I recently attended a screening of Jennifer Lopez’s new film The Backup Plan.
In the movie, Jennifer plays an ex-corporate 39 year old woman who left
her lucrative tech job because it wasn’t satisfying, launched her
passion project, a high end pet boutique, and without Mr. Right in
sight decides to get artifically inseminated. Within weeks, she’s
Enter Mr. Right.
Hilarity ensues as this Type A woman tries to navigate the sweet surrender of imperfect, beautiful love, motherhood, and work.
As the closing credits rolled, I couldn’t help thinking: Love is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
And I was reminded of my own journey to happily ever after. A
journey that started with The Big Breakup, led to my exit from
Corporate America, and ultimately landed me 3 book deals, a juicy
coaching practice, and Mr. Right.
For both myself and Jennifer’s character Zoe, our backup plans worked out better than expected.
With the economy being what it is, I know that there hundreds of
thousands of people out there who have been forced to reinvent their
careers and lives due to corporate downsizing. And there are countless
others who have opted to walk away from the money and prestige of
Corporate America to launch a passion project. I went in search of
these extraordinary individuals. And here’s what I discovered…
Six months ago, my husband and I left a fast paced life in NYC for a
more ‘outdoorsy’ life in small town Colorado. He left his stressful
but money making job as a sales trader. I kept my PR job and now work
from home. In the beginning, there were a lot of uncertainties, but
ultimately we decided to take the adventure over stability and
security. We took a 2 week road trip across country filled with many
stops and lots of adventures. Life is very different here, and we love
it and have no regrets. We also feel a lot more inspired and motivated
to have more adventures in the future. My husband is now a mortgage
lender and seems to have a fulfilling career in front of him. I hope to
start a garden and maybe even a bee colony in our backyard this summer.
- Casey Corrigan
Bought the Farm
After I raised my sons, I left California and moved 3000 miles away to
Connecticut to live my lifelong dream. I didn’t know anyone or have any
definite plans for work. I just followed a little voice inside me. I
bought a 211 year old farm house and turned it into my sanctuary,
started a sustainable company and don’t put up with any nonsense
anymore. Following my heart/passion/dream has been the best thing I
have ever done, next to my children. I recommend implementing your
backup plan to anyone wholeheartedly!
- Lesley Burton-Dallas
I used to be an accounting manager, but the dream I had since I was 5
years old was to be a fashion designer. Accounting was a great career
choice, but the more I worked for someone else the more I felt that I
wasn’t being honest with myself. It got to the point where there was
just too much to lose if I didn’t pursue my dream of fashion and
design. I couldn’t stand crunching numbers and doing something for a
company that wasn’t my own. Now I sew beautiful gowns for people who
really appreciate what I do and most of all I’m happy doing what I love
to do on a daily basis!
In addition to quitting working in the accounting field, I finally
found the time to lose 30 pounds of weight and really become healthy
before I turn 30 in September. It’s funny how we worry ourselves about
money when we work, but we don’t pay attention to what it is doing for
our souls and our bodies. It was the best decision I have ever made for
- Jennyvi Dizon
Downsized Deja Vu
I took my sideline business full-time as my Backup Plan when I was laid
off from the Corporate World for the second time in Fall of 2007. In
these difficult times where employers toss aside people without any
thought, and business owners are struggling and people are losing
confidence in themselves, I teach others that they have a simple Backup
Plan that is easily tapped into and always within their reach. So not
only am I living my Backup Plan, but I work to empower others to do so
as well so they are not so vulnerable in the workplace.
- Melanie Jordan
I was in Brand Management/Strategic Marketing for large consumer
packaged goods firms. I was quite successful, but also quite miserable
at the job. After my personal battle with infertility, I just couldn’t
go back to something that seemed so meaningless. And I couldn’t justify
all the hours away from my kids and the lack of flexibility solely for
a paycheck. So I started The Adoption Consultancy helping other
infertile singles and couples to build their families. I basically
serve as a ‘wedding planner’ for adoption helping my clients to
navigate the maze and avoid the pitfalls of adoption. We take a
proactive approach that enables our clients to adopt healthy newborns
within 6 months, on average. Now I do something that honors my personal
struggle, that truly makes a difference for others, and that allows me
the flexibility&lifestyle that I desire as a working mom.
- Nicole Witt
Got a story of how your backup plan rocked? Share it here!