“At age 53, I opened my own restaurant.”
Courtesy Jaime coker Robinson —Brad Gold, 72, Los Angeles, CA
“When I got laid off at 53 from a senior management position with a struggling restaurant chain, I knew it was going to be hard to find another job in the corporate world. I also knew it was now or never to pursue my lifelong dream of owning my own restaurant. What was most daunting was that, in order to make this happen, I was going to need to find an existing café that was underperforming and whose owner was highly motivated to get out of his lease. I got very lucky and found just what I wanted eight blocks from home. Since I had never financially planned for this day, I had to borrow money from friends and relatives. I changed the name to Black Dog Coffee, the menu, the recipes and the look of the cafe, and my wife did a great job of ‘designing on a dime.’ Eighteen years later, we’re still here and doing better than ever. I’m eternally grateful for the layoff and the opportunity to pursue my dream.” Looking to pursue your dream? Here are tips on leaving your day job to fulfill your dream.