I Used to Be Somebody: (Un)Retirement Lessons Learned

Bob Tuschman Interview: Former Food Network Exec — Make an Adventurous Plan!

Diana Landau | September 29, 2020

In Episode 3 of our podcast, I Used to be Somebody, Carl talks with Bob Tuschman, former Food Network Senior Vice President and General Manager. (And many other cool job titles, as you will learn when you listen.) Bob realized even as a kid, he knew when he grew up he wanted to be part of the entertainment world.


To say Bob worked his way up to the top is an understatement! He seized the opportunity to work for research on a movie that Diana Ross was producing. Bob worked his way up there, eventually becoming Diana’s personal assistant and traveling the world with her. 


After a short gig as an agent for actors, he returned to work for Diana when he again was presented with a new opportunity—to work as a producer for Good Morning America with ABC. Bob loved the work and advanced quickly in six years.


Then it happened. While riding his bike in NYC, Bob was hit head on. He says of that time, “You can do everything right in your life and play by the rules and then get hit by a car tomorrow.” The experience made him really think hard about what he wanted to do in life and realized he wanted to try something new. 


Bob left GMA and took a position as Executive Producer with this new start-up called the Food Network. The network had little budget and had been largely focused on “how-to” and learning shows. The network moved toward entertainment and the rest is well known. Bob oversaw shows featuring Guy Fieri, Giada, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and more. (Fun Fact: Their surveys and research showed that many people watching the shows don’t even cook!)


As the industry changed and more than 16 years with the Food Network, Bob wanted to try something new again—but he knew he didn’t want to work every day. He did not, however, create the typical “bucket list”—he made it into so much more. Bob created three lists in order to make this next phase of life successful: Curiosity, Adventure and Service. Under each category he listed all the things he’d like to accomplish. For example, Curiosity might include learning a foreign language. Adventure might mean biking across Italy. Service encompasses ways to service your community and make the world a better place. How could he do more meaningful work and get paid for it at the same time?


Bob had always wanted to teach and is now a professor at NYU/Stern and loving it. Some of his best advice to his students (and all of us, really): “Take any door that opens and walk through it. If you work hard, people will help you to succeed.”


For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #3 with Bob Tuschman. For listening details go to our website!

To learn more about Bob's previous career, check out his Food Network bio, and to learn more about what he's up to at NYU/Stern, check out his faculty bio!


Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the I Used to Be Somebody weekly blog. 

Tags:    blog   podcast   interview   try new things   food network   bob tuschman  

Adventures in Finding the Right Financial Retirement Advice!

Diana Landau | September 28, 2020

Finding the right financial advisor at this stage of your life that can answer those questions for you is critical. Can you afford that dream trip or helping your grandson through college? How do you maximize what you have now for your long-term plans? We asked Ian Castille, CFP®, to give us some tips on how to choose the right financial advisor. Ian specializes in helping his clients navigate the financial transition to retirement.


Here’s what Ian had to say:


“Here are a few comments/considerations I would provide to someone looking for a financial advisor:


  1. You are the priority: Make sure you find someone who is obligated to put your interests first. (Not the brokerage company they work for, not their potential sale commission, etc.) The financial services industry refers to this obligation as a "Fiduciary Standard of Care"


  1. Understanding your financial situation: As uncomfortable as it may be at first, you want someone who is going to "get in your business". Within the first 30 minutes of an introductory meeting with a financial advisor, they should be asking questions that lead you to reveal more about your personal finances than your best friend or family members know about you. Good advice comes from a deep understanding of personal circumstances and applying expertise within that context.


  1. Personality matters: A good financial advisor will be part of your "inner circle" and you should enjoy working with them and soliciting their input. If you dislike someone or they rub you the wrong way, you are less likely to implement their recommendations.


  1. Specializations and niche focus: If you happen to find an advisor that specializes in serving your particular career/industry or life circumstance, chances are they have a deeper understanding of your situation and challenges.


  1. Certifications, education, and experience: This can be important, but it's last on the list for a reason. Credentials help establish a certain level of competence and commitment but more credentials doesn't always translate to better advice.”


About the author: Ian Castille, CFP®, is a Principal and Senior Financial Advisor at Capital Advantage, Inc. Ian specializes in helping his clients navigate the financial transition to retirement. His work usually includes personalized strategies to reduce taxes, make smarter investment decisions, and optimize income streams. Capital Advantage, Inc. is a Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisory firm, founded in 1982.

Tags:    blog   financial planning   financial advisor   retirement  

Moira McGarvey Black Interview: Just Keep Going!

Diana Landau | September 24, 2020

In Episode 2 of our I Used to Be Somebody podcast, Carl talks with best-selling novelist Moira McGarvey Black. Right away her energy and joy for life are apparent. It’s all about changing careers without fear no matter how old you are—and never looking back.


After a lucrative sales career with Conde Nast in NYC, (working for GQ, Allure, Lucky, etc.) she jumped on board a division called Conde.net. The Internet was new and she recognized it as a game-changer, becoming their National Sales Director. Moira then pivoted, becoming an executive recruiter so she could work from home when her children were young. She tells Carl a secret to her success has always been to make choices that serve your purpose.


