Debbi Fields was 20 when she decided to turn her chocolate-chip-cookie recipe into a company. She opened her first Mrs. Fields bakery in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, and built it into a national chain before selling Mrs. Fields to an investment firm for $100 million. But, in her heart, Fields will always be entrepreneur, as she explains to Inc. contributing editor Liz Welch.

My official time at Mrs. Fields came to an end in 2000. In the 14 years since, I have been a spokesperson. I still talk to the owners, but I do miss running the show. I miss the people; I miss the customers. It was my baby, and I love what we accomplished.

What I don't miss was being a full-time psychologist. That was the biggest challenge, spending most of my time encouraging people: Yes, you can do it! You can do it!

Being out of the business is like empty-nest syndrome-there are different stages. I have five daughters. I remember when my youngest daughter went off to college. I had been raising children for more than 30 years, nonstop. The last one leaving me, I was devastated. I had to learn to adjust and adapt.

You cannot live in the past, but you celebrate those beautiful moments. The love, the joy, the pain.

There are many things to be excited about in my life, but my heart will always tug at being at the helm. I'm a born entrepreneur.

Previously in Debbi Fields was on the cover in July 1984 and featured again in October 1987 ("Mrs. Fields' Secret Ingredient").

From the July-August 2014 issue of Inc. magazine