In the past few weeks, we’ve been taking the time to sit down and interview Bonvera leaders and entrepreneurs, which recently included Cody and Tara Newton and Tim and Brandy Jarvinen. Each couple offers something unique to the Bonvera community, and we’re so honored to introduce another incredible couple — featuring Joe and Laura Darkangelo.
Born and raised in Michigan, Joe and Laura have two adult children — a son and a daughter. While interviewing them, their son from Colorado was in town visiting and they were puppysitting their daughter’s new puppy (and loving it!). Their interview was so fun — full of laughter, heart, and good conversation!
We started off asking them how they got started in this industry. Joe stated, “We got started 16 years ago. We had a guy that built a million dollar home down the street from us, and he came over, him and his brother, and shared about this business opportunity. He shared the plan with me, and I went to an intro meeting where I met Mark Paul.” Joe was instantly excited about the opportunity, and he started building his business “because it just made sense.” Joe described, “I just started taking people to intros, and we started building teams.”
Joe and Laura explained that prior to a career in this industry, they were working all the time. They owned 17 pizzerias, and Joe was working in corporate America for a food distributor while Laura was working for Northwest Airlines in the Reservation Department. Joe described, “I had no time. I had the money. I was working 100+ hours a week. I had two little kids. You can make all the money you want, but if you don’t have time, it doesn’t make a difference.” So, Joe really got started because he wanted more time, especially with his kids. Laura commented, “We were in our thirties. We were running two different races. Joe traveled and worked 80-100+ hours a week. I was feeling like a single mom. It’s like the Cat’s in the Cradle song. It’s about this boy who never sees his father and asks where his dad is, and his dad is missing seeing his son grow up. It was a heartbreaking song for me. I saw that potential to happen to us.” All of the stress of work was also impacting Joe’s health. Joe honestly said, “Yeah, I went to my first intro meeting with a heart monitor on.” Laura explained, “And that’s not who Joe is. All of the stress was giving him anxiety. We were afraid he was going to have a heart attack.” If you meet Joe, you know that isn’t Joe. He is full of life, very positive, and high energy. They were coming to a turning point in their careers, their health, their marriage, and their businesses.
After they were approached by this neighbor from down the street, they started working at building their business, plugging in, and seeking mentors to help them. After 2 years, they walked away from pizzerias, and Joe and Laura left their jobs. Joe stated, “It’s been 14 years of being job optional.” With this opportunity, they had the freedom to leave their jobs and do this full-time. They got to be with their kids and raise them up together, especially during a really important phase of their lives.
They are grateful they took the leap and did it. They said, “It was important for us that when our kids were growing up, they saw us pursuing this opportunity. We wanted them to know they didn’t have to just be employed, and they didn’t have to follow this particular road or path. Living your own life and learning and applying positive principles could have a big impact on your life. One big lesson we learned is if there is something you want in life, find somebody who has what you want and study them. That’s something we wanted to teach our children. We felt really blessed our children were able to see us doing that.”
Today, Joe and Laura travel frequently to speak at events and support their teams. When they share with others about this home-based business, Joe said, “I get excited because I see hope.” They love seeing hope return to people’s eyes. Laura explained, “Just to see people start to understand and get it and start to fall in love with the community. Recently, there was a lady at an intro, and we started talking. She said her son just started a little while ago, and she said she has never seen such a positive change in him. The mother said I just love that he is getting the mentorship, and I am forever grateful. To know her son is tying into these mentors means so much to her. Seeing that change in their lives. I love the community part of what we do, and the difference it makes in people’s lives. You hear those stories on a regular basis, and I love seeing people celebrate their accomplishments.”
In the future, they hope to see Bonvera be as “common as the everyday credit card.” Joe said, “I want people to know the company and be really open to being a part of the culture.” Laura agreed, “Absolutely. I love the direction between our partners and affiliates. I’d love to see that grow. I’d love to see Bonvera really be known for giving back.”
As a couple, Joe and Laura describe that what makes them unique is that they are so “well balanced.” In talking with them one on one or in front of a crowd, this couple compliments each other so well. Laura said, “He’s more task-oriented, and I’m more people-oriented.” Together, they are the perfect pair!
Bringing this interview to a close, we asked this couple a few fun questions.
We asked, “What is your favorite book, and why?”
Laura responded, “The Dreamgiver. It’s one of my favorite books. It’s the one I recommend to people. It’s the first book that changed my thinking. An opportunity might not be there tomorrow, so if it’s there, grab it and go.” Joe said, “The Magic of Thinking Big. Came right to the tip of my tongue. That’s why we encourage everyone to read that one. That made a huge difference for me when I was leaving my job.”
Next, we asked, “If you were a fruit, what would you be, and why?
Joe confidently stated, “I’d be a pineapple. Because everybody likes a pineapple. It’s sunny. It’s tropical. Hi, I’m Joey the pineapple.” Lots of chuckles over this question! Laura joked and really liked Joe’s answer. “I like the pineapple. I love tropical fruit,” said Laura. Joe responded, “That’s why I said it right away, haha!” Laura said, “Everybody loves strawberries. They are very versatile! You can use them in ice cream or eat them by themselves.” Joe said, “They’re also kind of sour. You can be sweet or sour sometimes.” Laura said, “That’s true. Strawberries can be sweet or sour. I can be sassy sometimes, haha!”
Joe and Laura are incredible leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, and people. They have an inspiring story to share — one of hard work, stressful jobs, and newfound freedom, and they are willing to share it to help others. We are so privileged to have them with Bonvera. Thank you for taking the time to get to know Joe and Laura Darkangelo. If you’d like to learn more about this home-based business opportunity or these leaders, we encourage you to get connected to one in your local area. You can get connected by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (316) 260 – 2225.