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

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What Was Your Worst Job Ever?

Carl Landau | July 13, 2021

 
My opening question for every episode of I Used to be Somebody is an "ice breaker" question for the guest. Ice breaker questions are a great lead-in, whenever you meet someone new. It's often a question I ask that's a little off beat and it often reveals a lot about that person. And the answer will give you a bird's eye view of who that person is, as well as their outlook on life.
 
I've asked this question a lot to people over the years, people who have had very successful careers. For most part, they have had some truly crappy jobs in the beginning of their work lives. But it seems everyone I've talked with has learned something from those experiences. (Like what not to do!)
 
When guests start talking about their first jobs or their worst job, they become very animated and you also learn what kind of storyteller they are. That time brings them back, and they tell their story, which helps make the interview for my show better. For the audience, the last thing you want to listen to is stock answers and corporate speak. (I know I don't!) Right from the get go, the guests become more personable and more real--which is the goal. 
 
So there is some thought in my craziness.
 
Sure enough, after reading the podcast results so far, it ends up that the most commented part of the podcast interviews from listeners is often the "ice breaker" questions. So I thought, "Why not put together an episode of just my ice breaker questions (and always interesting answers)?" This bonus episode is really entertaining and will give you some instant insight as to where this guest came from and who they are. Enjoy!
 
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• Sponsored by The Monkey Creative: themonkeycreative.com
 
Carl Landau is the Creative Genius here at Pickleball Media. He is the former Grand Poobah at Niche Media. 
Tags:    blog   worst jobs   unretirement   working   job   interview   bonus episode  

Patrick Mulvaney Interview: It Really Is A Wonderful Life!

Diana Landau | June 29, 2021

 
In the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” George Bailey learns that his family business, Bailey Bros. Building and Loan, is so much more than a business. It's about the bonds they created to hold the community together. Patrick Mulvaney, award-winning chef, leader of the Farm-to Fork movement in Northern California and a local hero for his non-profit programs, was inspired by this sentiment and named his restaurant Mulvaney’s B&L. Patrick and his wife Bobbin have a successful restaurant business--- and have taken it to a whole new level of community service.

Although Patrick calls his restaurant a “shanty Irish joint” it is elevated dining using the freshest ingredients. Patrick and Bobbin believe the world can be a better place through their restaurant. They have cultivated relationships with local farmers, developed programs like Great Plates to feed hungry people in need and during the pandemic they were a vital part of a region-wide program, Family Meal Sacramento, making meals for over 100,000 families. California Governor Gavin Newsom observed the program and pledged to take it statewide during the pandemic.

Patrick’s grandparents on both sides immigrated to the U.S from Ireland. He grew up in New York with a lawyer father and an English professor mother. Then he found his true calling by working in kitchens and the rest is history! He had the opportunity to apprentice with a chef in Ireland. “I was fired 6 times in 9 months!” he says.

Patrick worked at Rockaway Beach in Queens for a time, and it was there he learned the powerful connectivity between a restaurant and the community.  “It’s a place to help the community become stronger, to become engaged, and it’s also a pathway to making your voice heard to decision makers.” Patrick then worked his way up the ladder at Metropolis in NYC under Leslie Revsin. During grad school at UC Davis, he saw a 12-month growing season and winemaking and knew he wanted to open his own restaurant in Sacramento, which he did in 2006.

 “It gets back to what I learned in Ireland—where does your food come from? Do you know the farmers? Sacramento felt like home.” Now he is one of the lead innovators of the Farm-to-Fork movement, bringing farmers and chefs together in a big way. “It’s given something to Sacramento that the people can be proud of.”

Patrick and Bobbin also started the I Got Your Back Project, a mental health program and education for restaurant employees, after there were several suicides in the local restaurant community. “Restaurant work can be fast-paced, stressful and nocturnal. It requires thick skin and talent, not a college degree.” The program is now helping people every day.

What’s next? Patrick is still doing what he loves to do, wishing maybe he had a little more quiet time to cook. But he’s also taking the time to think about and reflect on what he wants to accomplish in his third act, whether it’s more involvement in advocacy, mental health, food insecurity or all three. We know he will keep making the world a better place!

Patrick’s (Un) Retirement Wisdom for Second Acts:

“Keep your eyes open and be enthusiastic in whatever it is you're doing, knowing that it might not be a direct path to doing (exactly) what you want to do. But know the experience will eventually help you in some way. When you meet someone, you never know what it is they can teach you, or how they might lift you up!”
 

