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  

Greg Schwem Interview: Stand-Up Comedian Finds His Third Act

Diana Landau | January 11, 2022

Carl interviews stand-up comedian Greg Schwem this week. Greg not only does stand-up comedy but he has performed on Jay Leno, with Celine Dion, and corporate gigs like Microsoft and United Airlines. Greg talks with us about his third act in the comedy world – as the creator/producer/director/writer/performer of a funny new YouTube show, “A Comedian Crashes Your Pad.” (Fun fact: Greg is also a kick-ass pickleball player!)

 

Greg grew up in middle-class Arlington Heights, a burb in Chicagoland. He says he gets his funny bone from his father, who was an electronic salesman. “You have to be funny to be successful in sales,” he says. Gutsy move: Greg was an introverted teen and not a big “joiner” until he performed stand-up for the first time at 16 at his high school. “Making people laugh has a lot of advantages socially!”

 

After graduating from Northwestern, he worked as a journalist, working for different media. At 24, he moved to Florida and started going to comedy clubs as something to do in the evenings. He soon discovered he enjoyed being a stand-up comedian more than he liked being a journalist. His parents were wary at first, but he says when he brought them to Las Vegas years later and they saw his name on the marquee, they realized he could make a living doing what he loved.
After two decades of performing as a stand-up and doing corporate gigs, he taught himself some new things. “COVID taught me some video skills,” Greg says. He began creating a new show about a comedian who visits people in their homes through one of the home-sharing sites, learning about their quirky lives. “When people are in their own element, you’d be surprised how much they open up.” Greg shares, “When I started it (the show) it was just me with an iPhone and a GoPro.” He now has a crew of one to help with the camera work.

 

Greg's career is still going strong as he re-invents himself. He also loves performing at senior communities. “It’s enjoyable to see people who've worked hard and are now in the second or third act of life. They really enjoy laughing—especially about themselves. It’s refreshing to see them really respond.” Greg still performs around the country when not working on his YouTube show and of course, winning at pickleball. “I am going out on a cruise ship soon and I can’t wait to see people of all ages in one room having fun!”

 

Greg’s (Un)retirement advice:
  • “Laugh! It’s so cliché but I believe laughing is good for your health and keeps your mind sharp. At this age, that’s so key.”
  • “It’s never too late to try something new. Also, don’t worry about what others think of you!”
  • “Look for the next FUN project! I don’t care where you are in your life, it’s out there.”
• More about Greg Schwem
• 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   pickleball   comedy   stand-up   third-act  

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  

Pickleball Life Lessons with Mo

Carl Landau | August 10, 2021

 

Mo NardWe started our company Pickleball Media at the beginning of the pandemic. A weird time to start anything. But, I decided that I had to do something since I had just sold my business and came up with the idea of creating a podcast about Second Acts. I would be the guinea pig for this second act idea. To complicate the idea more, we wanted to incorporate our new love for the game of pickleball into the show. It all made no sense whatsoever but amazingly has worked out.
 
I enlisted my pickleball instructors Mo Nard and Reine Steel to help. Which one does???
 
Mo co-hosts my episode segment "Pickleball Life Lessons with Mo" and Reine created an amazing website for us (which she does in her real life).
 
Our segment "Pickleball Life Lessons with Mo" has been a huge hit. The funny thing is that people that don't know anything or care about pickleball love this part of the show. I just wanted to share 10 great segments. It's a fun listen. You can hear the friendship between Mo and I grow from week to week. Keep in mind it all began during the pandemic. We'd be 15 feet from each other on the end of the tiki bar each week. Oh, and we finally figured out how to use the microphones / recorder after about 20 episodes.
 
10 "Life Lessons with Mo"

We're here to confuse you
Mo wants to bring recess back in our lives
Are you feeling lucky?
Partner Up!
The life and times of Mo Nard
Mo'see up to the Line
Unwanted Advice!!!
Mo is Drunk!
Under the Lights!
Mo Likes to Hit People
 
If you want to hear all of the entire episodes just go here!

 

• Sponsored by: lovemyheartstudy.com or call (866) 955-1594
 
• Sponsored by The Monkey Creative: themonkeycreative.com
 
Carl Landau is the Creative Genius here at Pickleball Media. He is the former Grand Poobah at Niche Media. 

 

Tags:    blog   interview   mo nard   pickleball   life lessons   website   second acts  

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  

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