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

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Cinde Dolphin Interview: Queen of Positivity!

Diana Landau | May 18, 2021

 

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.”
 
• 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  

Dan Blank Interview

Diana Landau | April 20, 2021

The Best Kind of Road Map

 

 

Carl had a fun chat with Dan Blank, CEO of WeGrowMedia this week. Although Dan isn’t retiring any time soon, the focus of his work is helping people in their (un)retirement to achieve their goals. Before founding WeGrowMedia, Dan worked in publishing and digital content development, and was in the perfect spot when those worlds collided. Just as he became even more successful, Dan took the bold step into launching his own business—during 2010! “I felt the recession was a great time to start a company, there were no expectations. I sort of wanted to see who wanted to hire me.” Over a decade later, Dan's company has helped thousands of writers and other creatives to launch their own successful projects.
 
“I was the art kid growing up,” Dan tells us.  Always the entrepreneurial family, Dan, his older brother and parents started a baseball card collector business on weekends, traveling the tri-state area, meeting people, sharing stories about their favorite players and cards. “I think my family's values of working hard, pursuing the creative and encouraging entrepreneurship had a big influence on me.”
 
In college, Dan had many ideas but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He always had side gigs however. He was a DJ and a cartoonist for the college newspaper, then went on to publish a music "zine" in the 1990’s. “I did it for the love of doing it,” Dan says. He profiled new CD’s in the zine and eventually had the opportunity to interview the members of Oasis and other bands he idolized.
 
After college, Dan began his career in publishing and eventually ran digital content for over 40 magazines. He started an internal newsletter for co-workers—the beginning of a weekly practice he has done for over 15 years now. “I have so many ideas, I can’t imagine not sending it (the newsletter) out!” In 2009-2010, his company diversified and his division was sold off. Dan was one of the last employees. He figured he had a network of his own because of his blog and newsletter and decided to leave the corporate life and launch his company, WeGrowMedia, using his knowledge and experience to help others achieve their goals. 
 
If you are in (un)retirement and working on your memoir, Dan can help you create a website, develop your marketing strategy and even plan the book launch. "For writers, I encourage people to listen intently to two things: 1) Your inner voice and taking action on those things you feel compelled to create, and 2) Learning about your readership, the folks you hope will be moved by your words. Both of these actions require a lot of empathy, and listening more than talking---like any good marriage!"
 
Dan Blank’s advice for starting a new Second Act in (Un)Retirement:
  • Communication: “What do you want your day to look like? What’s your purpose? Be really aligned with what you want it to be. If you have a partner, make sure that’s aligned too."
  • Collaboration: “As we get older, we get more and more fearful of failure. If you have a new idea for a venture/novel/project, talk to other people about it. Talk with your friends and colleagues and spitball ideas.
  • Clarity: “Keep doing what you love. Everything I do is because of who inspires me.”


For more about Dan Blank: https://wegrowmedia.com/
 

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   Dan Blank   author   publishing   unretirement   memoir   entrepreneur   

Mike Branon Interview

Diana Landau | March 23, 2021
 

Keep Moving Forward -- Pickleball Instructor, Microbrewery Owner, World Traveler, High School Teacher, Massage Therapist, Book Author

 

 
 
Carl interviewed the multi-talented Mike Branon this week. After some ups and downs in life, Mike became an entrepreneur, finding a niche as a structural steel contractor. He grew the company to $20-$40 million in sales annually and then retired at 40, looking forward to his Second Act. Although most of our podcast guests are navigating (un)retirement in their 50’s-70’s, Mike took a chance and left the 24/7 work life behind, wanting to do more with his life.
 
Now 60, Mike is also a microbrewery owner, teacher, philanthropist, world traveler, massage therapist, Pickleball coach, explorer of spirituality, fitness and anything else that piques his curiosity. Most recently he has become an author. His goal at this stage of life is to share the lessons learned from his diverse background to help others find meaning and joy in their daily lives.
 
Mike wrote Pickleball & the Art of Living in 2020 during the pandemic, trapped on a cruise ship for 20+ days. (You can see Mike’s pattern of being faced with a challenge and doing something wonderful with it.) His book is definitely not just about Pickleball, it is so much more that. With helpful advice and a sense of humor, Mike encourages the reader to live their best life.
 
