The Colorado mountains
Alan Blado taking a team of rafters down the river.
Who: Alan Blado, 31
Launched: White-water rafting company
Alan Blado was a successful young stockbroker at UBS in Colorado Springs, "but I hated wearing a suit everyday," he said. "I wasn't happy."
Blado had worked as a white water rafting guide during college and he missed being on the rapids. He wanted his own rafting business, so he focused on gathering funds, even living in his parents' house during his nearly five years with UBS. "The idea was always to save money so I could get into the rafting business," said Blado, now 31.
By January 2008, Blado had saved enough to buy a failed rafting business. That got him all the necessary permits and licenses, then he started rebuilding the business essentially from scratch, renaming it Liquid Descent.
Liquid Descent now has two locations in Colorado -- one in Idaho Springs, and another in Kremmling. During the busy season -- mid April through mid September -- Blado works seven days a week.
"It is hard to call it work sometimes because you are in these beautiful places doing exciting stuff," he said. "I am in the water almost every single day."
NEXT: Costa Rica