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Author: Barbara Zabawa

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Finding hope, inspiration and a sense of belonging from entrepreneurs who beat traumatic experiences and share their story of triumph.
41 Episodes
Stephanie Corder was a busy mom living life to its fullest when chronic illness stopped her in her tracks. For seven years, Stephanie struggled to get out of bed and find peace with the pain. Western medicine failed her. But then, by some miracle and her own research, Stephanie found a cure and was able to become active once again. Listen to her inspiring story and learn more about her faith and new way of living as a Facebook Marketer at and follow her on social media under @warriormompreneur. 
Meet Dr. Wendy Labat: an author, speaker, entrepreneur and cancer survivor. Dr. Labat had been helping others achieve financial stability when she decided to practice what she preached and purchased insurance protection for severe illness. Little did she know that not long after that purchase, she received a cancer diagnosis. Listen to Dr. Labat explain how that traumatic experience gave her a new appreciation for financial planning, which she now devotes her life to helping others reach financial security. You can learn more about Dr. Labat's business at You can also follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn @drwendylabat and on Instagram at dr.wendy.labat.
Meet Michelle Faust, founder of Lemonade Legend and storytelling strategist. Michelle has experienced hearing difficulties since childhood, but she was still able to become a top selling professional in the pharmaceutical industry, until they fired her (probably as a result of age discrimination). But that didn't stop Michelle from finding her purpose. In fact, those lemons led her to her purpose, which is not helping others tell their lemons to lemonade stories through books, podcasts and TV. Listen to Michelle's inspiring story and visit her website at
Kristine Binder, teacher, author, runner and mother of five children, can look back now at the time she was going through a divorce because of financial and emotional abuse from her then spouse, and say "100%" that life is now better. Listen to her inspiring story about courage and how she aims to empower women who are experiencing similar challenges through her coaching practice. Learn more about Kristine and the book The Lemonade Stand: From Sour to Sweet, at 
Natasha Hill is a police officer in Devon and Cornwall, United Kingdom. When she was 29 years old, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma. She had two children under age two. Never in her life did she expect this kind of lemon, or her ability to handle all that came with it. Take a listen to her story and feel inspired that even when faced with the prospect of death, so much good can occur (though it doesn't feel that way at the time). Follow Natasha Hill on LinkedIn (Natasha Hill); Instagram (Natashaeo) and/or Facebook (NatashaAnn). 
Kathleen McDonough Mundo experienced first had financial challenges as a child. Her father left her family when she was still in grade school, after he had moved the family of eight from Illinois to Wisconsin. Kathleen found distraction and purpose through her local library, which fostered a love for reading and learning. Education became paramount for Kathleen so that she could have more security as a working adult. She went to law school, and has written a memoir of her experience in Badger State: A Wisconsin Memoir. For all the Gen Xer's out there, this book will resonate with you. You can purchase your copy here:
Meet Michaela Conley, an energetic and inspirational human being who like many of us, has faced many lemons. In this episode, Michaela shares a story of when her two-year old daughter underwent eye surgery, Michaela learned that her husband had been cheating on her. Though crushed, Michaela emerged from the lemon knowing she did not want to be with someone who didn't want to be with her.  Michaela is also legally blind, but she never let that stop her from taking on the world and making a difference in people's lives. Because of these experiences, Michaela has been instrumental in the health and wellness field, and now offers neuromeditation classes to those looking for relief from their own lemons in life. Learn more at and
Mega Real Estate Agent Karen Briscoe was thriving as a commercial real estate agent until the U.S. economy tanked in 2008. In addition to the market decimating the real estate market, Karen also lost her business partner to an illness. Karen had to pick up the pieces, but from this difficult experience, Karen was able to pivot to residential real estate sales. She also was able to find a new business partner, which led her to write books and start coaching other realtors as well. In this episode, Karen shares some very wise words and insights about finding time to do the things that bring you joy in life. You can learn more about Karen's books and coaching business by visiting 
Marisa Perhaes is a retired New York City Police Sargent and mom of five, including triplet boys! She is also an author of the book When I was Blue, available on Amazon here: Marisa shares her disturbing tale of a fateful night in 2015 when her 15 year old son was beaten and arrested, which also led to her arrest. As she sat in the back of the police car with her son screaming in the background for help, Marisa employed her ways to cope with difficult moments. She shares those coping mechanisms and her lessons learned in this podcast. She also describes how that horrible night led her to becoming a foster mom of kittens, which brings her pure joy. 
