Founder, CEO, and Chairwoman Joni Rogers-Kante is the visionary and driving force behind SeneGence®. Joni’s dream of developing a company that gave women an opportunity to build their own business regardless of age, background, or education has become a global success, with offices in five countries and hundreds of thousands of Independent Distributors worldwide.
Where did the idea for SeneGence come from?
After my divorce and gaining sole custody of my then toddler son, I knew I needed to provide for both of us as well as have flexibility to be present in his life. Like any mother, as I would hold him, he would reach up to my face and my cosmetics would smudge and smear off. I thought to myself, someone needs to create a line of color cosmetics that will not rub off and last all day and help make skin healthier. That was the inspiration for launching a direct selling company SeneGence® and developing our first and flagship product, LipSense®. LipSense® is the first long-lasting lip color EVER to be on the market and is offered exclusively through the channel of direct sales.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I always make sure I am accountable to someone to “show up” for my first morning appointment of each workday. This ensures I am up, dressed, and ready to move forward and presentable throughout the rest of my day with ease, regardless of what might pop up between scheduled meetings. Being accountable to someone other than myself first thing each morning has been a key to staying productive and moving projects and initiatives forward to completion, one at a time. Looking back over the years – WOW! That’s a LOT of projects that have culminated into the makings of SeneGence..
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am blessed to be surrounded by a creative, strong, and dedicated team of professionals who each bring their own expertise to the table. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to slip into the mindset of “no one but me” can do this. The trick is to be open to the ideas and experience of others, and honor their talents and skills. And, once agreements are reached within the scope of focus, let them be the shining stars who bring the GREAT ideas to life. Without our SeneFamily there would be no SeneGence.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am loving all the discoveries we are making through technology. We always knew technology would be a stepping-stone to continue our growth and expand our reach, but COVID certainly catalyzed a priority on learning how to use and optimize the tools available to communicate, grow, and connect with our Independent Distributors and their customers. I am eager to continue exploring this area and bring more tools to our sales forces to support their continued success. Having said that – I revel in the reality that still nothing replaces the value of human interaction and relationships. Technology and humanity go hand in hand!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Simple: Consistency. Some people say I am the most boring person in the room, but that is because my days are planned in advance and, for the most part, predicable. I work hard to maintain a schedule that allows me to have a full and rich life both professionally and personally, to keep balance and honor relationships.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Always stay true to what you know is right. For example, so called “experts” or people with vast experience will make your acquaintance and convince you “they know better” or “they have the solution”. If for one minute this goes against your gut or what you know to be true, thank them for their input and send them on their way. In some science circles it is said your ‘gut’ is your second brain. I think my second brain is better than the first! 😊
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Most people don’t believe I can be easily distracted. Often, if something more fun or entertaining crosses my path, it can (like anyone else) pull me away from the more serious and laborious tasks which need to be accomplished. “Know Thine Own Self” – Hence the reason keeping a daily workday calendar is so important. Accountability to others and the completion of our projects keeps these impulses at bay.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As I mentioned earlier, consistency is KEY!
• Plan for success (in every area that’s a priority to you including personal relationships) THEN WORK THE PLAN!
• Keep a calendar, EVERYDAY, plan in advance for success and stick to your plan. There is no secret sauce beyond this. Those who show, rise up. Correct course as soon as possible when circumstances require veering.
• Build Upon Absolute Truth – see Napoleon Hill “Think & Grow Rich”
That’s just how it works.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The best strategy for us has always been ‘build on absolute truth’ in everything we do. This is a simple, yet powerful strategy as it never allows us or anyone associated with the company to have to create policies, communications or narratives good for the whole which will not withstand the test of time. It’s like the saying goes, “the truth will ALWAYS come out and nothing stands the test of time unless done so’. Why not manage to the truth rather than have to back-track and expose other paths that may have been easier, but in the long run hurt the business more in the end.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are too many to count or recall. Being an entrepreneur by-definition almost means failures are inevitable. The trick is knowing this in advance, not becoming scared of failures and therefore frozen into non-activity. Instead learn to take ‘recovery time’ if needed and move on. The way to do this is to take a ‘never give up, no matter what’ attitude. Make shifts, re-evaluate – move on..
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The meta-verse is not coming, it’s here! Don’t be left behind and allow your business to be antiquated before you even get off the ground. Explore and embrace technology and use it! 3D virtual experience will be the next BIG thing for commerce. We are working on our VR store and training platforms. I suggest everyone consider this as they look for ways to move their business into the future.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Personal: Well, with the price of gas currently this was much more than $100 but, my family is spending the summer at our ranch in Oklahoma. I had my dog, Opie the mini Bernedoodle driven (drug free) from our home in California to be with us. Best money spent……. he is our snuggle bug.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’ve always kept (and still do) a physical written calendar for business and personal appointments. However now that we have operations in California, Oklahoma and other markets globally, Zoom, Teams, and Outlook calendar are indispensable!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think and Grow Rich by Napoléon Hill. It’s an oldie but a business classic that I reference almost every day. This is where the lesson “success is built on absolute truth” comes from.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s our company mission statement: “Choose to live life in love and abundance – and THEN WORK FOR IT!”
- Making mistakes is inevitable. Learn recovery and move on.
- Embrace technology and what it can help in continuity for your business.
- All decisions must be built on absolute truth.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.