Dyan deNapoli was five years old when her parents took her to an aquarium in Florida. She was so mesmerized by the relationship between the handlers and the dolphins that her parents had to pull her away.
Despite fears that she wasn’t “smart enough” to handle the rigorous math and science courses, Dyan took a degree in animal science and was hired by the New England Aquarium in Boston as their Senior Penguin Aquarist.
One of the highlights of her career was working as part of a team that rescued 40,000 penguins from an oil spill in South Africa.
But nine years into the job the physical demands started to take a toll. Besides, she’d gone about as far as she could in her job.
Dyan was still committed to working to protect endangered species. However, she now yearned for the freedom and flexibility of being her own boss.
But how do you become a self-employed penguin expert?
That was the question Dyan asked when she arrived at the Work at What You Love seminar. It was a chance to take a few days to tune out all the noise of life and really focus on finding that next path.
The process of being guided through a series of exercises led her to the idea for a traveling penguin education program. Three months later Dyan, aka “The Penguin Lady” gave the first of what would be many paid talks at schools, libraries, assisted living facilities, and civic organizations.
“I’ve learned that it’s in doing the things that we are most afraid of, and that are outside of our comfort zone, that we grow and learn the most,” said Dyan. “Not only does this make life an exciting adventure, I think most of us find out that we are capable of much more than we ever imagined.”
A little over a year later Dyan arranged to be the penguin expert on a 10-day cruise to the Galapagos…next she was invited to be the on-board educator on a cruise to Antarctica…then CNN interviewed her on-air about a mass penguin stranding off of Brazil.
And remember that South African oil spill rescue operation Dyan worked on? She signed a six-figure contract with a major publisher to write about the experience.
Along the way Dyan said, “I had to believe in myself. Someone is going to get that cool job—it might as well be me.”
The same goes for you, too.
Maybe you want to take a year off with your kids so they can experience life in another country.
Or build your dream house overlooking the ocean. Or find a way to help less fortunate people in another country. The fact is. Someone else is going to do it, why not you? Like Dyan all you need is a great idea and then a plan to make it happen!
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