Success Stories

We asked our readers how they’ve applied the Success with Less formula in their own lives and the responses have been remarkable! Read below to see how Success with Less has changed our readers lives.


Jacob Ayoub:

“I’ve pressed pause in every aspect of my life but made a conscious decision to start with my career. I was the person that strived to be the ‘hero’ at work–the go-to person everybody could rely on–for everything. I became the person I never wanted to become: the person who said yes to every new role and every new project presented to me, even if I wasn’t the best person for it or if it meant I’d be working long nights and weekends to get it done.

For over 15 years I juggled multiple roles and quickly jumped from one project to the next at the expense of my health and social life. In addition, this juggling and jumping was sending a horrible message to my team.

The Success with Less Career Companion challenged me to take a much needed pause and think about my natural strengths and how I could ensure I was leveraging them in every new assignment–work that added the most value to my company, my team and myself. It allowed me to define my ideal role, what it included, and most importantly, what it didn’t include.

My goal was simple: To discuss my Career Companion with by boss by early January and to have each member of my team create and discuss their own Career Companions with me by the end of January.

I felt empowered, energized and inspired. Empowered to define my career and ask for what I wanted. Energized by the unwavering support my manager provided. Inspired by my team who rose to the challenge and defined what they wanted out of their careers.

The result? As a team we created a new way of operating. We each have roles that leverage our strengths. We received additional staff and resources to help balance and advance our team’s vision.”


Peter George:

“The message I appreciated the most was in Chapter 9, “progress is relative to perspective” and that the “they” or the “them” don’t matter nearly as much as the me”…my objectives, goals my health and my welfare. I have begun to get back to my old ways: I bought a new bicycle and have been much more active, cycling again even in cold weather.

After reading Success with Less, I pressed the “pause button”  almost immediately! I had just opened a new restaurant and after only 3 weeks of business I decided the need to “press pause” and take a warm weather, low key vacation in order to recharge my battery, realign my personal and professional goals and get back to some sort of “normal” life if there is such a thing in the hospitality industry!  It worked wonders and is still working for me each day.

I try to readjust goals each day based on the day before…since I am going to make errors I look closely at my mistakes as well as my successes and use them both to be a better companion/partner, business partner and leader/teacher.

Only other thing I can say is, just read it! I believe that each and very person who does will find something either big or small that will help elevate their game. Whatever game you play.”


Katrina Kaczmarek:

“My favorite chapter was “Success with Less in your Relationships”. I, like Karen have hung onto expired relationships way too long, many kinds of relationships, not just romantic ones.  I have found myself working and working to improve relationships when the wiser choice would be to walk away, or to minimize time spent working on the relationship. We hear that people have relationship problems often, but what I love about Karen’s book, is her ability to actually give advise on how to improve the situation. I have never read such wonderful concrete advise on how to change your relationships. It really resonated to see relationship changing as a process, “Here’s the key: I didn’t end those relationships all at once”. I liked the idea of starting with one toxic relationship at a time. I also really liked the concrete advise “choose one person to add to your calendar, as you are phasing out two toxic relationships” in this way you are still continuing to expand your social circle. I have been practicing this since reading the chapter, and I have added some wonderful people to my calendar.

I try to pause when planning my calendar. As I have been trying to apply the relationship chapter to my life, I have been more willing to say “no” to events I don’t want to attend, and “no” to people I don’t want to spend time with.  It has really cleared up my calendar, my time for my children, and others who I look forward to seeing.  Pressing pause has made me more conscious of my time.  I am remembering that time is a valuable commodity, and all the money in the world can’t buy you more than 24 hours in a day.  It is one way in which we humans are on equal footing.  I am treating my time with more value and care by pressing pause.

If you aren’t aware, my story is in Chapter 10, and when I read it for the first time I cried.  I thought, if there is even one person in the world who can say these beautiful things about me I am blessed, and loved. I thought, I should never feel alone or sad when there is someone out there who can say such amazing things about me and my life.  However, even though chapter 10 had an ending and to anyone reading the book, it may look like, wow she has it all figured out she is a success with less success story, the truth is most of the time I don’t feel like a success, I just feel like a very average woman living a very average, sometimes very difficult and sometimes very beautiful life. I am human and I am on a journey just like everyone else. Success with Less is process, and no one gets it right all the time. I have so many goals, and as I achieve them I am in the process of setting more goals. Remembering that life is a journey helps me to always be setting goals, and always working towards achievement of them. When I do achieve a goal, I celebrate, and then I get back to work on the next one. The celebration is important, because it is recognition of a goal achieved.  It doesn’t need to be big, but it needs to acknowledge in some way that makes you happy, that you worked towards something and achieved what you set out to do.  It is especially important, because some goals don’t get achieved, and celebration acknowledges that some are attained.  Celebration makes it worth setting more goals even with the risk of failure.  I believe when you are constantly learning and moving forward (even after failure) you will have fewer regrets when you reach the end.

Overall, this book is full of actual concrete advise on how to change your life. I love that there are actually ways listed to improve your relationships, improve your career and so much more.  There are many books out there that can resonate with the way you may be feeling, but very few that actually walk you through the steps to make you feel better.”


Angie Blum:

“There were messages areas Karen calls out in her book that resonated with my own personal journey.  As she was describing her early years of wanting to be the text-book child to adult who ‘did all the right things’ and never wanted to disappoint and never said ‘no’, I felt like I was reading about my own self.  It’s very easy to exhaust yourself trying to please others and before you know it, you look back and realize you didn’t really do things to please yourself.  The other message she shared which made me feel as if I was looking in a mirror was when she was describing her health issues and continued to ignore them only to realize that how she was living her life was part of what was making her so sick.  I didn’t have the severity that Karen did but I had terrible stomach pains over the last several years of my career and they really got bad about a year ago.  I had all sorts of tests done and nothing came up.  My doctor suggested I go on a restrictive diet and give up gluten.  Turns out I didn’t have a gluten issue.  I love bread!  I just had a stress issue.  Once I changed that, my problem went away.

I have had to learn to put my ego aside and not think about what may sound good to others not living my life and think about what choosing to do or not do something makes me feel.  I have head to learn to think about what my objectives really are and in the short and long term and let that be my guide for how I will act.  I think I will always care about doing the ‘right thing’ to some extent.  I think I am hard-wired that way.  But I at least make the conscious choice to know if it’s the right thing for me.

When setting goals, I don’t get too far ahead of myself.  It’s easy to psych yourself out if you are thinking about something really big that is in the distance and come up with 100 things that could go wrong (another personal challenge for me).  So I try to look at my goals in shorter sprints (or chapters).  This way they are realistic and I can get a more instant gratification for achieving the goal and also figuring out if the longer journey is still the direction I want to take. It’s a lot easier to shift course if you are taking smaller steps and evaluating along the way.

Lastly, I think the earlier you can realize how to navigate your own life for your own pleasure and focus on what is important to you the better off you are. When you are early in career you have no idea what you are doing and you are just trying to figure it out.  It took me to my mid-40’s to feel like I had realized where my priorities are and a lot of stress (and loss of bread!).”


Check back in as we will be updating this page regularly with more reader success stories! And if you have a success story you would like to share, please email us at!