Kim Sorrelle and her husband were diagnosed with CANCER 4 months apart. This is their story.Apr 14, 2022
Kim Sorrelle is a cancer survivor, author, widow, and entrepreneur. Kim Sorrelle is the director of a humanitarian organization, popular speaker, and the author of two books. Her first book, Cry Until You Laugh, is about her and her husband's battle with cancer after being diagnosed just four months apart. Kim has been cancer-free for over ten years now, but the experience changed her life forever.
After going through such a difficult experience, Kim decided that she wanted to help others who were going through similar situations. She started her own humanitarian organization which provides financial assistance and emotional support to cancer patients and their families. In addition to her work with her organization, Kim is also a popular speaker who motivates and inspires. She has spoken at conferences, cancer centers, and hospitals all over the world.
Kim's second book, Love Is, chronicles her year-long quest to figure out the true meaning of love. This sometimes funny, sometimes scary, always enlightening journey led to life-changing discoveries found mostly on the streets of Haiti. Kim's work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, cancer magazines, and other publications. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her two dogs.
Hi and welcome to Kim Talks Resilience and I am super excited this is my week I swear I keep finding all these amazing women with this name. Kim today we have Kim Sorrelle here with us and we're going to shift a little bit outside of talking directly to business strategies and that kind of entrepreneur mindset. We're going to move a little more into the holistic approach to business and what next.
And I'm really excited because we're seeing a lot of people, especially after the shift the world has gone through with the pandemic. They have sat back and reevaluated their life And Kim's been doing this for a lot longer than most of us. And she's really starting to put that rubber to the road right now and said now's the time to share the message.
Kim is the director of the humanitarian organization Popular. She's a popular speaker and an author of two books. And I want to talk about one book here today. Her first book, Crying Tell You Life, is about her and her husband's battle with cancer after being diagnosed just four months apart. Her second book, Love Is, chronicles her yearlong quest to figure out the true meaning of love.
A sometimes funny, sometimes scary, always enlightening journey that led to the Life-Changing discoveries found mostly on the streets of Haiti. So, Jesse, you know, I want everybody to work on actually post after this. This podcast, we're going to post where to get this book because Jack canceled his hands on this. And if you Jack Kemp feels like, oh, my gosh, this is amazing.
So, you know, everybody, please welcome to the stage the amazing Kim's thrill and super excited to learn from you today. Kim.
Kim, I am happy to be here. And I love your name.
It's a great name.
Yes, it is.
So share with me, give us a little bit of backstory I want to go through. I want to go through the journey of that, the cancer and what that taught you, because I think the world's been really shook up over the last few years. And we continue to get shaken right now with what's going on overseas and in Ukraine.
And there's a lot of devastating news that's coming at us. And as somebody who's dealt with a double whammy you share with us, like what you've taken from that and how you've built from that.
You know, it's so interesting, Kim, I was diagnosed a few years ago with breast cancer. And it wasn't a lifetime moment where the doctor called me into the office and delivered the news in some dramatic fashion. And I actually got a phone call at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon, blah, blah. You have cancer, blah, blah, blah. You know, I didn't even know what to do. I couldn't call anybody, whatever. I went to the bookstore and everything was either depressing or very medical and didn't tell me what to expect really. And so I started writing and that is my first book trying to laugh and. And four months after I was diagnosed, my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And he passed away six weeks later. And when I was diagnosed, people would say to me, why you? Why you? You know, you give you things for other people you owe to, you know, whatever it is that people thought that I did was that was extraordinary. That was different. From what everybody else does. And we all do.
We all do our own thing. But they say, why you? And my response was always, why not me? Why should I be immune? Why wouldn't it be me? And so I never really understood that question because I don't think life and cancer discriminate that way. Life happens to all of us. And cancer can happen to any of us or any other disease or or anything good or anything bad. And so that is one thing that I learned for sure. And then going through my husband's cancer and losing him when we were going to be that couple in our nineties, rocking on the front porch with lemonade and our hands. Right. And growing old together and then at 47 years old to lose him and be alone. Shook my world. Changed my life. Changed the dream of my life. What I thought it was going to be. And I learned that I'm pretty darn resilient and I'm stronger than I thought I was and I would change it if I could. But there are things that happen in life that you have no control over. We have no control over it. If I had control, I wouldn't choose cancer.
I wouldn't choose my husband to have cancer. I wouldn't choose losing my husband. But there are things that I can choose and I can choose to be happy. I can choose to have joy. I can choose to enjoy life. I can choose to continue to contribute to society. And so that is a big thing to do is to use the choices that you can make and make good ones.
