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

Martha Stewart

Homemaking maven Martha Stewart had always been interested in the culinary and crafting arts, but never thought that she could make a living out of it until a few years into her first career. Before she crimped her first pie crust or crocheted her first doily, she was a model — she even did some photo-shoots for Chanel — and grocery store clerk.

It wasn’t until she had a disagreement with her bosses that she decided to open her own store. On the side, she also did some catering. The catering and grocery store businesses eventually combined, and marked the start of her homemaking empire. Even a short stint in jail couldn’t defeat her — she hadn’t even been back at Martha Stewart Living for a year before it started becoming profitable again.

Christine Lagarde

In 2014, Forbes ranked current IMF head Christine Lagarde as the 4th most powerful person in the world. Her appointment as the Managing Director of the IMF made perfect sense — she was a famous lawyer and politician who had previously been ranked as the best Minister of Finance in the Eurozone. She had a solid track record of accountability and trustworthiness, which made her the ideal candidate for the job.

But did you know that she’s a former member of the French national synchronized swimming team? Even though she holds one of the highest-power jobs in the world, she still indulges in a swim every morning.

Al Gore

It’s hard to know which of Al Gore’s jobs to talk about first when discussing his career changes. He started his professional life as a journalist, before running for the US House from Tennessee, then the Senate. He was elected vice-president under Clinton, and served from 1992 to 2000. After an unsuccessful run for the Presidency, he began working as an environmental activist. He won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his work on education related to climate change. He’s also invested his money well, and has seen tons of return on his investments in companies like Amazon and EBay.

Frederic Legrand - COMEO /

Frederic Legrand – COMEO /

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