Sandie Tillotson Knows The Beauty of Success Is More Than Skin Deep

Sandie N. Tillotson has always believed she could do anything she wanted to do – a belief she credits, in part, to her father’s belief in her. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Sandie would go to the Big Apple with her dad, and as she admired the penthouses along the bustling streets, she’d tell him she wanted to live in one when she grew up. Then he’d assure her she would, if she worked hard and worked smart.

She also remembers the time she told her dad she wanted to have a cattle ranch someday. “He said to me, because it was the sixties, ‘Well, then, you’d better marry a rich rancher,’” Sandie recalls. “I turned to him and said, ‘Daddy, why can’t I be a rich rancher?’ And he said, ‘Well, of course you can.’”

Today, Sandie owns a cattle ranch in Oregon and a penthouse in Manhattan as well as a “dream home” on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and her main residence in Sandy, Utah. All four homes are spacious enough, by design, to accommodate her large, and growing, family, which includes three grown children, a 13-year-old daughter and six grandchildren. A seventh grandchild is expected in May. Being able to spend time together at holidays, vacations and special occasions is a blessing for this busy mother, grandmother, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Sandie is the senior vice president and a cofounder of Nu Skin Enterprises, one of the largest network marketing companies in the world, with more than 800,000 independent distributors in 51 countries and annual revenues of $1.54 billion (2010). She is also a founder and trustee of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission “to improve the lives of children by offering hope for a life free from disease, illiteracy and poverty.” Helping to make the world a better place has been a key objective of Nu Skin since the company’s humble beginnings in 1984.

“When we started the company, we named it Nu Skin International, which was a very lofty dream for a company that was started in a living room in Provo, Utah. We also put in our mission statement that we wanted to be a force for good in the world,” Sandie says.

Giving back is an ethic she’s also modeled to and instilled in her children and grandchildren.

“I believe in the law of abundance – that the more you give, the more you get back. And that’s been evidenced in my life a thousand times,” Sandie says.

She describes the good feeling that comes from giving as a “gift” that brings “joy and satisfaction…and self-worth.” And, she says, “The most important thing for a child, our grandchildren, is self-esteem.”

Sandie feels that, as grandparents, we can help nurture our grandchildren’s self-esteem by “showing them the way” – by being confident and successful in whatever we do, whether it’s running a business, doing charitable work or growing a garden. Like her father before her, Sandie is also a firm believer in encouraging children to follow their dreams.

“I raised my children with the belief that anything is possible, and that is what we can do as grandparents: instill that belief in our grandchildren,” she says.

Sandie also stresses the importance of being involved in our grandchildren’s lives…”but then not feeling bad that you can’t do everything.” Like many working grandparents, Sandie cannot be there for all of her grandchildren’s activities. “I may be in Japan and won’t be able to attend River’s play,” she cites as an example. So she’ll explain to her grandson why she can’t be there and the importance of what she’s doing.

She also hosts all those family gatherings at her four sprawling homes, so that “Tu-Tu,” as the grandchildren call her, can wake up to the “pitter-patter of feet” and create wonderful memories with River, Diesel, Zada, Phoenix, Vander, Desmond and soon, another new grandbaby.
“I have long walks…and my grandchildren come with me…and that’s a great opportunity to hear, to listen, to them,” she says. “Boy, do I learn from them.”

And they learn from her what is perhaps the most empowering lesson of all: that they, too, can do anything they want to do.

Pat Burns is Regional Editor for GRAND Magazine, the author of Grandparents Rock, Director of Communication and Investor Relations for Peoplejar.com, and a happy grandmother of three. Pat interviewed Sandie Tillotson in March 2011.

Colleen Sell is the former editor of the Cup of Comfort book series; the co-author or ghostwriter of several books, including Ten-Minute Zen, The Everything Kids’ Gross Cookbook and One Simple Idea; and the grandmother of six incredible human beings.

The GRAND interview:
Audio: Hear the complete GRAND interview with Sandie Tillotson and Pat Burns.

Video: See the work being done by the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation

Pat Burns is Regional Editor for GRAND Magazine, the author of Grandparents Rock, Director of Communication and Investor Relations for Peoplejar.com, and a happy grandmother of three. Pat interviewed Sandie Tillotson in March 2011.

Colleen Sell is the former editor of the Cup of Comfort book series; the co-author or ghostwriter of several books, including Ten-Minute Zen, The Everything Kids’ Gross Cookbook and One Simple Idea; and the grandmother of six incredible human beings.

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