My family was preparing for a move to Chicago in preparation for my husband’s enrollment in a PhD program.

So I created a to do list because that is what I do. I create to do lists. In times of panic and in times of pleasure, I create to do lists. (Perfect for every occasion, really!)

And on my to do list for my professional transition, I listed all the right next steps: networking, informational interviews, executive search firms, recruiters, and finding out who in my current network has Chicago contacts. I hustled for several months. I made great contacts, fielded an offer, got approved by an executive search firm, and made progress.

But it still felt like I was putting my fate into somebody else’s hand. I had spent a decade building my expertise, my skills, and my professional reputation. And the only option that felt right was starting my own business.

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