It was always my dream to write a book, but I never could have imagined it happening the way it did.

In 2014, my dear friend Simon Sinek invited me to an intimate, three-day retreat in Aspen to have a conversation with a group of leaders about ways we could help the next generation reach its potential.

When I arrived and began looking around at the name tags of the other participants, I thought maybe I was actually there to clean everyone's rooms instead of participate. There was no way I belonged there.

I was the owner of a very small cleaning company, and I was looking at the CFO of JetBlue, the founder of The Container Store, the former president of Ecuador… you get the idea.

Believe it or not, I was there to speak. Simon wanted me to talk about my experience leading a company comprised primarily of millennials.

I don’t remember exactly what I said that day, but I’ll never forget how I felt. It was the first time I truly realized that what we were doing at Student Maid was special. And as it would turn out, my soon-to-be-publisher happened to be sitting in the audience that day. After I spoke, he asked me if I wanted to write a book. We shook on it, and a few months later I flew to New York to seal the deal. It was a dream come true.


The pressure to be perfect is killing us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I hope the pages of Permission To Screw Up will move you to talk about what’s not going well as much as you talk about what is. I hope that my words will empower you to step fully into who you are and to proudly own your imperfections. I hope that my experiences will encourage you to celebrate the bad days as much as you celebrate the good ones.

I hope that my ideas will help you reframe your relationship with failure and learn to see your missteps as incredible opportunities to build resilience. But above all else, I hope that reading my book will remind you that it’s better to be human than it is to be perfect. The more human we are, the less alone we will feel, and the more connected we will be.

That’s the kind of world I want to live in—don’t you?


It took me close to three years to bring Permission To Screw Up from a blank Microsoft Word document to a 252-page manuscript. The moment I submitted the final edits, I swore to myself I would never write another book. Yet, here I am, working on my next book. Because while writing a book is extremely tough, it was also the most meaningful project I’ve ever worked on.

I don’t know when my next book will be published (and I’m still trying to figure out what it’s about), but I’m working on it.

When it’s ready, you’ll be the first to know.

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