SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL (WESH/CNN) - For one Florida man, the move from teaching to shopping not only changed his life, but his bank account.
He's now making six figures.
Ed Hennessey spent 20 years of his life teaching thousands of kids at Oviedo High School. He said other than the money, which was a struggle, it was a dream job.
"It's kind of emotional. I'm trying to fight back tears because it was the best time of my life,” he said, recalling the years he taught.
As a teacher, though, Hennessey said he never earned more than $50,000.
He struggled to make ends meet with two kids and his old college loans.
That's why he always worked another job, side gigs at places like Blockbuster, Old Navy, Target, Uber and then, finally, Shipt, a grocery delivery service owned by Target.
Ed became a shopper for Shipt part-time in 2015. He developed a system, a fan base, and two years into it realized he could make some real money.
It made him reflect on his time in the classroom.
"I don't think there is a way to turn it around unless you're going to offer more money,” he said of teaching.
So last year he made a bold, life-changing decision. He took a year sabbatical from teaching to shop full-time.
"I make over a $100,000 a year,” he said. “Delivering groceries.”
After doubling his teaching salary, at 45 years old last month he officially retired from his passion.
"Leaving education is one of the scariest things and very sad,” Hennessey said.
These days, instead of a classroom, he spends his time in his car, driving to supermarkets, and scouring the aisles for shopping lists.
Every day, he picks up groceries and delivers them. And he’s become the talk of the town.
"I guess my approach and just making sure that I know my customers and know exactly what they want,” makes the difference, he said.
He said his life has changed wildly. He works when he wants, mostly 50 to 60 hour weeks.
He no longer gets summers off, but instead of grading tests and making lesson plans at home he's glued to his phone, a lifeline which he says he doesn't even mind.
"It's so relaxing. I get to go out and I'm outside all the time,” he said. “I see people and I'm my own boss. I am who I want to be."
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