That challenge is what I choose more. I do not be big, but I've loved what is right for them and then they are so I got to get through this because you also were running a business, so you are. Give us a little bit of insight as to kind of your what you're doing because you have big celebrations here where you've been able to do what very few Americans can do, where you able to sell a company that has some value to it and move into your next stage of life. But let's go back and look at what you were doing at the time. You're navigating these huge changes, these huge challenges.
Right. Well, I have a golf course and event facilities, two locations and could feed 1200 people on the Saturday night. And so, so we had some decent face and doing a lot of business. And at the same time I was running a nonprofit organization. I stepped down from that when I was diagnosed with cancer. So I worked with my husband. It's kind of funny because he was a superintendent of our golf course and I was the GM, so he actually worked for me, which was a lot of fun for me. I got a tire, but it was great. But so he kind of took over. He was, you know, took over our businesses and I was running a nonprofit and then stepped down from that and was feeling and then just recently, after 38 years in business, just in the last couple of months, I have sold both businesses and am entering a brand new stage of life.
And that's really important because that's one of the things that we talk about a lot is that like success after 46 success factor 50, we're seeing a lot of women in their forties and fifties that right now are sitting here going No more I've got to live life the right way for me. I've got to ship this. So can you share with us a little bit of, of what that looked like, that shift that that in between time of when you were letting go of one because they say good is the enemy of great, right?
So everything's still good. Is it really is there something you know so what were you looking for? Keys share with us at kind of that in-between time where you had to make those hard decisions and steps forward into that opportunity of great.
Sure. You know, I'm alone. Right and so I don't have a partner. I don't have somebody who has an income coming in while I decide to not have income anymore. And a regular stream of income. Right. And so on. So it's an interesting time, but it's definitely for the best Colvard changed my mind as far as how long I really wanted to keep the businesses and I realized that I can do a whole lot of other things besides all people's weddings and events, and I wanted to branch out and see what it is that I could do.
And now was just the right timing to reinvent the change. And so through my head, one thing was years ago, I remember meeting with the man that I was serving on a board with at the time, and he sold his business and he was in his forties and sold the business that he had created and sold it for a lot of money and never really had to work again. And he made a comment to me that he didn't know what he was going to do, like it was part of his identity. And so I really was a little torn, like, is this part of my identity? These businesses that I've had, you know, is this part of who I am so much that it's part of my identity? And I decided no, it's not. I'm him throughout period. And I'm grateful for all the business we got over the years. I'm grateful for a staff that was incredible. I'm grateful for staff that was with me for 30 years. I'm grateful for all of it. I'm so grateful. But I'm also grateful for the buyer. And I'm also grateful to not be doing it anymore.
And I'm grateful that it's not who I am. And it's something I did absolutely.
And it's something that you built. Not everybody's good at building businesses. Some people are really good at running businesses. So giving that gift of opportunity to the next generation of something that you've built is, is, is, is a whole nother level of, or of almost philanthropy in the sense that you have given the gift revenue creation to somebody who is looking for a ready-made built turnkey start company. Right. Swipe this what franchises are there? Right. So so and that's you know, when we talk about building businesses, you've always been, it seems to me that you've always been somewhat philanthropic. Can you tell me a little bit about your giveback, Haiti, all these things and then how that ties in now with what you're building forward Yeah.
So I was raised that way. You know, we would earn a dollar and take $0.10 of it and put it in an envelope and give it to church. I was raised that we earn more to be able to give more that money is strictly a tool that it's not something to be coveted or held onto, but it's, it's, it's a tool. It's to be used and to be used for as much good as possible. So for years I've been taking groups and going to Dominican Republic, to Haiti, to Burkina Faso, to other places, and been involved in the nonprofit world and helping in some of the poorest of the poor areas of our world and in any way that I can, and as well as helping locally and volunteering locally. And that's one thing that I've found is that I don't feel fulfilled unless I'm giving and helping. Like you can make as much money as you want to make. You can be, you know, a tennis star. Andrea Agassi experienced this right where he kind of fell from his position as no one went into a depression. And then he started giving back and was on top of the world again. And so giving back is key. It's you got to make the time and make the effort and and give that's what we're here for.
