Kathy Bigham, A CEO that finds time to run and gives back
Kathy Bigham used to think she didn’t have time to take care of herself. “My lifestyle was to put business and family first, and as a mom I put myself last.” As a mother of two and a CEO in charge of her business, it just wasn’t a priority. She started noticing that she felt sluggish in the morning and as she puts it, “I wasn’t bouncing out of bed anymore.” She decided to make a change and hired a health coach. The changes that took place were systemic and bled into her whole life and especially business for the better.
“At first I couldn’t run the length of our street. It wasn’t until I could run my first mile I really believed that I was capable of a lot more. Of course, my son kept telling me I couldn’t so that was a motivator too. I kept pushing myself and getting good advice from my health coach not to push too much too soon. I also learned that the food I was putting into my body was holding me back. Soon I was up at 5AM for workouts and loving it and drinking protein shakes and juicing.”
Not only did Kathy find new untapped energy, at work, she became a motivating happier more effective leader. She learned that some of what she was taught in business school turned out not to be true for her. She became very interested in all of her employees well being and offered them opportunities to exercise together and motivate each other in fun creative ways. She now orders in healthy juices from a local company named Juiceelation on occasion. She provides healthy meals for all of her employees and affords them a great deal of understanding. When appropriate, she provides leniency to take unscheduled leave when it comes to personal matters to make sure they are happy employees. She believes that she would rather have them staying for over 15 years then be unhappy over a denied leave. They have much less incidence of illness and sick days. Productivity and morale is exceptionally high. She will provide facial massages on occasion as well. In return with that trust she has earned, her employees are “all in” when they are there and fully invested in making their company succeed. They are committed to service and excellence. This investment and vision in the “long game” is what she credits her success to.
The Gobble Gobble Four Miler was her first Thanksgiving run and one she wants to hold as a tradition. Her goals include a half marathon in Miami in January and if all goes well her first marathon in 2016 Fall/Winter.
Her message she wants to share is: you can do this. You are capable of so much more than you may think that you are and starting with your own well being and health is a fantastic investment to everything you do. So all you CEOs or moms or anyone out there who think you don’t have time for taking care of yourself, you don’t have time NOT to take care of yourself.
Kathy Bigham has always believed that being IN a community brings the obligation to be OF the community. Motivated by her deep love for family, she focused her charitable giving efforts on causes that serve women and children and, generally, improve people’s lives. The Boys & Girls Club, Christ Child Society, Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, Naples Alliance for Children, The Naples Players, and Baker Park, are just a few of roughly forty organizations that receive Bigham support in one way or another. Support can take the form of direct, hands-on service; sharing of Bigham Jewelers’ Conference Room for non-profit Meetings; gifts of merchandise and gift certificates for events; and donated Bigham expertise in marketing, public relations, board development and event planning/management.We are so grateful to Bigham Jewelers for their generous support of this event and their support of St. Matthew’s House.