We often read stories of people who have become famous, invented something, sold something, made loads of money, cheated, double crossed or have had something disastrous happen to them.
Today I want to share a story of a person, who is just like you and me, working through life with dreams and passions is chasing a dream that found her. Katrina, a very dear friend of mine, is one of those silent achievers who inspire me every day. Who is a rock as a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. I wanted to share how she has persevered through challenges and even at 38 with all life’s commitments has the passion to pivot and rekindled an old dream with a new zest for life.
A little about Kat…
I have spent most of my working life helping others and making a difference to the lives of others. I was very fortunate to have had a privileged upbringing. From the age of four I travelled the world, I received a great education and I have a loving family that support me in everything that I do. My life has always been great… until the age of 32 when I was given the news that I had breast cancer. That’s when things suddenly changed for me. Rather than focussing on others I had to shift my attention completely to myself. I looked for every opportunity to be the best version of myself – inside and out. Now at the age of 38, I am a mother and a wife and I’ve been inspired to live a happy and healthy life.
When I was four I moved to Paris with my family, it was a move that was going to have a significant impact on the rest of my life. My early travel experiences certainly shaped my career aspirations. In year 10 I did work experience with Thai Airways, hoping that one day I would get a job in the tourism industry. I thought I would combine my love of travel with my career. When I finished school I enrolled in a Bachelor of Business and majored in Tourism. A year before finishing uni I got a job working on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It was a lifelong dream to be involved with the Olympics and it was one of the best experiences of my life. When the Olympics ended I booked a one-way ticket overseas. I had no idea where I would end up. For the next three years I travelled the world and based myself in London where I worked in bars and restaurants and earned enough money to travel again.
I met my husband Rob whilst backpacking through Turkey and we spent six months living in a treehouse and working in Olympos, cleaning rooms and serving food to backpackers. When we eventually came back to Australia I got a job working for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. A charity dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. It was only meant to be for a year, when we would head back overseas, but I found myself working there for the next six years. When we moved to Brisbane I continued my not for profit career at the Children’s Hospital Foundation where I have spent the last six years making a difference to the lives of sick and injured kids. The last 12 years haven’t been spent in the tourism industry, but this unexpected turn in my career working for children’s charities has certainly inspired me. I am grateful for all that I have. Seeing a sick child in hospital changes you and makes you appreciate all that you have. It makes you stronger and more willing to help others.
The idea of starting my own business always interested me but something always held me back. So when an opportunity presented itself to me to help me lead a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life, I jumped at it and I’m so excited to see where this next chapter of my career takes me…
My favourite quote is “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” My biggest passion is travel and discovering new places. I find the world such a fascinating place and I’m addicted to discovering every corner of the globe! I am also passionate about helping others and making the world a better place. My goal is to leave every person I meet a little better than how I found them. If I can make a difference in one person’s life, then I have succeeded. My newfound passion has been nutrition and the importance of gut health. I strongly believe that your health and wellbeing links back to your food choices and having good digestion.
Our son Nicolas was many years in the making. When he finally arrived, my introduction to motherhood was not easy. I had a difficult delivery and I really suffered in the first few months. I was withdrawn and suffered from post-natal depression. Nicky has also had a few physical challenges in his first years of life which I have found really challenging. I found it very isolating being a stay at home mum and when Nicky was six months old I went back to work. Being a working mum is hard, it’s hard to find time for yourself and you sometimes feel like you’re running on a treadmill and you can’t get off. Towards the end of last year, I felt like I was living a life I didn’t want.
Being a mum is hard. No one ever prepares you for what lies ahead. My best piece of advice is don’t compare yourself to everyone else. Acknowledge when things are tough and ask for help. No two weeks are ever the same so enjoy the good times as well as the bad. It’s your journey. When you have kids you have to reprioritise what’s important in life. Oprah Winfrey once said;
“You can have it all. Just not all at once.”
I have spent most of my working life helping others and putting everyone else first so now I feel it’s time to do something for me. I still want to help people, but in a different way. Since my cancer diagnosis, health has been at the forefront of my mind. My own health journey has inspired me to help others and as fate would have it, I was introduced to a business opportunity that I saw could change my life. I decided to take a leap of faith and Inspired For Life was born. Over the last six months this business has given me back my health and helped me become a much better version of myself. It has helped me not just survive, but thrive. I am so excited about what the future holds. In just a short space of time it has been life changing. 2016 marks the start of a new chapter for me, one of health and happiness.
Who inspires you?
My son is my biggest inspiration. He makes me smile when I want to cry and he make me appreciate all that’s good in the world. He has a resilience about him that I admire. I love his innocence and curiosity and he makes me want to be a better person.
The next five years
In the next five to ten years I want my business to give me the flexibility to work where I want and when I want – to travel the world and be financially free. I want to have a life that I don’t need a holiday from. I want every day to be meaningful and fun. I want to be happy and healthy and I want to inspire as many people as possible to lead healthier and wealthier lives, and to be the ones in control of their future.
- Go to Cuba (before it changes too much)
- Hike to Machu Pichu
- Sleep in an igloo watching the Northern Lights in Scandinavia
- Hire a convertible and drive down the west coast of Italy
- Buy an old farmhouse in the south of France
- Do a 1000km bike ride (bicycle not motorbike)
- Jump out of a plane
- Study nutrition
Right now I am building my business Inspired For Life www.inspiredforlife.flp.com while also working at the Children’s Hospital Foundation and focusing on being healthy. I have done a series of cleanses this year which has formed the basis of my new business. Not only have I lost 10kg this year but I have more energy, I no longer feel sluggish in the mornings and I have a mental clarity I’ve never had before. I am healthier now than I was in my 20’s. I am helping others to lead healthier and wealthier lives working from home and it has also given me the opportunity to reconnect with people not just in Australia but around the world. My business is going global which is really exciting. It means that I can combine my love of travel with my love for helping others! Inspired for life has given me a new sense of purpose. I am so privileged and fortunate. I get to help people every single day, and there’s nothing better than that!
And of course… what’s your favourite Hills & West accessory?
Favourite H&W accessory would have to be my cowhide clutch. It is the perfect companion for a night out with the girls. It beats a nappy bag any day.
Knowing Katrina she will complete that nutritional degree in no time and be able to inspire and heel the world one person at a time. She even inspired me to do a nine day Aloe Vera cleanse and as challenging as it was it really does make a difference.
So what I hope you have taken away from this fabulous creature’s journey is… no matter how many challenges come your way, always look at the positive things in your life and know that you can always make change at any time.
Health and happiness is just so important for real life fulfilment.