Celebrities With Big Dreams That Paid Off

AAA

When you set out to find a career, it seems there are two warring camps you have to decide between: doing something you love or doing something that pays well. The dream, of course, is to find something that fulfills both goals, and it is possible. Here are five big names that made it by following their hearts, and ended up filling their wallets.

1. Jillian Michaels

The ferocious trainer from NBC's The Biggest Loser went from (in her words) fat kid to fit kid. She revealed at an eDiets.com conference that she left high school at age 17 to start training others. At age 24, she decided she needed a "real job" and went to work as a motion picture packaging agent, a job she says made her wake up every morning and "wish for death." At 27, she went back to training and considers her job now what gives her life meaning. Since leaving her "real job", Jillian has created a fitness empire under the company name Empowered Media.

2. Stephenie Meyer

Now a household name for her authorial debut, Stephenie Meyer was a stay-at-home mother of three until a dream on June 2, 2003 changed her life forever. Over the course of three months, that dream became her first novel, "Twilight", which debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list. Since then, the first book alone has sold over 47 million copies worldwide and the subsequent novels in the series fared even better, with "New Moon" hitting #1 on the Times' list and "Breaking Dawn" reaching 69 million copies sold.

3. Matt Stone

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are best known as co-creators of the Comedy Central show South Park. Matt Stone graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder as the first student to hold the double major of film and mathematics. Their passion for film, music and entertainment led them to create the Comedy Central's highest-rated and longest-running program.

4. Mark Zuckerberg

The founder of social networking site Facebook.com, Mark Zuckerberg began the site when he was a student at Harvard with the help of fellow students and roommates. In 2004, after dropping out of college, he went to Palo Alto with nothing but his fledgling site to his name. With the help of $12.7 million in venture capital, Facebook became the number one social networking site in terms of monthly visits with over 1.19 billion hits in January 2009 according to compete.com.
  1. No results found.
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    6 Ways To Find Your Dream Job

    Find out what job you really want to do and tips for getting there.
  2. Managing Wealth

    Essential Tips on Making Your Hobby Your Career

    Here are some ways to turn what you love to do for fun into your job.
  3. Investing

    Redefining The American Dream

    Here is a realistic look at the "American Dream," based on your potential instead of an impossible ideal.
  4. Retirement

    Don't Retire Early - Change Careers Instead

    Instead of longing for an early retirement, shoot for a mid-life career change instead.
  5. Personal Finance

    8 Career Risks That Pay Off

    These steps may seem drastic, but the end results could be worth the risk.
  6. Personal Finance

    Planning Your Second Career

    How to find a second career if you want to do more than retire in your later years.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Money and Minimalism: The New American Dream

    The American Dream always called for big spending on big items, but maybe it's time to rethink how our money can get us there.
  8. Personal Finance

    5 Career-Changing Mistakes

    Changing careers can help you achieve life goals, but making a quick change for the wrong reasons can lead to disappointment.
  9. Retirement

    A Pre-Retirement Checkup

    Are you on track to post-work bliss? We'll tell you how to find out.
  10. Personal Finance

    A Guide To Financial Careers

    We look at all of the jobs available in the finance sector, and the education and experience you need to get them.
Hot Definitions
  1. Free Carrier - FCA

    A trade term requiring the seller to deliver goods to a named airport, terminal, or other place where the carrier operates. ...
  2. Portable Alpha

    A strategy in which portfolio managers separate alpha from beta by investing in securities that differ from the market index ...
  3. Run Rate

    1. How the financial performance of a company would look if you were to extrapolate current results out over a certain period ...
  4. Hard Fork

    A hard fork (or sometimes hardfork) is a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions ...
  5. Interest Rate Risk

    The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates, in the spread between ...
  6. Ethereum

    Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built ...
Trading Center