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Katherine Krantz, founder and owner of financial consulting firm Zenith Partners, wasn’t always sure how to make herself heard.

In her 1,000 Stories profile, she tells of an ex-boyfriend who pushed her to fight with a former business partner. He “inflamed my emotions, and encouraged me to be more aggressive and confrontational than what felt comfortable to me,” Krantz says. She exited the startup accepting terms she now regrets and “realized after the fact that he was pursuing his own agenda and didn’t have my own interests at heart.”

In her new venture, Krantz has gained more confidence in her own voice. When it comes to her business, which serves women going through transitions like divorce, “I’m able to tailor my approach to the needs of my client,” she says, rather than relying on one-size-fits-all strategies. “I no longer need to put square pegs in round holes.”

Being the boss also helped her approach difficult situations in ways that are organic to who she is. She does not like confrontations, she confesses. “The best way for me to address a problem is by talking about it calmly and rationally, while a more aggressive personality type may be more effective in a heated debate,” she says. “I listen to my gut about what feels like the best way to communicate.”

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