This book was merely an idea for many years before serendipity
took over and placed the right people in my world at the right
time. When I’m asked how long my book is, I often truthfully joke
that I’ve written well over 100,000 words, but only about 50,000
good ones. Between moving, getting married, having a baby, teaching,
consulting, and finishing a master’s degree, this book could have been
derailed into nonexistence without the undying support of my tribe.
I want to thank the village, old and new, for helping me jump hurdles
and for shaping my understanding of the cross section between the
human experience and marketing.
First, a sincere thanks to Dr. Janet Harris. She helped me, quite
literally, find my voice. She believed in my idea and, even though I
had zero writing experience, helped me develop this passion project
into reality. Her consistent reassurance from the first page to the
last is the only reason this book exists. A simple thank-you is not
adequate. Also, I must thank Dr. Anthony Picchioni for busting open
my egocentric predicament, Dr. Kimberley Monden for introducing
positive psychology, Dr. Charlotte Barner for transforming my
narrative, and the late Dr. Gerald Perkus for reminding me of the
true meaning of the American dream.
Thank-you to the Sony Music greats who are pioneers and my
personal heroes: Tom Baldrica, Tanya Welch, John Grady, Margie
Hunt, Deb Haus, Mike Kraski, Butch Waugh, Heather McBee, and
Joe Galante. I enjoyed every late night and early morning, every
ounce of stress, and every celebration, because I was able to learn
firsthand from these extraordinary leaders. Together, we made a few
dreams come true. I can never repay them for the immeasurable
experiences both professional and personal.
A heartfelt thanks to everyone on my team: Barbara Norris, Cindy
Birne, Jennifer K. Beal Davis, Colson Horton, Cameron Powell,
Brenna Mader, Omar Mediano, Scott Safford, Michael A. Ransom,
Gigi Stone Woods, Brian Apunda, Justin Branch, Jen Glynn, Sally
Garland, Karen Cakebread, Emily Maulding, Tiffany Barrientos,
O’Licia Parker-Smith, and everyone at Greenleaf Book Group. This
phenomenal group shared their passions and their immense talents,
and this project wouldn’t be the same without any of them.
A big thank-you to my Dark and Stormies: Mary Harris, Mary
Guthrie, Bonnie Bazley, Liz Grote, Pam Zeko, Sean Gilder, Sarette
Albin, and Johnnie Mays. This group of talented writers, from poets
to novelists, keeps me on my toes, triggers my creativity, and holds
me accountable for what and how I write. The endless laughter
and encouragement have pushed me past some serious writer’s
block many times and if you look closely, you will see each of them
sprinkled throughout the book.
A shout-out to my girl tribe spread about the country: Tara,
Mimi, Jessica, Capucine, and all my Nashville and Dallas girlfriends.
They’ve each seen me at my best and my worst, and they still root for
me anyways. That’s true friendship.
An eternal thank-you to my family. My parents, Ellis and Leta
and Jerry and Donna, have instilled grit into my being from the
onset. They taught me the importance of education and made sure I
never questioned my ability to do anything I wanted in this world.
It is because of them I am passionate about what I do, and mostly
fearless about how I do it.
A special thanks to my grandparents, Appaw and Roma, for the
endless love. Thanks to my supportive and loving in-laws, Bill and
Mary, for flying down to watch Baby Girl so I could write. And, a
begrudging thanks to my big brother, Mike, who pushed me down
the stairs on a pool raft headed straight for tile flooring when we
were kids. Despite that little hiccup, he has since become my closest
ally in this world. Oh, and he deserves an extra special thanks for
marrying Adriene, who quickly became my best friend, and for my
Nugget, Bug, and the little Prince.
And most of all, my world would be miserable without my
husband, Michael, and our perfect little girl, Ainsley. Without even
realizing it, they’ve made all my dreams come true.