Years ago a reporter asked Mahatma Gandhi what his message was, and he simply replied, “My life is my message.” Every fiber of his being exuded his values and beliefs and he purely shared his message with the world. There was no variance or contrast that separated who Gandhi was from what he stood for. His beliefs and actions were one.

I believe deep down we all have a similar desire to live our message. As women we naturally wear many hats. We are daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, caregivers, nurturers, friends, and often providers. Doing our very best to show up fully in every area can leave us physically exhausted and emotionally drained. All the while, we continue to passionately pursue our dreams, grow our businesses, serve and lead our teams, and still try to maintain “balance.”

When I began my network marketing journey several years ago, I was a young newlywed, the caregiver for my grandmother, and a flight attendant with a heavy travel schedule. Add in growing my business and its fair to say that in those early days I felt “out of balance” more often than not!

But here’s what I learned: in the beginning, the exact freedoms we seek to gain from our businesses are often the very things we will need to give up temporarily.

For example, many seek “time freedom” and associate that to balance.

In order to create time freedom you must build your business to a level where you can enjoy the fruits of that labor. Doing so will require you to invest valuable time in the early days. You may miss a few family gatherings, but in the end you’ll reap the rewards of being able to be fully present for all meaningful family activities.

A mentor taught me a significant lesson by replacing the word sacrifice with the word exchange. This forever altered how I viewed my commitments. I understood that each action I joyfully exchanged in the present would gradually move me closer to my end goal, which was to live a life by design rather than by default.

Many women in network marketing paved the way for me by being living proof that it was possible to balance being wonderful mothers, wives, leaders, and great contributors to their communities.

I’ve always believed that three to five years of consistent, committed effort combined with healthy expectations and fair exchanges will allow anyone the opportunity to earn decades of time and personal freedom later on. On the front end we exchange the exact freedoms we seek, so later we enjoy a life of deep meaning and satisfaction.

We all desire and strive for balance. Network marketing allows each of us the space to grow and create lives that reflect our values and most authentic beliefs, and to truly “live our message.”

TINA BEER is a top income earner and leader in her network marketing company. Her passion is assisting and supporting others in building successful businesses. Tina was featured in the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of Networking Times.