JULIE MACDONALD, 58 | $30,000 a year
Home: Libby, Mont.
Previous life: Cafeteria Manager
Why she did it: My old job was so stressful, my doctor told me I needed a change. I noticed a newspaper advertisement for massage therapy training, which was mostly online, plus workshops.
How she succeeded: I planned to study and work full-time, but it turned out that working, training and traveling were too much. I quit my hospital job to focus on certification. It was the hardest decision of my life, but I’m convinced that it saved my life: I’ve lost 50 pounds, improved my health and reduced my medication.
What you need to know: If your body says it’s time to change, listen. My husband and I both wish I’d done this sooner.