Second Acts: 12 People Who Didn’t Get Rich Until Their Second Careers

Not everyone has success in their initially chosen careers. A lot of times, people slog it out in the same dead-end job for years, either because they’re afraid to take a leap into something new, or because they feel like their job is too much a part of their identity to quit.

It can be hard to believe at first, but a lot of people have actually had more success in their second career after they quit their first than they would have ever had if they stuck it out. Check out the list for some inspiration if you’re not loving your current job.

Tim and Nina Zagat

Americans Tim and Nina Zagat were both lawyers when they were asked to move to Paris for their jobs. They were foodies, so they excitedly started compiling lists of the Parisian restaurants they wanted to try. Once they got there, they started ranking the restaurants they tried on their unique ratings system.

Eventually they moved back to the States and settled in New York, and all their friends started pestering them to give up the secret of how they always knew the best restaurants. They published a small guide book — only a few thousand copies — and soon it snowballed into the massive Zagat empire. Within two years, they had both quit their jobs to publish their guidebooks full time.

tanuha2001 /

tanuha2001 /

Takichiro Mori

It isn’t too hard to imagine that an economics professor could one day become one of the richest people on Earth. After all, they have good financial knowledge, and everyone knows that it takes tons of patience to navigate academia every day.


However, Takichiro Mori took it one step farther than the average guy. He had acquired a few buildings from his father after he died, and immediately immersed himself in the complex world of Tokyo real estate. He got in at just the right time, and when he died in 1993, he was at the top of the market. He was featured in Forbes twice as the richest person on the planet.

Nick Offerman

Hilarious Nick Offerman, who first stepped into the spotlight as Ron Swanson in Parks and Rec, had a first career that isn’t actually that far from the fictional character he played on the show.

Before he made it big in Hollywood, he made a name for himself handcrafting beautiful furniture and artifacts in his workshop, Offerman Wood Shop. It was a family hobby that turned into a first career for him before his acting really took off. But now it’s probably his acting career that pays most of the bills — between him and wife Megan Mullally, they bring in a cool few million per year.

Helga Esteb /

Helga Esteb /

Riches From The Web