Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Kathy Doran. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty.
I convert disenfranchised, laid off Baby Boomers who are self-confessed “NON-trepreneurs” into self-empowered entrepreneurs using workshops, panel discussions, my resource-rich 50plusreinvented.com website and book “Necessity is the Mother of (Re)Invention,” the second in a series following, “Finding Your Niche Can be a Real Bitch, But It Doesn’t Have to Be.”
Who Do You Feel You are Today?
Like many 50-somethings, I’ve had many different jobs including flight attendant, English teacher, college administrator, paralegal, hand model, intelligence analyst (uh huh), nonfiction book author, and writer. The common denominator for me has always been writing.
I kept a journal when I was a flight attendant and kept on writing through all of the stages of my life. In May 2000, I founded WORDRunner, Inc., my own writing business. I went to work full time for one of my clients, a government entity in 2007. I still have my writing business, and in fact, I have several clients. I don’t feel like I have the luxury of relying on one source of income (a job), so I keep my writing business going and I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities.
What Event Has Defined Your Life?
My passion came out of the defining event of my life: my husband’s layoff. One week after 9/11 he was laid off from his advertising job at age 51. My 50plusreinvented.com project is my way of trying to use our story to help disenfranchised Baby Boomers reinvent themselves.
I’m especially interested in entrepreneurs because I’m fascinated by those intrepid individuals who can make something out of nothing. I recently became certified by the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Learning Institute to teach the entrepreneurial mindset.
Who or What is Your Biggest Inspiration?
My husband Kevin is and continues to be my biggest inspiration. After our household income took a major hit with his job loss, we both had numerous health challenges including his two back surgeries, a hip replacement, and a leukemia scare, just to name a few. Fortunately, we’re on the upswing, but it has been very difficult, not to mention financially devastating.
What Was Your Biggest Challenge and How Did You Overcome It?
Like many Americans, even though we had health insurance, our medical bills were astronomical. At first we did our best to pay them all, but we were quickly overwhelmed with debt. Here’s something I’m going to share that I used to have a lot of shame around, but not anymore: we ended up having to go through bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, while trying to pay our debt and keep our heads above water, we went through about $250,000 in long-term savings, life insurance and disability policies, the value in our condo, etc. and THEN had to go through Chapter 13 anyway. I read a recent statistic that states that the number one cause of bankruptcy in our country is catastrophic medical debt.
If our story is extrapolated across the country, it’s no wonder that the suicide rate for Baby Boomers has gone up 50% from 1999-2010! Even though the job market is improving, it is still extremely difficult for older laid off workers to find employment. I’m horrified and can’t just sit by, so I’m doing seminars focused on teaching the entrepreneurial mindset. If anyone can learn from our story, I’m happy to share it via my 50PlusReinvented project and my next book, “Necessity is the Mother of (Re)Invention.” It’s the second in a series and is a follow-up to my first book, “Finding Your Niche Can Be a Real Bitch, But it Doesn’t Have to Be.”
Where and When Do You Feel Most at Peace?
I am most at peace in nature, whether I’m hiking with my husband, running on the beach, kayaking or playing with our cats. We always seem to see something magical when we’re out in nature…whether it’s a black bear or a fox when we’re hiking out west or dolphins or manatees when we’re near the beach. Life is magical if you’re open to it.
How Does Annmarie’s Mission Fit into your Lifestyle?
Annmarie’s tag line, “Wild. Beautiful.” really encompasses how I view her products and by extension, how I view the world. I don’t have the time, interest or energy for gimmicky products that make false promises. Annmarie’s products really work and allow me to look my best with a minimal amount of effort.
Isn’t she beautiful?
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at [email protected].)