When Debra Shriver left her native Alabama for Washington, DC, she was 26, newly married, and ready to step into a high-profile PR job. She spent the next 25 years overseeing public relations at Hearst Media, a role she still appreciates for the growth opportunities it offered. But when she felt called to reinvent her career, she acted on it. “If I didn't like the situation, I was a really good cut and run artist,” she says. “I have perfected the quit." She chose to exchange the fast-paced New York life for The Big Easy. An avid Francophile, she saw in New Orleans what she loved about France: the slower pace, the exquisite arts, and the almost Caribbean-like ease that softens each day. The city inspired a series of reinventions that led her to creating her own publishing firm, delving into photography, and writing several books of her own. Her latest, The French Leave, is an homage to both Paris and New Orleans, the cities that inspired her reinvention and captured her heart. In this conversation with Covey Club founder Lesley Jane Seymour, Shriver explains how she embraced the unbuttoned freedom of New Orleans life with a Lucy Ricardo sense of adventure. Her advice? “Don’t be the Ricky,” she says. “Life is too short.”

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