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

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Scott Miller Interview: "Roger That" -- Push Past Your Fears!

Diana Landau | October 26, 2021

 
Carl talks with Scott Miller, who landed his dream job at 56 after having many different acts—and he’s still chasing his dreams. He is currently a pilot for a major airline but is also an aviation professor, flight instructor, TV broadcaster, Tiki enthusiast, and silent business investor in the restaurant world, including, of course, a Tiki Bar. Scott is a man of many passions and his enthusiasm is infectious.

 

In college, Scott enrolled in the San Jose State aviation program and thought his course was set. He had intended to join the Navy to gain flight experience, but a medical issue made him change course and he then decided to become a civilian flight instructor. Although he thought that job would lead him to his ultimate goal, he discovered he really liked it. “I was shocked by how much I enjoyed teaching and being an instructor,” Scott tells us.

 

By 2009, Scott was also a pilot for a regional airline when the recession hit. Wanting to return back to Sacramento, he changed course again, this time teaching in a new aviation program that Sacramento City College had just launched. “I wasn’t flying, but at least I was talking and teaching about flying,” Scott says. He was nervous. He hadn’t taught a room full of 40 students before. “When the students at the end of that first semester were able to do well on the FAA tests, I knew I had done my job. I took a breath, knowing I was able to do this.”

 

During that time, Scott took on yet another act when a local TV station called, wanting expert advice on a recent major airplane accident. “I wasn’t nervous, because I was talking about flying!” Gigs at CNN and other stations followed. By 2015, opportunities with major airlines came calling. Even though he was a tenured professor by then, he jumped at the chance to fly again. Scott eventually became a full-time pilot for a major airline at age 56. “I thought I was completely past realizing that dream,” he reflects. Now 58, he still appears in news programs, part-time teaches aviation and flight instruction, in addition to his full-time dream job. Clearly, Scott’s drive to seek new heights keeps him going.
 
Scott’s (Un)retirement insights:
•“I developed a passion at a very young age. Obviously, that passion has driven a lot of the decisions I have made in life!”
•“If there’s something you truly want to do, give it a try and go for it. Make them tell you ‘No’!”
 
• This Week's Sponsor is LoveMyHeartStudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
• 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   scott miller   pilot   investor   unretirement   sacramento   dreams  

Dan Kennedy Interview: Biz Publisher Creates Zen Life!

Diana Landau | October 19, 2021

 
Carl talks with Dan Kennedy, former Publisher of the Sacramento Business Journal. He has achieved so much in media and business mentoring over the years. Whether working with journalists, as head of the Small Business Administration or now actively teaching students in UC Davis’ MBA program, Dan has also forged a mindful path--- practicing yoga for decades and even spent some time in his youth living in a Pennsylvania monastery.

 

Dan was born in Brooklyn and his parents moved the family when he was young to New Jersey. Dan’s father was a Harvard CPA, traveled globally for corporations, and then died suddenly from hepatitis when Dan was only 5, his brother 3. After high school, he went into the monastery, even living a cloistered year in the mountains with no talking or contact with the outside world. “It’s all about inner development. You are cut off from the world,” Dan says, “but the impact (on my life) has been huge and wonderful.”

 

After four years at the monastery, Dan went to Boston University and The University of Toronto. He began working in media and with journalists, and at one point was the head of the Small Business Administration locally. Dan became the Publisher of the Sacramento Business Journal, during its heyday. “We had huge staff, good profits, and wrote hard news, “ Dan says. By the time Dan was in his early 50’s, he tired of the corporate pressure and started thinking about new things he wanted to do. “It’s great to have something rolling before you retire. I wondered, where do I move on from here?”

 

Dan eventually left the Journal and started teaching students at UC Davis’ MBA program. He enjoyed it so much he wondered if he could begin teaching even more—and an opportunity opened up for a full position. Now 75, he enjoys mentoring students, teaching, yoga, and world travel, serving on nonprofit Boards like Make-a-Wish, hobbies, and more. He still remains social-media-free. “I am pursuing my best self,” Dan tells us.

