants. When the shopkeepers stopped buying her ropes, she was put in a position to sell something much more precious. She sold her dignity and purity in order to feed her hungry children. I can’t even imagine what this did to her soul.
Veronica recently began harvesting pink pepper for doTERRA. She was paid more for her first peppercorn harvest than she had made in the three months prior. Today her children are all enrolled in school with her oldest son attending university. She is able to feed them nutritious food, has moved into a comfortable home and is now a leader of her people. She teaches other women to be self-sufficient by harvesting pink pepper. I love providing the most pure and potent essential oils to empower families around the world and affecting social change in doing so. This is my passion.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I have made more mistakes than I can count. The biggest overarching mistake I made when starting doTERRA was thinking I needed to look and behave like my male counterparts in order to “be enough.” As the only female Founding Executive of doTERRA and the only female executive in my role prior to founding the company, I didn’t recognize my unique gifts and strengths. I was confident in my ability to get things done, but I wasn’t operating from my zone of genius. I wore pantsuits and hid behind a masculine facade because I thought that’s what was required in order to be successful in business.
I completely missed the mark. I have since discovered that my femininity, expression of emotion and ability to connect with humanity is my greatest strength. Rising up to my full authentic potential gives those around me permission to do the same. My favorite quote is “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Today I am living the beauty of my dream and, by doing so, I get to light the same spark in others. Each of us has individual and divinely given gifts, and it’s up to us to recognize them and use them as a force for good in this world. We don’t serve the world by trying to be like everyone else. We must stand out and shine our powerful, unique light.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I think doTERRA stands out because we are able to provide the most tested and trusted essential oils in the industry while affecting social change. After founding the company in 2008, we sourced our oils from trusted vendors, but demand soon surpassed supply and we began looking for alternatives. The more involved we became in the sourcing process, the more we realized that the global supply chain was rife with corruption. Rather than contributing to the problem, we determined that doTERRA would be the solution. Today, ninety-six percent of our essential oils are proprietary, which means we have developed personal and exclusive relationships with the growers, harvesters, and distillers in over 40 countries who produce our essential oils. We work hand-in-hand with them from the ground up. Known as Co-Impact Sourcing, this initiative develops long-term, mutually beneficial supplier partnerships, which allows doTERRA to produce the purest essential oils in regions where they grow best while also providing jobs for rural farmers who might otherwise experience unfair wages or poor working conditions. In 2018, doTERRA helped provide 122,095 jobs and impacted 541,349 lives through our global sourcing efforts. It warms my heart to know that the majority of these jobs are held by women, including management positions.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
My dreams for doTERRA have grown over the years. In the beginning, our main goal was to offer the most pure and potent essential oils the Earth had to offer. As the company has grown and evolved, our vision has expanded, specifically providing an opportunity for those living in developing countries to become self-reliant through our Co-Impact Sourcing Initiatives. We have big plans to continue working directly with growers all over the world to create more sustainable jobs and offer many families a better way of life. The potential that exists truly is limitless in terms of global impact. We currently have sourcing partners in more than 40 countries worldwide and continue to look to expand to areas that can benefit from our Co-Impact Sourcing initiative.
