At the very start of quarantine in March 2020, my sister lent me Michelle Obama’s book. I read it and thought I should read more memoirs.

A couple months later, the Black Lives Matter movement was at it’s height, and I picked up a memoir by someone on my list for a long time, Maya Angelou, as a way to start to expose myself more to the Black experience. I loved her writing so much, that’s when I decided:

I want to read 30 memoirs by women, to inspire my upcoming 30s.

To start, my hope was to learn about…


My original goal in 2020, taken from my 2019 goal, was just to read a book a month. No theme. No rush. But somewhere between reading Michelle Obama in early 2020, and then the uprising of Black Lives Matter, had me wanting to read the life experiences of those with different backgrounds than mine. It was also my 30th birthday this year, so all of this combined to form this goal: to read 30 memoirs by a diverse group of influential women, to inspire my 30s. I want to explore the themes of womanhood, motherhood, careers, partnerships, trauma, mental health…


Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

If your career goals got derailed this past year, {hey me too!}, I hope my full circle story gives you some hope.

I am a goal setter. I always have been. So put yourself in my shoes in January 2020 when I realize I’m turning 30 that year, my marketing career is hitting the 10 year mark, and after pursuing generalist roles for years, I’ve found my place and my passion in the tech industry, in lifecycle marketing roles. I had big plans. Ambitious plans.

I was working for a startup that I loved but that had run its course…


My original goal in 2020, taken from my 2019 goal, was just to read a book a month. No theme. No rush. But somewhere between reading Michelle Obama in early 2020, and then the uprising of Black Lives Matter, had me wanting to read the life experiences of those with different backgrounds than mine. It was also my 30th birthday this year, so all of this combined to form this goal: to read 30 memoirs by a diverse group of influential women, to inspire my 30s. I want to explore the themes of womanhood, motherhood, careers, partnerships, trauma, mental health…


As part of my quest to read 30 memoirs by women, here are 8 I’ve read by brilliant Black voices.

Michelle Obama — Becoming

Overview: Michelle Obama reminded me what I love about memoirs, that someone I thought was one of the greatest smartest women in this world (still do), is also so human, humble, and flawed like the rest of us. Michelle inspires me to believe I can achieve more than I believe, but also that it’s okay to be imperfect.

Recommended for: Ambitious leaders, academics, interested in law, politics, social justice.

Excerpt: “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a…


My original goal in 2020, taken from my 2019 goal, was just to read a book a month. No theme. No rush. But somewhere between reading Michelle Obama in early 2020, and then the uprising of Black Lives Matter, had me wanting to read the life experiences of those with different backgrounds than mine. It was also my 30th birthday this year, so all of this combined to form this goal: to read 30 memoirs by a diverse group of influential women, to inspire my 30s. I want to explore the themes of womanhood, motherhood, careers, partnerships, trauma, mental health…


Originals, Flow, The Power of Habits, and much more

I’m Sara, and I’m a self-help, self-improvement enthusiast. I know and live the power of self-awareness, building your strengths, and improving your weaknesses. Here are 10 books that changed my perspective, sense of self, and improved my life in some way —

P.S. The first 9 of 10 authors here also have TED Talks, if you want to hear a bit about their work before you dive into a book!

Shawn is a positive psychology researcher who teaches Harvard’s famed happiness course. He also happens to be one of my favourite TED talkers of all time. …


For folk going through hard times from dealing with life-altering grief to everyday anxiety

Those who know me on social (sara.nrtn on instagram) know I am open about:

  • losing my mom slowly and painfully to terminal breast cancer 3 years ago;
  • managing anxiety and depression for 10+ years;
  • being an avid reader of ‘self help’ types of books

So I’m rounding up 12 of my favourite books + 1 podcast here, for folk going through hard times from dealing with life-altering grief to every day anxiety.

5 BOOKS ON GRIEF + DEATH

A true story, Morrie was Mitch’s college professor, and now he’s dying of a degenerative disease, so Mitch sits down with him each week to document his wisdom…


About nine months ago I wrote about my experience working through the “Creative Leadership” certificate with IDEOU. From that article I’m going to copy and share my “why IDEOU” before going into why I wanted to learn Design Thinking, how the course was different, what I got out of it, and who I’d recommend it to!

How did I come upon IDEOU when there are approximately 286183736718 other professional development courses out there? Well, first, I knew I wanted online only. While I fully believe an in-person learning experience is better for most people including me, online just suits my…


Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

… And it’s a really easy mistake to make. Because our CRMs aren’t perfect.

Beware of accidentally double, triple, quadruple enrolling contacts in multiple workflows.

It’s a quick way to create an awkward embarrassing moment for your brand and ruin the customer journey experience.

How does it happen and how do we prevent it?

Managing Duplicate Contacts

I was astounded by the mass numbers of duplicate contacts the company I work for had. Thousands. Continually. People who filled out multiple forms, sometimes with the same email (a true duplication) and some with the same name but an alternative email (lets keep in mind some people will have multiple email addresses syncing…

Sara Norton

toronto tech marketer writing about books, business, company culture, and marketing.

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