How to create the life you want—in 5 brave steps

It was 2005, and life was bleak. I was 20 (I’m 32 now) and working in a bank as a teller, going to school in the early mornings, at night, and online. My employer was fine, and the job was OK. I justified my dissatisfaction with my work because my employer reimbursed my tuition. On […]

Why I’m moving to Thailand

When I was pregnant with my oldest child, my husband and I took nightly walks. One evening, when I was about six months pregnant, we did a big loop around our north end Boise neighborhood. The streets in that part of town are lined with big trees; the neighborhoods are a mix of diverse structures—new […]

5 questions to ask before making your next big move

You’ve been dreaming of doing that thing for a while now. You want to do something big: write a book, change careers, launch a business, share a message, become a speaker, make art, move to a new city, train for a marathon, or whatever it is your heart is calling you to accomplish. I’ve been […]

Is adventure calling?

It was 2007. I was a 21-year-old who had done lots of exotic travel—you know, California, Oregon, Mexico, Canada. Far-off, distant lands, right? To be fair, I wanted to travel. I wanted to get out and experience the world . . . or at least take two-week guided tours through parts unknown. My version of […]

Stop glorifying the hustle

The hustle. It’s part of every entrepreneurial story, mine included. Long hours, little sleep, no social life—yeah, I’ve been there. I can recount 80-hour workweeks and working through vacations. I could tell of the months working all day as a teacher, then coming home to build my business for a couple of hours every night. […]

Retrofitting Creativity

  Nothing gives me more anxiety than filling out a form detailing my career past. Role? Length at position? Responsibilities? None of these fit for me. Worse yet, when I’ve tried to retrofit my creative life to a standard trajectory, I end up sounding, well . . . scattered. Explaining how every piece of my […]

Why You Must Craft Your Own Reality

I almost titled this, “The post in which I get real.” Because here’s the thing: It’s easy to write a post targeting X reader about Y project.  It’s simple to write a cookie-cutter article sharing five steps toward accomplishing Z. Seriously, after 800+ articles and dozens of books, I can do that in my sleep. […]

Learning Your Value: Why It’s Critical to Charge What You’re Worth

I started my business from a one-bedroom apartment in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Our only air conditioning unit was in the bedroom, and with the Caribbean heat, that often meant I camped out on my bed to get work done. I didn’t have a desk or any real space to store my files and office […]

Success Secrets: Why It’s All Up to You

I had the opportunity last night to speak at my alma mater, Boise State University. The audience consisted of students pursuing or considering studies in English. The topic: How did your education impact your career? The panel I was on included a scholar, teacher, grant writer, and me. I so enjoyed listening to each of […]

On Photographs (or, What Will 2012 Bring?)

This quarter, I am taking just one class: memoir writing.  In it, we were instructed to choose a photograph—any photograph—which we are to later write a reflective essay on.  Instantly, I thought of this photo: One of my favorite snapshots of our time in the Dominican Republic, this picture captures a lot of things for […]