Not everything was rosy perfect for Mike when he was younger and he’s very open about it. His Dad was in the Navy and his family moved around a lot. Mike talked about frequently changing schools, learning to meet new people, having to figure it out. “It taught me to land of my feet.”
 
After college, he thought he would take the world by storm. Instead, he found himself working in a convenience store, getting married too young and divorcing at 30 with a young daughter. He felt he wasn’t going anywhere. “A lot of that (time) helped me. I know what it’s like to fail and I know what it’s like to succeed so when I look at my retirement years now, I am acutely aware of what I want to do with my time, what makes me happy.”
 
Always moving forward, Mike is now putting his energies into not only Pickleball and his other passions but he is also the Director of International Relief Teams for rebuilding homes for families and providing health care during disasters.
 
(Un)retirement insights from Mike Branon on living your best life:
  • “To me it was so liberating to be (un)retired. Just having that extra white space in your calendar allows room for the unexpected and the serendipitous to pop into your life.”
  • “If you love what you’re doing career-wise, no reason to stop. But also be open to transitioning. Be open to it.”
  • “Take baby steps, Try it on. See if it fits you. You might find unexpected joy.”
  • “Keep looking toward the future vs being pushed along by the past.”
 
• For more about Mike Branon: https://www.mikebranon.com/
• This Week's Sponsor is The Monkey Creative: https://themonkeycreative.com/
 
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   mike branon   pickleball   author   unretirement   entrepreneur  

Val Haller Interview: Bringing Music to the People!

Diana Landau | February 16, 2021

 

This week's episode is an interview with Val Haller, Music Fan-Genius. After raising a family, Val launched her music business at age 50 in Chicago. Now 63, Val has authored a weekly music post for NYT called "Music Match" where she pairs classic artists with new artists. She is also a music festival producer (Winnetka Music Festival, year 4, 15,000 attendance), has her own podcast “Band in the Basement”, plus she’s created programs at Wrigley Field and the Botanical Gardens, and has been featured in Oprah magazine. 
 
If you are reading this, you must check out her site, Valslist.com. Val realized all the way back in 2003 when the music world began to go digital, that people of the Boomer generation were still focused on careers and raising their families and had little time to learn about the exploding music universe. Val recognized there was a need and capitalized on it. She wants to help older people to be exposed to and appreciate new music. 
 
On her website, you will find curated playlists that combine the groups we know and recognize from our generation, but paired with brand new bands, plus a little bio about them. I don’t know about you, but this blogger wanted to learn more about new music and did not know where to start. With Val’s playlists, you are way ahead of the game. You expand your music horizon, keep up with the times and (possibly) impress your kids with your incredibly cool playlists.
 
Val was entrepreneurial at a young age. Growing up, her family’s conversation around the dinner table was not typical. Her father was an entrepreneurial engineer so the questions were not, “How was your day?” but instead, “What would you invent? What would you change to make the world a better place?” 
 
In college, she started a side business offering hair cuts to students. It grew it into a successful little side business, earning thousands. Ironically, Val gave a bad haircut to one particular student—who is now her husband and business partner.
 
Now, running a successful business takes up most of her time. On becoming an entrepreneur and working with your spouse, she offers these tips:
 
1) Define which rooms of the house you can talk business in. 
2) Let each person be heard.
3) Stay in your own lane. It’s hard to do when you are both “Type A” people working hard together on something--but it works.
 
Bonus tip: Val goes full throttle in the high-energy music business, and is a fan of power napping. (This blogger is too.) Commit to 20-30 minutes each afternoon and you will feel refreshed and ready to keep going.
 
"I tell music agents, bands, producers that we're not your sexy audience, but we're your lucrative audience. We are important!" Val’s mission has been to make the world a better place, one creative playlist at a time. We think she’s killing it!
 
• For more information about Val Haller: https://www.valslist.com/
 
• To subscribe to the "I Used to be Somebody" newsletter: https://pickleballmediahq.com
 
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   val haller   music   entrepreneur   baby boomers   naps  

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