Families across the country are struggling to keep up with mounting bills, while still managing to keep food on the table. As this article from ABC News explains, 27 million Americans are working second jobs to make ends meet, and a record number of women are taking on extra work as well.
For Marie Benoit-Wilcox, a second, freelance job is matter-of-fact, and gets started even before her "day job" begins. Benoit-Wilcox, a perinatal system coordinator at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan and mother of two teenagers, has been supplementing her income for over a decade selling Avon cosmetics. Each morning when she wakes shortly after 4 a.m., she spends an hour at her Irvington, N.J., home working on client lists and going over orders before commuting to the hospital.
"Saturdays are my all-day-Avon day," she says. "And Sunday I hope I've got time with my family, maybe see a concert or have a party with the kids."
It may seem like a time crunch, but the success she's seen over the past decade make it all worth it. The moonlighting money has enabled her to give her children private educations, a college fund and a family cruise to the Caribbean.
Benoit-Wilcox began her second career as a sales rep after her mother, also involved with Avon, became ill in 1999. "I wanted to be able to keep buying the products, so the only solution was selling myself!" she jokes. She has been with the company for 11 years, including three consecutive years of soaring success--moving a benchmark 112,000 units of Avon product--and sees only great things in the future, for both her business and her family.