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

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Susan Stewart Interview: Do it, Don’t Wait! One Life!!!

Diana Landau | June 22, 2021

 
When you meet Susan Stewart, you think right away that you must be friends. She really cares about people. A former golf prodigy then pro, a colleague along the way saw her promise and helped her build her resort merchandising career. Then in 2017, tired of corporate life, she risked it all (her wife was very supportive) and started her own retail store in 2017. Strapping sells funky, kitschy, relevant, irrelevant, unusual items and it’s been a big hit with two stores and a thriving online business.

 

Susan has a successful business in a neighborhood in a transition with a long history but no surprise--she has become a community leader and advocate. She's advocate for everyone! She just opened in her second store during a pandemic—and she’s excited about it! (You’ll see in the podcast episode.) She is inspiring and inspires others with her infectious energy.

 

This budding yet savvy entrepreneur grew up in Hudson Valley in New York. Her parents were chefs and eventually the family moved to Palm Springs. As a child, Susan loved golf. After high school she had a job with Paramount Studios as a runner, meeting Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and one of her golf heroes, Arnold Palmer.

 

A couple of careers later, Susan decided to go for it. “In January I had the idea, in February I found the space, in March I got the key and in April I opened!” she says. “I’m a doer. I think most entrepreneurs are. You jump in with both feet!” Now she is a successful shop owner who really views her business as a way to be an integral part of the community. Susan is hoping to hire some extra management and play a little more golf, looking for that sustainable life balance.

 

Susan’s advice on becoming an entrepreneur in your Second Act:
  • “Failure is okay, it brings you to where you are.”
  • “People always ask me; how did you pay for this? Be prepared that banks aren't going to loan you the money.”
  • “Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You have to be adaptable. You have to really see your failures and grow from it.”
  • “You don't know that you don't know something until you (eventually) know something!”

 

 

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   susan stewart   interview   unretirement   golf   retailer   lgbtq   second act   third act   entrepreneur  

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  

Chris Welles Interview: Out of Africa a Second Act Found Him

Diana Landau | March 16, 2021

 

In this episode, Carl talks with Chris Welles, the Founder and President of American Rhino, a successful apparel and home goods brand. The company is so much more than t-shirts, canvas totes and hand-painted trays depicting zebras, however. Thanks to Chris and his vision for the business, which donates 10% of every sale back to Kenya, American Rhino is the new business model for a purpose-driven fashion business that supports Kenyan land and wildlife conservation, as well as the local communities.
 
Chris founded the company a little over four years ago. Yet the seeds of this new entrepreneurship began with a family trip to Africa on a safari in 2008. Chris was an executive recruiter at the time, living in Boston. He says the trip was transformative for him and his family. In 2010, Chris and his oldest son returned to Kenya, as they were invited to participate in the Rhino Charge, an annual off-road motorsport competition raising funds for rhino and wildlife conservation. As the only American team in the race, they were known as the “American Rhinos” and he outfitted the team with hats and t-shirts emblazoned with a red, white and blue rhino logo designed by his son.
 
So how does a vacation inspiration turn into a business? “We didn't do well but we had a blast,” Chris told us. He said they never had a chance at winning the competition but the requests for hats and tees with their logo kept coming. “We had no clue on how to make it (apparel) or market it or any of that stuff. That was part of the fun, figuring all that out.” Rather than having the items made in the Far East, they made a decision that their goods would benefit East Africa. “Early on we thought, let’s find a way to make our goods in the areas of the world that we are supporting.”
 
Chris started knocking on doors, looking for opportunities. “I asked a lot of questions.” Meeting initial resistance, he kept going back and eventually made agreements with African companies to produce their goods. Pre-COVID, the company had 4 seasonal stores, a retail store in Boston plus online sales and has done pretty well. They are poised for growth.
 
The most meaningful part of this journey for Chris was creating the American Rhino foundation to raise funds to protect the endangered species. When he first met the “Rhino Rangers”, they had little in the way of gear and supplies to protect the black rhinos in the Masai Mara Reserve from poachers. The foundation has given several grants for uniforms, camping gear, vehicles, etc.
 
