POST 50

How One Woman's Brush With Death Encouraged Her To Become An Auctioneer

02/16/2015 07:34 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2015

This is one story from Huff/Post50's new series "This Will Be Our Year: 15 Women Over 50 Shaking Things Up In 2015." We'll be following 15 remarkable ladies throughout the year as they make a radical change in their lives, whether it's embarking on a 500-mile hike, starting a new career or attempting to find love on the Internet. Follow each woman's story here.

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Tammy Miller, 55, will be launching her own auctioneering business.

"My goal for this year is to establish myself as a full-time auctioneer and speaker. I've been doing it part-time for the last couple of years, but I just finished my two-year auctioneering apprenticeship and left my full-time job at Penn State University. Now my auction business will pay the bills. I'll do all types, but I specialize in real estate and benefit auctions.

I'm a little bit nervous. I walked away from a job that had full benefits -- I've always said that they made it easy for you to give up your dream. I'm by myself, so I don't have a spouse to help pay the bills until I get established here. I'm trying not to look at challenges; I'm trying to look at opportunities. I'm incredibly blessed with a network of friends and people around me. I live by the philosophy that the answer's always 'no' if you don't ask.

I survived breast cancer in 2001. My hair has hot pink tips and I speak a lot about humor and healing. I believe that attitude is extremely important in everything we do, including the healing process.

I had another surgery in August and as I was recovering from that surgery, I was out driving in my old convertible. It was a beautiful day -- blue sky and white, puffy clouds -- and I was driving around back country roads. When I came around a corner, I saw this cemetery in front of me and stopped. I heard this voice inside me that said, 'Do not die with your dreams inside.' I wondered how many people there did. I know a lot of people may not believe in this, but it really was such a strong and overwhelming feeling. I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I have to take steps.' I went home and really thought about this and started putting things into motion to walk away from my full-time job. That's the path I'm on now.

Why now? I just feel like this is the time I'm supposed to do this."

Tammy in action:
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Tammy (left) and her daughter:
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This Will Be Our Year: 15 Women Over 50 Shaking Things Up In 2015
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