My life as an in-house lawyer started inauspiciously: It was my first week, and I had already gotten into a big fight with the CEO. The next morning, he summoned me to his office. As I grabbed my legal pad and headed over, sure I was about to be fired, I wondered how I had gotten myself into this mess, what I was going to tell my family and friends, and where my career would be headed next.

After 20 years in BigLaw, I had finally made the move in-house. It wasn’t just any move; it was a drastic one. I left the comforts of a high-rise office building in midtown Manhattan for a warehouse space in Brooklyn, where I joined a fast-paced, high-growth early stage company as general counsel. The company I joined made money by charging its customers for the privilege of running through walls of fire, swimming through large containers of ice, and navigating fields of wires with 10,000 volts of electricity running through them. The company was Tough Mudder. What was I thinking?

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