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

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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  

Bob Tuschman Interview: Former Food Network Exec Now Gets Top Ratings at NYU

Diana Landau | September 21, 2021

 
Carl talks with Bob Tuschman, former Food Network Senior Vice President and General Manager. Plus he's had many other cool job titles, as you will learn. Bob realized even as a kid that 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! Beginning with a job as an assistant producer on a set, (which means loading trucks at 5am, working long hours for little pay), he then 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. Under Bob’s management, the network moved toward entertainment and the rest is well known. Bob oversaw shows featuring Guy Fieri, Giada, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and more.


After 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 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.”
 
Bob's unretirement success plan:
 
Bob decided not to craft a typical “bucket list". Instead, he created three distinct lists 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" would be all the things you want to learn, like a second language or how to play an instrument.
  • "Adventure" would include that mountain to climb, exotic place to visit, challenging yourself to do something that scares you.
  • "Service" is about committing some of your time to making your world better, through community service, volunteering, philanthropy.
 
• More About Bob Tuschman:
- https://www.foodnetwork.com/profiles/talent/bob-tuschman/bio
- https://www.stern.nyu.edu/faculty/bio/bob-tuschman
 
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   Bob Tuschman   Food Network   Exec   NYU   Professor  

Cinde Dolphin Interview: Queen of Positivity!

Diana Landau | May 18, 2021

 

Episode 30 Cinde Dolphin - Big Time Coors Beer Exec Turns Unlikely Entrepreneur

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.”Check Out More Super Fun Unretirement Ideas
 
• 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  

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