"Add Life To Your Years, Not Just Years To Your Life." Preorder your copy now!

"This is a book about my greatest fear, Wasting time."

Choose the Handle that Holds: Unlocking a Life Truly Lived

This book is a powerful and deeply personal guide that unravels the myth that life is inherently short and reveals how our choices often lead us to merely pass through days instead of truly living them. Drawing from my own 20 year battle with bulimia, life as a T1 diabetic as well as other stories never shared, this book reveals how our choices often make life feel fleeting. It combines my personal journey with the inspiring stories of military leaders, NFL players, extraordinary women, and  everyday heroes, offering a blueprint for intentional living and purposeful leadership.

Written in the same candid way as I speak, this book is not for those who get upset about an occasional swear word or improper sentence structure. It is a book that can be read front to back or if you like to bounce around a book, you can easily do that with stand alone sections created for the busy and sporadic reader. You will be able to easily find your favorite Stoic quotes from each section as well as the stories of incredible individuals that will leave you inspired. 

I challenge the conventional view of leadership and provide a framework for making leadership a lifestyle not a job title. My SAFE leadership framework :

  • Strength to stand and act with Integrity

  • Agility to adapt to the needs of the moment.

  • Flexibility for curiosity in adversity.

  • Endurance to value process over outcome.

I get frustrated by books that inspire me but leave me asking, “but how?” So I have included a section titled just that, including my game changing system for goal setting and debriefing- STOA (Success, Targets,Obstacles & Opportunities, Action Steps)

This book is for anyone who wants to stop merely passing time and start living with deep purpose and intention. We are human so we will at times grab the wrong handle. Instead of sweeping the broken pieces under the rug, learn to stay engaged in life and create something stronger and more beautiful from your failures.

Whether you’re an individual seeking personal growth or a leader aiming to inspire your team, Choose the Handle that Holds offers the tools and insights you need to transform your life and leadership style. Embrace the handles that hold, and start leading a life truly lived. 

"Every event has two handles, one by which it can be carried, and one by which it cannot."

Leadership is a Lifestyle not a job title

Why This Book Matters

This book is not just a personal mission; it’s a universal guide for anyone who feels trapped in the mundane routine of life. It speaks to those who fear that time is slipping away without meaningful achievements, and it offers a way out. By sharing my own struggles with bulimia and the fear of wasting time, I aim to connect deeply with readers who face their own challenges. This book is for:

  • Individuals Seeking Purpose: Those who want to live intentionally and find deeper meaning in their daily actions.
  • Leaders and Aspiring Leaders: Professionals- from corporate to athletes and everyone in between, looking to lead with integrity, agility, and resilience.
  • Anyone Facing Adversity: People who need encouragement and practical tools to turn their setbacks into strengths.
  • Readers of Stoic Philosophy: Those who appreciate timeless wisdom and want to apply it to modern life.
  • For Organizations: Equip your team with the SAFE leadership framework and the STOA process for strategic planning and debriefing. Empower leaders to create a culture of integrity, agility, and resilience. Inspire your workforce to achieve their full potential through intentional living and leadership. Booking Becky as a speaker brings these transformative insights to your next conference or corporate event, ensuring lasting impact and motivation


"It is not that we are given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it."

Stoic Wisdom

 Many have misconceptions about Stoicism, thinking it’s about suppressing emotions or being indifferent. In reality, Stoicism is about embracing life’s challenges with wisdom, courage, and understanding what is in your control and what is not. As I tell audiences, “I have emotions, my emotions don’t have me.”  

This book is built upon Stoic wisdom and demystifies its principles, showing how they can empower you to live fully and lead with purpose. Whether you’re new to Stoicism or well-versed in its teachings, you’ll find valuable insights that resonate deeply and inspire action


Meet the Author

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is the founder of Stoic Edge Consulting and Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, focusing on action-based mindfulness and leadership training for organizations and individuals ready to do things differently.

With humor and vulnerability, Becky uses storytelling to blend Stoic philosophy and modern science, empowering her audience with not only new tools but the skills to use them. She transforms obstacles into opportunities and puts mindfulness into action.

Becky’s speaking approach leaves the audience curious and confident to test what they’ve learned, avoiding the fleeting motivation that ends when real life resumes.

With over 10 years of public speaking and teaching, Becky connects deeply with her audience. She has worked with teams in healthcare, corporate sectors, first responders, and the NFL, and provides free mental health and leadership workshops for teens, bringing her Stoic Edge Leadership Programs to audiences nationwide.

Becky lives her philosophy of living and leadership with her truly unique onsite location for team-building and leadership retreats, private parties, classes, and weekly summer camps for kids.  It includes a commercial teaching kitchen, fairy tale treehouse, archery range, survival and first aid training, wood-fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats, and a timber adventure playground. 

As a mom to three girls, 50 chickens, 10 goats, and 2 dogs, and as a wife to a firefighter, Becky’s life is never boring, providing endless stories shared with a candid familiarity that makes those listening feel like they are hanging out with an old friend. Her stage presence puts the audience at ease while keeping them engaged and curious about what’s next.

