4xForth: Molly Rudberg / by Natalie Pavela

4xForth-Chicago-Molly-RudbergEach Friday we’re highlighting one of the lovely women in our community by learning about her favorite Chicago places and restaurants, hearing what websites she’s all jazzed about, and gaining some inspiration from destinations she’s dreaming of traveling to next.

It’s 4 x Forth Friday and today we’re talking to Forth alum Molly Rudberg - entrepreneur, storyteller, leadership developer, reninvention coach, and organizational catalyst (just to name a few). Molly is also co-hosting Ride of Your Life, a transformational journey that will take 20 adventurous individuals from Chicago to LA by motorcycle down route 66 this September. How amazing does that sound?! Read on to learn all about what this inspiring lady loves!

Places that I frequent in Chicago:

1. Oak Park Farmers Market – There's no better place to buy legendary hot donuts AND balance it out with fresh EVERYTHING: peppers, corn, cheese, flowers, pumpkins, salsa, etc.!  This place makes a heart happy.

2. The Lakefront - Nothing like it in the world.  Swimming, biking, running, feeling, sitting, playing, laughing, drinking, dreaming, watching, thinking, loving.  The lakefront holds it all, and so beautifully.

3. Old Town -  My old (and favorite!) stomping grounds in the city.  The place I grew up most, and I often wonder if they’ll let me back in…

4.  TechNexus -  Disruptive, productive, outside of the box thinking – constant creation.  The best incubator, collaborator and tech supporter in the world!  I am consistently blown away by the knowledge, experience and opportunities it affords me and so many others from both a professional and personal perspective.

Places I'll go someday:

1.  Paris – City of Love.  Enough said.

2. Lahore, Pakistan – I lived there as a little girl with my family and I always say I left a part of my heart there.  That experience colored my world (and way of being) significantly. My dream is to return someday and support women and girls fighting every day to gain access to education and basic rights.  My fear is it will never be safe enough for this to happen.

3. Maldives – I remember visiting these remote islands when I was a little girl.  My favorite memory is lying on the floor of a glass bottom boat just off the shore of the white sandy beach rocking back and forth with the waves.  Staring deep in to the blue ocean - watching the casual and diverse fish peacefully wander by in all their beauty.  Felt like a great metaphor for life.

4. Heaven.  What?!  Truth.  In fact, most days I look around and thank my lucky stars:  I’m already there.

Best Bites in Chicago:

1.  Munch  – there is no better vegan/vegetarian/gluten free and BYOW experience in the western burbs than this little place in Oak Park.  Delish everything.  Even for carnivores! Be sure to try the Kalamata Tapenade Pita Pizza, Kale Munch a Bunch Protein Salad and the Amazing Black Bean Burger.

2. Pequod’s Pizza  – Easy, casual, down to earth - my kind of vibe and meal.  Caramelized, cheesy, deep dish crust, homemade tomato sauce and salty pepperoni lure even the healthiest of mindsets in immediately.  Paired with a cold IPA – you can find this 80% gluten free gal there on my cheat day.

3. Butch McGuire's – a must on St. Patty’s Day and more.  Relaxing, low key, easy; great burgers and bloodies (do you see a pattern?). It's one of Chicago’s oldest restaurants/bars. It’s said that more people have met and married at this 50+ year old establishment than any other bar in the city.  And it didn’t disappoint - I met my hubby there on St. Patty’s Day a wee bit ago – and we return to celebrate often.

4. Chips and Salsa.  Anywhere.

Sites I lurve:

1.  NewYorkTimes.com – My daily connection to the world.

2. Travelocity.com – My daily dream site.

3. Positively Positive.com – My daily connection to possibility.

4. Medium.com – My daily connection to deep thought, different perspectives, experiences and words.

5. Harvard Business Review – Nerdy right?  But necessary.  I'm obsessed with leadership, coaching, branding, transformation and change – Harvard Business Review provides insights, case studies and relevant research on a consistent basis.

Thank you for sharing Molly! We loved getting a glimpse into your childhood memories and hearing that the power of Butch McGuire's brought you and your husband together. Pequod's wins for best Chicago deep dish hands-down, definitely worth a cheat. Your daily reads are going to make us smarter, and now we all want to join in the Ride of Your Life this fall!

Learn more about Molly on her Website and stay connected on Twitter! We also love her 5 Rules to Live and Die By to Find Work that Lights You on Fire.