Making It to the Top
Esta Paniagua’s tireless efforts to build her business have resulted in steady career growth and long-term financial security.
Among the dozens of trophies adorning the walls of Senior Executive Unit Leader Esta Paniagua’s office in Corpus Christi, Texas, hangs an ironic symbol of her success: her first Leadership bonus check in the amount of 44 cents. Today, just 13 years after receiving that check, Esta, 49, manages a Downline of some 750 Representatives with Total Unit Sales of over $3.8 million, but the memory of receiving that first check is still fresh in her mind.
“In that moment, I concluded that I either had to quit Avon or get busy,” says Esta, who was supporting five children on President’s Council level sales. And while those earnings took care of her family’s immediate needs, the single mother also wanted to ensure her family’s financial future and knew she had to do better to make that happen.
It was an ambitious goal, considering that she was starting from the bottom. Esta had recently been laid off from her job as a restaurant manager, had no savings and was in danger of losing her home when she launched her business. Her tireless efforts to build a Customer base put her back on her feet, but she wanted long-term security—and for that she needed to build a Leadership career. Esta turned to her District Sales Manager as well as Leadership Representatives for help with recruiting, and they came through for her. “Don’t think you can do everything on your own,” she says. “It’s all about teamwork.”
Gradually, both Esta’s Downline and her bonus checks began to grow. She advanced to Unit Leader in four campaigns and two months later achieved Advanced Unit Leader. It took her another year and a half to become Executive Unit Leader, and soon after she became Senior Executive Unit Leader. Esta says her steady career growth has been the key to realizing all her dreams. She has continued to sell at President’s Council level and take care of her children’s needs, while still saving enough money to provide for their future. After all, they’ve earned it. All of Esta’s children, Marco, 30, Cristina, 23, Jose, 21, Victor, 20, and Daniel, 18, have contributed to building her business over the years by stamping, dropping off brochures and filling orders.
Carrying on the dream
Experiencing the Avon Opportunity up close has inspired two of Esta’s sons to launch their own businesses. Eldest son Marco is an Advanced Unit Leader, and Victor joined Avon as soon as he turned 18. “My success is so much sweeter because it has served—and not sacrificed—my family,” says Esta.
After a decade in Leadership and some wise investing, not only can Esta now look forward to a financially secure retirement, she can also finally enjoy a few luxuries. She recently purchased a minivan and plans to buy a sports car later this year. She’s also looking to buy 50 acres of land outside of Corpus Christi, which she plans to develop into a working ranch.
“It has taken me a long time to get to this level, but that just makes my success that much sweeter and shows that you can make it one step at a time. You don’t have to knock down walls to get to the top,” says Esta.
No, but it helps to keep inspirational mementos on those walls. Esta glances often at her first Leadership check, but with personal bonuses totaling more than $140,000 last year, she doesn’t have to worry about making room for any additional reminders.