This Blog is no longer active...

Success Story ~


I'd like to share a story with you that I "experienced" (I say experienced because it was an emotional ride of a story)...

I want to tell you because it is an outstanding story and because I often wonder just how much of my experience I should share and how it will affect the business side of my life...

This woman has shared her very sordid past and has had no business repercussions, conversely she has reaped the benefits of being authentic and has helped many others become inspired to leave their pasts behind and to make the leap forward into a life of love, successes and confidence.

A tall, slender dark haired woman strode across the foyer in head to toe black but for a jacket that was trimmed with the most wonderful, colourful rhinestones I've ever seen. To a fellow Entrepreneur classmate I commented...

"That is how I want to feel..."

It takes a lot of confidence to walk into a room of drably attired ladies at 8am in an outfit a queen might shy away from. It wasn't over the top, she wore a black t-shirt, black tailored trousers, black sandals and no jewellry, but the jacket spoke to me of confidence. Of presence. Of a woman who knew what she wanted, what she liked and how to make you aware...

Catherine Ann was raised by born to alcoholic parents who were unfit and unable to be decent parents. They moved every few months because they never paid the rent, were physically and mentally abusive and if they did give her attention it was of the negative sort. As a little girl Catherine was severely beaten once by her father for calling a puppy across the street, it was hit by a car and her father felt it was necessary to make her bleed as much as the dog. Catherine was molested by a friend of her father's while he lay in a drunken stupor on a sofa in the same room. She would go to school hungry and would pick the thrown away lunches of her classmates out of the garbage cans. She was eager to learn and to be thought of as "smart" and would begin each year at the front of the class, her teachers accused her of trying to take over the class and would put her in the back (She was diagnosed at 35 with ADD and a learning disability)...For Christmas her mother would wrap cans of vegetables from the cupboard and place them under the tree. Catherine became pregnant at 15 from a man who was a criminal. Struggling to support her son and self, Catherine Ann was introduced to prostitution through her uncle when he sold her to one of his friends...

Catherine's story goes on and on and down and down...Forged cheques, time in jail, recruiting prostitutes for the mob, faking transcripts to get into Med school (she made it through 2 years before getting caught!), being homeless...

Her life changed (she was almost 40 at this point) when she met Mark, the man who would become her husband, because he believed in her. She received her last unemployment check and tucked inside, serendipitously, was an invitation to join a business program for the self-employed and entrepreneurial. Through the support of this program and with Mark's belief in her Catherine began to believe in herself. She also credits not getting involved in drugs and wanting to go "straight" as other reasons she was able to pull her life out of the gutter. Catherine and Mark were homeless and living out of a car when she started the program, however, she never missed a class. Through the program, which gave a small living allowance, and her now grown son's credit card they set up a mystery shopper business from the kitchen of their rented home. Catherine commented that she didn't see the urine stained carpets, the table and 3 chairs they rescued from the garbage, the dingy and dark rooms...She saw the new headquarters of her business. She taped phones ringing and played it in the background as she and Mark sat and made cold calls to potential clients. And they worked. And worked. They had $85000 worth of sales that first year and it has doubled every year since.

Today Catherine Ann is a millionaire (6x), has won many entrepreneurial awards, she has set up charities for animals (perhaps never getting over that puppy who was hit by a car), she is a professional inspirational speaker, she lost 100lbs last year...Her memoirs, written by award-winning author John Lawrence Reynolds, will be published this year. Hollywood has bought the rights to her story. Next, she jokes, is Oprah!


After she finished speaking I jumped up from my chair, she was leaving to catch a flight "out of the fog", and ran over to her. I was crying. I took off the necklace I was wearing, one I had made long ago and loved (there is a little star nestled in the back, only seen when putting it on, to remind the wearer to reach for them...), and asked her if she would accept it and explained to her how she had inspired me...She started to cry too and gave me a huge, hard hug and said to keep looking forward, don't look back...I realize depression (and the accompaniments) is not as extreme as what Catherine had overcome but I think the courage to prevail comes from the same place deep in all of us. The desire to be successful in our own mirrors. To look in that mirror and know you are doing the best you can, giving 100%. To be confident in your worth.

Cream in your Coffee necklace

Perhaps Catherine's story will help you too...
Remember to look to the future!
xoxox


These are videos to promote Catherine Ann as a speaker so the "advertising" point is high but I wanted to show you a little snippet of Catherine in action...


11 comments:

MrsLittleJeans said...

My god, what a story....thanks for sharing, we can all learn from each others' trials and efforts, that's for sure!

xxoo

Julia Christie said...

What a story Andrea! Thank you for sharing this wonderfully inspirational story. It really makes me take a look at my life and although I did not have an ideal upbringing, it was certainly nothing like Cathrine's, so I have no excuse not to charge forward and be every bit that I can be.

How generous that you gave her your necklace!


You are an amazing woman too!

Smiles

Ida Nielsen said...

Oh, now you have me crying too!
What a fantastic inspirational story and what amazing women you both are. Thank you so much for sharing this - my 'post of the week' for sure :-)

Maria-Thérèse afiori.com said...

I love that you had the courage and was quick enough to give her your necklace! I am also very inspired by your words at the end. You are brave to share personal things like depression.

24 Corners said...

Andrea...what a wonderful blog you have! And what an inspirational and very touching post!

Thank you for visiting...
Blessings,
xo Jessica

Anonymous said...

What a perfect story for you to share...and -me- who never sheds a tear anymore had over flowing eyes! I'm happy to be touched that way. You are a gem and so thoughtful and generous. I am sure this lady will remember you for along time to come. You may have helped her too...who knows just when we may all need a king gesture from a stanger?

I like your lady sketch, she does indeed look look to me like a sketch of ladies in the early times...1400-1500s!

Good work, great talent, great soul.

Love ACB

Gillian said...

And there you have it. NO EXCUSES to not go out and become successful!
I love that this incredible woman overcame such adversity to rise above it all and shine on as her true authentic successful self.
What a truly inspiring human being.
Thanks for sharing her story-it ripples outward like a stone skipping on a pond to touch my heart and many others. xoxoxo

pinkglitterfae said...

thank you for sharing this inspirational woman's story! we could all learn something from her.
All you really need to succeed is to believe in yourself.
xoxo
betty

isabelle said...

an incredible story ... and a beautiful happy ending !!

inna said...

wow, you just made me cry!

eNVe said...

that is inspiring on so many levels.. and you are such a gem for sharing a meaningful part of yourself with her.