 

Dan’s (un)retirement wisdom:
• Inner Development: “Now you have the time to look inward. Ask, how can I be a better person? Who would my loved ones want me to be? Why aren't I? I want to make everyone in my life feel better that I was alive.”
• Volunteering: “Even busy business people can volunteer, (as in helping the organization strategically vs contact with actual those in need). You can be one step away and still change the world.”
• Zen Life: “Meditation and yoga partner up very well. Begin with five minutes or even two minutes. Go online, it’s the easiest place to get started." 
 
• More about Dan Kennedy
• This Week's Sponsor is LoveMyHeartStudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
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   Dan Kennedy   interview   Small Business   yoga   zen   meditation   Sacramento   journalism  

Bob Franceschelli Interview: Big Time Beer Exec and now Pickleball Fanatic -- "Goes for The Whole Nine Yards"

Diana Landau | October 12, 2021

 
Carl talks with Bob Franceschelli, a former top exec for Anheuser Busch, CEO for a new cardiac rehab program, present Board Member of USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), and more. Bob "goes for the whole nine yards" -- he really feels like anything and everything is possible. This is exactly Bob Franceschelli‘s vision for how he’s living his (un)retirement.

Bob grew up in an Italian family outside of Springfield, MA. As a college student, Bob took some marketing classes. “I have always liked being involved in a lot of different things with a lot of different people, having fun along the way. I did a case study on the beer industry and the lights just went on.”

Planning his next steps, he took an internship in college with a beer distributor, offering to work for free in exchange for help getting interviews after graduation. Bob’s rising career at Anheuser Busch (AB) included show product placement, working with the Rolling Stones and George Strait among others. He developed and built alliances with smaller craft brewers. In 2001, he led the test development and product launch of Michelob Ultra. In 2010 and after 28 years with AB, Bob went on to rejuvenate profit at the Pritikin Longevity Center, commuting every week from his home in St. Louis, Mo. to Miami. He then developed and launched their new intensive Cardiac Rehab division.

Always interested in living a healthy lifestyle, Bob, now 62, had to make some decisions. “I had a 6.5 hour back surgery in 2008, due to broken vertebrae and a disc issue … and have two 4” and two 5” screws in my back. Then, in 2015 … I had a total hip replaced. I truly feel blessed to be as mobile as I am to play Pickleball … and part is the lifestyle--- eat right, exercise, healthy mind--- and part was surgical.”

Bob and his wife now play Pickleball several times a week, and he is a 4.5 level player (!) as well as a Board Member for the USAPA. Bob and his wife have created a detailed bucket list that they review and update often—whether it’s taking off to rent an RV and touring the parks in Utah and Colorado for a couple of weeks or daily stuff like learning to make maple syrup from their own backyard trees—and wanting to play much more pickleball, of course.

 

Bob Franceschelli’s Top Tips:
• “It’s important to have a mindful approach to (un)retirement. You have to really think and plan for what you really want to do.” 
• “The key to this (un)retirement thing (for me) is that I love having structure but I also love having some flexibility. Get out there and just try something!”
 
• More about Bob Franceschelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertfranceschelli/
• This Week's Sponsor is LoveMyHeartStudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
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:    Bob Franceschelli   blog   interview   Anheuser Busch   ceo   pickleball   unretirement  

Andy Robin Interview: Savoring Life to the Fullest

Diana Landau | September 28, 2021

 

Episode #40 Andy Robin
This week Carl interviews Andy Robin, former President and CEO of Ascenium, who has written a unique post-retirement book, Tapas Life. After his many accomplishments as an executive in the high-tech corporate world and raising a family, Andy has learned a lot. He wrote the book to share what he’s learned, including some missteps along the way, and as he says, “I want to help people get on the path to the life they want sooner.”

As a child, Andy’s family moved from Chicago to Mexico City, his father was in the computer business. He says it gave him a different cultural perspective. Andy dropped out of college after one year and went to work with his father. Knowing then what he truly wanted, he went back to college, eventually earning his MBA.

