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Wall Street Through the Rearview Mirror Finance refugees are earning dividends by parlaying their skills into entrepreneurship

By Bruce Schoenfeld

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Pregnant with her third child, Rana DiOrio took a break from her finance career in 2008. Next thing she knew, she'd written two children's books--one that explores the concept of being global and another about the importance of being green. "I don't sit still very well," she says. "Most investment bankers don't."

DiOrio wanted a publisher who would print the books in an environmentally friendly fashion, befitting their topics. "People laughed at me," she says. "'You're going to tell the publisher to use soy ink? Good luck with that one!'"

When no such publisher emerged, she was surprised but undaunted. She'd advised entrepreneurs on starting businesses while working at Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and a mergers-and-acquisitions boutique. She knew an opportunity when she saw it.