This month, I have the pleasure of introducing Kathi Palmer as our featured member of One Degree Shift community. Read how Kathi overcame shyness, cancer, and more. Kathi’s story is inspiring and her message is simple, “Life is short! Give yourself a break, and Do what you enjoy.”
CASSANDRA: Hi Kathi! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
KATHI: I’ve lived in upstate New York all 51 years of my life. I’ve been married for 27 years to someone I rode the school bus with; although, I didn’t like him then! I have three children. The oldest is getting married in September, and the youngest is finishing her junior year of high school. My middle son is attending school to become a recording engineer.
CASSANDRA: That already sounds like a full life filled with family, but it’s only part of the story that brings you to this point. What else has shaped your outlook and the message you want to share with others?
KATHI: I’m a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. My battle with cancer and the loss of my oldest brother in a work accident when he was only 29 has made me acutely aware that I do not want to spend one more minute doing things I don’t enjoy. No more than I absolutely have to! That’s the advice I have for others so they are not devoting their lives doing things they don’t enjoy. Life is too short!
CASSANDRA: Kathi, you’re a survivor! Through your experiences – loss of your brother and victory over cancer, you have a clear message for others: “Life is short, so do what you enjoy!” How has that message served you? What changes have you made as a result?
KATHI: I went back to school at 38 to get a degree in Computer Information Systems. I continued on and got my Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. These accomplishments mean a lot to me because I dropped out of high school at 16 and got a GED. I wanted to get a college degree as an example for my kids.
CASSANDRA: Congratulations! That’s inspiring, Kathi. It’s never too late to go after your dreams. So, besides being an inspiration as a Mom, tell us what else you are passionate about doing?
KATHI: So, in my day job, I work as an Information Technology Specialist. One of the things I like about my job is that I help people by making it easier for them to accomplish their work using technology. What I love more than that is working with people I’ve met through my part-time Ambit Energy business. I started that business two and a half years ago when my husband became permanently disabled.
CASSANDRA: It seems you enjoy making a difference for others – in your full-time job and your part-time business. What made you choose to start a direct sales business with Ambit?
KATHI: It’s an amazing group of people. They’re always willing to help me and expect nothing in return. They smile and say hello. They lift me up. I want to do that for others. I want to be able to make others feel the way they have made me feel.
CASSANDRA: I suspect they made you feel welcomed and part of something bigger than yourself, which for a difference maker is very important!
KATHI: Yes. I have always been very shy. Sometimes, just walking across a room in front of people is hard for me. I’ve learned to be more outgoing. When I started my business, we desperately needed money. I never knew the personal growth benefits I would experience in the process! Now I think the personal growth means more to me than the money. Don’t get me wrong, the money is helpful too. I just never expected to be meeting so many people, and that I would be initiating the introductions.
CASSANDRA: Who would’ve thunk it, huh? The shy girl from upstate New York in a business that requires her to have a lot of interaction with people, and she loves it!
KATHI: I absolutely love what I am doing, and I can’t wait to really make a meaningful difference in the lives of others!
CASSANDRA: Kathi, you know from experience how precious life is and how stressful money problems can be. You want to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone like you did. Your life is a demonstration of how you can overcome grief, health scares, money problems, and even shyness and do what you enjoy and always wanted to do. How can people get in touch with you?
KATHI: My website is www.palmer.energy526.com. My contact information is on the website too. I’d love to hear from anyone that reads this interview!
CASSANDRA: This has already been an inspiring interview, but I know you have a lot more to share. In the One Degree Shift community, we emphasize the importance of knowing and sharing your WHY – why you do what you do. Tell us your WHY.
KATHI: I want to be able to enjoy my life sooner rather than later. I want to look out my window and see palm trees, and that will never happen as long as I live in upstate New York! I want my kids to have it easier than I did; I don’t want money to always be a struggle for them. I want my oldest son to take flight lessons, which is very expensive. He has always wanted to be a pilot. I want my middle son to have the recording studio of his dreams. I want my daughter to be able to chase her dreams—when she finally decides what it is she wants to do. I don’t want them to get stuck in a career because it was the only thing they could afford to do.
CASSANDRA: It sounds like your WHY is really about making life simpler and easier for others – including yourself. I can see that reflected in your information technology job, in supporting your family as well as those in your Ambit business. It’s the driving force behind what you do. Life is short! Life can be very difficult, as you’ve experienced. So, you want to eliminate the difficulty (money problems being one of them) for the benefit of everyone else. I believe that’s the wisdom you’ve been given to share with us. What do you think about that?
KATHI: Yes! My biggest hope for people, especially women, is to GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!
CASSANDRA: Well, that certainly simplifies it!
KATHI: In my younger days, I would always find fault with myself. Now, I wish I looked like that person again! I wish I knew then what I know now. I’m having the most fun finding the part of me that I lost being a mom, a wife, and an employee. I’m really enjoying myself! People ask me what is different. I can’t say one thing is different because it’s all different, and it had to come from the inside out! I’ve come full circle. The wisdom is in getting comfortable in your own skin, and cut yourself a break. You don’t expect perfection from others, why would you expect it from yourself? I’m not saying don’t strive to do your best, but don’t beat yourself up if you fall. Get up, dust yourself off, and take a step forward! Sometimes, I go outside on my deck, look up at the stars, and I am awed. I just say, “Thank you God.” He has placed so many opportunities at my feet, and I just have to take the initiative to do something with them.
CASSANDRA: You’re like a poster girl for One Degree Shift and Nike: “Make a 1-degree shift from the inside out and just do it!” It’s a simple message, but it makes a profound difference. Tell us how being a member of One Degree Shift has made a difference for you?
KATHI: Although I’m new to the group, the accountability has helped me to make phone calls when I don’t want to. The coaching and teaching has made me more aware, and I catch myself in a self-sabotaging behavior or reaction and realize that I am not giving myself the credit I deserve. I have a more positive attitude, and people notice it and are more willing to smile and say hello.
CASSANDRA: A positive attitude makes a big difference. It draws people to you and connects with them. And, for your business, that’s very important. In just two short months, the One Degree Shift community has motivated you to take action and shifted your attitude. That’s no tiny shift. That’s BIG! Thank you, Kathi. This has been such an inspirational spotlight. I’m happy to introduce you to the world, and I’m glad you’re part of One Degree Shift community. I’m excited to continue this journey with you!
What part of Kathi’s story can you relate to? Are you ready to overcome the difficulties in life, cut yourself a break, and do what you really enjoy? Leave her a comment. She would love to hear from you.
Strengthen your wings with Kathi and other One Degree Shift members who are waiting to support you. Growth occurs in community and accountability. It’s impossible to make a BIG difference alone. Join us!