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

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Corky Logue Interview: Pawn Shop King Turns Into Pickleball Pied Piper

Diana Landau | April 11, 2022

 
Carl talks this month with Corky Logue of Rollingwood, Texas. Corky is a man of incredible energy and focus. As a serial entrepreneur, he has owned 40+ companies. "One of my biggest shortcomings is I'm a little too optimistic about things," he says. A big success came at the age of 47, when he went public with his chain of EZ Pawn stores, leaving the company a few years later with about $30 million in stock. A self-described workaholic, Corky is still as busy as ever at 74. "Everything I do is fun. If it's not fun, I'm not doing it!"
 
Corky's father was in the Navy, so his family moved some but most of the time they lived in the South Austin area, in a trailer park. Corky has a large family and six children of his own. He says he was a geeky teen, very involved in Explorer then Eagle Scouts. "It taught me leadership,"  he says. After high school his father urged him to join the Marines, but Corky wanted to attend the University of Texas and moved out on his own. He worked 2-3 jobs and put himself through college. Sometimes on the podcast, guests talk about their worst job and how the biggest problem was usually the boss. Corky tells Carl, "Since 1972 (when he was 24), I have never had a boss. I've been the boss!" 
 
He has owned drywall supply companies, bike stores, travel agencies, software companies and more. From the early 1970's to the mid-1890's he was running 12 companies simultaneously. He also became a pilot. "I like living at 100 miles an hour." Corky says he only needs about 3 hours of sleep each night. "I'm still as busy as I was when I was working. The big difference is back then I had few friends. Now, through tennis and pickleball, I have more friends than the previous 65 years!"
 
Corky has 2 courts in his backyard, where he schedules 45 people to play pickleball each week, 4 games a day. "When they're through, they come up for a beer. It's so much fun. I've met some great people." In his spare time, he spreads the message of Toastmasters as a 50-year member. "Absolutely, Toastmasters has made me a different person and I want to pay back what it gave me." Corky also spent some time as Mayor of Rollingwood. There's a pattern here with Corky—a high energy lifestyle, leading by example and having fun—all at the same time. "I used to be somebody, and now I'm nobody and I'm damn happy about it!"

Corky Logue's (Un)retirement Advice:
  • "Play pickleball! It's one of the few sports you can play 7 days a week. With pickleball, I've made the most friends, had the most fun and it keeps your body happy too. "
  • "I have a daily routine that I stick to, I'm still trying to learn to live at 55 miles an hour." (vs 100 mph)
  • "Being social helps you live longer. If that's the case, I'm going to live to 150."

• 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” weekly blog.

 

Tags:    blog   interview   Corky Logue   pickleball   toastmasters   texas   EZ Pawn   serial entrepreneur  

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  

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  

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  

Alan Newman Interview: Life Way Outside the Box!

Diana Landau | May 04, 2021

 

Carl had the opportunity to interview the one and only Alan Newman this week. Alan is a serial entrepreneur, part of a rare breed of risk-takers who start up companies as often as they have new ideas. In Alan’s case, money is not his driver. “If you do things you like doing, the money will come,” he says. Alan’s long list of entrepreneurial ventures began in 1983, when he helped found the burgeoning mail-order Gardener's Supply Company. He then founded the eco-friendly, wildly popular Seventh Generation Inc., a natural cleaning products company. In 1994, as the regional craft beer market emerged, he co-founded Magic Hat Brewing Company and served as CEO for 17 years. 
 
In 2016, Newman became a partner in Higher Ground Music in Burlington Vermont. Currently, he has investments in start-ups in hemp and cannabis, has bought Art Riot (an art/music venue) plus he is also currently working on a new venture in LA– and he's not done yet!
 
Alan grew up in the Long Island area of New York. His father was a commercial real estate broker, leasing out shopping malls before they were built. Alan says his father would work very hard for 2-3 years, max out his bonuses and then take a couple years off. “In some ways he demonstrated entrepreneurial living to me,” Alan says. A bright, rebellious spirit who rejected authority, he was kicked out of three high schools and two colleges in five years.
 
Alan says he never wanted to be in “business,” sitting behind a desk and wearing a suit. “I’m frequently only interested in doing things people tell me I can’t do,” he laughs. Carl asks Alan what motivates him now, at the age 75. “I’ve created far more wealth for other people. I continue to work because I need income, though I’m perfectly happy and comfortable. I like working, I need to be active. Building companies is my hobby!”
 
Alan’s insights on (un)retirement:
  • “I don’t believe in retirement---it has never dawned on me. I’m having fun!”
  • “Say YES! I find that I am endlessly curious and I tend to say YES a lot.”
  • “There are two kinds of people---'expense' people and 'revenue' people. When things get tight, "expense" people look for ways to reduce expenses. I’m  a revenue person—I look for ways to generate more revenue.”
  • "There's something about making something that people want to buy that excites me!"

 

For more about Alan Newman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Newman_(entrepreneur) 

 

Alan's Appearance on "How I Built This": https://www.npr.org/2021/01/22/959614771/seventh-generation-alan-newman-and-jeffrey-hollender
 
 
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   Alan Newman   Risk Taker   unretirement   entrepreneur   rebellious  

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