Last Friday at the Bay Path Women’s Conference, I listened intently to Queen Latifah talk about her career and her bold move at 17 as a hip hop star to call herself “Queen Latifah”. She said Latifah was always her nickname, but putting “Queen” in front of it was certainly a bold statement, especially at such a young age. But she did it and the rest is history!

This made me think about the different bold moves I’ve made in my own life and career and specifically what has prompted me to step out of my comfort zone at times. I’ve always been a bit of a risk taker, but a risk taker in a very strategic way. Sure, sometimes I do things impulsively but for the most part I seek opportunities to move my career forward and evaluate those opportunities that present themselves to determine if they make sense for me and where I am in my career.

After having been with one company for 9 years and losing a promotion, I took a tremendous leap out of my comfort zone. I moved from the east coast to Chicago to run a national healthcare company. It was a huge step up to be a CEO and I could have easily talked myself out of it. “I’m not ready to do this.” “It’s scary to move away from my family and friends.” “I am afraid I’m not good enough.” I’m sure you’ve all had similar thoughts, but in the end despite my fear I was bold and made the move and I’m happy that I did. It was a turning point in my career.

Being bold can be different things to different people. In some cases, it’s taking on a new job, changing careers, leaving work to raise a family. In some cases it’s calling yourself “Queen”.

In the end, Queen Latifah said she was comfortable enough in her own skin to celebrate who she is, as she is and told the women in the audience to strive for the same.

“Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self,” she said.

What bold move have you done lately?