Hi, I’m Abby. I’m so glad you’re here.
The daughter of a librarian and a public health executive, I was born with a book in my hands and a desire to help people improve their wellbeing.
For the first 2+ decades of my career, I worked for innovative organizations making a difference at scale (e.g., Bain & Company’s not-for-profit spinoff, The Bridgespan Group, and the NYC Department of Education). Along the way, I got an MBA and a Master’s of Education; married someone I met in graduate school; and had two kids. I climbed higher and higher in the social impact space, eventually landing my dream job leading the social impact arm and corporate foundation of a Fortune 200 company.
After nearly a decade with that company, I realized one day that I didn’t want my boss’s job…but I couldn’t just quit — could I?
Fortunately, at the time, I was writing a very relevant book called Money and Love: An Intelligent Roadmap for Life’s Biggest Decisions, all about how to make big life decisions, inspired by my co-author and former Stanford professor’s pioneering course, Work & Family.
(They say you write the book you most need to read.)
I applied our strategic decision-making framework to my own life, ultimately deciding to leave that job and start the Money and Love Institute.
I can sometimes be too goal-oriented for my own good, yet I discovered I loved the process of writing a book. This newsletter helps me be more deliberate about maintaining a writing practice alongside my efforts to nurture a sustainable (in all senses of the word) business and partner with my husband to raise two small humans in a dual-career household.
About Practically Deliberate
Practically Deliberate is where I write about my efforts to be intentional about everything (within reason). It’s also a nod to my love of wordplay and double entendres:
Practically Deliberate describes the needle I attempt to thread in this newsletter and in life: being intentional nearly all the time and being pragmatic about being intentional.
More than one friend has accused me of being “the most deliberate person they know,” but since that doesn’t always scream FUN, I also schedule time to be spontaneous (and of course I realize how ridiculous that sounds).
The verb meaning of practically deliberate (i.e., “to deliberate in a practical way”) is also apt. I’ve been known to engage in long and careful consideration, especially when it comes to the big life decisions Myra Strober and I wrote about in our book, but also sometimes about small purchases, such as my lunchbox.
But deliberation without without action isn’t terribly useful. In this newsletter, I do my best to distill actionable insights about intentionality, decision-making, and personal development to help people pursue what matters most to them. Why? So we can all feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.
I also share recommendations of the books, products, and experiences I’m currently swooning over. Because after all my long and careful consideration, when I find something that checks all the boxes, I want to shout about it from the rooftops.
I believe in voting with our dollars for more of what we want to see in the world (for me, that’s independent bookstores, local florists, and slow fashion brands).
I have happily paid to support the creative endeavors of people I respect over the years, and I want to give others the opportunity to do the same for me.
Free subscribers will get access to most of my posts and recommendations. I’ll post at least once a month but not more than once a week, so you don’t have to worry about cluttering your inbox too much if you subscribe.
Paid subscribers and Deliberate supporters get additional benefits, including:
Full access to all posts (especially the super personal ones that I might feel reluctant to put out there to everyone), the archive, and bonus content
Special discounts on recommended products and the chance to win some of my favorite books and products (starting with my favorite dark chocolate bars)
The ability to ask questions, leave comments, and engage with other members of the Practically Deliberate community
Extreme gratitude for financially supporting my work (seriously!)
(Deliberate supporters only) A personal thank you note and custom bookplate
I’m in! I want to be part of the Practically Deliberate community!
If you want to become a paid subscriber but it’s cost prohibitive for you right now, please let me know. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “free subscription request” and I’ll comp your subscription.
Wow, you’re still reading!
If that’s the case, here are a few other things you might be interested in:
Have a big life decision to make in the next few weeks? Take the 21-day SMS course (better than asking a search engine for advice)!
Wondering about your money and love decision making style? Take the quiz.
Want to partner on an interactive workshop or custom collaboration? Check out the Money and Love Institute.
Thank you so much for making it this far and for considering joining the Practically Deliberate community as a free or paid subscriber. I’m delighted that you’re here!
Know someone else who might be interested? I’d be honored if you would help spread the word.
PS - Oh, and lastly….
Lovely things people said about Money and Love
“A thoughtful, practical guide that will help readers make wiser and more fulfilling decisions.”
“The authors’ emphasis on planning ahead and their helpful exercises go a long way toward highlighting their simple but powerful point that love and one’s finances are interdependent, and key life conversations should account for both. Readers struggling with big decisions will find this a handy resource.”
“Money and Love offers an approachable guide to help you find a fair partner, set up your relationship for success, and most importantly provide the tools needed to make it last. Strober & Davisson use a well-balanced mix of storytelling, real-world experiences, and science to approach a very heavy and often overwhelming subject.”
“Our personal and professional lives have never been more intertwined than they are today and Strober and Davisson clearly prove that fully embracing both in an integrated way is the best way to lead a fulfilling life.”
—John Donahoe, CEO of Nike
“This book should be required reading for anyone seeking to optimize decisions about money and love. Strober and Davisson’s approach is life-changing.”
—Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
“A truly extraordinary and actionable resource for those seeking to have thoughtful, informed, and brave conversations about what matters most.”
—Melissa Giraud and Andrew Grant-Thomas, parents and co-founders of EmbraceRace
“Having been CEO of three brands while raising four children, I believe it’s possible to have both money and love—but only if you’re intentional. In a real and relatable way, Strober and Davisson guide us through the big decisions we make, empowering us to build a full joyful and purposeful life.”
—Nancy Green, former CEO of Old Navy and Athleta
“There is a huge difference between spending and investing. That’s true with money. It’s true with time. And it’s true with love. And it’s beautifully illustrated by Strober and Davisson in their book, Money and Love. With all the tradeoffs we face in life, let this book be your operating handbook for making your most important decisions.”
“Reframing big problems into manageable ones and adopting a doable decision-making process are power tools for navigating the complexities of modern adult life. And nothing is more complex than money and love.”
—Dave Evans, co-author, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
“Strober and Davisson have written a book that delivers on provocative ideas and information—and, far more importantly, a truly useful framework—for tackling life’s most important decisions.”
—, author of Don’t Trust Your Gut and Everybody Lies
“According to The Beatles ‘money can’t buy me love’ but Strober and Davisson show how to think about your choices so that careers and relationships can jointly flourish. Great reading on life’s most difficult and important decisions.”
—Andrew Scott, professor of economics at London Business School and author of The 100-Year Life
Practically Deliberate with Abby Davisson is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.