In all she does, Becky aims to build compassion and confidence in others, viewing leadership as a lifestyle, not a job title, to help them take action to live their best life, not just pass time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The book should hit the printers end of February and then arrive on my doorstep the first week of March. If you choose to do a pick up instead of having me ship it to you, I will be contacting you with pick up date options! 

You betcha! The digital copy of the book will be out before the printed version so those who get a copy of that will have the chance to read it and then help my Amazon sales by leaving a review on Amazon right when it becomes available to order there, around the first week of March. Those sales will be really important as far as getting on the ‘best seller’ lists which is how the book will get visibility. 

The audio version will be available a few months after the printed version as I need to wait to record it until after the final copy has been sent to the publishers. Those who purchase anything in this presale window will be alerted when the audio version becomes available. 

Absolutely. Once the book has been sent to the printer, I will be able to upload the book file on Amazon.

For established authors, doing presales on Amazon is how they end up immediately on best seller lists the moment their book is launched. But you can’t presell on Amazon unless your book is completely done. This presell is able to be done while my book is still being edited and revised. 

Yup! For those local to the Iowa City area, there is an option for a package that includes a ticket to the onsite party. Those are limited due to space but if there are other local bookstores (both local to me and to you) who would like to host an event, let me know! 

I plan on creating a book tour based on locations where the most number of books are sold and where there are organizations that want to host a stop. If your company/organization is interested in sponsoring a stop on the tour, contact me below!  

I will be updating on the book tour stops both on social media and in the emails you receive by being part of the launch community. 

Stoic Edge provides customized leadership consulting and executive leadership coaching to those who are driven be elite at all that they do. I have realized that many organizations say they want leadership training but in reality it is just a ‘check the box’ item for them. If that is the case, I’m not the right fit for you. From professional athletes to corporate executives, I work with those who are ready to do the hard work of being a leader because they understand that is how you live a life truly lived. 

Learn all about Stoic Edge Consulting and how I can be of help to your organization and team at beckyschmooke.com.

Why Presales? Because it takes more than just a tiny baby goat as a writing partner to publish a book….

To bring this book to life, I’m partnering with a hybrid publisher. This approach combines the best of traditional and self-publishing, ensuring professional quality while retaining creative control. Presales are essential to fund various aspects of the publishing process, including:

  • Editing: 6 weeks of structural editing and 16 weeks of intense revision editing.  Ensuring the book is polished and professionally refined.
  • Cover Design: Creating a compelling and visually appealing cover.
  • Printing: Producing high-quality physical copies.
  • Distribution: Making the book available across multiple platforms.
  • Audio Book
  • Marketing: Promoting the book to reach a wider audience.

Your support through presales not only helps cover these costs but also brings this project to fruition, allowing the book to impact as many lives as possible.

When you become a supporter of Choose the Handle that Holds, you join my author community … which means what? 

Become part of this journey with me as I spend the next 6 months in revisions, deciding on final chapter titles, choosing the cover and finishing my interviews for my book:  Choose the Handle that Holds: Unlocking a Life Truly Lived. By purchasing any presale package, you’ll gain access to:

  • Exclusive Content: Receive special emails with insights and behind-the-scenes updates.
  • Creative Influence: Help choose the book cover and chapter titles, and provide feedback on content.
  • Early Access: Be the first to know about special offers and book tour details.
  • Interactive Experiences: Participate in unique opportunities and events, making your voice heard in this collaborative movement. 
  • Virtual Coffee Chat Invitations: Ask questions and become truly involved in the last 6 months of the book writing phase during virtual coffee chats starting in September. 

Don’t miss your chance to be an integral part of this transformative book’s success and join a community dedicated to living with purpose and intention. Your involvement will shape the future of this project, making each moment count.

All packages ordered in July 2024 will include a free digital copy and audio book! 

Special Presale Packages

Don’t see what you are looking for? Planning a conference for 2025 and want to provide books for your audience and have me provide the keynote talk or want to order more than 50 copies? Contact me to create custom packages for your organization- we’ll create the perfect fit for your needs. 

Packages for Everyone

All packages ordered in July 2024 will include a free digital copy and audio book!


$ 50
  • Signed Paperback Copy of "Choose the Handle that Holds"
  • Access to Author Community Exclusives (detailed above)

    Your name in Acknowledgments under Starter level supporter


$ 75 Starter level package plus:
  • Your Name in book Acknowledgments Under 'Premium level supporter'
  • Ticket Virtual to the 'ask the author' meet up after book is released
  • 1 digital STOA handbook on how to truly put into action the changes needed to stop wasting time and start living life.


$ 110 Premium package plus:
  • 1 Digital Book copy for you to share with someone you care about
  • 1 Ticket to Virtual Workshop on how to use STOA to create lasting change
  • 2 Tickets to launch party at bMK (Becky's Mindful Kitchen) Summer 2025- will wait for baby goats to be born to have the party.
  • Name in Acknowledgments under Elite level Supporter

Local Specials

For those local to the Eastern Iowa area, these are great deals for those who have always wanted to come out to visit BMK in person or who value how magical it is out here and don’t want to miss out on these special offers. This is a limited number of each package available. These are created to make splitting the cost between those in your group easy to do! Haven’t heard of Becky’s Mindful Kitchen before? Click HERE to learn what awaits you when you visit! 

