Welcome to the VOC CAST, where we sit down and chat with inspiring professionals who LOVE THEIR JOBS.

3 years ago, Holly Payne was up against some very real struggles in her career as a novelist and a teacher. She overheard several professors at her University teaching young people that they needed to take a vow of poverty if they wanted to be a true artist. And she wasn’t buying it.

Despite the fact that she had zero experience in the tech industry and had recently become a single mother with her two-year old child, she decided to build a tech startup.

Payne created Booxby to solve what she calls a “signal to noise” problem in the publishing industry that was keeping her books from being discovered and preventing readers from being able to find the right book for them.

She teamed up with the technical co-founder of Pandora and one of the co-founders of Netflix to create Booxby, which is an iPhone app delivering book recommendations based on the reader’s unique moods and preferences.

Payne built a world class team of coders and developers, won a massive grant from the National Science Foundation on the basis of Booxby’s innovation in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning, took on angel and venture capital investment and Booxby was born.

This conversation covers the details, personal growth, mentorships, learnings and spiritual dimensions of her remarkable journey. There is something here for anyone looking to break out of their comfort zone and move into something new and exciting.

My co-host for this episode is Daniel Mudimbe, who is a software executive in San Francisco and a good friend of Holly and I.

OK, let’s begin....

/ Music by Julien Werzowa: aka @boyhemian on Soundcloud