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

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My 6 Best (Un)Retirement Decisions

Carl Landau | February 10, 2024
Carl DiaryI'm currently starting my 4th year of what we call (Un)Retirement. And maybe I've learned a thing or two I can share to help you...
 
Actually do it and retire! I thought about it many times. Exactly when should I cut the cord and stop working the crazy hours and dealing with the pressure of running my own business for 40+ years? The best advice I give people about (Un)Retirement is do it sooner rather than later. I wish I had sold/quit 5 years earlier. The last couple of work years were a drag on my mind, body and spirit. And I didn't realize it until I stopped.
 
Hire a pro to create a financial plan. The reason I felt comfortable in stopping the job/career is that I had been working with a great financial planner for several years in anticipation of the change. That person is Ian Castille at Capital Advantage and I consider him a good friend at this point.
 
I talk to so many people that have/had successful careers and have created wealth that they manage themselves. Or at least they try. This is crazy. What do you truly know about the financial market? I'd rather pay someone that studies the market all day to make my decisions. I sleep so much better at night because of this.
 
Avoid the temptation to go back! You are an expert with experience and it's so tempting to go back. I was in the live event biz for the past 20 years. I know that business back and forth and have seen so many opportunities to return. But, every time I return to my senses (also with the wise counsel of my wife Diana who had to put up with my totally-consumed-working-self for many years). Now I focus on where I'm going!
 
Do something new. Use the skills you already have, except in a new way. After working for decades, we all have developed incredible insights into organization, management, writing or whatever. Just use that toolbox in some new and cool endeavor.
 
Hire someone to do the shit you don't like to do or aren't good at. When I first was launching our podcast and newsletter I was going to hire an assistant. But my friend Bekah said I should consider hiring a virtual assistant company. I did that 3+ years ago. I hired a company Monkey Creative. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. No employees for me to worry about and I only pay for what I need done. I get to do the writing and they handle the graphics, e-marketing and all the other stuff I don't want to do/not good at.
 
Just start and see what happens. I didn't have a plan beyond starting the I Used to be Somebody podcast and newsletter. Then I took a leap of faith. Perhaps it would lead to something else? It lead to me interviewing 80 incredible people that I would never have met in a million years. Many I now consider my friends. The podcast and some pickleball talk led to Diana and I co-authoring (with our instructor and friends Mo and Reine) the Amazon best-seller, Pickleball for dummies. Most recently, my new path has led to leading vacation tours around the world for our podcast audience. You never know...

 

Tags:    the carl diary   unretirement   pickleball   Best decisions   second act   pickleball book   I Used To Be Somebody   Podcast  

Steve Israel Interview: Eight Term US Congressman Now Cool Bookstore Owner

Diana Landau | August 09, 2023

Steve Israel
Carl has interviewed CEO’s, entrepreneurs, artists, and athletes, but this is his first interview with a U.S. Congressman. In this episode he talks with former U.S. Representative Steve Israel of New York. After leaving office in 2017, Steve has been a political commentator on CNN, MSNBC, HBO and more, is a frequent author for many media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post and The Atlantic. He is also Director of the nonpartisan Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University. In addition, he has written two books, (Big Guns and The Global War on Morris.) Then in 2021, he became an entrepreneur and launched a new dream job—as the owner of an independent bookstore, Theodore’s Books, in Oyster Bay, NY. “Independent bookstores have always been my sanctuary. They make me feel good, safe and optimistic.”
 
Steve was born in Brooklyn and raised in Levittown on Long Island. He had the classic, middle-class family. “I took those valuable lessons with me to Congress,” Steve says. “It was tough to meet bills but there were plenty who struggled more than we did.” He started writing as a boy. (Does anyone else remember typing away on a Smith-Corona?) In high school, he worked for the student newspaper. “It put me on the path to being able to communicate.” He eventually became very interested in news and politics and knew even then that he wanted to work to make a difference in the world.
 
