Learn about My Story

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by human behavior.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Northwestern University.  I found myself fascinated with the science of sleep, social psychology, human motivation.  I briefly worked in a laboratory studying Obsessive Compulsive Behavior (OCD) at the National Institutes of Mental Health.  Later, my interest in human behavior shifted toward organizational behavior as an employee within a rapidly growing start-up consulting firm in Washington, DC and eventually to consumer behavior as a packaged-goods marketer in multiple Fortune 500 companies.

We all have defining moments in life.  The seeds of my first major turning point began at the age of 17 when I had a chest surgery that eventually convinced me to become a physician.  Seven years later, after a tremendous amount of personal investment, my second defining moment came when I withdrew from medical school, abruptly ending my long journey toward pursuing what I thought was my calling.  I realized I was heading down the wrong path, and I decided to change course. You can hear me talk more about this story in my talk on Taking a Career Leap.

Leaving medicine taught me several things.  I learned about the stubborn power of investment.  I learned that life has a certain inertia and momentum that, even when negative or in conflict with our values, can feel impossible to change.  It’s like being on a train barreling down a certain set of railroad tracks.  You know you’re going somewhere, and even if you don’t like where you’re heading, it’s hard to jump off . . . often because you’re not 100% sure where you’ll end up.

This pivot in my life also convinced me we all owe it to ourselves to be true to our own values and visions in life.  To pursue what you want to do, not necessarily what you feel obliged to do with your life.  To write your own rules.

Over the past decade since graduating from Northwestern with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I’ve followed quite a non-traditional career path myself, meandering quite intentionally through a wide variety of experiences, each of which has shaped who I am today.  Spending my afternoons on-air as a news anchor for the National Public Radio station in Honolulu while moonlighting as a retail associate at Banana Republic after moving to Waikiki on a whim.

Doing a brief stint at the National Institutes of Mental Health. Discovering my passion for brands by helping to rename a start-up health policy firm Avalere in Washington, DC.  Moving onto complete my MBA, focused on marketing & entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, an incredibly expansive experience that opened amazing career doors for me.  Eventually marketing trash bags, drain opener, luxury desserts, and finally ice cream for both start-up and Fortune 500 consumer goods companies.  I’m thankful for having the opportunity to experience each of these unique chapters in my life, which all made me who I am today.  My third major career relaunch took place when I made the leap to leave my corporate job behind in 2013 so I could fully dedicate myself to helping others relaunch their careers.

This philosophy of my career change work is about embracing whatever life throws at you yet realizing you can always make a change–bravely moving onward through sudden changes and opportunities in life. In my life, this philosophy gave me the motivation to maintain my momentum after my first taste of brand management to pursue my MBA. Trusting my instincts to hand a note to a beautiful stranger in the Heathrow airport one day, a stranger who would eventually become my wife 6 years later.  Leaving my stable job behind in the Bay Area to start a new life in London.  Turning down attractive job opportunities by putting a stake in the ground and sticking to my principles, my values.  And in each of these cases, I was guided by a fundamental principle: to bravely evolve my life as I myself evolved.  Leaving the status quo behind is often the most sincere way to truly honor your values and priorities.

The resources here are intended to help you illuminate a new path forward as you move into the next phase of your career or bring a new business idea to life.  Feel free to check out some of my favourite resources, download your career change roadmap, or contact me if you would like to discuss your situation and how I can help you.