It's hard to believe that I started working on this book more than two years ago. At the time, I was writing a couple of personal finance articles a month for various publications – a workload that was pretty manageable. And so, I thought, writing a book couldn't be that much harder; I could simply crank out a couple more words per day, and I'd be finished by the end of the year. Well, that ended up being a huge miscalculation (long division was never my forte)!

In the end, though, I am glad I pushed myself to overcome the numerous setbacks I faced balancing this endeavor with my jobs and my personal life. What kept me going at first was a strong desire to share my experiences so that you and others might have an easier time navigating your career and finances, and that certainly remains the case.

But my motivations became a bit more personal when my wife and I found out we were expecting a baby shortly after securing the book deal. And so I embarked on this project with my future son, Owen, at the forefront of my mind. In particular, I wanted to write a book that aggregated all the career and money lessons I hoped to teach Owen, who arrived into the world just a few days after I completed my first draft.

This book was a long time coming. My professional and financial challenges felt like a black cloud over my head for most of my 20s, eventually throwing me into a state of panic when I lost my job. I desperately sought answers and relief by reading countless books ...

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