Absolutely. As we move from the industrial age to the age of knowledge, I think that we see more and more opportunities for this pursuit of giving this pursuit, you know, expanding our self-worth through gifting of worth to others. With that being said, I do want to jump in to this next book, this book that you just released and that I just still can't get over Jack Hemphill. Jack, so I know that this is literally the first almost like the first foot on the road of the journey ahead of you. You've got this huge journey laid out that you're probably the next 20 years of your life. Can you share with us why this book and what it represents for you in the movement forward on this next leg of your journey? And give our audience a little bit of what that what you're doing, what you're up to.
Yeah. Well, I think it was Dale Carnegie that said that you spend the first half of your life making money in the second half of your life. Giving it away. And so after losing my husband, losing my love, it made me question the real meaning of love, the true definite and you don't find it at a bookstore or Love for Dummies isn't on the shelf.
And so we learn love from people around us, for our parents, from whoever is in our life at any given time. And everything that we learn about love is not necessarily correct. It's not necessarily love. And things done in the name of love aren't necessarily love. And so I wanted to figure this thing out, what love really is. And am I doing it right and what it actually looks like. So I decided that I would dedicate a full year to walking it to figure it out. And I took a 2000 year old poem that you've heard at a lot of weddings and other places. He spent a lot of time, does not and does not post, etc. And I took one word a month to figure out, well, what is love this patient? What is love? That is time. And most of the time that I was working on this, I was in Haiti. I was in Haiti two weeks after the 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000 people and I continued to go to Haiti every month for several years after that. And so most of the time during this period of life, I was in Haiti. And what I found out is that every one of those words and by the way, there are 14 of them. So my one year program didn't quite work out with the math. And so it took me a little bit longer than a year. But every single one of those words, as soon as you put love is or love is not in front of any of them, it completely changes the meaning of the word. And so the things that I found out about love are things that I have never heard before and changed my life and rocked my world. And I really am so passionate about the message that it can bring to everybody because everybody's life can change. Love, I don't believe, is an emotion like, you know, excitement or fear. But love is walking and talking and living and breathing. It's who you are. You can be loved by other people. But what does that look like? What does that even mean? And so I've done the homework for everybody. I love the year and it was an interesting time. I was chased by a motorcycle gang. I got lost on a mile high mountain with a medical student in the dark.
I slept outside with tarantulas and snakes and chupacabras or whatever it is that lurk in Haiti. And I tell those stories and stories that lead me to the understanding of real love and what it really means. And I'm very passionate now about getting the word out, spreading the message of love.
How does something like this apply to women who have come through divorce? We see divorce is an epidemic in the sense that it also inflicts self-doubt on personal wealth within a lot of women. And, you know, what do you think that you learned during that year that you can impart to women who just lost is, you know, losses? One thing is something that happens to you. You don't have a choice in it. You've got to roll with the punches. Whereas divorce is something that you had to create a conscious decision around and it's something that is still living around you. Right? We can. So do we? Does it make sense? Like it's you know, it becomes almost a negative for a lot of people. On their personal, you know, and I'm just curious how what you have explored could actually help somebody that has gone through that separation or that divorce and they have to rediscover and reapply.
Right. Yeah. You know, that's so true. I haven't really thought about that. But you're absolutely right. Can divorce. I've always thought, well, you can still run into him in the grocery store or her in the grocery store. Right. Like they still contact or if you have kids together or whatever. And I don't think anybody walks down the aisle in the white dress and says, I do and thinks someday that they're going to say I don't anymore. So it is hard friends that I know that have gone through divorce. It's tough. It is a time of mourning. Right. You're mourning what you thought your future was going to be. And I think it's important to breathe it. I think it's important to, you know, as women, we have to be strong. We have to be. And if we have kids, we have to be all the stronger. You know, we've got to put on the right face. We got to you know, pull ourselves up by your bootstraps and charge ahead and excel in what we do. And I think it's okay to give yourself a break and realize that there's a time of grief that comes with divorce. And it's okay to grieve. It's okay to grieve and to not take yourself too hard, like, you know, don't live in that. It's a failure. You know, divorce does happen. It's so common, and it's unfortunate. Nobody plans on it. But sometimes it's the best thing somebody can do in their life. You know, that it's just a necessary thing and it's not a failure or it shouldn't be looked at that way. It's two people that grew apart. And you marry somebody who you thought was something and find out there's something else or someone there's, you know, infidelity or there's reasons why people get divorced. And that doesn't mean that there's a failure on your part. It just means that it happened and grieve it and then and then use it.
Yes, absolutely. Could you love is that exploration do you think that there is like a checklist in that book? Do you think that there is like so we have the five love languages, right? So love languages are really actually quite fun. And if you are out there and have not done the love languages with your partner, do it.
