Spreadsheets & alchemy are two terms that you’ve probably never seen paired together.

Am I right?

Well, as the name and aesthetic of The Spreadsheet Alchemy suggests, this is not your typical spreadsheet blog. I wrote a bit about what inspired both in this blog post, in case you’re curious.

The sweet and short of this site’s objective is to provide spreadsheet and related organizational resources for fempreneurs, bloggers, and pretty much anyone who craves both functional & beautiful spreadsheets. If you’d like to explore an organized breakdown of this site’s free content, please click here.

But, there is more to this site than spreadsheets.

My mission in life is centered around creating and inspiring personal transformation. Every experience of any significance I’ve had since August 1,1996 has been a testament to this. Posts on this (mostly unrelated) topic can be found in the Life Alchemy category (which as of July 2017, is being hosted on a new site that’s dedicated solely to them).

Anyway, I do hope that you find content here that resonates with you. The Spreadsheet Alchemist is bound to evolve…after all, that’s what alchemy is about, isn’t it? Motivational guru Tony Robbins identifies six human needs: certainty, uncertainty, significance, love and connection, growth, and contribution, and the need to contribute is the fundamental motivation behind this site’s content. So, please reach out and let me know what interests you, comment on the posts, and subscribe to my list to stay in the know. After all, my contribution to this world is, in part, to be of service to you. Thank you for allowing me that ♥

Now, for a little bit about me…

Hi. My name’s Kristi.

I have a 16 year-old daughter named Sage. She’s seriously awesome. The two of us live about four blocks from the shores of Lake Michigan in a liberal and peaceful community north of Chicago.

I am an economist by education, although I never did finish my master’s thesis. I guess that I just didn’t want it enough. And you know what? My only regret – student loans aside – is that I let my thesis advisor down. After all, she believed in me and invested in my success. But, I knew 100% without a doubt that I neither wanted to spend my life writing programs in statistical software packages that analyzed big data for Corporate America, nor did I want to be massively underpaid working in academia as an adjunct professor. Can you blame me? So, I just let the years pass by until I was no longer eligible to defend my thesis. Ironically enough I’m once again a graduate student, but this time I’m studying something the resonates better. Assuming that I don’t face any major derailments, I’ll complete my MPA (Master of Public Administration) with a concentration in nonprofit management in 2020.

Shortly after a near-death experience in 1996, I dove into ancient Indian philosophy. Particularly influential were the Bhagavad Gita and lectures of the (deceased) J.Krishnamurti. In fact, they inspired me to give up nearly everything I owned, drop out of Purdue University (despite being on the Dean’s List), and become both homeless and penniless so that I could live in absolute alignment with my values. Two years and many insane experiences later – hopping freight trains, eating out of dumpsters, getting arrested as a form of protest against social injustice, participating in Native American sweat lodge ceremonies, and being a union spy, to name just a few – I found myself knocked-up, single, and one degree away from (unintentional) homelessness in a city 1,000 miles away from my family.

In the years that followed, I discovered yoga, worked my way up the ladder at a local natural grocery store, became the acting president of an economic justice advocacy non-profit, and returned to college. I discovered that despite decades of believing otherwise, I loved many things about math and economics, which I ended up studying, and which I received awards for both “being outstanding” and graduating at the top of my class with highest honors. Having dropped out of college four times over the years, I was determined to no longer be a statistic. Then, grad school happened, as did an opportunity within the US Intelligence Community…and then a divorce.

At some point, I snagged an amazing job in the Governor of Montana’s Office of Budget and Program Planning (we just called it the Budget Office). My job was to forecast oil and gas, investment, coal severance tax, lottery, and gambling revenues for the Governor’s biannual budget, and to testify on his behalf in joint legislative tax committee hearings. I don’t know whether that sounds insanely boring or seriously impressive to you, but let me just say that it was a little of both. I loved that job and the people. Plus, the Governor is a truly decent human being whom I admire to this day.

In 2013, I moved to the Chicago area so that Sage could be closer to her father. A few weeks later, I was sued for custody and – because she was not in my possession when the suit was filed – was at a serious risk of losing the case. To say that life got tough is an understatement. Fast-forward a few years. Sage continues to live with me and continues to thrive, and I’ve worked three jobs for Corporate America, completed a yoga teacher training program after 13 years of self-study (17, if you count the yogic philosophy years), and created The Spreadsheet Alchemist.

These days, I spend time each day in unguided meditation. It’s truly the most incredible part of my day, and I have had several mind-blowing experiences during my sits. I love food and have a somewhat inactive (but beautiful) food blog, Figs & Chèvre. I read books on enlightenment, personal development, and business, and I have a passion project that I’m developing called The Awakened Heart Project. Fire excites me in strange ways. I walked on fire at a Tony Robbins event, and my latest hobby on the back burner is spinning fire (chains). It’s truly hypnotic. I’ve been known to practice yoga, belly dance (although it’s been many years), and cook exceptionally badass Indian food. Oh, and I’m writing a third-personal fictional narrative of my experiences after being inspired by The Alchemist.

That’s quite a bit but not nearly enough information about me, right?

Well, you’ll learn more about me in a way that I hope offers inspiration and hope through my Life Alchemy posts (which as of July 2017, is hosted on its own site). Or, if you aren’t into that sort of thing, you’ll still get some exceptionally wicked spreadsheet resources.

Either way, it’s all good. Right?

Thanks for swinging by my tiny little piece of internet real estate! I look forward to connecting with you ♥

Here’s my life in pictures.