For Gen Y, going to college and getting a safe, secure job where you work for forty years and retire with a pension is increasingly becoming something grandparents tell their grandkids around a campfire.

In 2000, I was young and single and had the whole world in front of me. Out of high school, I decided to take over my father's contracting company.

Many of my friends were either in collage racking up debt for a degree they wouldn't be able to use, or working a nine-to-five job they couldn't stand, just to try to keep up with the Joneses.

At the time, being self-employed made sense for me—until I got the phone call. My brother was inviting me to come "check something out." I sat in and listened but heard nothing. I really thought I had it all figured out.

Several months later the rose-colored glasses broke. The "s" in self-employed stood for stress and I really hadn't found what I was looking for. The industrial revolution was out, the information age was booming and the rules had changed.

Look around: my generation wants freedom. We want the option to paint our lives on a canvas with our own brush; to design our lives as we see fit; to live our days by our priorities—not our obligations.

I've heard people say Gen Y doesn't know how to pull up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. In reality, hard work doesn't scare us. Change and personal growth doesn't, either. And we will jump at the chance for leadership.

The difference is, we want to be in control. Network marketing gives us the opportunity to do all that and more. We can finally reap what we sow. Instead of your boss "pulling" for you to get the raise that will hopefully help you keep up with inflation and gas prices, everything is in your hands.

Bestselling author and leadership guru Orrin Woodward says, "Your pay raise becomes effective when you do." I love that. Control. Options. Lifestyle. Anything I can dream of and more is possible through network marketing.

There was a time when this profession wasn't appealing to my generation. Man, were we wrong! It is only because of network marketing that I have the life I live today—a life of freedom and the realization of my dreams. And the best part is that I get to offer this to everyone I meet. The Joneses can't keep up with that.

JACKIE LEWIS is a successful network
marketing leader who joined the business
at age 19. She works from her home in
Michigan with her husband Bill while
raising their four children.