Whether it is through academics, trade schools or entrepreneurial skills, most people spend their entire lives building towards a single career. This journey consists of years of sacrifice, hard work and struggle in hopes of eventually achieving some success in a given field. To even fathom leaving behind a career one has worked for most of their life to start from scratch and rebuild a new one takes a fearless breed. Pursuing a second livelihood can only be accomplished for those willing to take some risks.

Ivan Mose has seen his fair share of success, and of risk. He is a certified building inspector who runs his own home inspection company in Montreal. Mose Home Inspection Services has been in business since 2002 and has gone from Mose himself performing a few inspections a week, to now employing seven inspectors who perform almost 700 a year. Building inspecting has only been the latter part of Mose’s life – he worked in electrical engineering for almost 30 years before deciding to make a change.

“My wife first saw an ad in the newspaper for a building inspector course and suggested I do it because I’ve worked with houses before and have always done that sort of thing,” says Mose. “I thought I would do two to three inspections a week just to give me some pocket money.” He now wishes to further expand his company by doubling its amount of inspections a year.

Mose, 74, has always been a go-getter from his early days in England. Realizing he wanted a better life than the men he saw struggling around him, he took his first leap by moving to Canada. “I was living at home and I wanted to move out but couldn’t come to afford it, so I figured this was one way to get out – come to Canada,” says Mose. First working as a draftsman for engineering companies, Mose then made his living through contract work – a riskier, yet financially more rewarding practice.The ambition that first drove Mose to leave England stuck with him throughout his entire career. “Work started running out and I was just tired of doing it and tired of sitting at a desk,” says Mose. Rather than sticking it out for the remainder of his working years, Mose made the decision to drop it all and start an entirely new project that would keep him busy for years to come.

“Was it worth it? Yes,” says Mose. “I enjoy it but I’m at the point now that I’d really like to slow down.” Although he has in fact cut down his workload from Mose Home Inspection Services – he only does a couple inspections a week, leaving the rest up to his team – he does not plan on slowing down altogether.

When asked what might be in store for him next, after eventually closing up shop, Mose laughs and admits this is a really good question. “I’m not a person that plays golf or tennis or any of these things,” he says. “I never have and I’m not going to start now. I want to slow down but I still need something to do.”

Mose now occasionally teaches a leadership class at a local adult learning centre. While starting his company, Mose joined Toastmasters, an international club with the aim of helping its members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. A large part of success is recognizing one’s own weaknesses and not being afraid of facing them head on.

Diving into building inspector courses in hopes of starting his own company, Mose was prepared for the gamble it would entail. “I thought if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t,” says Mose. “But it was exciting. To tell you the truth, I wish I did it ten years earlier.”

Many people let opportunities for change slip right by because of the chance it may not work out. “If you don’t take risks sometimes, you’ll never be successful,” says Mose. At no matter what age or no matter what point in life, taking a leap is the only way to move forward.