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

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Scott Miller Interview: "Roger That" -- Push Past Your Fears!

Diana Landau | October 26, 2021

 
Carl talks with Scott Miller, who landed his dream job at 56 after having many different acts—and he’s still chasing his dreams. He is currently a pilot for a major airline but is also an aviation professor, flight instructor, TV broadcaster, Tiki enthusiast, and silent business investor in the restaurant world, including, of course, a Tiki Bar. Scott is a man of many passions and his enthusiasm is infectious.

 

In college, Scott enrolled in the San Jose State aviation program and thought his course was set. He had intended to join the Navy to gain flight experience, but a medical issue made him change course and he then decided to become a civilian flight instructor. Although he thought that job would lead him to his ultimate goal, he discovered he really liked it. “I was shocked by how much I enjoyed teaching and being an instructor,” Scott tells us.

 

By 2009, Scott was also a pilot for a regional airline when the recession hit. Wanting to return back to Sacramento, he changed course again, this time teaching in a new aviation program that Sacramento City College had just launched. “I wasn’t flying, but at least I was talking and teaching about flying,” Scott says. He was nervous. He hadn’t taught a room full of 40 students before. “When the students at the end of that first semester were able to do well on the FAA tests, I knew I had done my job. I took a breath, knowing I was able to do this.”

 

During that time, Scott took on yet another act when a local TV station called, wanting expert advice on a recent major airplane accident. “I wasn’t nervous, because I was talking about flying!” Gigs at CNN and other stations followed. By 2015, opportunities with major airlines came calling. Even though he was a tenured professor by then, he jumped at the chance to fly again. Scott eventually became a full-time pilot for a major airline at age 56. “I thought I was completely past realizing that dream,” he reflects. Now 58, he still appears in news programs, part-time teaches aviation and flight instruction, in addition to his full-time dream job. Clearly, Scott’s drive to seek new heights keeps him going.
 
Scott’s (Un)retirement insights:
•“I developed a passion at a very young age. Obviously, that passion has driven a lot of the decisions I have made in life!”
•“If there’s something you truly want to do, give it a try and go for it. Make them tell you ‘No’!”
 
• This Week's Sponsor is LoveMyHeartStudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
• 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   interview   scott miller   pilot   investor   unretirement   sacramento   dreams  

Dan Kennedy Interview: Biz Publisher Creates Zen Life!

Diana Landau | October 19, 2021

 
Carl talks with Dan Kennedy, former Publisher of the Sacramento Business Journal. He has achieved so much in media and business mentoring over the years. Whether working with journalists, as head of the Small Business Administration or now actively teaching students in UC Davis’ MBA program, Dan has also forged a mindful path--- practicing yoga for decades and even spent some time in his youth living in a Pennsylvania monastery.

 

Dan was born in Brooklyn and his parents moved the family when he was young to New Jersey. Dan’s father was a Harvard CPA, traveled globally for corporations, and then died suddenly from hepatitis when Dan was only 5, his brother 3. After high school, he went into the monastery, even living a cloistered year in the mountains with no talking or contact with the outside world. “It’s all about inner development. You are cut off from the world,” Dan says, “but the impact (on my life) has been huge and wonderful.”

 

After four years at the monastery, Dan went to Boston University and The University of Toronto. He began working in media and with journalists, and at one point was the head of the Small Business Administration locally. Dan became the Publisher of the Sacramento Business Journal, during its heyday. “We had huge staff, good profits, and wrote hard news, “ Dan says. By the time Dan was in his early 50’s, he tired of the corporate pressure and started thinking about new things he wanted to do. “It’s great to have something rolling before you retire. I wondered, where do I move on from here?”

 

Dan eventually left the Journal and started teaching students at UC Davis’ MBA program. He enjoyed it so much he wondered if he could begin teaching even more—and an opportunity opened up for a full position. Now 75, he enjoys mentoring students, teaching, yoga, and world travel, serving on nonprofit Boards like Make-a-Wish, hobbies, and more. He still remains social-media-free. “I am pursuing my best self,” Dan tells us.

