Marissa Levin
CEO, speaker and writer

Marissa Levin

Founder and CEO of Information Experts, a 15-year-old strategic communications, human capital, and training consulting firm. Nationally known speaker and writer, and an expert on how to build a successful business while building a fulfilling life.

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Striking out on my own

Q: At some point in your life, you probably decided to take a leap of faith and go in a direction -- professionally or personally -- that others did not expect. Like quit Goldman Sachs to be a goat farmer. Or leave a company job for your own venture. Was the move a success? Did the new direction turn out the way you thought it would?

The most surprising event in my life was leaving a steady job to start my own company almost 15 years ago. I had never taken a business course; at that time in my life I was fairly risk aversive; and at 27 years old, I was still a rookie in the corporate world.

I think people who have known me for most of my life are surprised that I started my own gig, and also at the success I have found with Information Experts. Of course, no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors; people who don't own their own businesses can't grasp how difficult it is to sustain and grow a business.

While others may be surprised about Information Experts today, what surprises me most is the tenacity I have developed to keep going in the face of difficulty.

Information Experts has far surpassed my expectations as a company. I have far surpassed my expectations for myself. I'm not saying that to be self-depracating; I say that because what I have learned is that we really don't know our capabilities and capacities until we are pushed well beyond our limits. And I have been pushed beyond my limits too many times to count as I have built this business.

I consider the move to be a success; I think it is safe to say that I could never work for anyone else again. I appreciate the privilege to build a company, provide for my family, be a hands-on mother, serve as a role model for my sons, provide jobs and career paths to incredible people, mentor/educate current and future entrepreneurs, and make a difference through the work that we do.

However, I certainly don't think that this is the last bold decision I will make in this lifetime.

At 42 years old, I am quite confident that my best life is still ahead of me. I know my life will include many other unexpected decisions and turns, and I look forward to the journeys and experiences they bring me.

By Marissa Levin  |  August 2, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Careers and success , Going for it , Sustaining success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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