I am also excited about our new healthcare initiative. Imagine a world filled with physicians who have time to really understand the many factors that impact our health and partnering with you to not only prevent disease from occurring but also helping you choose more natural options. This initiative is in full swing as the first Prime Meridian clinics have opened their doors. It has been our vision for ten years, and it’s exciting to see it coming to fruition as we build a bridge between Western and Allopathic medicine and provide better choices for families throughout the United States and eventually around the globe.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
I have learned that being a woman is my greatest strength because I am able to relate to countless other women and mothers. We are the caretakers, the nurturers, physicians of our homes, and we have the ability to empower others to do the same. My biggest piece of advice to other female leaders is to believe in yourself, and believe in your ability to lift those around you. Forge the path your way and sprinkle your special magic. If we lift as we climb, we all rise together.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
doTERRA empowers so many women to be their own boss and lead their teams through our Wellness Advocate program. I know what it feels like to be unappreciated and underpaid because of my gender. I know what it feels like to lose my sense of identity. In my career, I had to work incredibly hard to be where I am today. My best advice to other female leaders who manage large teams is to love yourself and lead by example. No one wants to be managed or dictated to. Empower your team members to be creative and operate from their zone of genius. Take the time to get to know them personally and make sure they know you care about their wellbeing and success more than your own. Give opportunity for them to discover their own gifts and strengths and celebrate each success, no matter how small, along the way. People simply need to be inspired to bring the best versions of themselves forward. Be that inspiration.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
David Stirling saw in me what I didn’t see in myself years before we founded doTERRA together. He recognized that I was managing half of the company we previously worked for myself but still held the title of executive assistant. When he was asked to lead the company as the new CEO, he accepted on one condition: that I join him as a member of the executive board. I will never forget how his confidence in me changed my perception of my own abilities. He treated me as an executive and an equal, which allowed me to see myself that way. His belief in me transformed how I saw myself, and I love inspiring the same in others. Today we are business partners and, through doTERRA, have witnessed millions of lives changed. He continues to be a mentor to me and inspires me to push myself to be better each and every day.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I think the best thing the success of doTERRA has led to is the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation. We strive to improve communities around the world by facilitating development projects in doTERRA Co-Impact Sourcing communities, by supporting anti-human trafficking efforts, feminine hygiene education, disaster relief, and micro-loan programs. Last year alone, we were able to distribute over 50,000 Emergency Relief Hygiene Kits, give 245 loans in Nepal, donate a mobile crime lab to be stationed in Arizona, and fund the construction of an aftercare facility in Haiti that will house survivors rescued from sex trafficking. Being able to take part in Healing Hands Foundation projects is truly one of the greatest highlights of my job
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why.
- Embrace fear and use it to your advantage. Where greatness awaits, there will always be fear. Step into it.
- Surround yourself with believers and doers — attract your tribe.
- Put forth the work. Be the hardest working person in the room. The bar is set with you.
- Know your why. Have a clear vision for where you’re going and the purpose behind it and then go all in. Unleash your passion.
- Be generous…always. Be giving of your time, talents and resources.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
If there’s one thing I wish everyone could know, it would be that each of us has something very special to offer the world and there is no mold for success. Imagine the change in the world we could create, if every person recognized their individual worth, lived with an abundance mindset, and wholeheartedly strived to lift one another to a higher place. We can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Imagine each person living an empowered life. Imagine a world filled with selfless service. That’s part of the vision of doTERRA and I’ve been so inspired to be part of the incredible work we are accomplishing throughout the world. What we have sparked is not just an essential oil company, but also a movement that is empowering lives for the better.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Too often we fear failure. We fear the unknown. We fear ridicule. We fear judgement. We fear shame. Through the course of my life, I have learned to embrace fear. I let it fuel me rather than paralyze me as it once did. I would rather fail over and over again while striving my best to accomplish the goal at hand than do nothing. There is no joy in not trying. There is no joy in complacency. There is no joy in settling.
I have made more mistakes than I can count, and I have learned more from my mistakes and trials than I ever have from my successes. I have learned humility. I have learned compassion. I have learned that it’s okay to ask for help. I have learned that it’s also okay to start again and again and again. And I have learned that it’s important to have a clear vision for where you’re going filled to the brim with purposeful intent. A life without purpose is a very sad life.
The power of belief is a force to be reckoned with. Others will boldly follow when we have clarity of what we seek to accomplish and why it’s important. People yearn for purpose. They yearn for vision. They yearn to be empowered. They yearn to inspire and be inspired. I have learned to courageously seek after those things that matter and not worry about what others might think. What they think is none of my business anyway.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
We had the great privilege of welcoming Hugh Jackman as a guest speaker at doTERRA’s 2018 Global Convention. We bonded over our mutual desire to change the world by providing opportunities to small farmers and growers a hand up and fight against extreme poverty. Throughout our interactions, Mr. Jackman also told me about the amazing things his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, is accomplishing. I would love the opportunity to sit down with her to discuss her success in making her family the priority and keeping them so close knit. I also would be fascinated to know more about her balancing of professional and home, philanthropy work around the world, and vision for the future.
Thank you for all of these great insights!
“We don’t serve the world by trying to be like everyone else” with Emily Wright and Fotis… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.