Writing a book should have a specific time limit, like how having a baby takes 9 months. It just takes that long; which is a good thing, otherwise parents everywhere would be asking for more time. More time to be smarter, wiser, more prepared, but it doesn't work that way. It takes 9 months, give or take, and then you have a baby.


The process of writing this book was a lot like having a baby but without the imposed timeline and I dragged it on as long as possible to make it better and smarter.  "Just one more interview" I'd say, "just one more perspective", I'd beg, until those who have already birthed their own books said, "just finish it for the love of Pete". I'm grateful to those voices. To those who have been through the pain and understand (unlike non-authors who judged my feet-dragging) the fear and anxiety that comes with sharing your chapters with the world (or in my case, with a small, but mighty band of digital marketers). Thank you to Anne Kennedy, Mona Elesseily, Joe Pulizzi, Lisa Buyer, Ric Dragon, Jon Wuebben, Kristjan Hauksson and Marty Weintraub for sharing your experience.


Thank you, to the friends and authors who have shared their experiences and fears and assured me that my kid would be great, not perfect, but pretty damn wonderful.  


I'd also like to thank the voices who are teaching me to be a better marketer by being a better leader and just a better person. People like Simon Sinek, the wonderful women of Hathaway Brown School (Koyen Shah and Kathleen Osborne) and my friends and coworkers at Rosetta and my new colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University. 


I want to thank my SEMpdx (Search Marketing Professionals of Portland, Oregon) crew for teaching me to trust the help and wisdom of others and to think bigger, you are all very dear to me.


Thanks to SMX, SES (ClickZ), SEMPO and other great organizations for giving me the opportunity to speak and share my love of this awesome, world-changing industry. It's your examples of collaboration that inspired my pursuit to better understand opportunities for collaboration.


Thank you to Avinash Kaushik for verbalizing so perfectly how I want to live my professional and personal lives, "Test, learn and suck less every time".


Thank you to Dallas Fridley for giving me the 3 best things in my life; our 2 children and my career.


I want to thank my family; my parents Sandra & Wally Backman and Steve & Jeannie Williams who paved the way as trail-blazers and entrepreneurs, and to my siblings and extended family all. I mostly want to thank my children; my wonderful son Marcus and incredible daughter Taylor who have supported my desire to explore my professional life and leadership by traveling cross country. I also want to thank my best friends Nicole & Ara Hagopian, Claudette & Bill John and Matt Peek for helping me find that balance between two important life realities, that "Ships are safest in harbor, but that's not what ships are made for" and "There's no place like home". Thank you for being there for me through the craziness.  You've all supported me through losses, failures and successes and when my desire to be a better leader and professional sometimes meant being a lesser mother, daughter and friend. I love you all.


A final shout out and thank you to Dana Lookadoo who has bravely, strategically and authentically shared her experiences and trials resulting from a biking accident in 2013. She embodies all of the qualities of a leader and inspirer, professionally and personally and 10% of proceeds from the book will go towards Dana's medical fund.