simone knego

“When you change the way you see yourself, the world around you changes.”

“When you change the way you see yourself, the world around you changes.”

I believe there is magic in each and every one of us.

But for years, I couldn’t see that magic within myself. I struggled with self-doubt. I too faced the relentless criticism from the one voice I couldn't escape: my own. This internal battle left me feeling trapped, unable to recognize my own worth.

I want to help you recognize your own worth and unleash the magic within yourself.

Many moons ago, I earned a Master of Accounting from the University of Florida and began my professional career as a Certified Public Accountant.

But I soon realized that my passion wasn’t crunching numbers—it was helping people.

This led me to becoming an elementary school teacher, starting my own summer camp for children, teaching horseback riding lessons, volunteering with dozens of organizations… and actively seeking opportunities to impact someone’s life in a positive way.

For many years I’ve found profound joy in helping others and today, my desire to help people has expanded into sharing my story so that I can inspire and motivate others to make a difference in this world.

I’ve done some pretty remarkable things in my life — I have:

Birthed three children, and adopted three more from South Korea and Ethiopia.
Traveled the world on many philanthropic missions, including medical missions with my Neurosurgeon husband, Rob, who I’ve been married to for over 30 years.
Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness for the Livestrong Foundation.
Served 6 years (including one year as co-chair) in the National Young Leadership Cabinet for the Jewish Federations of North America.
Authored a book and shared my story internationally as a motivational keynote speaker.
Delivered two TEDx Talks in the last 5 years.

You can watch my TEDxUCSB Talk here and my TEDxLakeShoreDrive here.

But the thing I’m most proud of is having the courage to change the way I saw myself and to understand that my worth doesn’t reside in my accomplishments; it’s rooted in the confidence I’ve built from the inside out.

A Mother-Daughter Podcast

Learn the secrets of lasting transformation and how to build bold confidence and unwavering resilience.

Why start a podcast with my daughter? It all started while we were having one of our typical, totally unfiltered, mother-daughter conversations. 

The things we talk about openly are the things that so many women need to hear which is why we decided to move our intimate conversations from our living-room to our podcast studio. The “Daughter Dearest Podcast” is where we create a supportive space where every woman is encouraged to rise above her fears and love the woman in the mirror. It’s like catching up with old friends who inspire you to be bravely and uniquely you.

free quiz: Your Confidence Archetype

Unlock The Power Within: Reveal Your Confidence Archetype

Discover your unique confidence archetype and unlock your inner power! Take my free quiz and start your journey to feeling empowered, respected, and fulfilled today.

A Book About the Little Things

I’ve made some really big life choices, but it’s the small things that have impacted my life the most.

There’s a popular Jewish phrase I learned in my youth, Tikkun Olam—repair the world— and it has been the driving force behind everything I do. 

It has changed my perspective on life and inspired me to write my book The Extraordinary UnOrdinary You to share the important message that what you do matters, no matter how small. 

We are—in essence—repairing the world with our small acts of kindness by simply being who we are. Each of us is unique and UnOrdinary. But sometimes we need to be reminded how Extraordinary we truly are. 

My Story

I was born in Buffalo, New York in 1972. I have one older sister, Michelle.

I began riding horses at 5 and quickly fell in love with the sport.

Up until my early 40s, most of my days were spent at the barn with my horses. I did it all: riding, training, teaching, even participating in competitions. I made the decision to stop riding after my second knee surgery.

My parents, Barbara & Jehuda, were both practicing physicians.

My father immigrated to the United States to finish up his medical residency which is where he met my mother. My mother grew up in rural Pennsylvania. She worked her way through undergraduate and medical school, where she was one of 5 women in her medical school class. Throughout her career, my mother continuously shattered glass ceilings and became a well respected radiologist. Both of my parents served as incredible role models.

In middle school, my parents and I moved from Buffalo to Gainesville, FL.

After I graduated highschool, I attended the University of Florida where I earned my Bachelors and Masters in Accounting. 

In college, I met my husband, Rob, who was a resident at the university’s hospital.

He is my best friend, my biggest supporter, and the love of my life. We recently celebrated 31 years of marriage!

I am the mother of six amazing children

Yes, you read that right! I have three older biological children, Jacob (27), Emma (23), and Olivia (21). Longing for more chaos, we made the family decision to adopt. Noah (18) came home at 4 months old from South Korea. Ari (20) was born in Ethiopia and came home at 4 years old. For our final adoption, we returned to Ethiopia for Mili (16), who was 2 at the time. While this might sound crazy to some, it was perfect for us. 

I have climbed a mountain!

In 2015, after months of training, I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa. It was one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life, second only to raising my kids.

I am a dog mom of three: Kodi, Rosie, and Sage.

As you can see, I bought a couch to match my dogs 🙂

I’m an adventurer! I have been to 6/7 continents (Just missing Australia).

Last December, I traveled with two of my daughters and my 84-year-old mother to Antarctica.  There, I participated in the Polar Plunge, the fancy way of saying, “I jumped into the Southern Ocean in ice cold water (Literally, there was an iceberg 50 feet away). Yes, it was freezing!! But it was worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience.