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Be your own Medici

It’s one thing to say, “I’m going to travel one day” and another to not only travel, but pick up every four months and move to a new country. Colin Wright left his promising corporate career seven years ago, packed his bag, hit the road and created a way to sustain his new lifestyle as he travels. I caught up with him in Wichita, Kansas, of all places.


If you just get up and go to work, eventually some good things will happen.

BJ Dumond’s first day as a pizza restaurant owner went down, literally, in flames. After that tumultuous opening, BJ survived and, today, is CEO of Simple Simon’s Pizza, a restaurant chain with 200 stores in a 10-state area. His story is one of belief, loyalty and getting up and going to work.


Go full on and when it happens, it happens

Angela Parrish studied music education in university, suppressing her desire to perform as a soloist and devoting a great deal of time to accompanying others on the piano. Not any more. Today, she is a jazz singer and composer living - and working - in Los Angeles, which is no small feat. Angela’s voice is recognized by millions – at a minimum you’ve heard her singing the opening number in the film “La La Land”. I had a chance to visit with her about her journey from Kansas to landing...


You have to have your eyes wide open

Alejandro Vasquez Salinas knew from a young age that he wanted to be an artist. Despite the objections of his parents he studied art in university and now makes his living as an artist and curator. Growing up in Colombia, Alejandro was exposed throughout his life to ongoing wars – with the drug cartels as well as rebel groups. It was during his Master’s studies in the Netherlands that his eyes were opened to the concept of using art as an alternative solution to conflict for communicating...


If you’ve got the vision, do it, and then things will happen; things will conspire.

Having a vision, knowing what you want and where you want to go is key to starting something new. Chris Webster says that's where a lot of people get stuck. After leaving his comfy corporate job with its perks, Chris struck out on his own, pursing a dormant passion and is making it work.


Tony Rocco: Sharing your passion with others

Tony Rocco has the energy level of 100 men. By day, he’s a schoolteacher in North Philadelphia; by night – and on weekends, and during holidays, and over summers – he teaches photography to youth in Philadelphia and in the country of Colombia. What started out as a single workshop more than 10 years ago has evolved into a personal mission, touching the lives of hundreds upon hundreds of children.


My goal is the feeling of feeling free

Carmen Alzner is a filmmaker who lives a life that’s open to possibilities; always seeking and finding new ways to learn, grow and explore. She’s found that just asking has opened doors and opportunities for her throughout her career, starting when she was just a young girl.


All because a professor said, “You need to take risks in life.”

Michael Cooper is the Director at Colombo Americano, a language culture center in Medellin, Colombia. Michael originally came to Colombia on a two-year contract to teach 6th grade. That was more than 30 years ago. It happens. He arrived before the infamous drug wars led by Pablo Escobar and stayed during and after them – for reasons even he can’t explain. I had a chance to visit with him when I was in Colombia.


It’s so easy - just go!

Katka Prackova is, for all intents and purposes, a nomad. She and her husband, Gaston, decided a number of years ago to abandon their fixed 9-to-5 lifestyle and spend most of their lives working remotely while traveling the globe. I had to find out more about this.


Listening to that little kid inside

John Chakeres was fascinated with photography and the space program from the time he was a child. After graduating from college with a degree in art, photography and printmaking, he followed his second boyhood dream to the Kennedy Space Center when the first shuttle launched in 1981. John photographed the shuttle program – some 50 launches in all – until the Challenger disaster five years later.


Take that risk. Take that leap of faith.

Barbara Meier Mayfield is a risk-taker, a poet and a kindergarten teacher. After a period of loss - both personal and professional - she refocused her life, getting back in touch with who she is at her core and started writing again.


How solving a problem opened a door

Lukasz Gozdzik lives in a multicultural household that speaks three unrelated languages. His search for multi-language books for his 4-year-old son, Jakob, led him down an unexpected path of creating his own book and starting his own publishing company.


99% of the time, you have to give something up

Fear is what frequently holds us back from pursuing our dreams. Part of that fear is worrying about what one has to give up in order to pursue that dream. Steve Clack, a documentary filmmaker and teacher realized that, in order for him to pursue his dream the way he wanted to, it required faith and sacrifice. The result? It's worth it.


Being part of something larger than you

Oftentimes there is a desire, an interest, to expand one’s world. And sometimes we don’t exactly know where this may lead; yet by remaining open to the possibilities that present themselves, we can head out on amazing journeys. Zon Eastes, the Director of Outreach and Advancement of the Vermont Arts Council, is living just such a life.


Keeping your day job

What starts out as an interest, a hobby, can evolve into a passion. The question is, what does one do with that passion? Stephanie Ohnmacht learned to sew as a small child and now has her own designer clothing label. At the same time, she has a fulltime job unrelated to her passion. Here’s how she does it.


Why not today?

“Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions,” the saying goes. Diane Kappa found that realizing one dream opened the door for her to achieve a second dream. She seized the opportunity and found success in a career-changing move.


Their dream is our dream

Everyone has a dream. For some, the dream sounds simple yet there are huge obstacles beyond their control preventing them from achieving their dream. Ann Marie Sullivan saw an opportunity – and a need – to help people with autism find meaningful employment. She’s built a unique company, Spectrum Works, which is helping others live their dreams.


Understand your strengths and you're unstoppable

The road to becoming a professional athlete is not an easy one. It’s a highly competitive arena with a large number of talented individuals vying for a finite number of opportunities. Greg Pryor, of the 1985 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals, shares his experience and wisdom showing us that if you know what you really want, no one can stop you from achieving it.


Sometimes it's right in front of you

There are times when you may not really know what your dream is. Then, one day, circumstances change and the idea presents itself to you. Such was the case with Lee Clayton Roper, where a project to help her ailing mother has evolved into a second career.


Finding your voice

Copying – styles, ideas, forms – is common in the arts, especially as one begins. What gets exciting is when one finds their own voice and feels confident enough to step out in their own direction. Clark and Co – a fairly young music group – found their own voice, which has fueled them to move forward and keep growing.