 

 
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   patrick mulvaney   farm to table   chef   restaurateur   nonprofit   community   food   mental health  

Susan Stewart Interview: Do it, Don’t Wait! One Life!!!

Diana Landau | June 22, 2021

 
When you meet Susan Stewart, you think right away that you must be friends. She really cares about people. A former golf prodigy then pro, a colleague along the way saw her promise and helped her build her resort merchandising career. Then in 2017, tired of corporate life, she risked it all (her wife was very supportive) and started her own retail store in 2017. Strapping sells funky, kitschy, relevant, irrelevant, unusual items and it’s been a big hit with two stores and a thriving online business.

 

Susan has a successful business in a neighborhood in a transition with a long history but no surprise--she has become a community leader and advocate. She's advocate for everyone! She just opened in her second store during a pandemic—and she’s excited about it! (You’ll see in the podcast episode.) She is inspiring and inspires others with her infectious energy.

 

This budding yet savvy entrepreneur grew up in Hudson Valley in New York. Her parents were chefs and eventually the family moved to Palm Springs. As a child, Susan loved golf. After high school she had a job with Paramount Studios as a runner, meeting Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and one of her golf heroes, Arnold Palmer.

 

A couple of careers later, Susan decided to go for it. “In January I had the idea, in February I found the space, in March I got the key and in April I opened!” she says. “I’m a doer. I think most entrepreneurs are. You jump in with both feet!” Now she is a successful shop owner who really views her business as a way to be an integral part of the community. Susan is hoping to hire some extra management and play a little more golf, looking for that sustainable life balance.

 

Susan’s advice on becoming an entrepreneur in your Second Act:
  • “Failure is okay, it brings you to where you are.”
  • “People always ask me; how did you pay for this? Be prepared that banks aren't going to loan you the money.”
  • “Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You have to be adaptable. You have to really see your failures and grow from it.”
  • “You don't know that you don't know something until you (eventually) know something!”

 

 

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   susan stewart   interview   unretirement   golf   retailer   lgbtq   second act   third act   entrepreneur  

Jerry Reynolds Interview: NBA Legend -- Retired, Relaxed and Remarkable!

Diana Landau | June 11, 2021
 
Carl sat down with Jerry Reynolds, a former NBA coach, General Manager, broadcaster and so much more for the Sacramento Kings. Jerry is a local legend and one of the most respected people in the league. It was a truly a highlight in Carl's life to meet and interview him.
 
Jerry just (un)retired recently at age 77 and now is the star of the Kings Herald Show. Jerry coached and served as the General Manager for the Sacramento Kings (more about that in the podcast), as well as General Manager for the Sacramento Monarchs WNBA team. He was also the director of player personnel, color commentator and lead analyst for broadcasting of the organization. Prior to the NBA, Jerry was a successful coach in the college ranks for various teams. He was selected for induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.


So, after 35 years of service to the Kings organization, the media entrance to the Golden 1 Center will be officially known as the “Jerry Reynolds Media Entrance.” There is a plaque and pictures adorning the walls leading into the area and signage outside for the fans to visit. Jerry has a sense of humor and insight about the tumultuous times the Kings had under very different, often changing and under-funded ownership. “Whether you win or lose, it’s a stressful job either way. You need a really good team off the floor to have a really good team on the floor.”
 

Born in French Lick, Indiana, Jerry is a country boy at heart. He's the second most famous person born there—NBA legend Larry Bird is also a native and he and Jerry are long-time friends. The family was quite poor, with no running water or indoor plumbing. His father eventually got a job with the Texas Eastern Corporation and the family moved into subsidized housing. Jerry grew up with 5 siblings and he remembers his parents laughing a lot—which is probably where his sense of humor began.


Jerry played basketball on a college scholarship and eventually landed a coaching gig after college. The rest is history. Jerry recalls the NBA of simpler times, when there were 10 players, 2 coaches, a trainer and they all flew on commercial airlines. In 1985-1986 he started advance scouting, flying all over the country, and loved it. “I got about 5 years of experience in one year!” he says. “It was the best of times. The league was pure, the game was better, more physical. You kinda had to earn your points.” Career highlights for Jerry include the first game ever played in Sacramento and the Monarch’s World Championship win.
 

About a year before his (un)retirement, Jerry started thinking about how to ease into it. He went part-time as a transition. Now he continues to do a bit of broadcasting and hosts the podcast. Jerry and his wife Dodie have been married 53 years and live in the Sacramento region. He also enjoys spending time with family and going up to Lake Tahoe. “I’ve been blessed,’ he says. “I got to pick my own end.”