Andy and his wife were working their way up the corporate ladder when they made a life-changing decision: They would always put family first, and they would share the raising of their children. So, Andy kept his job but did not work more than 45 hours a week so he could be home for dinner. His wife earned her PhD and when the children were teens, she re-launched her career and Andy traded in overseeinghis hi tech exec job to become a house dad.
“It was trial by baptism!” Andy added.

Another unique decision was when Andy and his wife recognized they were financially comfortable, so they decided to freeze their standard of life vs continuing to strive for more promotions and longer hours. It was another life decision guided by determining their own quality of life.

Andy found the teen years very rewarding and then the kids went to college. “I felt adrift,” Andy tells us. After some trial and error, he wanted to share with others what he learned about charting a rich and rewarding life in unretirement. His book is different from the others in that he urges people to find their “Tapas Life.” Often people think, “This is my retirement life, I’ll just add a sport or hobby to it to keep myself busy.” The “Tapas Life” is so much more than that. It’s about creating a path for your new stage of life by exploring all the wonderful options out there. As for Andy--he is now an author, speaker and life coach, enjoying his Tapas Life to the fullest.

Andy’s advice on living life to the fullest:
  • “Don’t talk yourself out of trying anything and everything. That’s leaving so much on the table.”
  • “Pay attention to how you eat and exercise. The object of the game is quality of life. Take care of yourself!”
  • “Have a meaningful conversation with your spouse specifically about what your lives will look like going forward. What do we still have in common? Are there things we both enjoy that we could do together? Should we explore some things we have never tried?” (Andy’s book has great suggestions for this.)
 
• More about Andy Robin's "The Tapas Life:" https://www.tapaslife.com/
• Sponsored by: lovemyheartstudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
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   andy robin   the tapas life   ascenium   interview   executive  

Bob Tuschman Interview: Former Food Network Exec Now Gets Top Ratings at NYU

Diana Landau | September 21, 2021

 
Carl talks with Bob Tuschman, former Food Network Senior Vice President and General Manager. Plus he's had many other cool job titles, as you will learn. Bob realized even as a kid that when he grew up he wanted to be part of the entertainment world.


To say Bob worked his way up to the top is an understatement! Beginning with a job as an assistant producer on a set, (which means loading trucks at 5am, working long hours for little pay), he then seized the opportunity to work for research on a movie that Diana Ross was producing. Bob worked his way up there, eventually becoming Diana’s personal assistant and traveling the world with her.


After a short gig as an agent for actors, he returned to work for Diana when he again was presented with a new opportunity—to work as a producer for Good Morning America with ABC. Bob loved the work and advanced quickly in six years. Then it happened. While riding his bike in NYC, Bob was hit head on. He says of that time, “You can do everything right in your life and play by the rules and then get hit by a car tomorrow.” The experience made him really think hard about what he wanted to do in life and realized he wanted to try something new.

Bob left GMA and took a position as Executive Producer with this new start-up called the Food Network. The network had little budget and had been largely focused on “how-to” and learning shows. Under Bob’s management, the network moved toward entertainment and the rest is well known. Bob oversaw shows featuring Guy Fieri, Giada, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and more.


After 16 years with the Food Network, Bob wanted to try something new again—but he knew he didn't want to work every day. He is now a professor at NYU/Stern and loving it. Some of his best advice to his students (and all of us, really): “Take any door that opens and walk through it. If you work hard, people will help you to succeed.”
 
Bob's unretirement success plan:
 
Bob decided not to craft a typical “bucket list". Instead, he created three distinct lists to make this next phase of life successful-- Curiosity, Adventure and Service. Under each category he listed all the things he’d like to accomplish. For example:
 
  • "Curiosity" would be all the things you want to learn, like a second language or how to play an instrument.
  • "Adventure" would include that mountain to climb, exotic place to visit, challenging yourself to do something that scares you.
  • "Service" is about committing some of your time to making your world better, through community service, volunteering, philanthropy.
 
• More About Bob Tuschman:
- https://www.foodnetwork.com/profiles/talent/bob-tuschman/bio
- https://www.stern.nyu.edu/faculty/bio/bob-tuschman
 
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   Bob Tuschman   Food Network   Exec   NYU   Professor  

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