Rachel Druckenmiller aimed to start her own speaking and consulting business after years of working in wellness. Barely a year into her new venture, COVID19 hit and then she was hit by a truck. An agonizing back injury gave her perspective like she never had before. Now, her business of helping others become resilient resonates with many people. In this podcast, Rachel shares her own story of resilience and a few things she learned from her accident. Learn more about Rachel at 
In this episode, we speak to author Nancy Peterson, who wrote the book Dear Husband: Letters to an Addict after her husband of many years died from conditions caused by addiction to alcohol and drugs. Nancy shares the complexities of living with and loving an addict, what she did to help her heal and where her path has led her now, which is to start a business capturing the life stories of others. You can learn more about Nancy and Nancy's business, Talk Story Tradition, at 
Meet Bill Zaferos, author of Poison Pen, a funny adventure about a person who writes poison pen letters for hire.  Bill wrote Poison Pen while on an upswing with his bipolar disorder. In this episode, we discuss how many great works of art and impactful people have derived from bipolar disorder. Bill has learned to embrace his "lemon" of bipolar disorder and now works to reduce its stigma. If you are interested in purchasing Bill's book Poison Pen or learning more about Bill Zaferos, visit here:
Listen to Nancy Novack, founder of Nancy's List, tell her story of battling Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer and what she learned about herself, and the community of cancer patients, in the process. After listening to so many patients express fear about financial loss from cancer, Nancy set out to create a nonprofit that locates resources to help cancer patients and their families get through difficult times. Nancy also helped author a book "I am with You: Love Letters to Cancer Patients," which has helped numerous cancer patients feel hope and peace during their treatments.  Learn more about Nancy and her mission at 
Overcoming Childhood Trauma and Mental Breakdowns by Embracing Vulnerability, Neuroplasticity, Control and Perspective: Miguel OlaveMiguel Olave is a successful sales person, but deep down he had unaddressed trauma that at one point led to a suicide attempt and then a mental breakdown. As a Latino man, he was taught that acknowledging mental illness was a sign of weakness, but because of support systems at work, like his employer's EAP, he sought help that eventually led him to open up about mental health to others online. Exposing his vulnerability drew others to him and now, he seeks to change the world's mindset about mental health while also helping people brand themselves. Because as he has learned, people want to hire you first, not necessarily the services you provide.  Miguel discusses neurplasticity in this podcast. To learn more, click here:
Raising a Child with Down's Syndrome and Finding Purpose through Entrepreneurship.  In recognition of Down Syndrome Awareness Day, take a listen to Nita's story. Nita Ambedkar was loving her corporate job as an IT professional, but when she learned her second child had Down's Syndrome, she needed to find more balance. This change in her life's plan opened new opportunities, such as starting her own IT business, becoming a certified teacher of Yoga and Zumba, and learning from other parents who have thrived with their kids who have all types of abilities. Nita shares her inspiring story of determination and strength, and her wisdom that even if life doesn't turn out as planned, it can still be filled with joy and purpose. Here is the Welcome to Holland document mentioned by Nita, written by Emily Pearl Kingsley in 1987 and still relevant today:
Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife grew up Mormon in Vermont. One of eight children, Jennifer wrestled with the role of women in her religion, and with not having a feeling of "abundance" when it came to material wealth. These challenges pushed her toward a career in coaching and psychology, with an emphasis on relationships and sexuality for couples dedicated to a religious community like the Latter Day Saints (LDS). Through her many years of helping clients work through conflict involving sexuality, individual desires and religious expectations, Dr. Finlayson-Fife shares numerous nuggets of wisdom that can help anyone struggling to understand their own place in life. For more information about Dr. Finlayson-Fife, visit her website at   
Heather Prince from Essex, United Kingdom, shares her story of divorce and trying to discover the meaning of failed relationships. Heather now shares her knowledge with the podcast and with her coaching clients who hire her to navigate choppy relationship waters. If you are interested in joining Heather's Fearlessly Moving Forwards group, learn more at and be sure to follow Heather Prince on social media.
Angus Nelson has transformed his personal and professional life into one filled with purpose, abundance and love. The lemons that led him to this enviable place include divorce, risky behaviors, financial loss (to where he had to sell his 3000 sq. ft. house and move to a 2-bedroom apartment) and job loss. These lemons taught Angus many important lessons, but perhaps most important of all, that all he needed to thrive in live was already inside of him. He just needed to get out of his own way. Once he discovered that, he was able to write books, speak for Fortune 500 companies, and help others navigate through life's lemons. Angus shares a free gift the 10 Minute Motivator, to help others find their way as well.
COVID19 was just another challenge Bobbi Linkemer faced in 2020. She also lost her business, her ability to drive and moved several times, all very stressful events in life. But, the 80+ year old survivor felt "Zen" even through those tough times by leaning on her passion, which is writing. Despite all the chaos, Bobbi wrote her latest book, How to Age with Grace, Living Your Best Life in Your 70s, 80s, and Beyond, in 2020. With over 50 years of writing and editing experience, and going through a divorce when divorce was not very common, Bobbi has learned a thing or two about surviving life's lemons. Join us for this fascinating discussion about Flow, Mission and Knowing that everything has an expiration date, even life's lemons.To learn more about Bobbi and her book, visit 
Happy Valentine's Day! What a great way to celebrate the day with a story from Syovata Edari, who shares her powerful story of overcoming discriminatory and abusive work and personal relationships by finding a love for making chocolate and supporting small business, particularly businesses owned by those who face disadvantages.  Syovata, or Vata, went to law school, succeeded as a federal public defender and fought job discrimination from an abusive boss while working in Kansas. She also endured an abusive relationship with a man who made her feel like she couldn't live without him, until she discovered she not only could live without him, but could be at the very top of her game on her own merit, which has become making chocolate. Her business, CocoVaa, has won over 30 international awards, all because she has the talent and drive to succeed in whatever she does. If you feel like the whole world is against you and the odds of succeeding seem impossible, listen to Vata's story. It will give you the hope and inspiration you seek.Visit Vata's online store at
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