Ten years later, McGarvey Black decided to pursue her passion and a new career as a writer.  She had always loved writing and had been writing for herself. She would write, show her husband and then put it away in a drawer.  Moira eventually realized she could just go for it. Three best-selling novels later, (psychological thrillers about searching for the real truth), Moira’s fourth novel is a romantic comedy—more proof about her drive to do new things. She is working on fifth and sixth novels now. 


3 key takeaways from Episode 2 with Moira McGarvey Black: 

  1. Keep your goals realistic and attainable. If you are 65 years old, becoming a Bolshoi ballerina would not be realistic. Think about what talents and skills you have honed throughout the years that could be an advantage in some new way.

  2. Whenever you try something new, expect rejection and then keep going. Moira still has the 177 rejection letter she received when trying to publish her first book. “The ones who succeed are the ones who don’t give up.”

  3. Pay attention to the “whispers.” (From the Maya Angelou quote “Let choice whisper in your ear and love murmur in your heart. Be ready. Here comes life.”)


Moira puts it best: “I just want to keep going and doing new things!” This is exactly what living the good life in (un)retirement is all about.


For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, episode #2 with Moira McGarvey Black. For listening details go to our website!

To learn more about Moira, visit her website!


Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the I Used to Be Somebody weekly blog. 



Tags:    blog   moira mcgarvey black   best selling   bestselling author   passion   episodes  

"Mr. Idea Man" Joe Pulizzi

Diana Landau | September 21, 2020

Carl recently interviewed the great Joe Pulizzi on our “I Used to Be Somebody” podcast. Joe is full of great ideas and has been jotting them down in his journal for decades. Here’s the thing with Joe… he actually accomplishes those dream goals.


Joe left his day job in publishing in 2006 and armed with a plan and his wife Pam’s steadfast encouragement, he launched the Content Marketing Institute. With the Internet taking over every aspect of modern business Joe realized the marketing model of the future was all about brands creating all kinds of great content to attract audiences. His Content Marketing World events attracted thousands of attendees wanting to learn more.


Back then, Joe wrote down in his journal that he wanted to sell this company in less than ten years for at least $15 million. In reality, he sold the company in 2015 for $17.9 million. Talk about making your own luck!


On the podcast, Carl and Joe talked about what life was like after he sold. Joe said he was really panicked for a while, didn’t know what to do next, what he should be doing. He was only 47 and didn’t want to retire, exactly.


Here are 3 key takeaways from Joe’s journey of selling his company to a successful (un)retirement:


  1. Take some time and DO NOTHING. Joe took a 12-month sabbatical, in which he shut down social media, spent quality time with family and travelled the world.

  2. You will have other goals now and they will be very different. If you’ve been driving hard in your work life for 30-40 years, it’s hard to suddenly slow down. Creating a work life with more fun and less grind takes practice. After writing 6 business books on marketing, Joe took some time and wrote a best-selling mystery thriller, “The Will to Die.”

  3. Recognize that you have some real time and resources now to make an impact on the world. Joe and his wife founded the Orange Effect Foundation, to raise funds for kids who need speech therapy, many with autism. Speech therapy changed his son’s life, and now the Orange Effect helps other families in profound ways. 


Think of (un)retirement as an adventure. Don’t add stress to your life if it’s not perfectly planned out yet. The key is to take some time, identify what you want to do and then go for it!!!


For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, episode #1 with Joe Pulizzi. For listening details go to our website!

To learn more about Joe, visit his website!


Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the I Used to Be Somebody weekly blog. 

Tags:    blog   joe pulizzi   marketing   content marketing   retirement   podcast   luck   episodes  

Practice Makes Perfect, Or How to Plan a Mini-Retirement

Diana Landau | August 31, 2020

Planning on retiring soon? Then you already know there’s a ton of information out there for soon-to-be-retirees. “Get your health insurance squared away, have savings for emergencies, more health and financial stuff, blah blah, blah.”

We are going to assume that you’ve already got these important topics under control. But have you thought about scheduling a “mini-retirement” before that big “last day” arrives?

A mini-retirement is a scheduled and budgeted time away from work that is different than a vacation or a sabbatical. You try out what your life will look like when you don’t ever go back to that career. (We’ll be honest:it takes a little work not to work!)


5 Tips to Planning a Successful Mini-Retirement


How long feels right to you? 

Schedule a block of time and make sure it’s long enough. Is six months possible?

How much to spend?

Budget for this time differently. Vision what your lifestyle will be without all the work perks and paychecks. (And we’re not talking about going without an abundance of office supplies.) 

Manage the worry factor.

This is a big one: Don’t assume your mini-retirement means you are going to be worrying about your finite bank account all the time. Figure out a way to emotionally grasp this now so you don’t dampen your joy post-retirement.

Think and think some more.

Plan your time during this period and keep a journal. This is a time is for social activities and health, but also reflection.. What do you want your life to look like in your Second Act?

Consider the possibility you won’t return to work after all. 

After months away from work and plenty of rest, you may end up wanting different things now. Maybe you’ve tapped into creativity you never knew you had. Or settled on your post-retirement career or project.

There is no one right way to plan for a mini- (or real) retirement. Only you can figure out what works best for you. But try it! This little checklist can help get you started. And what’s better than making you the priority? 


Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the I Used to Be Somebody weekly blog. 

Tags:    blog   retirement   vacation   mini-retirement   work   budget