Shannon-Post (1)

Business owner Shannon DePalma grew up in poverty, raised by a single mother. “I carried around this story that ‘I was born poor, I’ll always be poor,'” she wrote in her 1,000+ Stories submission. “I used to sabotage myself and created bad spending habits.”

Today, she runs a Nutley, N.J.-based consulting company, Shannon DePalma Coaching, which helps small business owners in the wedding industry develop marketing strategies. She also hosts a podcast, maintains a blog, and posts videos and more for clients and followers. DePalma says entrepreneurship has had a profound effect on her. “Who I was when I was working 9-to-5 to who I am now — they’re two totally different people. Now, I feel like I can hold my ground. I value myself. I really love myself.”

The biggest shift, she says, has been in how she treats herself. She exercises, she meditates and she takes breaks when needed. She’s also game to try new ways of improving her health — for example, when we spoke with her, she was on day four of trying to live a caffeine-free life. “It’s really challenging! But it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be,” she says. “Before starting up, I would have never tried to challenge myself in weird ways.”