Jerry’s (un)retirement advice:
 
  • Do what you want to do when you want to do it!
  • Be true to yourself. If you're taking on to a job only for money or fame, you're probably gonna fail.
  • Take your time to explore hobbies, community service and find ways to make yourself valuable.
  • Find two things a day to do—one activity in the morning and one in the afternoon. That makes for a great, relaxing day!

 

More information about Jerry Reynolds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Reynolds_(basketball,_born_1944)
 
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   WNBA   General Manager   unretirement   basketball   legend   NBA   halloffame   collegescholarship   sacramento   

Tim Jordan Interview: From CEO to Old Soul

Diana Landau | June 04, 2021

Carl interviews local legend and cool coffeehouse owner Tim Jordan in the Tiki Bar. Tim had a big time career in the printing industry for 20+ years, starting out as a copy clerk for a small printer and working his way up to production manager, then working for a big-time printing company and eventually moving up the ladder to VP then CEO. Carl says he has always had a soft spot for printing companies, as he used to be a niche magazine publisher.

In 2004, dissatisfied with corporate life, Tim left the print biz. He wanted to get back to his roots. He took off a year to find his passion. In what he calls “the world’s craziest decision,” Tim became a first-time entrepreneur with his biz partner Jason Griest, working 20 hours a day roasting artisanal coffee, learning to bake, and creating one of the coolest art coffeehouse vibes in the Sacramento region. Today, Old Soul has 4 locations with 3 more in the works, a catering side, wholesale operations, and a thriving online retail biz in 50 states. True to their artisan pledge, Tim adds, “We have a small local business that we’re proud of and we don’t have to work 20+ hours a day anymore.”


Tim grew up in Sacramento and both his parents worked for the State of California. His older brother works for the State too. “My mother was always wondering about what trouble I’d get into,” Tim tells us. “I was precocious, maybe obnoxious?” Carl says he was the same way as a kid. He first wanted to be a baseball player when he grew up and still today is a loyal St. Louis Cardinals fan, like his father. His first job was frying chicken at KFC at age 15. “I thought I’d earned a future in fine dining,” Tim recalls. He began working in printing at age 18 and the rest of his first career is history.

Lucky for Sacramento, Tim and his partner gave Midtown the cool vibe it needed. The neighborhood has become the hub of culture, creativity and vibrancy in the urban core. It wasn’t so easy in the beginning, however. At first, Tim and Jason intended to create a wholesale biz, selling artisan coffee and baked goods to local high-end restaurants. (Never mind that the two didn’t know how to roast coffee and bake but they learned!) They spent a year renovating an old warehouse space and soon the aromas of great coffee and tasty baked goods were wafting out the door. No surprise, people kept dropping by to see what was happening. It got to the point where they had a self-serve station, an “honor jar” for money and some vintage furniture to settle in. Tim says he had been working 7 days a week, crazy long hours, and people kept asking how much they should put into the honor jar. “I was tired and I got mad and just said two dollars! Everything is two dollars!!! (This blogger fondly remembers that time and how chill it was to sip exceptional $2 coffee in the funky vibe of that warehouse. It’s still there, but the pricing is truer now.) Their artisan coffeehouse grew organically into the successful business it is today.

“I’m old and Jason’s the soul. We have a real brotherhood,” Tim says of his business partner of 16 years. “And I’m working less than 40 hours a week now.” He lives on 38 acres of “delta breeze bliss” with his wife of 18 years, Jill Withrow. They are big supporters of the local community, and also have their non-profit literacy foundation, “Sacramento Has Soul” which helps students who have fallen behind in their reading skills.  It’s no surprise that Tim is already thinking 4-5 years ahead for his third act, pondering what his next (ad)ventures will be……..


Tim Jordan’s advice on Second Act Entrepreneurship:
  • “Do something that you really love and that you feel like you're good at.”
  • “I wished I’d recognized a little earlier on which details to sweat and then start to pro forma ones you can’t sweat so much, so you can find your balance…. (and) you can have a quality of life that is not dictated to you, rather you can dictate it instead.”
  • It’s essential to find a good fiduciary that is a steward for the company’s finances. It gives you peace of mind and clarity.”unretirement tips and newsletter
  • “Know your business, know what’s important, know what to let go.”
 
• More information about Tim Jordan and Old Soul Company: https://oldsoulco.com/about/
 
 
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   entrepreneur   Tim Jordan   coffeehouse   small business   local   Sacramento   Midtown   soul   baking   coffee  

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