Goats, Chickens and Treehouse, oh my!

This is perfect for those wanting to spend time with friends and yet can never find the time- well, you found it. *Only 5 of these packages available.
$ 300 Visits must take place by August 2025 (contact me after ordering to schedule)
  • 90 min hour visit to BMK for 2 families or 8 adults, can be spent with animals and treehouse/timber ($400 value)
  • Special Gift to take home
  • 2 Signed copies of choose the handle that holds
  • Access to Launch Community Exclusives
  • Your Name in book Acknowledgments under Elite level supporter
  • Ticket Virtual to the 'ask the author' meet up after book is released

Private Baby Goat/Farm Visit

Perfect for 2 families or friends who already share books! Contact me for cost for adding people to your group. *Only 10 of these package available
$ 200 Schedule visits before August 30th if you want to have time with all 6 babies. After August 30th some may be at their forever homes. Visit must be take place by August 2025. (contact me after ordering to schedule)
  • 45 min private visit with the baby goats and chickens for up to 10 people (2yrs and under do not count towards the 10) ($125 Value)
  • Special gift to take home for each family (or individual)
  • 2 Signed Copies of Choose the Handle that Holds
  • Access to launch community exclusives
  • Your name in book Acknowledgements under Elite Level supporter
  • Ticket Virtual to the 'ask the author' meet up after book is released

Treehouse birthday party- For kids or adults

only 4 of these packages are available
$ 400 Parties must take place by August 2025 (contact me after ordering to schedule)
  • Full Treehouse birthday package:
  • 2 hour party for total of 10 kids (siblings don't count towards total)
  • time with goats and chickens followed by time at the treehouse and timber adventure playground: Ziplines, ninja course, swings, outdoor games, fairy forest, slack line and more
  • End with homemade gelato and special birthday gift plus photo to take home of either your family or birthday friends!
  • Adults you get to have parties too! Enjoy time around the fire pit, games and just have a great time. I provide a variety of drinks and snacks inside bMK for you to take out to the timber or you can bring in food & drink as well.
  • 1 sign copy of Choose the Handle that holds
  • Name in book Acknowledgements under the Elite level supporter
  • Access to Launch Community Exclusives

Packages for organizations

Virtual Webinar/Lunch & Learn

$ 500
  • 30 min-1 hour interactive talk personalized to the needs of your organization (can be up to 100 participants)
  • 30 min Author Q&A after book launch if you schedule webinar before March 2025
  • 10 signed copies of Choose the Handle that Holds
  • Your organization's name in acknowledgments under elite level supporter
  • Access to Launch Community Exclusives

Onsite leadership or team building Workshop

$ 4,000
  • Special Month of July Discount of $1.5k off standard 5hr workshop/retreat cost of $5.5k. workshop held at bMK, customized to fit the needs of your organization.
  • Homemade and gourmet snacks and drinks provided. Time with animals and timber included.
  • 16 signed copies of Choose the Handle that Holds
  • Access to Launch Community Exclusives
  • Your Organization's Name in book Acknowledgments under Elite Level Supporter
  • Digital Copy of sTOA Handbook
  • 30 min Virtual Author Q&A after book launch if you schedule workshop before March 2025

Choose the Handle that Holds Leadership Seminar

$ 2,500 This can take place onsite at BMK or at your location if within the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.
  • Signed Books for participants
  • Organization's name in acknowledgements under Elite level supporter
  • Digital copy of STOA handbook
  • Access to launch community exclusives
  • 30 min Author Q&A after book launch if you schedule webinar before March 2025

Other Ways You Can Support Me

Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:

  • Please share my pre-sale campaign on social media and in conversation with your friends, family, and network.
  • Please recommend my book to five (5) friends, family members, or co-workers who you think would enjoy it via text or direct message on social media.
  • Want to buy a copy but can’t afford the cost of the presale packages? Select “Contact for Future Purchase” under the order form and I will let you know when it is available on Amazon in March of 2025. Amazon purchases and reviews will play an important role in helping the book hit the Best Seller Lists. 

Thank you, truly, for your support. This book has become so much bigger than I ever could have expected in the impact it has had in my own life and I am grateful for your help in making it possible to do the same in the lives of others. 

I love interacting with all of you on social media too, your comments and messages mean a lot to me. The links to follow me are below if you want daily stories on leadership, mindfulness, kindness and videos of baby goats! I know most of us have mixed feelings about social media but it is an essential part of book marketing now as having an engaged community online will help me get onto podcasts and other media platforms for this book. So, once more, with truly an open heart, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to inspire me to keep moving forward even on the hardest of days. Please share this page with others and never hesitate to reach out! 


Learn more about Stoic Edge Consulting HERE

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Notes & Confirmation

Book will be sent to the printer end of February and arrive to be signed by Becky in early March. However, things may change due to things outside of Becky's control. Any changes will be communicated to you via email. Email me at [email protected] to schedule a local package visit/party. If you don't hear from me within 48 hours feel free to text me at (319) 325-3464
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