Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on July 7, 2009

Today: Starting a new career at the age of 45.

In this tough economy, if you are afraid you will lose your job and not be able to get another, you will be especially interested in today’s story.

“I’ve always been afraid,” said 45-year-old Dana Brown. “What if I lost my job?”

“Where would I live? What would I do? How would I pay my bills?”

A year ago Dana, who is single, quit her corporate job in accounts payable in frustration, thinking there were plenty of good jobs available.

“But that’s when the economy crashed,” Dana said. “It turned out to be terrible timing,” as she got one rejection after the next.

So what did she do? She collected unemployment benefits. But her check was far less than what she’d been making. Dana was in real trouble and knew it was time for drastic action.

“I cashed in my retirement,” she said. “And I paid the penalties for doing it. Then [to save money] I got a different apartment.

“But I was afraid I couldn’t [continue to] pay the monthly rent so I paid six months in advance so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.”

Dana also slashed the rest of her overhead, living as cheaply as possible.

“Then I went back to school. I’d always wanted to be in the beauty industry.” And now in middle age, and with no job offers, Dana made the career change that had always scared her.

She went to school to become a manicurist. “There I was in classes with almost everyone just 18 to 25 years old. But I didn’t care. This is what I wanted to do.”

But even as a top student, in this economy could Dana get a job when she graduated? “Yes!” she stated as her voice boomed with enthusiasm.

A well known shop had an opening for a manicurist and hired her right after her graduation. Is she worried that in this bad economy, she won’t be able to attract clients?

“Even in a bad economy,” she said with a smile, “Women still want to look pretty and they’ll spend the money to feel pretty. I’m so happy with my new career.

“I intend to also go back to school when I can afford it,” she added. “I want to be able to do facials and offer a full line of beauty services.”

Now she works on her own terms, doing what she loves. “I’m not afraid anymore about losing my job,” she said with a sparkle in her eyes and a glow that warmed our conversation. For Dana had successfully confronted her fears and had come out on top.

Success Tip of the Week: If you’re stuck in a job you dislike or fear a layoff, this is a good time to go back to school part time to gain the skills you will need for your dream job or to make yourself more valuable where you’re currently employed.

In the next KazanToday: A simple way to reduce your stress and live a happier life.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!