How 4 Career Changers Found Their Calling
Tammy Rosen, 37
After five years as a software engineer and IT consultant, Tammy Rosen "felt like a widget in a big machine." Meanwhile, she was watching a lot of Animal Planet...and thinking about getting a dog...and wondering if dog training might make a cool hobby....
Rosen began apprenticing with a trainer once a week. "I loved how personal and direct the work is," she says. "It's much more interesting than sitting at a desk coding all day." After almost two years—and without quitting her job—she started a part-time pet-sitting business, Fur-Get Me Not.
Her Big Step
"My husband and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii, feeling all this excitement and freedom, and I was like, 'I don't want to go back to working for corporate America!'" Within two months, she'd resigned from her job, gotten a puppy, and gone full-time with her company.
Her Fairy Godmother
When Rosen found the perfect space to open her own doggy daycare and training facility, she was rejected—twice—for a six-figure loan. "I told myself, I believe in this business model. I will make it." At bank number three, she met "a fabulous female loan officer who supported women-owned small businesses"—and who gave Rosen the money.
Her Juggling Act
Since being diagnosed with diabetes three years ago, this self-described workaholic and mother of two (ages 3 and 1) has struggled to make her own well-being a priority. "When I'm stressed, my numbers get high—and I'm stressed a lot. So as my business keeps progressing, I, too, have to improve."
"As an entrepreneur, you never really feel like you've 'made it,'" Rosen says. But after four years, she knew she'd cleared a major hurdle when she could finally afford to pay herself more than $10 an hour. Now she employs 97 people, has recently opened a second location, and just brought her husband, Steve, onboard as vice president: "He's had a big impact on the business—but I'm still the boss."
— Nina Shen Rastogi
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