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

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Mark Linsz: Top Bank of America Exec now a Second Act Guru

Diana Landau | December 07, 2021

Carl interviews Mark Linsz, the Co-Founder and Senior Managing Partner of My Next Season, an organization that helps companies and individuals with important career transitions and ensures they happen well. Mark was formerly the CFO Risk Executive for Bank of America—in the top tier of leadership. He’s had 27 years of holding key corporate leadership roles on three continents.


Mark’s childhood was unique—since his father was a minister and professor, he grew up in Asheville, NC, lived on Long Island, NY, and then spent years living in Africa. “I always loved numbers and figuring things out—even as a little kid.” In college, he became intrigued by two possible careers: 1) a trader on the stock market floor, and 2) a real estate developer. He ended up in a very big-time career in risk management, helping businesses assess financial, lending, and even reputation risks. “The benchmark was if it was too embarrassing for my mother to read, that it probably isn't good.”


Mark and his family lived in Hong Kong and London before being called back to the United States right before the recession. “Both experiences were fantastic for our family, experiencing different cultures.” At the end of 2007, Mark was commuting between work in NYC and his family still in London, then the whole family moved to Charlotte and he took yet another position with B of A. It was a very stressful time for Mark and the entire world when the recession hit. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear what it was like from Mark’s top position in banking.


About 2013, Mark started thinking about what he wanted to do next. “I needed to do something different,” he tells us. At first, he thought he would go into some type of financial advising. But then he talked with his future business partner, Dr. Leslie Braksick about people in executive roles and how to help them with transitioning to the life they want in their second, or third act. They started My Next Season in 2014. “It’s been a fantastic ride!” he says. Mark and his family now live in Charlotte, North Carolina. He loves his work but also makes time for family and nurturing friendships. “Seeing people transition with purpose is really exciting and so rewarding. You can have more impact and influence than you ever had before.”


Mark Linsz’s (un)retirement tips:
• “If I had to do it all over again, I wish I’d taken more time off.” (In between career and new venture).
• “Take time to think through what you really want to do next. Take 6 months to a year to find your passion, it’s extremely important.”
• “Be open to a new purpose. Think outside that box. This is your opportunity to try new things.”
• “The three most important things to focus on in (un)retirement are your relationships (family, friends, work), your purpose and to make sure you are intellectually challenged.”
• More about Mark Linsz and My Next Season
• More about LoveMyHeartStudy.com
• 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   unretirement   cfo   finances   recession   career  

Kerry Hannon Interview: The Power of Curiosity!

Diana Landau | May 25, 2021

Kerry HannonCarl interviewed author, speaker, radio & TV commentator Kerry Hannon this week. In addition to writing 14 best-selling books, Kerry is a nationally recognized expert, spokesperson and strategist on career transitions, personal finance and retirement. She has covered all aspects of careers, business and personal finance as a columnist, editor and writer for The New York Times, Forbes, Money, U.S. News & World Report and USA today, as well as appearances on Dr. Phil, all the major networks, including CNBC, NPR and PBS. Kerry’s latest book is “Great Pajama Jobs.” We think the best way to describe Kerry is probably “prolific dynamo.”


Kerry grew up in Pittsburgh with her parents and three siblings. Her father had an entrepreneurial spirit as a consultant to large corporations to work on efficiency and management training. Dinner conversations were engaging, as her father was always taking on new clients in various businesses with new kinds of challenges. Her mother eventually worked with her father after the kids were raised. This love of meeting new people and taking on new challenges inspired Kerry. She knew at a very young age she wanted to be a writer and wrote her first book at age 12.


Kerry started writing for Duke University while a student there, as well as Pittsburgh Magazine and various horse-related magazines. “I’m a horse freak!” she says. After graduating she wrote for Business Times, Business Week, Advertising Age, even a column about alternative dance. Kerry has always loved diving into new subjects. Her dream job at the time was to write for Forbes, because her father was a devoted subscriber. At 24, she asked for an interview, eventually the job, moved to NYC. “I never looked back,” Kerry adds.


Not just a writer but a passionate spokesperson for people over 50, Kerry has testified before Congress about the importance of older workers. Before she takes on each job, she asks, “Is this something that is going to make a difference in someone’s life? I want to help people!” Kerry currently lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, a documentary producer and her Labrador Retriever, Zena. She is still horse-crazy.


Kerry’s Tips for Preparing for UnRetirement
Soul search: “Take a couple of years to plan and think about it. I call it an inner MRI,” Kerry says. “Think about what you really want to do. Take baby steps. It (your path) is not necessarily linear, it’s more like a patchwork quilt, with different areas of interest.”
Get lean and mean: “The other piece of this (your unretirement plan) is you might want to work on getting financially fit. Pay down your debt, get control of your spending and credit cards, maybe downsize. Debt is the biggest dream-killer!”
Consider your options: “Then, when you are financially fit, you can do lots of things that are not so dependent on that paycheck. You can take a job that is enjoyable to you, or even start your own business. Working from home is great for older people, because there is little ageism, the focus is on performance.”
Embrace being a beginner: “Let your ego go. You’ve already accomplished a lot. It’s okay to be the person in the corner, not knowing how to do something, asking lots of questions. It’s good for you psyche. Be curious!”Click here for the Unretirement Newsletter!
• More information about Kerry Hannon and her books: https://kerryhannon.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   Kerry Hannon   unretirement   writer   finance   retirement plan   horses   ageism   challenges