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Essays on Loss, Courage, and Personal Transformation
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Every life is transformed by moments, people, experiences that made The Difference.
What if you could have an audience with ten successful humans who have inspired millions of followers around the world to lead more authentic, wholehearted, and expansive lives? What if you could ask these individuals to pinpoint the ONE factor or experience that unleashed the greatest personal transformation in their lives?

The Difference is that audience. From a motivational coach who went from homeless to millionaire; to a prominent psychologist whose 2-year-old daughter drowned in the family pool on her watch; to a self-described female boxing warrior who entered the ring at age 40; to a chiropractor turned shaman, fire walker and healer after helping a friend transition - the unvarnished essays in The Difference capture a multi-colored tapestry of richly inspiring life stories.
Published by Balboa Press 
A Division of HAY HOUSE 


Achim Nowak

Achim Nowak is an executive coach, host of the MY FOURTH ACT Podcast, and the author of three books on personal excellence. His writing has been published in numerous anthologies and received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.

Rosemary Ravinal

Rosemary Ravinal built a career as a TV host, news commentator, spokesperson, and corporate communications leader before becoming the premier bilingual public speaker and executive speaker coach in the United States.


Bruce Turkel

Bruce Turkel has helped create some of the world’s  most compelling brands, including Hasbro, Nike, and American Express. He is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, author, musician, artist, and runner. All About Them, one of Bruce's six acclaimed books, was a Forbes Top 10 business book of the year. 



Alisa Sample-Alexander

Alisa Sample-Alexander is a motivational speaker, recording artist, master facilitator, and learning professional.

Caroline de Posada

Caroline de Posada is an international bilingual speaker, author, life coach and the Founder of Caro’s CORE, a community of people striving to be their best selves.

Carl Ficks Jr.

Carl Ficks, Jr. is an endurance athlete and former trial lawyer with a career spanning 30+ years. 

Dr. Tom Garcia

Dr. Tom Garcia is a soul-centered coach and transformational guide who teaches, leads and guides people to awaken to their higher purpose.

Dr. Betsy Guerra

Dr. Betsy Guerra is a bilingual psychotherapist, international speaker, and author of Hurt 2 Hope: Heal the Pain of Loss, Grief, and Adversity. 

Dr. Lynne Maureen Hurdle

Dr. Lynne Maureen Hurdle is a communication expert and conflict resolution strategist; a diversity, equity, and inclusion facilitator; and a writer.

Mark J. Silverman

Mark J. Silverman is an executive coach, speaker, host of “The Rising Leader Podcast,” and author of the bestselling book, Only 10s 2.0: Confront Your To-Do List and Transform Your Life.

Malissa Smith

Malissa Smith is the author of A History of Women's Boxing, the first definitive history of the sport. She is a global female boxing authority and co-host of the “WAAR Room” sports podcast.


"I am all too familiar with loss, courage, and transformation — who hasn't lived through one of those stages? In these superbly written essays, you will find the guidance to face, overcome, and even be strengthened by adversity."
Faisal Hoque
the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of LIFT, Everything Connects, and REINVENT
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“In an increasingly secular world that is lacking ritual to help us cope with the messiness of life, transitions, sorrow and death, this is the anthology that will help us heal. The Difference is a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit — and the fact that we are not alone in our search for meaning in times of upheaval.”
Oonagh Duncan
fitness expert, author of the international bestseller Healthy As F*ck
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“No one escapes them: Losses, struggles, difficult moments. But how one faces into these challenges — or not — makes all the difference. This extraordinary anthology is filled with compelling stories that will inspire you, lift you up, and provide a beacon of hope in times of darkness. This is a book that you’ll want to keep on your nightstand and return to over and over again.”
Walt Hampton, J.D.
executive coach and bestselling author of Journeys on the Edge: Living A Life That Matters
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“We all fear loss and change, but ultimately life interruptions press us to move in new and more fulfilling directions. The Difference will inspire you to clarify your goals and dreams now.”
Susan Ford Collins
bestselling author of Blur: Clear the Way Ahead… even in the worst of times; The Joy Of Success and Our Children Are Watching.
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“These powerfully vulnerable stories in The Difference remind me that one of the most profound tools of the healing trades is the affirmation of our human capacity to transform pain into purpose. I am deeply touched by the authors' journeys and inspired by their transformations. Their stories are a gift of hope and possibility.”
Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, NYU Silver School of Social Work
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"This remarkable anthology offers true inspiration for us to connect with hope in humanity and become wiser beings. The beautiful, life-changing and profound stories in this book are a must-read." 
Dr. Edith Shiro
author of The Unexpected Gift of Trauma: the path to Posttraumatic Growth.

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The Difference is life changing. It's no surprise that when I received the summary of the book to review, I was going through a time of enormous stress and loss. Perfect timing. Just the advance copy helped me to get grounded in truth and find some peace in one of the most difficult times in my life. Thank you for this book.” 
Jordan Adler
Dream Broker and Author of the Amazon Best Seller Beach Money.
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“This beautiful anthology of personal stories, edited by Rosemary Ravinal and Achim Nowak, captivates the reader with a profound sense of purpose, courage, and resilience. With each intimate, passionate account of life's journey, you're sure to unlock the authentic version of yourself. The Difference is a must-read for anyone seeking inspiration and fulfillment in life!”
Dana P. Rowe
musical theater composer, author, and leadership coach.
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“A true treasure! These stunning personal stories of strength, courage, and hope are exactly what we need today to inspire us to reach for the stars. They assure us that we can do it!”
Patricia Gussin
New York Times best-selling author of Medicine and Mayhem: The Dr. Laura Nelson Files.
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“Ten deeply personal stories about loss, courage and transformation that will inspire you and help you look at your own life differently. Each story is unique and yet all speak to the strength and resiliency of the human spirit.”
Eva Ritvo, MD
psychiatrist, author, and co-founder of The Bold Beauty Project.
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“The honesty and raw beauty of the writing in The Difference touched me deeply. It compelled me to consider all the choices I have made in my own life. What a wise and inspiring book it is!”
Luis Gallardo
founder & president, World Happiness Foundation.
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