As a professional writer for almost two decades, I have been lucky enough to interview everyone from celebrities to CEOs, along with lots of athletes, writers, foodies, beauty gurus, health experts, entrepreneurs, change-makers, chefs, artists, and philanthropists. What I noticed was that the most successful people don’t always follow a linear path. Many, had entirely different careers, lots of failures and plenty of detours, before they found what clicked. There is something really inspiring in that—especially if you are someone who hasn’t really found their groove. The message is: It’s not too late, you aren’t too old, & you can reinvent yourself. There are countless people who found their groove a little later.

I kept a file of all of these stories for years hoping compile them in a book. I knew they would be incredibly motivating for anyone who wants transformation but might be too afraid to go for it. I believe that real-life examples of people who have done incredible things provide absolute proof that anything is possible. People who have already made the change you want know what it is like to overcome obstacles and turn dreams into reality.

I had this book idea for years and during that time I found my biggest success ghostwriting. I started ghostwriting as a way to make money, thinking that I would write my own books later. But thanks to constant assignments and two kids, soon became years. I know what it’s like to want to break out of the path you are on, and pivot towards another one. I know how challenging it can be, and how sometimes, just hearing how someone else followed their dream can push you towards making your own. I knew I had to share these stories, not only to inspire my own career, but because I knew so many people who wanted to change but had no idea where to start.

Take the Leap features stories from over 60 men and women who radically changed their careers, ultimately transforming their lives. Each chapter focuses on a different type of change– going into the arts, giving back, promoting wellness, becoming a professional foodie, starting a business, or living a life of travel and adventure. 

We meet a Texas tax attorney who now runs a surf school in Nicaragua, the Hollywood exec who sold all of his possessions to start a children’s charity, the production assistant turned million-dollar screenplay writer, the 65-year old retiree who took to YouTube and built a global beauty brand—and many more. The book also features high profile experts and leapers including wellness and beauty guru Bobbi Brown, writer-turned-actress/show creator Jill Kargman, Black Crowes drummer-turned-sports radio host Steve Gorman, NFL Player turned artist/activist Aaron Maybin, and entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran. 

What I learned after all of these interviews was that most leapers were looking for so much more than just a career switch, they were looking for real transformation. They were facing mental health challenges, addiction, financial struggles, self doubt, or getting fired—and career was a vehicle to creating lasting change and the lives they really wanted.

This is a career guide for today’s ever-changing job market. It’s also a manifesto on the power of change and exploring options you may never have dreamt of. Thinking about your own next chapter? Take the Leap.