In 2012, I was working for the government in a secure, stable position as a policy analyst. I was making good money and was quite comfortable, outwardly. But inside, I longed to do something far more creative, more independent—to build something of my own.

As a hobby, I had been making jewelry for several years prior. I’d taken classes, had lots of supplies stocked up, and had been selling a bit here and there via Etsy. As my hobby grew into an obsession, I started to think: what if I turned this into a full-time business of my own?

After two years of careful, meticulous planning, I quit my government job. Nearly everyone thought I was nuts because it seemed to have come out of the blue—I didn’t talk to very many people about my plans while I was forming them. I’m very happy and proud to be able to say that today, my business is thriving, and I absolutely love spending most of my days working alone, being self-motivated and independent.

My story is a testament to listening to your inner voice and trusting that it is no less valid or sound even if others don’t see your decision-making process.