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I have always been a writer. I was involved in journalism at a young age, studied Political Science in college, and by complete accident, I fell into a career in Commercial Real Estate Finance. It was never my intention to go in this direction—I had always envisioned doing something to better, or at least describe, the world around me—but it proved to be a moderately satisfying career. For seven years, I improved my writing, marketing and analytical skills and became comfortable operating in a professional and often highly conservative environment. I excelled, but simply being good at my job wasn’t enough for me.

I once heard a wise person say, “When you start to dread Mondays, it’s time to get out,” and in 2008 when the bottom fell out of the economy, this rang true. On Sunday night, I would fall into a deep depression thinking about the week ahead of me, but I had no idea what I wanted to do instead. Then I started to blog.

A friend gave me the idea to take 50 one-week challenges from my loved ones and to write about them, and as soon as I started, I was addicted. The challenges forced me out of my comfort zone and lit a fire within until writing was all I could think about. I left work early to give away “free hugs,” I wrote blog posts when I should have developed spreadsheets, and finally in the spring of 2010, I quit.

I would boldly announce that I was going to write fiction, but I soon realized I would have a difficult time supporting myself. In an effort towards sustainability, I began to write copy for others and what started as a way to “pay the bills” quickly developed into a passion for helping others to find their voice. I realized that learning about the different industries and topics gave me the same rush as completing the challenges and now I write about everything from IT to nautical stripes.

I still write fiction and my 50 challenges will soon become a book; but when I’m not hunched over my keyboard, I love to cook, run marathons, practice yoga, dance hip-hop, and I spend every other spare moment outside.