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

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Cinde Dolphin Interview: Queen of Positivity!

Diana Landau | May 18, 2021

 

Carl interviews Cinde Dolphin this week live in the Landau Tiki Bar. She had a big-time career in Marketing for Coors for 28 years, then transitioned into public relations and social media in California. Along the way, Cinde had four battles with cancer—that spurred her on to become a first-time entrepreneur in her 50’s to invent a medical equipment product to make her life and those around her better. (It’s a common theme with Cinde, you’ll see.)
 
Cinde mostly grew up on the sunny beaches of Southern California and despite some challenges at home became determined at a young age to be a positive person and an agent for change. After college in San Diego, she was hired by United Way to work in public relations. “It was worthwhile and so inspiring,” Cinde tells us. She was eventually hired away by Coors and had a great career in Marketing for them. She worked all over the country. “I had a lot of fun!” Cinde says of that time.
 
When Coors was merging with Miller, she knew it was time to do something new but wasn’t ready to be "done" with working. Cinde decided to make a change after 28 years and moved to Sacramento, California. She squeezed in a fun "gap" year and then worked her industry contacts and started up a PR and social media agency for California winemakers. 
 
While still at Coors, Cinde fought her first battle with cancer. After the third cancer diagnosis many years later, she saw a void in the medical supply industry. At the time, patients after surgery had external drains attached to them—by safety pins! (A 50-year-old practice.) Cinde invented a special "apron” of sorts that is much more convenient and comfortable for patients. It’s been tested at University California, Davis Medical Center and launched Cinde’s new career as an entrepreneur/inventor. She's also been in remission now for eight years.
 
In Cinde’s spare time, (she enjoys hang gliding and rock-climbing too), she has made three trips to Africa in the last five years to work with women in Kenya and Tanzania to start their own small businesses, so they can support their families and pay school tuition. “It was a life-changing experience,” Cinde says of her first 3-month trip to Africa. “Now these women are entrepreneurs. I am still close to those women.” Cinde loves volunteering and is doing as much as she can. “When you volunteer you have to learn how to be a team player, not the boss, not micro-managing—and it brought a lot to me personally to be just someone who helps. It’s a great life lesson and I’ve made some great friends along the way.”
 
Cinde’s advice on starting a business as a Boomer:
  • “Find a tribe to help you get through it. I found a co-working space with other startups, we help each other. It’s a good kind of camaraderie.”
  • “Contact a Small Business Development Center. They had so many resources to help me get started.”
 
Her life advice:
  • “Identify something that is not already being done and make that your signature in the world. I have found a way to distinguish and make it a legacy. It’s rewarding!”
  •  “The shoe can fall at any time, so maybe that’s what makes me a little risk-involved, I can afford to take chances. It makes me appreciate making every day special.”
 
• More about Cinde Dolphin: https://medicaldraincarrier.com/news/

 

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   cinde dolphin   interview   coors   executive   cancer   second act   entrepreneur   boomer   marketing  

Jack Gallagher Interview: Take a Chance!

Diana Landau | May 11, 2021

Carl talks with Jack Gallagher, a comedian, actor, and writer, and Emmy award- winning television host of the PBS series Money Moves (nationally syndicated), Off-Limits, and Kids, Cash and Common Sense. He was also the host of California's The Big Spin Game Show and had a recurring role as a doctor on the hit HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm.
 
But there’s more! Jack is also the author and performer of eight critically acclaimed one-man shows. We’ve seen most of these highly personal, very relatable shows that make you laugh, cry and laugh again. His shows stay with you. So what’s Jack doing now? He’s still working and loving it, but also trying to take it easy. “I’m not chasing it anymore, but if someone calls, I’ll consider it.” (Of course, they still do.)
 
Jack grew up in a hard-working Irish Catholic family with 5 kids in the small town of West Bridgewater near Boston, MA. Jack says he was a shy kid growing up. (Most comedians are actually introverts.) By the age of 10, Jack knew he wanted to be a comedian, to make people laugh. “It took me out of my shell,” he says. His conservative parents were not so sure at first but eventually they came around.
 
After working towards a teaching degree, Jack took a chance and started performing at a Comedy Night on Campus, then in the Boston comedy scene just as it started to take off. Boston became a hotbed of comedy “greats.” It all happened pretty fast. Signed by an agent, Jack moved to LA and became a regular at the Improv. “Hecklers make you battle-tested,” Jack laughs. Then came the big break—an appearance on the Johnny Carson show. Performances followed.
 
In 1987 he was hired by KCRA in Sacramento to do a show. After being on the road for 15 years, Jack and his wife decided to stay, raise a family. He would fly down to LA and do his shows and then come back to Sac. He also had the opportunity to perform on Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. “It was a lot of ad lib—which is fun!” Always writing, Jack created eight one-man plays. Carl notes the stamina that takes. They require 60 shows in 6 weeks, 1.5 hours a night, 2 hours a night on Saturdays. “The audience rides the rollercoaster with me,” says Jack.
 
