Spent fifteen years in marketing/business development roles with some big companies, but got to the level where I was just spending all day in meetings and not actually doing anything - and besides the office politics was the pits!
What it did give me was a cushion of money to try something else, so I started with a year ticking off my 'bucket list' - got my Yachtmaster ticket, bought a house and rennovated it, learnt to paraglide, spent two months cycletouring New Zealand, three months on a boat travelling thru Asia and the Pacific, got married! Then, I set myself up in the marine business, as boats had been a passion for most of my life.
I'd like to be able to say that I was happy for ever after and retired a millionaire - but it didn't work out that way. After three years of fantastic experiences but backbreakingly hard work, I had to admit to myself I wasn't going to be able to make a living out of it. To top it off my first child was born, and I wasn't at home much cos of the job.
So, I'm now on my third career, and have moved to Australia, and this time I tried to plan it a bit better - yes something I enjoy and feel good about, but also something that has a future and can support my family. I think I've found a better balance this time around. I'll never earn as much as I did when working for the man, but then I've found my priorities are different now after all I've been thru. Gone are the luxury holidays, latest electronics, expensive cars and boats, and instead I enjoy the simple pleasures of camping with my daughter (now eight) and MTBing with my buddies.
Hopefully there's a lesson for someone, somewhere in all of that... if you find one, let me know what it is