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Women Who Went for It! is a bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Career Change Agent, Sara McArdle. The show features inspiring chats with successful industry changers who share how they found the clarity, courage and motivation to step into a deeper vocation and a life of meaning and fulfillment. We hope you'll see just how many before you have GONE for it—and they're eternally grateful that they took the risk!

Oct 13, 2019

Women Who Went for It Podcast Guest: Courtney McLeod
In this episode, Sara talks with Courtney McLeod about her abrupt and intentional departure from a well-established career in private equity real estate to pursue her bigger dream of interior design. Courtney shares how she got into design without going back to school for another degree, how much more she enjoys her life now than she did when she was "financially free," and how she realized that she'd been spending money to fill a void that is now filled through doing work she's passionate about. Today, Courtney is the principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design, an award-winning Manhattan-based studio.
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.
Sara and Courtney Discuss:
  • How Sara found Courtney
  • Courtney applying to both architecture school and business school
  • Studying business at The Wharton School
  • Focusing on real estate private equity
  • Getting "the" job she'd been working toward and still feeling unfulfilled
  • Realizing that life is too short
  • Quitting without a plan and feeling great about it
  • Seeking an internship at a firm
  • Stumbling upon her first design client
  • Setting up her own company and promoting herself
  • Growing organically through word of mouth and referrals
  • Finally seeing herself as an "entrepreneur"
  • Realizing her tolerance for risk
  • Choosing an interior design certificate program over going back to school for another degree
  • The value of her business degree
  • The wrong impression that people get about interior design from things like HGTV
  • Noticing that whatever your "thing" is in life, it naturally comes easily
  • Design resources she recommends:
  • Feeling like a fraud when she first told people she was an interior designer
  • Seeing less respect for interior design than her previous industry, finance
  • Realizing that she'd been spending money to fill a void in her life
  • Enjoying her new life much more than she'd ever enjoyed her previous "financial freedom"
  • The challenge of work/life balance when your work IS your hobby
  • How people in her life initially responded to her career change
  • The amazing new relationships she's cultivated through her work
  • The expectation when she was growing up that she get into a high-prestige job
  • Trusting that, because she's smart and she can work hard, she can make things happen
  • Meeting one of her interior design heroines, Sheila Bridges
  • The advice she'd give to someone who's hesitating on pursuing their dream career
  • ...and more!
Courtney's Full Bio:
Courtney McLeod is the principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design, an award-winning Manhattan-based design studio. An avid colorist at heart, Courtney draws from a kaleidoscopic toolbox of texture, pattern, and color to create rooms evocative of one emotion above all others—joy. Her work has been featured in print both in the US and abroad—including the cover of Aspire Design + Home Magazine. She is a 2019 High Point Market Authority Style Spotter and included on the 2019 list of emerging designers by Luxe Magazine. Courtney is an S. Harris brand ambassador.
Prior to founding the firm, Courtney earned a business degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and completed design-related studies at Parsons, Pratt, and New York School of Interior Design. The name Right Meets Left perfectly reflects her approach to the design process—rooted in the balance of creative design, or right brain, and analytical rigor, or left brain. The spaces she designs express both her client’s unique tastes and her vivid, collected aesthetic.
Connect with Courtney and Right Meets Left Interior Design:
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Phone: 503.893.2043
Want to make your own career change?
Download Sara's Seven Cs of Successful Career Change Chart.