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

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Jed Smith Interview: Creative Marketing Exec Thrives in Italy as Artist

Diana Landau | October 10, 2023

Jed SmithThis month Carl chats with Jed Smith, a former top marketing exec who worked with brands all over the country, including Athleta, where he was the Senior Creative Director, before making his next big move 10 years ago--to Italy. Jed has embraced (un)retirement as a very accomplished artist and photographer. He is also the author of the recently released book "Under the Oak with Agnes.
 
Jed spent his growing up years in Columbia, South Carolina. His father was a nuclear engineer and his mother was an artist and art teacher. "She really brought out my love of art and expression......I am so grateful for that."  As a teen in Clemson, Jed says he didn't feel confident then and wasn't sure about his place in the world. Everything came together for him in college when he entered University of Georgia's School of Graphic Design.
 
Jed studied art abroad during college in Cortona, Italy. "I wasn't prepared for how it blew me away!" Living in Italy ignited a hunger in him to one day live in a different country and culture. Through his career, Jed lived in 15 U.S. states. (He adds that his mother always said he was restless.)  Years ago, Jed was working on a photo shoot in Italy for Athleta and stayed longer for vacation. Soon he was touring properties with a real estate agent. He'd just sold his home in San Francisco and he decided to buy a home in Italy. 
 
Jed has embraced his (un)retirement life in Italy. In addition to becoming an author, Jed blogs regularly on his Italywise.com about making the transition to living in a new country and wants to help others with adapting to a new culture and language. He also recently launched a new standalone website, Jedsmithart.com for his incredible paintings and photography. "Wake up every day and remember that your ability to create is without limit," he says.
 
Now 67 and living on the Italian coast, Jed is on the move again--this time to Ragusa, Sicily. "With everything I've learned, it's important to surrender. Show up, do your best, tell the truth and then let go of the outcome!" 

 

Jed Smith's tips on making the leap to a new country and culture:
  • "Americans don't often understand the flipside of immigration. You can't just waltz into another country. Research and plan as you begin to navigate the process."
  • "Be careful how you balance the romantic side of your dream with the practical realities."
  • "Without a command of the language, your experience will be so limited."
  • "My pet peeve: Don't try to pack up your culture and move, only leaning into what's familiar."
  • "If you're not feeling a little nervous, you're not taking the committed leap! Demonstrate to the universe that you are serious about the step you're taking."
• More about Jed Smith
• Sponsored by Capital Advantage
• Sponsored by Mike Ownbey, COMPASS 
• Sponsored by How to Retire and Not Die
• I Used to be Somebody World Tour: First Stop -- Tuscany
 
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.

 

Tags:    Blog   Carl Landau   Jed Smith   Artist   Unretirement   I Used To Be Somebody   Italy   Marketing   Executive   passion  

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  

Andy Levine Interview: The Master Becomes the Student

Diana Landau | February 09, 2021
Carl interviewed Podcast Host and CEO Andy Levine this week. Andy hosts the popular “Second Act Stories”, a podcast that shares the stories of people who have made major career changes to pursue more rewarding lives in a second act. He is also DCI’s Chairman, a highly specialized firm with expertise in economic development and tourism marketing. 
 
When Carl first started researching about developing his “I Used to Be Somebody” podcast, Andy was totally generous with advice and lessons learned. And now…..Andy is in the process of transitioning out of his career at DCI and into his own Second Act. (He's also run 14 marathons!)
 
Andy started with DCI in 1991, a firm founded by his father. Both of his parents worked there. His father approached him about working at DCI and told him he could change it any way he wanted. Andy seized the opportunity. Andy said, “Early on, you figure out a way to separate business and family.” His parents were open to change and Andy had an open canvas.
 
Now 30 years later, Andy is having fun producing his own inspirational, Public Radio-style podcast and thinking about his next steps. “I’ve always been fascinated by people who did something for 10, 15, 20, 30 years and then switched to something completely different.” 
 
When designing your own (un)retirement, Andy emphasized the importance of trial and error and giving yourself permission to be strategic for your own life. “Find out what feeds you. It’s less about making money and more about finding meaning. What do you find rewarding? You’re going to have to do some work to find out what that is.” He also pointed out that it’s rarely a straight line to your goals. You have to be flexible, make adjustments and it’s okay to pivot.
 
One of Andy’s favorite podcast guests has been an 81-year old man who had a career as an executive recruiter, with a dream of becoming a comedian. He told Andy the man now works frequently in stand-up and has been introduced to a whole new group of people, loving life.
 
Andy’s 3 Keys to (Un)retirement:
 
- Self-awareness: Recognize your accumulated knowledge and skill set, plus your strengths and weaknesses.
- Flexibility: You might have to change your approach to that dream or even change direction.
- Curiosity: Have a genuine interest in the world around you and in learning new things.
 
• For more information about Andy Levine: https://www.secondactstories.org/
 
• 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   andy levine   interview   unretirement   second act   marketing  

Mr. Idea Man Joe Pulizzi

Diana Landau | September 21, 2020

Carl recently interviewed the great Joe Pulizzi on our I Used to Be Somebody podcast. Joe is full of great ideas and has been jotting them down in his journal for decades. Here’s the thing with Joe… he actually accomplishes those dream goals.

 

Joe left his day job in publishing in 2006 and armed with a plan and his wife Pam’s steadfast encouragement, he launched the Content Marketing Institute. With the Internet taking over every aspect of modern business Joe realized the marketing model of the future was all about brands creating all kinds of great content to attract audiences. His Content Marketing World events attracted thousands of attendees wanting to learn more.

 

Back then, Joe wrote down in his journal that he wanted to sell this company in less than ten years for at least $15 million. In reality, he sold the company in 2015 for $17.9 million. Talk about making your own luck!

 

On the podcast, Carl and Joe talked about what life was like after he sold. Joe said he was really panicked for a while, didn’t know what to do next, what he should be doing. He was only 47 and didn’t want to retire, exactly.

 

Here are 3 key takeaways from Joe’s journey of selling his company to a successful (un)retirement:

 

  1. Take some time and DO NOTHING. Joe took a 12-month sabbatical, in which he shut down social media, spent quality time with family and travelled the world.

  2. You will have other goals now and they will be very different. If you’ve been driving hard in your work life for 30-40 years, it’s hard to suddenly slow down. Creating a work life with more fun and less grind takes practice. After writing 6 business books on marketing, Joe took some time and wrote a best-selling mystery thriller, The Will to Die.

  3. Recognize that you have some real time and resources now to make an impact on the world. Joe and his wife founded the Orange Effect Foundation, to raise funds for kids who need speech therapy, many with autism. Speech therapy changed his son’s life, and now the Orange Effect helps other families in profound ways. 

 

Think of (un)retirement as an adventure. Don’t add stress to your life if it’s not perfectly planned out yet. The key is to take some time, identify what you want to do and then go for it!!!

 

For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #1 with Joe Pulizzi. For listening details go to our website!

To learn more about Joe, visit his website!

 

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   joe pulizzi   marketing   content marketing   retirement   podcast   luck   episodes  

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