So now after a long, successful career, Jack at age 68 is still taking chances, but also taking it easy. He still writes and also performs in a band. Jack and his wife, Jean Ellen are also spending time visiting their sons, traveling when possible and every year they go to Massachusetts. “I’m really good at what I do. I’ve been incredibly lucky, it’s worked out.”
 
UnRetirement insights from Jack Gallagher:
 
  • “It’s weird to get old. Everything hurts! But I’m still 30-35 in my head. Sometimes I get recognized and sometimes I don’t and that’s okay!”
 
  • “I always tell my kids, the worst thing that can happen to you is someone says ‘No’. Just try something, take a chance!”
  • “I still like what I do, I still love performing. (But now) I try to do stuff that’s just fun!”

 

For More Information about Jack Gallagher: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Gallagher_(comedian)
 

 

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   Jack Gallagher   author   performer   risktaker   comedy  

Alan Newman Interview: Life Way Outside the Box!

Diana Landau | May 04, 2021

 

Carl had the opportunity to interview the one and only Alan Newman this week. Alan is a serial entrepreneur, part of a rare breed of risk-takers who start up companies as often as they have new ideas. In Alan’s case, money is not his driver. “If you do things you like doing, the money will come,” he says. Alan’s long list of entrepreneurial ventures began in 1983, when he helped found the burgeoning mail-order Gardener's Supply Company. He then founded the eco-friendly, wildly popular Seventh Generation Inc., a natural cleaning products company. In 1994, as the regional craft beer market emerged, he co-founded Magic Hat Brewing Company and served as CEO for 17 years. 
 
In 2016, Newman became a partner in Higher Ground Music in Burlington Vermont. Currently, he has investments in start-ups in hemp and cannabis, has bought Art Riot (an art/music venue) plus he is also currently working on a new venture in LA– and he's not done yet!
 
Alan grew up in the Long Island area of New York. His father was a commercial real estate broker, leasing out shopping malls before they were built. Alan says his father would work very hard for 2-3 years, max out his bonuses and then take a couple years off. “In some ways he demonstrated entrepreneurial living to me,” Alan says. A bright, rebellious spirit who rejected authority, he was kicked out of three high schools and two colleges in five years.
 
Alan says he never wanted to be in “business,” sitting behind a desk and wearing a suit. “I’m frequently only interested in doing things people tell me I can’t do,” he laughs. Carl asks Alan what motivates him now, at the age 75. “I’ve created far more wealth for other people. I continue to work because I need income, though I’m perfectly happy and comfortable. I like working, I need to be active. Building companies is my hobby!”
 
Alan’s insights on (un)retirement:
  • “I don’t believe in retirement---it has never dawned on me. I’m having fun!”
  • “Say YES! I find that I am endlessly curious and I tend to say YES a lot.”
  • “There are two kinds of people---'expense' people and 'revenue' people. When things get tight, "expense" people look for ways to reduce expenses. I’m  a revenue person—I look for ways to generate more revenue.”
  • "There's something about making something that people want to buy that excites me!"

 

For more about Alan Newman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Newman_(entrepreneur) 

 

Alan's Appearance on "How I Built This": https://www.npr.org/2021/01/22/959614771/seventh-generation-alan-newman-and-jeffrey-hollender
 
 
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   Alan Newman   Risk Taker   unretirement   entrepreneur   rebellious  

Dan Blank Interview

Diana Landau | April 20, 2021

The Best Kind of Road Map

 

 

Carl had a fun chat with Dan Blank, CEO of WeGrowMedia this week. Although Dan isn’t retiring any time soon, the focus of his work is helping people in their (un)retirement to achieve their goals. Before founding WeGrowMedia, Dan worked in publishing and digital content development, and was in the perfect spot when those worlds collided. Just as he became even more successful, Dan took the bold step into launching his own business—during 2010! “I felt the recession was a great time to start a company, there were no expectations. I sort of wanted to see who wanted to hire me.” Over a decade later, Dan's company has helped thousands of writers and other creatives to launch their own successful projects.
 
“I was the art kid growing up,” Dan tells us.  Always the entrepreneurial family, Dan, his older brother and parents started a baseball card collector business on weekends, traveling the tri-state area, meeting people, sharing stories about their favorite players and cards. “I think my family's values of working hard, pursuing the creative and encouraging entrepreneurship had a big influence on me.”
 
