Whole Life Magazine

October/November 2012

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/85727

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Page 23 of 43

The Career Path Less Traveled Launching into the unknown takes courage and conviction By Jennifer Brody success track A ployment is still hovering higher than 8 percent and the housing market has yet to fully recover. Having a successful (if demanding) career with a stable income—not to mention benefits—seems like the American Dream in action. So why would four professionals decide to give it all up and start over again from scratch? exits her corporate job to found an inspirational media start-up. Why would they give up their steady paychecks and benefits? And more importantly, did they make the right choice? The world has never seemed more uncertain—national unem- n attorney husband and wife opt to become high school teachers. A government worker leaves her pen- sion behind to be a life coach. A marketing executive Goodbye Safety Net After graduating from college, Celia Ward-Wallace sought out "a safe and secure job," and found one as a Community Center Director for the City of Los Angeles. "The job paid well, and had great medical benefits and a good pension package." But despite her life looking great on paper, she began to feel that something was missing. "Within a year or two, I maxed out my potential and my RewaRdS aNd ChalleNGeS of ChaNGiNG CaReeRS Challenges • Accepting fear, doubt and the unknown as part of the change process • Leaving behind a secure monthly paycheck for a life in which you have to generate your income sources Rewards • Reconnecting with your original essence • Feeling whole • Waking up each day excited about your work • Knowing 100 percent that you are doing what you love and are great at doing • Moving the world forward in a positive way From Celia Ward-Wallace, author of A Woman's Guide to Having It All, Life Lessons to Live By. 24 wholelifetimesmagazine.com didn't move on, and instead stayed for safety for more than 10 years." After several personal and financial setbacks, Ward-Wallace came to the realization passion and should have moved on," she remembers. "But like many people, I became complacent and was comfortable, so I All, Life Lessons to Live By), but she also became a Certified Life Coach Practitioner and that, "I worked a job that wasn't my true calling," and embarked on a journey of self- discovery. "I began to write more in my journals, pray, meditate, practice yoga, hike, say affirmations, find beauty everywhere, and have faith in myself and something greater than myself." This process gave her the courage to change her life. Not only did Ward-Wallace write and publish a book (A Woman's Gui inspirational speaker. No longer lacking passion, she now uses her personal experiences to inspire other people to transform their lives, too. from Corporation to Creation Kate Neligan held a successful job as the Vice President of Digital Marketing and Distri- bution at Lionsgate, but she also began to sense that it wasn't her true calling. "I loved working on all of the films at Lionsgate that had charity components," she says. "I did six charity campaigns there. It just felt like a natural fit for me." While pursuing a master's degree in spiritual psychology at the University of Santa de to Having It Monica, Neligan hatched the idea of founding Mindful Media Entertainment, "a con- scious media studio" and parent company to Synergy TV, an online and on-demand inspirational and uplifting content platform. "It's my calling and it's my mission—it's not just a career," she says. "I feel that I was put on earth to do this." At first Neligan built her new company on the side, keeping her stable marketing job (a smart strategy that Ward-Wallace also recommends). But soon she felt torn. "I was working 80-hour weeks between the two jobs, and I was exhausted and burning out. And my heart was not in my corporate job anymore. It was fully in this start-up." So she finally took the plunge and began working full-time on Synergy TV. In August they hosted their first Mindful Media Visionary Series, featuring movie director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty), with more events planned in the near future. Breaking from the law Stephen and Nicole Soltanzadeh met at a top-tier law school, passed the famously dif- ficult California Bar Exam together, and then got married and started a family. From the

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