Sara Connell is a bestselling author and founder of Thought Leader Academy where she helps coaches, writers and entrepreneurs become successful, published authors and TEDx/ in-demand speakers.

My story…

I started writing in a journal around age 5 and always wanted to be a writer but I picked up the idea from a teacher that I wasn’t good enough to pursue that dream so after college, I took a job at an advertising agency. I was sexually harassed frequently at that job and as a result, I spiraled into a serious eating disorder, and felt like I was dying inside. I remember the handrails in the stairwell were painted red. Every day I held onto them. 

Maybe you’re like me?

Maybe you worked at a job that wasn’t aligned with you, and you suffered trauma and somewhere along the way, you got the message that you just aren’t something (creative, connected, talented, smart, old, young, educated, motivated, disciplined) enough to become a published author or thought leader?

You’re wrong!

If you’re here reading this – if you know you have a story to share, a bigger impact to make – you have everything or will attract everything you need to fulfill your vision.

sara connell journal writing
sara connell reading a life changing book

I often travelled for that job and one day as I was flying back from Chicago to Boston, I saw a bookstore, and of course, books were – as an aspiring writer – my oasis- my sanctuary.  I didn’t have any time to read the back covers because I could hear my flight being called on the intercom. I “randomly” grabbed a book, got on the plane, and started to read.

I read that book the entire flight, through the whole taxi ride home, I stayed up the entire rest of the night reading, until I finished. And what I read amazed me. That author wrote my story. The details were different, but she was a woman who shared her experience of childhood trauma, of a life-threatening eating disorder, and most importantly, what she did to get well. And I made a vow, in that early morning light in my bedroom with my eyes red and sore from reading that I was going to get help the next day. And I did. 

Reading that one book not only changed the trajectory of the rest of my life, it saved my life. I left the abusive job, got help, and regained my physical and mental health. And even though I didn’t believe I was good enough and I didn’t believe I would succeed, I committed to pursuing my dream of becoming a published author. 

That decision, that commitment led to finding a literary agent, getting a book contract, getting on Oprah, being published in the New York Times – all things that were fantasies and would have stayed fantasies if I had not made that initial decision to pick up the book in the airport. 

Once I had the opportunity to publish my book and contribute to the life changing force that books are, I made it my mission to help any individuals who have that same calling to get their story- their mission- their message-  into the world. 

I went back to get my masters in writing at Northwestern University. I started coaching people one on one, writing their books. And that led to groups of people writing their books. I’ve now coached thousands of writers, experts, coaches, moms, and entrepreneurs. And in 2019 we founded the Thought Leader Academy, which is our one-year program where individuals with the calling to share their story become successful, published, even bestselling authors, in-demand speakers, and even speak at TEDx.

I want to know your story.

What is the Big Magic that’s tapped you on the arm and said “Write Me, Share Me.” We think we need to be a celebrity to make a massive impact and change lives but we don’t. We need a calling, a vision & our yes

If you know you have a book, a TEDx talk, a movement in you, we are here to make sure you make it happen. 

sara connell what's your story


Sara Connell is a bestselling author and founder of Thought Leader Academy where she helps coaches, writers and entrepreneurs become successful, published authors and in-demand speakers.

She has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The View, FOX Chicago, TEDx, The Today Show, and Katie Couric. Her writing has appeared in: The New York Times, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, and Parenting. She’s the author of five books and has been nominated for a national book award and ELLE magazine Book of the Year.


Our mission is to help you change lives- and the world- with your story.

mary nelligan

Mary Nelligan

Danielle Perlin-Good

Danielle Perlin-Good

Donna Beasley

Donna Beasley

Audrey Fierberg

Audrey Fierberg

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