Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B with Tess Vigeland Episode #16

Aaron McHugh


Tess Vigeland jumped without a net.

She left a successful career in radio broadcasting without her next job lined up and stepped into the abyss of the unknown.

Tess Vigeland is a veteran journalist, and a well-known voice to millions of American radio listeners. She is the CEO of Tess Vigeland Productions, a Los Angeles-based multi-media company.

She spent two-plus decades as a host, reporter, producer and editor for public radio across the land. Most recently, she served 11 years at NPR’s Marketplace, including six as the host of the national personal finance program Marketplace Money.

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Podcast highlights:

  • What does it mean to be remarkable in an ordinary world?
  • How Tess’s life was forever changed when she delivered a thirty-five minute speech.
  • How this journey has forced her to decouple the intertwined elements of her identity as a person being tied to her job.
  • What it’s been like for Tess to leave her job that she loved.
  • “You jumped now you can’t even tell people what you want to do”.

Her story is inspiring

I first encountered Tess at the World Domination Summit where she was a keynote speaker.  She guided the audience through her journey leading up to point of jumping then invited us into her more intimate and vulnerable experiences.

Being brave is rare in this world.

Bravery in one person invites bravery from the rest of us.

We gain permission to desire more from life when we watch a fellow journeyman dare to desire more.

Tess Vigeland’s story entices me to move bravely towards my desires.

Exploring the unknown

Her story reminds me of Christopher Columbus the great explorer.

Can you imagine how many people told him that he was going to die?

I am sure that he heard the same words that were spoken to Tess

“What the hell are you doing”?

I can picture Christopher Columbus writing in his captain’s log “What the hell am I doing?  Why did I think this was a good idea?”

What is most impressive is when the brave thrive in-spite-of the warnings and fears.

I imagine Christopher Columbus’s naysayers greeting him in port upon his unforeseen successful return.

“Hey guys remember me?”

Every journey like this is riddled with challenges.

It never turns out like you think it will.

Her future is still unfolding, but she’s going to be just fine.

After delivering her speech to 3000 people standing on their tiptoes applauding her (read her speech here), she cut a book deal within two weeks.

She is sorting out questions like “What do I want to do and who do I want to be?”

Questions each of us should ask ourselves.

Leap by Tess Vigeland released August 2015
Leap by Tess Vigeland released August 2015

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