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

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Richard Haiduck Interview: A New Spin on (Un)Retirement

Diana Landau | January 19, 2021
Richard Haiduck was Carl’s guest on the podcast this week. Richard is a former Life Sciences Exec who just published his new book, Shifting Gears: 50 Baby Boomers Share Their Meaningful Journeys in RetirementThe book is based on interviews with retirees who share how they are shifting gears in their (un)retirement. Sometimes they shift smoothly, sometimes they grind the gears, and often they take some time to find their groove. The stories reveal the rich abundance of “second life” adventures, from the exotic to the mundane. It’s about the joys, challenges, and inspirations that are a part of the journey in this next stage of life.  
 
The interview started out extremely well when Carl asked his guest, as an icebreaker, if he knew anything about Pickleball. (Carl asks this question to every single guest, and so far he was 0-13.) Richard not only knew all about it, he has a court on his property(!) and plays often with his grandkids. So excited to get his very first positive response, Carl talked about how pickleball is the great equalizer, anyone can play together, it’s great exercise and super fun.
 
Now to the core of the interview—Richard grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and attended Miami University in Ohio. Even as a 7-year old, Richard knew he wanted to be an author. He wrote every day for one year, writing all kinds of fiction. Then he just stopped, wanting to focus on other kid-things like riding his bike, hanging out with friends, etc. A couple decades later, Richard turned that laser focus to the life sciences, working as a CEO for start-up bio-tech companies, their mission to discover breakthroughs in medicine.
 
After many years of living in Singapore and New Zealand, Richard then decided to pivot, setting up his own consulting practice. He wanted to share his knowledge and lessons learned to help new CEO’s of bio-tech start ups. He had two criteria for mentoring clients: “I worked with people I liked and I liked what they were working on.” Carl agreed that is one of the advantages of being an entrepreneur. He added, “You get to choose your employees AND choose your clients.”
 
Richard charted a wise and gradual course into (un)retirement life. Every year, over a span of 5 years, he began reducing his client load by 20% and adding a retirement activity. The goal was to phase out of work and ease into (un)retirement without that hard shift from “Monday you’re the boss, and Tuesday it all stops.” Richard and Carl acknowledged that depending on your profession, it’s not so easy for some people to do it that way.
 
Now fully in (un)retirement, Richard still cycles 3,000 miles a year, among other pursuits. As Richard talks with his friends and his network, he noticed a familiar thread. They were doing all these amazing things in retirement but not necessarily sharing about it. His desire to become an author, from all those years ago, came back. He wanted to write a book about their experiences to share with others. “I had two criteria for the book. 1) the process was enjoyable, and 2) over time, it had to feel like a useful book to people.”
 
A “relaxed intensity” theme emerged from these stories. Many people could still become deeply immersed in something, but in a more relaxed way. To explain it further, Richard said, “It’s like you take on something that’s difficult and a challenge without ripping your insides out about it.  You just can’t do that in your 30’s.” The end result is (un)retirees are combining joy with a sense of purpose.
 
Richard’s (un)retirement advice:
 •     I used to be somebody, I’m still somebody—just different now.
 •     Before you make the decision to retire, be sure you are able to identify what you are going to.
 •     Try it on and see, if it doesn’t work, move on!
 •     Define what this new freedom really means to you.
 
To learn more about Richard Haiduck: visit his website.
 
For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #14 with Richard Haiduck.
 
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   cycling   author   retirement   advice  

Superfan (Un)Retirement Success Story: Julie Sursok

Carl Landau | January 19, 2021

So You're a Senior, WTF! 

 

Julie Sursok is an inspiring breakthrough author of the best-selling book “I’m Now called a Senior WTF.” Julie is a senior herself. She has run her own successful businesses, performed on stage and television and is an award-winning recording artist.
 
Julie emigrated from South Africa to Australia mastering the challenges of losing everything to rise back up again. And now with laughter, humility and life experience she is passionately inspiring seniors to stand tall and feel relevant again.
 
When she closed down her business, she realized that she was now in the category of “senior” but just didn’t feel like one. Julie saw seniors struggling with the premise that their self worth was tied up in their past and what they did and that they had now lost their identity.
 
It appeared retirement was fast becoming “retirement from life”. Julie knew she needed to change this and make seniors realize that this is the beginning of so many new things. She needed to get up on stage and talk in front of thousands of people and help them find their purpose and to be curious about interests that they hadn't dared to try. And, through that they would feel alive again.
 
So, as an example, she wrote a short film and directed it, executive produced a movie, became computer literate, danced the salsa with her grandchildren, discovered new countries with her co-senior and now, she's written a book.
 
Julie tells us, "For Boomers, it is only one small step at a time, you don't climb to the top of the ladder in one leap, you climb up one step at a time. I say to Boomers, we are all in the same boat but now is the time to find your new why. It just takes curiosity."
 
Super-Fan (Un)retirement Success Stories: We want to hear from you! Submit your personal stories of professional (un)retirement success to podcast@pickleballmediahq.com.

 

Tags:    blog   superfan   star of the week   unretirement   author   best-seller  

Super-Fan (Un)Retirement Success Stories: Anne Da Vigo

Diana Landau | November 23, 2020

Anne Da Vigo's career spanned 30 years as a crime beat reporter at newspapers throughout California and as public information specialist in California government. During her news career, she was nearly sent to jail for refusing to reveal her sources. She covered the trial in the first of the Lords of Bakersfield cases, a California murder series that spanned decades. 

 

Since she retired, she's written two novels, Thread of Gold and Bakersfield Boys Club, a thriller inspired by the Lords murders. Bakersfield Boys Club was recently awarded an honorable mention in the Writer's Digest Self Published Book contest. 

 

When she's not researching and writing a new mystery, she's visiting book clubs to chat about her novels. In her spare time, she takes tap dance classes, where she became proficient enough to dance with a performance tap group. If you are thinking of writing, some advice from Anne: "I believe that everyone has a story; they just need to pick up a pen and get started. It's never been a better time to write your story, when 60 percent of all books are self-published."

 

Super-Fan (Un)retirement Success Stories: We want to hear from you! Submit your personal stories of professional (un)retirement success to podcast@pickleballmediahq.com.

Tags:    blog   superfan   star of the week   unretirement   author   novel   anne da vigo  

(Un)Retirement Star of the Week, Jill Baker

Carl Landau | October 26, 2020

(Un)Retirement Star of the Week Jill BakerAfter a career in copywriting and media marketing, Jill Baker decided to pursue something she’d wanted to do for ages -- write a book. She knew she could write 800 words or 8,000 words, but could she write 80,000?

 

Her story:

“I welcomed the challenge, especially since I had the beginnings of a draft sitting in my files. Fortunately, since my husband and I have experience in the field, we reinvented ourselves as Sudbury Publishing Group, with the expectation that once established, we could help others get their work to market or publish for personal use. Using Publish Drive as a digital distribution partner, we’re thrilled that we can be on Amazon in print and basically anywhere in the world, in ebook format.

 

I am still learning my way around the industry -- it's quite different from newspapers and magazines -- but I now have author profiles on Goodreads, Reedsy Discovery, and Book Life.  You can learn more about me and my blog ruminations at jillcbakerauthor.com. I'm also on social media as the Sutherland Series (FB) and @SeriesSarah on Twitter.”

 

Super-Fan (Un)retirement Success Stories: We want to hear from you! Submit your personal stories of professional (un)retirement success to podcast@pickleballmediahq.com.

Tags:    blog   Jill Baker   book   author   success   (un)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  

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