I'm certain I was put on this earth to do nothing more or less than start a business with Nicole Cliffe, my cofounder at the website The Toast and mate of my soul. I stumbled upon her work on a different site back in 2011, and the only way I can describe how I felt is that I wanted her brain and mine to collide into one another at maximum speed in the middle of a sunny meadow. After we exchanged a flurry of devotion-professing emails, she bought me a plane ticket to visit her in Utah, where we ran into each other's arms in the Salt Lake City airport. A few months later, I was at her family's Thanksgiving table; a year after that, I had quit my job and we started a company together.

Nicole has a delightful husband and two wonderful children, and I have a place in her life that's not quite either. (Ideally, when we're both dead, I'll be buried at her feet like a dog.) Since we started the site, we talk at least twice a day—about work, about our personal lives, about nothing. The only company rule we've made for ourselves is that if either of us is frustrated with the other, we talk it out; we never complain to someone else.

I feel bigger because of her. Every time she succeeds or experiences joy, I feel like it's happening to me. There's more of me because she exists. If that's not a soul mate, I don't know what is.


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