In college, Dan had many ideas but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He always had side gigs however. He was a DJ and a cartoonist for the college newspaper, then went on to publish a music "zine" in the 1990’s. “I did it for the love of doing it,” Dan says. He profiled new CD’s in the zine and eventually had the opportunity to interview the members of Oasis and other bands he idolized.
 
After college, Dan began his career in publishing and eventually ran digital content for over 40 magazines. He started an internal newsletter for co-workers—the beginning of a weekly practice he has done for over 15 years now. “I have so many ideas, I can’t imagine not sending it (the newsletter) out!” In 2009-2010, his company diversified and his division was sold off. Dan was one of the last employees. He figured he had a network of his own because of his blog and newsletter and decided to leave the corporate life and launch his company, WeGrowMedia, using his knowledge and experience to help others achieve their goals. 
 
If you are in (un)retirement and working on your memoir, Dan can help you create a website, develop your marketing strategy and even plan the book launch. "For writers, I encourage people to listen intently to two things: 1) Your inner voice and taking action on those things you feel compelled to create, and 2) Learning about your readership, the folks you hope will be moved by your words. Both of these actions require a lot of empathy, and listening more than talking---like any good marriage!"
 
Dan Blank’s advice for starting a new Second Act in (Un)Retirement:
  • Communication: “What do you want your day to look like? What’s your purpose? Be really aligned with what you want it to be. If you have a partner, make sure that’s aligned too."
  • Collaboration: “As we get older, we get more and more fearful of failure. If you have a new idea for a venture/novel/project, talk to other people about it. Talk with your friends and colleagues and spitball ideas.
  • Clarity: “Keep doing what you love. Everything I do is because of who inspires me.”


For more about Dan Blank: https://wegrowmedia.com/
 

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   Dan Blank   author   publishing   unretirement   memoir   entrepreneur   

Melissa Davey Interview: Take that Detour!

Diana Landau | April 13, 2021

 

What a compelling interview this week! Carl interviews Melissa Davey, age 71,  a documentary filmmaker, director and executive producer of "Beyond Sixty". It all started when Melissa made a brave, bold move at 65—she took that detour! Prior to her work in film, Melissa had a big-time career as a national Senior Vice President for Genex, developing and managing the Social Security Disability Programs, where she worked for two decades.
 
Growing up, Melissa’s family was on the move, living in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. “Each time we moved I became more curious about everything.” As an adult, Melissa took an unconventional path, marrying young, having children young, divorcing young. “Looking back, I am so glad I experienced my young life in the way that I did. I really don’t believe I would have made the choices I have if it had been different.”
 
At 65, Melissa knew that she was ready to do something new, but not sure what. On a whim, she bid on a charity prize for the M. Night Shyamalan foundation, a day on the set with the well-known director. She won and had the opportunity to spend the day watching how a film was made.
 
Then, a pivotal lunch conversation with the director changed everything.
He said to her, “What do you do?” Melissa attempted to briefly explain the complexity of the insurance industry. “What do you want to do?” he asked. Melissa answered, “I want your job!”
The director nodded and replied, “Well you better hurry up.” This conversation stayed with Melissa. She had always been interested in films but had no time for it with her hectic schedule.
 
Melissa came up with a great idea for a film and a brave, bold plan. She told her husband she was going to quit her job and film a documentary, even though she had no experience making films.  She told her boss she would transition out over a year, giving her time to set up her filmmaking process and conduct some interviews for the project. A year later, she devoted her time to creating, producing and directing “Beyond Sixty….” a documentary about the fascinating lives and accomplishments of women in their 60’s, 70’s and beyond. “The film brings women’s voices forward…and we still have much time left to do new things.” “Beyond Sixty…” released on streaming video this week. “It’s been so amazing!” Melissa says of the journey. “Who knows? Maybe I’ll make another movie!”
 
Melissa Davey’s Advice for (Un)Retirement:
 
  • “Make sure you take the detour every time it’s presented to you because you never know what’s down that road, you never know what might present itself to you as an opportunity.”
  • “When you take off in a career you put your body and soul unto that and sometimes you have to walk away from relationships you’ve had—there’s no time. When you stop working so much, you have time to reconnect. It’s funny, with the good ones you just pick up right where you left off.”
  • “After 3 decades of being the boss it’s your identity (and ego.) You had a team of people to help you accomplish things. I have a great appreciation for the people who helped me!”
  • “Exiting your work life is a huge transition. Push through the fear. Most of our inability to move forward is fear-based.”
  • “You really are never too old to try something new. I’m going to do another film, and maybe another!”
  • “Learn how to pivot. It’s never too late!”

 

 

• Melissa Davey's Beyond Sixty Project: https://www.beyondsixtyproject.com/
 
• This Week's Sponsor is The Monkey Creative: https://themonkeycreative.com/
 

 

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   Melissa Davey   film   documentary   director   vice president   unretirement  

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