 

Dan’s (un)retirement wisdom:
• Inner Development: “Now you have the time to look inward. Ask, how can I be a better person? Who would my loved ones want me to be? Why aren't I? I want to make everyone in my life feel better that I was alive.”
• Volunteering: “Even busy business people can volunteer, (as in helping the organization strategically vs contact with actual those in need). You can be one step away and still change the world.”
• Zen Life: “Meditation and yoga partner up very well. Begin with five minutes or even two minutes. Go online, it’s the easiest place to get started." 
 
• More about Dan Kennedy
• This Week's Sponsor is LoveMyHeartStudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
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   Dan Kennedy   interview   Small Business   yoga   zen   meditation   Sacramento   journalism  

Bob Franceschelli Interview: Big Time Beer Exec and now Pickleball Fanatic -- "Goes for The Whole Nine Yards"

Diana Landau | October 12, 2021

 
Carl talks with Bob Franceschelli, a former top exec for Anheuser Busch, CEO for a new cardiac rehab program, present Board Member of USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), and more. Bob "goes for the whole nine yards" -- he really feels like anything and everything is possible. This is exactly Bob Franceschelli‘s vision for how he’s living his (un)retirement.

Bob grew up in an Italian family outside of Springfield, MA. As a college student, Bob took some marketing classes. “I have always liked being involved in a lot of different things with a lot of different people, having fun along the way. I did a case study on the beer industry and the lights just went on.”

Planning his next steps, he took an internship in college with a beer distributor, offering to work for free in exchange for help getting interviews after graduation. Bob’s rising career at Anheuser Busch (AB) included show product placement, working with the Rolling Stones and George Strait among others. He developed and built alliances with smaller craft brewers. In 2001, he led the test development and product launch of Michelob Ultra. In 2010 and after 28 years with AB, Bob went on to rejuvenate profit at the Pritikin Longevity Center, commuting every week from his home in St. Louis, Mo. to Miami. He then developed and launched their new intensive Cardiac Rehab division.

Always interested in living a healthy lifestyle, Bob, now 62, had to make some decisions. “I had a 6.5 hour back surgery in 2008, due to broken vertebrae and a disc issue … and have two 4” and two 5” screws in my back. Then, in 2015 … I had a total hip replaced. I truly feel blessed to be as mobile as I am to play Pickleball … and part is the lifestyle--- eat right, exercise, healthy mind--- and part was surgical.”

Bob and his wife now play Pickleball several times a week, and he is a 4.5 level player (!) as well as a Board Member for the USAPA. Bob and his wife have created a detailed bucket list that they review and update often—whether it’s taking off to rent an RV and touring the parks in Utah and Colorado for a couple of weeks or daily stuff like learning to make maple syrup from their own backyard trees—and wanting to play much more pickleball, of course.

 

Bob Franceschelli’s Top Tips:
• “It’s important to have a mindful approach to (un)retirement. You have to really think and plan for what you really want to do.” 
• “The key to this (un)retirement thing (for me) is that I love having structure but I also love having some flexibility. Get out there and just try something!”
 
• More about Bob Franceschelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertfranceschelli/
• This Week's Sponsor is LoveMyHeartStudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
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:    Bob Franceschelli   blog   interview   Anheuser Busch   ceo   pickleball   unretirement  

Paul Ollinger Interview: Former Facebook Exec Turn Comedian -- “Now I’m Me!”

Diana Landau | October 05, 2021

 
Carl talks with Paul Ollinger, an author, stand-up comedian and host of the Crazy Money podcast. He also has an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School and was one of the first 250 employees of Facebook, where he served as VP of West Coast Sales. You could say Paul is on his third successful career at this point.
 
Paul grew up in a suburb of Atlanta, one of six kids from a big Catholic family. His father was an engineer for a Georgia utility company and although there was money, his parents were frugal and there was a strict budget. Paul felt that anxiety about money as a kid and as his careers at Facebook and in comedy rewarded him, he realized that no matter how much money you make, you can still feel stressed about it. His podcast, Crazy Money is not about how to make more money but about exploring the connection between money, happiness, work and meaning.
 
Paul’s path to success has been anything but linear. After college and a focus on business, Paul made his first attempt to become a stand-up comedian and became a host at LA comedy clubs, opening for many big names at the time. Then he got married and started thinking about a more stable career for raising a family. A friend asked him if he wanted to be part of this new social media start-up company—he became the 250th employee at Facebook.
 
