Second acts

Mar 3: After two decades at the same company, Louise Mann was ready for a change. She found inspiration while doing her wash. More
3:29pm: A former Xerox executive breaks into mining and buys a gravel pit. More
Feb 3: After retiring from a career in software sales, Tim Juntgen happened upon an idea that got his creative engines going. More
Dec 26: Airline exec Steve Zerda gave up a stable career to become a racehorse owner -- a risky bet that might just pay off. More
Oct 17: Amy Bass and Evvy Diamond came to owning a stationery store from different paths. Their complementary skills make them a great team. More
Jul 15: Back in 2006, photography buff Roger Cicala spent $5,500 on a telephoto lens he intended to use only once, to snap wildlife on a trip to Montana. More
May 28: Tired of feeling like a professional killjoy, former banker Scott Moloney found a cool new business: making ice cream. More
Apr 30: When her job was eliminated in a corporate shuffle, foodie Jill Foucré turned up the heat on her passion, opening a cooking school and retail store. More
Apr 17: After a rocky start, Marcia Connelley and Terri Paradise are settling into their new life as spa owners. More
Feb 6: When he lost his job at a solar firm, Sam Palmer started ReFleece, an eco-friendly business that makes iPad cases out of recycled materials. More
Dec 5: A pink slip gave Selena Einwechter the push she needed to open the bed and breakfast she'd long been designing in her mind. More
Nov 28: What does sports law have to do with cage fighting? Not a lot - but for Bellator founder, Bjorn Rebney, one was his job, the other his passion. More
Nov 7: Former banking executive Douglas Dolton found a way to turn his passion for sports cars into a booming luxury used-car business. More
Oct 19: He once played drums for shock-rock outfit Alice Cooper. But now Neal Smith is a successful realtor in high-end properties. More
Oct 8: After being laid off from her sales job at L'Oréal, Robin Bylenga decided to open a bike shop geared toward women. More
Oct 4: Michelle Lam was a principal at Bain Capital Ventures until she decided to take a leap into lingerie. More
Sep 18: When celebrity fitness coach Jake Steinfeld sold a successful business, he got a new idea: turn lacrosse into a major league sport. More
Sep 5: Brad Barrett, inventor of GrillGrate, seized a sizzling business opportunity when he used a chemical material to make a unique grill tool. More
Aug 14: When Bruce Lisman decided he was done with a life in finance, he moved back to his home state of Vermont to root for its economy. More
Jul 24: After running someone else's art moving, shipping and storage company for a decade, Wendell Eckholm was ready to open his own startup shop. More
Jul 2: Forseeing a warming public interest in alternative energy, lawyer Jeanine Cotter was inspired to launch a solar contracting business. More
Jun 22: The retired basketball star is building a vast and diverse business empire in his native China. More
Jun 6: Starting an assessment-exam business was a serious career change for Richelle Lyons Burnett, who had worked only at big companies. More
May 14: When Deborah Kenny left behind a lucrative career to start a school for underprivileged youth in Harlem, her friends thought she was taking a huge risk. She was, and it paid off for the kids. More
May 11: Buying a business when you're no longer a kid comes with particular challenges. Learn how to overcome those obstacles from people who've done it right. More
May 11: Almost half of potential entrepreneurs, ages 44 to 70, expect to use their personal savings to launch their ventures. More
May 11: Mitigate the risks of starting a company after 50. Know the industry you're going into and be passionate about it. More
Apr 17: The meat business was in Terry Walsh's blood. Even so, he needed to learn a bit more before he could make the move from banking. More
Mar 8: A volunteer experience inspired Greg and Lisa Hartwell to start a senior home care business that helps elderly people live independently. More
Jan 5: Getting laid off in the same year gave Julie Ganong and Alan Mons a chance to see if there was a market for a whoopie pie business. More
Dec 1: Before shelving his 20-plus-year career in information technology to open his own bookstore, Bill Skees studied up on his dream job. More
Sep 22: A former software manager launches a mobile scanner business after being laid off from HP. More
Sep 1: This former nonprofit executive went into red ink and nearly erased her savings to get her tattoo-removal parlor off the ground. More
Aug 12: How Dan Weil transformed himself from CEO of a printing business to owner of New England's favorite ice cream hot dog. More
Aug 5: When her industry started going to the dogs, Lesley Bowers decided to open a pet accessories store. More
Jun 30: Former divorce attorney, Alexander Rhoads, left the legal profession to open AllSpice, a gourmet spice store. More
May 25: Quitting his supply-chain corporate job and starting his own software company, John Krech, 45, becomes an entrepreneur. More
Feb 7: When Pamela Mitchell got laid off in 2002, she realized it wasn't time for a new job - it was time for a whole new perspective. More
Dec 8: A fateful glass of Sancerre changed the game for Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, who ditched a management gig to become a Master of Wine. More
Aug 5: An IT consultant follows her dream and starts her own fashion label. More
Jul 1: Tech company founder Salah Boukadoum fights poverty with Soap Hope, a for-profit venture with a philanthropic twist. More
Jul 1: Cynthia Miller left her job as a regional sales manager to try something new -- running a garden store and nursery. More
May 28: Steve Silberberg left his career as a computer programmer to start a backpacking tour company. More
Apr 29: After starting a successful alarm business, Gary Buslik decided to follow his heart -- back to Shakespeare. More
Apr 7: Joel Babbit left the advertising world to start his own environmental news website, Mother Nature Networks. More
Apr 7: Unfulfilled by her sales job, this New York mom decided to start her own catering business. More
Mar 22: What Bob McLeod did: regional sales VP for Lithonia Lighting. What he does now: VP of Everything for McLeod & More. More
Mar 1: Jim Elliott quit his job in advertising and founded a nonprofit teaching scuba to disabled children. Here's how he did it. More
Feb 19: A former McGraw-Hill executive jumps into a new career: running an artisanal fromagerie. More
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