My husband and I, I am so blessed and I have been 27 years married to my business partner, my life partner, the father of my children. And you know, it was funny we did the love languages because he had to do it for a immense group. He's part of this really great men's group called K for Men. And so they said, do this. So he did it and he goes, Now go have your partners do it. And we literally were within one or two points on every single one. Like literally they almost mirrored each other so when we look at that, that's a, you know, everybody kind of knows about the five love languages. When we look at love is an exploration of the true definition of what love is in that breakdown, in that better understanding.
Do you think that there's something in there that we could use before you get married or when you're ending a marriage or when you are now reentering the dating world, which is not easy, especially as well as older women right. And how do we you know, we all watch I don't know if you watched the tinder, tinder swindler on Netflix. It's like, okay, how do you avoid this how do you make sure that you know what you're looking for?
Yeah. Yeah, I think there's about six questions in there, I think. Yes.
Question. What do you think that there's a checklist in love is that could be applied if somebody took time, read it and fully understood it.
Yes. 100%. 100%. Because every single one of those words is different than the other. Love is patient is different than love. That is kind so like, for instance, love is patient. What? I just I thought I knew patients. You know what patients is right? You're not honking your horn when you're stuck in traffic. You're not mad because you're ready to go. They're not ready to go. That's being patient. But what I discovered about love being patient is that you recognize first of all, I believe you're supposed to love everybody. So even sitting here today, I love you.
Allow me to be calm.
And recognize that this is the most important moment of your life. What's in the past is in the past. And what's in the future is yet to come. And you love the person that you're with, the person that you're spending time with enough to to recognize that. And so not you have your mind on. Oh, my gosh. You go to some of the grocery store on my way home to pick up some milk or I've got a meeting later today. Those things are going to happen when they happen. And it's so easy to miss this moment, but to say, how are you and I actually want an answer, actually care. Be patient in the moment. Sometimes people need to tell you something that is heavy on their heart that they're going through.
They just had a tough diagnosis. They just lost a job. You know, whatever that happens, we are very happy news, you know, whatever. But to be in the moment, that is love, that is patient and which is way different than love that is kind and reinforced, etc., etc., etc. So yeah, there's definitely this checklist, but it's kind of interesting because even though each one is different and you can learn so much, I learned so much from every single word, there's this arc that just covers it all. And with love, there's no kind of mission, there's no judgment, there's no giving unsolicited advice, there's no saying, Oh, let me tell you how to live your life better. You know, there's none of that. There is. It's just love, pure and simple love. And so with that comes complete freedom. Because you're free to just love. You recognize that your life is your life and theirs is theirs and you have no control over another human being. You have no control. Their decisions, their choices, the amount of love that they give or don't is totally up to them. Love is not a two way street, you know, so often we get married and they say, Oh, it's 50 50, or it's 100%, 100%, you know, whatever. No, love, love is not to waste. Love is something you give you live. No matter how much you get in return, no matter what happens with somebody else, it you don't it's not conditional. It's not giving something to get something. It's strictly giving, period.
I love that you give you live. That is beautiful because you can't take it with you folks. And the legacy we leave behind is that legacy that continually gives, right? So we see businesses come and go and we see money come and go. But having that legacy of character, that legacy of giving so when we look at that, we look at your philanthropic and you combine that with your entrepreneurial spirit. And then this year long over a year long, almost like you were like went on this Buddhist retreat. Right. This is really what it was, is this sabbatical all right? Yeah. I think Jay Sheedy talks about how he lived abroad and at times lived. He, you know, he lived for a year as a Buddhist and oh, yeah. And lived like he was talking about in caves and says, so really your journey is very similar to stop leader. Great thought. Leaders like Z. Right, like what would be in an ideal world what would be the next step for you? Because, you know, publishing a book is one thing but how to reach or serve the masses is another. Right. Who does your book serve and how can you further that service? How can you further that support? So what are some of the things that you are looking at doing over the course of this next year with the launch of such a great book?
