Richard Eisenberg Interview: Journalist for Money Magazine, People, Yahoo and PBS's Next Avenue on (Un)Retirement
Diana Landau | October 25, 2022
Carl interviews one of the Founding Fathers of the (Un)Retirement Movement, Richard Eisenberg. Rich spent 40+ years as a personal finance reporter, editor, writer, producer and popular podcast host. He worked with organizations such as Money Magazine, People, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, CBS Money Watch and most recently with PBS's Next Avenue. Rich just "unretired" in January 2022, and shares some lessons learned about having a second act.
Rich grew up in the New Jersey suburbs. He was always a curious, studious kid, he says. He became editor of his high school newspaper and also worked at the school's radio station. After graduating from Northwestern, he pursued his passion for journalism. "One of the reasons I wanted to be in journalism was because I wanted to be helpful and useful to people in some way." Also interested in pop culture, Rich's first job out of college was as a fact checker for People magazine. Rich's career took him from that position, to becoming a reporter, Senior Editor, then Washington correspondent and Executive Editor for Money Magazine and others.
During his career, he worked remotely and was an early adopter for working with people all over the country, from his home office. "I didn't have any problem with it," he tells us. Now, Rich is still writing a column and hosting a podcast, writing book reviews for People, plus volunteering and pursuing other opportunities such as getting involved in a NYU student program on digital media and book publishing. Carl asks Rich what he's learned in the last 9 months. "I'm still writing, but trying some new things and liking the mix of the two. So far, so good!"
Richard Eisenberg's (Un)Retirement Advice:
"Until you're actually in it, (unretirement) you can't know exactly how it will be. Maybe the scariest part will be having a blank calendar with nothing filled in on it. So you'll need to figure out how much you want to fill it up. Some people will want to have stuff every day. Some people may want lots of free days. You have to spend some time thinking about how you want to spend your time."
"Don't be scared-- realize you are going to make some mistakes. There's really no right way to do it."
On becoming too busy: "Saying 'No' to opportunities can make you feel uncomfortable sometimes. There's an adjustment period."
"People need to be able to find meaning and purpose in their lives--whether it's part-time work, or volunteering, or spirituality, but they have to have a reason to get up in the morning. Sometimes they're following a passion, or seeing a need, and then finding a way to serve that."
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.
Michael Clinton Interview: Modern-Day Renaissance Man
Diana Landau | September 14, 2021
Get ready to be inspired by Carl’s interview with the former President of Hearst Magazines, Michael Clinton. Besides having a huge Publishing career overseeing Esquire, House Beautiful, Food Network Magazine, Oprah, (the list goes on), he’s traveled to 124 countries so far and run marathons on seven continents. Now 68, he’s a special advisor to the CEO of Hearst Corporation, a writer, photographer, global marathon runner and private pilot who has just released his latest book, ROAR: into the second half of your life (Before It’s Too Late.)
Michael has an innate, passionate curiosity about the world and is full of surprises. We sort of assumed Michael had this huge publishing career in NYC because he came from some upper-crust, Ivy League background. It’s been his incredible dedication and focus that led Michael to where he is now. He comes from a poor, working-class family of eight from Pittsburgh, PA. His father was a laborer and his mother was home with the six kids. “There was lots of love,” Michael says. His parents may have been poor but they exposed their children to art, culture and libraries. Discovering the world through books and literature became fundamental to Michael’s life, igniting his love of words.
One of only 20 or so from his high school class to go on to college, he studied economics and political science and then became editor of the college newspaper, stoking his passion for publishing. After graduation, he went to NYC with “$60 in my pocket, no contacts and two months on a couch.” His first big break was to become Publisher of Conde Nast's GQ Magazine, at only 34 years old. He spent his last 23 years with Hearst. But he doesn’t want anyone to say ‘retire’ because it is such a toxic word! It implies passivity.
After Hearst, Michael kept seeing books about slowing down, aging, making your life smaller. “I wanted to do exactly the opposite. I wanted to find other people who felt the same way.” Michael interviewed 40 people about what they’re doing now for his new book. Now he is looking forward to more heights in traveling, photography, outdoor sports and philanthropy, plus a deep dive into becoming an entrepreneur. He plans to continue inspiring people 50+ to “rewire” their lives.
Life Wisdom from Michael Clinton:
“The importance of having a professional mentor should not be dismissed. I will always advise and encourage people to seek out the mentor that can help them evolve and grow in their career.”
“Editing is an important skill in publishing, of course. What it teaches you is to edit out the extraneous things that don’t matter.” (Think wasting social media, unproductive friendships, unsupportive family.) “Find people who will lift you up!”
Michael loathes the term “mid-life crisis.” “It should be mid-life awakening,” he says. Think about whether you need to shift course. If you’re healthy and 60, there’s a good chance you’ll live longer—a three-decade arc of opportunity.
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.