One icy, snowy weekend day during my early twenties I found myself walking to Barnes and Nobles in the Gold Coast of Chicago and buying almost every economic self-help book I could get my hands on. I would study my way out of becoming a pion for life. I would refuse to live like a mouse and I would do whatever it takes to slowly chip my way out.

I audio-booked my walks to work listening to Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Secret, etc. I worked my way out of debt in one year. I learned I had to sometimes play offense in my career and jumped to another huge PR Agency for what was at the time an enormous increase in pay.  I learned the system, went to workshops on weekends, educated myself on Entrepreneurship. Researched and flew across the country to meet with female entrepreneurs so I could see what they were doing.  Watch what they’re doing and imitate it.  I met inspiring, driven, unconventional people. I jumped again to work in house for a Agency client who hired my in lieu of an Agency to reduce their costs.

Huh, I thought. Two years later, I started that lower cost Agency. I met an amazing woman who showed me how it was done and believed in me, who made me realize I could actually do this. I didn’t have rent on Michigan Avenue, overhead of hundreds of employees. I could service and outsource and help businesses I believed in.  Instead of vacations, I took my days to pitch business all over Chicago. It was slower going and took about three months but I’ll never forget the day we landed our first yearly retainer client.

It was also a snowy January day, a few years later, one of those snows where the flakes happily dance around the sky but never seem to land.  I could quit my “day job.”  I was officially an entrepreneur.  After the conference call with the team, I drove home with my windows open to the world, little snow flakes dancing into my car, I was honking and waving at people with no reason, giving all the cash in my pockets out to any and every homeless person I saw. Hallelujah the time had come!