Carl asks Steve what it felt like to walk into Congress that first day in 2001. “It was the most extraordinary and surreal experience of my life. When I raised my right hand for the oath, I felt goosebumps—still do!” Steve ran for office 8 times and won 8 times. Carl asks him what most of our listeners would be surprised to know about Congress. “Congress is a far more civil and tranquil place than you see on television. There are people working together on both sides to create solutions. The news media is conflict entertainment, but there’s another story to be told.”  
 
The scoop: You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear Carl and Steve talk about Steve’s successor George Santos, the huge void of local, investigative journalism, voter complacency, plus big disaster relief antics from Florida Governor Ron De Santis.
 
Steve started thinking he was ready to move on from public service but got some good advice from a mentor to postpone his retirement for two years, in order to make sure he was making the right decision. "Best advice!" Steve says. When he did retire in 2017 at the age of 59, he began political and media consulting, teaching at Cornell University, wrote two books,  and more. "I think one mistake I made at first was to take on a bit too much." Since 2021, Steve is passionate about his bookstore. "It's hard, it's a challenge and I love it." In addition to running Theodore’s, Steve still does ALL the other things he does and is now working on his third book.
 
Steve Israel’s (Un)retirement Advice:
  • “The transition to (un)retirement wasn't easy, it took a little time to get used to it. Opening my own bookstore gave me a sense of empowerment in a different way than before. Try to take that risk, focus on the one thing that will be fulfilling.”
  • (On filling up the daily schedules) “I’ve had to struggle with the discipline of saying, "No.” I’m still working on it.”
  • “Accept the fact that we're not put on this earth to do one thing forever. Try something new and be courageous. You can do other things with your life—you can pursue different passions!”
 
• More about Steve Israel
• Sponsored by Mike Ownbey, COMPASS 
• Sponsored by How to Retire and Not Die
• Sponsored by Capital Advantage
 
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” blog.
 
Tags:    Blog   Interview   Steve Israel   Carl Landau   Pickleball   I Used To Be Somebody   (Un)Retirement   US Congressman   Bookstore Owner  

Jim Roddy Interview: Take the Big Shot!

Diana Landau | October 26, 2020

Jim Roddy talked recently with Carl about how he overcame personal and career challenges and the importance of making good people great. Jim is author of the new book, The Walk-On Method to Career & Business Success and has been one of the most popular speakers in the technology industry.

 

It takes a unique skill set to have the courage to persevere and achieve your goals as a "walk on" without the benefit of first being recruited or having a scholarship. Jim knows first-hand about the challenge of being a "walk on". In college he displayed that same ingenuity, asking the coach for a chance and through grit and determination eventually earned a playing position on the Gannon University basketball team.

 

Jim saw how these attitudes helped him succeed in magazine publishing and as a national speaker and as a business coach. He learned that other “walk-ons” had used those practices as well and had applied them to their professional careers. His new book features 31 underdog athletes who parlayed their college experience into habits that led to career success. The author has always been inspired by the concept that ordinary people will accomplish extraordinary feats when their energy is properly channeled.

 

Insights from Jim on accelerating your success:

 

1.     Anyone can change his/her attitudes and practices. Resourcefulness is key.

 

2.     Working 24/7 is not the answer. Dedicate time for yourself. Find ways to increase your knowledge and skills but have fun too.

 

3.     Do something meaningful that has an impact for people-- that will in turn accelerate their success too.

 

Jim’s previous book, "Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer" features hiring lessons, interview best practices, and recruiting strategies for managers through the perspective of a cancer-surviving manager. Available in paperback format, the book includes detailed examples and time-tested hiring best practices you can implement immediately at your organization.

 

The Walk-On Method to Career and Business Success was published in Sept. 2020 and is available in paperback and e-book format on Amazon.Learn more about Jim Roddy here!

 

For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #7 with Jim Roddy.

 

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   podcast   jim roddy   book   walk on  

(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  

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