After relocations to other cities and promotions, in 2012 Paul left his very financially secure job and decided to put down roots for his young family. Atlanta was home. For the first few years, Paul wasn’t sure what to do. “I didn’t go toward anything after I quit my job.” He then worked for a year but knew it wasn’t the right fit. He decided to face his real fear—would he fail if he went back to comedy? He started writing every day, got himself into the comedy scenes in various cities and committed to his new path.
 
Carl agreed that forging an entirely new career is scary—but it’s invigorating! Paul noted that the nervousness means you really care about what you’re doing because you want to figure it out. “Breaking ourselves out of the mode by which we’ve been measuring ourselves for past decades is highly disconcerting, but it’s what you need to do to find a new path in the post-corporate world.” Now in 2021, Paul has a very successful career as a stand-up comedian, author and speaker, and is also busy hosting his podcast. From a young age, Paul has been driven to push himself to new heights. “I just want to get so much better at everything I do!”
 
(Un)retirement advice from Paul Ollinger:
  • “Change your metrics! The way you’ve been evaluating your life in the work world will be very different afterwards. And if you’re looking for external validation like bonuses and titles and being known in the industry, that goes away…..YOU have to be the one to monitor your own progress.”
  • “We need to have a longer term ‘through line’ in our lives. That’s where the meaning lives. The sooner you can get on it and it feels authentic to you, the sooner you’ll get to this is me, this is my life.”
  • “Let go of worrying about anyone else. You are doing (this new path) for you. The world may not notice. Do it because it’s an expression of who you are without any external reward.”

 

• More about Paul Ollinger and his podcast Crazy Money: https://paulollinger.com/about/
• Sponsored by: lovemyheartstudy.com or call (866) 955-1594

 

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   facebook   executive   unretirement   comedy   paul ollinger   crazy money   dartmouth   career  

Andy Robin Interview: Savoring Life to the Fullest

Diana Landau | September 28, 2021

 

Episode #40 Andy Robin
This week Carl interviews Andy Robin, former President and CEO of Ascenium, who has written a unique post-retirement book, Tapas Life. After his many accomplishments as an executive in the high-tech corporate world and raising a family, Andy has learned a lot. He wrote the book to share what he’s learned, including some missteps along the way, and as he says, “I want to help people get on the path to the life they want sooner.”

As a child, Andy’s family moved from Chicago to Mexico City, his father was in the computer business. He says it gave him a different cultural perspective. Andy dropped out of college after one year and went to work with his father. Knowing then what he truly wanted, he went back to college, eventually earning his MBA.

Andy and his wife were working their way up the corporate ladder when they made a life-changing decision: They would always put family first, and they would share the raising of their children. So, Andy kept his job but did not work more than 45 hours a week so he could be home for dinner. His wife earned her PhD and when the children were teens, she re-launched her career and Andy traded in overseeinghis hi tech exec job to become a house dad.
“It was trial by baptism!” Andy added.

Another unique decision was when Andy and his wife recognized they were financially comfortable, so they decided to freeze their standard of life vs continuing to strive for more promotions and longer hours. It was another life decision guided by determining their own quality of life.

Andy found the teen years very rewarding and then the kids went to college. “I felt adrift,” Andy tells us. After some trial and error, he wanted to share with others what he learned about charting a rich and rewarding life in unretirement. His book is different from the others in that he urges people to find their “Tapas Life.” Often people think, “This is my retirement life, I’ll just add a sport or hobby to it to keep myself busy.” The “Tapas Life” is so much more than that. It’s about creating a path for your new stage of life by exploring all the wonderful options out there. As for Andy--he is now an author, speaker and life coach, enjoying his Tapas Life to the fullest.

Andy’s advice on living life to the fullest:
  • “Don’t talk yourself out of trying anything and everything. That’s leaving so much on the table.”
  • “Pay attention to how you eat and exercise. The object of the game is quality of life. Take care of yourself!”
  • “Have a meaningful conversation with your spouse specifically about what your lives will look like going forward. What do we still have in common? Are there things we both enjoy that we could do together? Should we explore some things we have never tried?” (Andy’s book has great suggestions for this.)
 
• More about Andy Robin's "The Tapas Life:" https://www.tapaslife.com/
• Sponsored by: lovemyheartstudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
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   andy robin   the tapas life   ascenium   interview   executive  

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