A couple of things. You know, I putting together some programs I think it's a great book for I've I've heard from Bible study groups that are doing it, book clubs that are doing it, families that are reading the book as a family, and then zooming together once a month and talking about that chapter, doing a chapter a month or a small group for workplaces, even people that are on it for all of their staff. And then are working on figuring out how to love each other in a different way at work. And so putting a couple of programs together is something that I'm working on now. And I'm speaking some I'd love to speak more and I think the opportunities are going to come and I welcome them because I like that I'm passionate about the message and it's easy to talk about. And it's one of those things that I think when you hear like, well, you know, I talked about love, that inspiration. When you hear that, you're like, well, of course, you know, that makes so much sense, right? And all of the things that's like, Oh yeah, it makes so much sense. But until you know it, until you hear it, you don't know that it's going to make that much sense. And so it's something that we all need. It's something that the world certainly needs now. And it's something that can change the world, change your life. Change how you see other people, change how you interact. So change everything about your life.
Absolutely. With the media through either social media or broadcast media, any type of media, we're starting to get such polarized messaging and it seems that messaging keeps pulling us further and further away from messages like yours, Kim, and that, you know, what was it, John? Lennon like? Wasn't that the Beatles? All we need is love, you know, and I really I absolutely agree with you.
You know, if you could challenge everybody who listens to this, be it now, today or in the future through the podcast, one thing, one thing you could do, one thing we all could do in a day's time that makes just that slight change. So all you need is a degree or two change, right? We in order to change the trajectory of our behavior and responses in our engagement and our in our life. Right. What would be the one thing that you would encourage everybody to do.
I think love with love that is patience. You know, one thing about that is when you stop and are fully engaged your ears open, you hear a different way. You can't have a confrontation that can turn into a conversation and never go back to a confrontation. And that it doesn't have to happen. But when you really listen to somebody, you know, here we have Republicans and Democrats that are always at odds right or Baxters and anti-vaxxers are, you know, all these polarizing things that are happening. But if you actually stop and talk to somebody and realize they can have their own opinion, you don't have to change anybody's opinion. It's not your job. All you have to do is love them. But if you listen to their actual words, instead of assuming what they're going to say or having your answer ready, you know, before they've even given theirs, you've got your bottle all set to throw back at them. But stop and be quiet and open your ears before you open your mouth and really listen to what somebody has to say. You might learn something and you might find out we're not as far apart as you think we are, that we can learn from each other and grow by learning. So that would be my piece of advice is really listen, listen, listen, listen with open ears instead of open mouth.
Those are absolute words to live by. That is great, great advice. Can you share with us your quote? I always like to close this out with a quote. What is your Northstar? What is something that inspires you? You share a quote or a saying something that's been shared with you or that you've read over the years that is your go to.
Yeah, well, you already hit it. All you need is love it's been sad a bunch of different ways by a bunch of different people, but it really comes down to that. That love is all you need. If you have true love, everything else falls into place of your living. It, giving it everything else happens the way that it should happen. Everything else falls into place. So all you need is love.
All you need is love. I know that's going to be in my head and I see the crosswalk and I see the Beatles walking across. And you know what a great way to spend the afternoon and what a positive message. And I am excited to watch your brand awareness grow because I think it's one that we all need to be aware of.
So can you share with us where we can find you? I do have your website up here, but is there any special platform that you really like to engage people in?
Yeah, I'm on Facebook, Instagram, whatever. I'm on Facebook probably more than any of the other social platforms, but become a part of my mailing list I like to send stuff out. I have something going right now, a 14 day love challenge to the 14 Words, and it's on my website and if you join I'm sending out a free wristband WW Audi what would love do because if we answer that then you answer the right way you do things right way but they're a great wristband and you have this and you want and whoever would like one and it's available right on my website and my what love is is available on Amazon.
It's available in brick and mortar stores, it's available on every platform online that's available through my website and I spread the word just spread the word love is all you need.
That is amazing. Thank you Camp for sharing your time today. Again, folks, my name's Kim Hayden and this is where we are taught tackling resilience because we all need more resilience and love. And I thank you so much for sharing your time because we all know that's your most valuable resource that you have and they make much more of it.
So you know, do invest your time in sharing and spreading that, you know, live it and give it that love message understanding that do take action and go to Kim's site and get that 14 day challenge on understanding love. And until next time, please do like share, subscribe, comment let me know. And hey, if you're a lady with resilience out there, lots of it, I'd love to hear from you and give you this platform to spread the word of a bit more resilience and a lot of love again.
Kim Hayden Kim talks thanks for joining me.
Kim Sorrelle is the director of a humanitarian organization, popular speaker, and the author of two books. Her first book, Cry Until You Laugh, is about her and her husband's battle with cancer after being diagnosed just four months a part. Her second book, Love Is, chronicles her year long quest to figure out the true meaning of love, a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, always enlightening journey that led to life-changing discoveries found mostly on the streets of Haiti.
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