FACT: 25% of all new companies are started by Baby Boomers.*
 
Carl asked Chris if he had advice for Boomer entrepreneurs. “It’s been a blast. It is certainly daunting. As Boomers we’ve all figured out how much money we have left and it’s a little scary investing your money in a startup. But it’s so rewarding."
  • "Make sure you are really enjoying it."
  • "It’s important to have some kind of mission behind it, not just making as much money as possible."
  • "There are so many reasons to say no. Find the one good reason to do it and go for it! "
 
*Guidant Financial Survey
• For more information about Chris Welles and American Rhino: https://americanrhino.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   chris welles   rhinos   second act   unretirement   foundation  

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  

Barry Pincus Interview: From "Toughest Bosses in America" to Working on His Own Terms

Diana Landau | November 02, 2020

This week, Carl talked with finance wiz Barry Pincus about his long career as a CFO for dozens of very different organizations. His client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in America. He’s worked closely with The New York Yankees, Martha Stewart, Sportsrocket, IMG Artists, Dennis Publishing (Maxim Magazine) and more. Whether he’s readying an organization to go public, bringing cost centers into line, or building rock solid infrastructure for clients, Barry’s goal is always to identify the pain points, find solutions and improve the bottom line.

 

While working in Manhattan in his 20s, Barry would see rows and rows of accountants in office buildings, all working side-by-side in unison, and he thought… “Not for me!” Instead, he dove into the world of strategic operations and finance. “Sports is the world’s oldest reality show,” he told us, explaining that all the operations (such as concessions, hospitality, media rights, etc.) around the actual game drive revenue. Barry worked for the New York Yankees during the George Steinbrenner days. He’s got some great stories!

 

Barry loves working with creative people in diverse situations. He worked with Martha Stewart after she took back her company from Times Warner and Barry helped the organization get ready to go public. He says that Martha, in addition to being a brilliant creative, surrounded herself with the most creative team she could find. She insisted on new, creative ideas.

 

Flash forward to now: Companies shift and change, there are often buyouts and mergers and jobs get eliminated. Often Barry would go into an organization, turn it around and then move on. Barry’s “Aha!” moment came when he realized that at 67, he didn’t want to work full-time anymore and definitely didn’t want to work any longer at someone else’s whim. “I wanted to choose who, when and how I worked.”

 

So Barry created a business plan for his “second act.”. Through experience, Barry has the wisdom and knowledge to know what he is good at—storytelling and selling. “You are always doing those two things: to investors, the Board, everyone. I love helping companies with that.” He knew he wanted to work in a way that was less stressful, more diverse, without becoming bogged down in company politics.

 

Barry is now a “Interim & Fractional CFO, COO and Board Advisor”, specializing in finance and operations for TechCXO, a network of C-Suite level people who form teams based on the client's specific needs. “I get to come in and help people. It’s like sometimes companies need a grown-up in the room.” Barry started this venture recently and still gets the excited-anxious butterflies of beginning something new. (He most likely gets his work ethic from his accountant father, who at 99 years of age still has one client!)

  

Key takeaways from the interview with Barry Pincus:

1)   “When you do something new, you have to have a certain amount of patience.”

2)   “Figure out what makes you happy. Does this work fit with your personality, your lifestyle? Do you want to work more, or less?

3)   “Consider how a new venture will fit with your spouse during this stage of your life. Are you both still working and do you want to continue?

4)   “Anxiety is motivational. It keeps me going! “

 

P.S.  It so happens that superstar Barry Manilow’s birth name is Barry Pincus. “I’m still waiting for my royalties from “Mandy”! Barry laughed.

 

Learn more about Barry at Barry Pincus Tech CXO.

 

For the full interview, listen to I Used to be Somebody, Episode #8 with Barry Pincus.

 

To share this blog, copy and paste this link: https://pickleballmediahq.com/blog/barry-pincus-interview-from-toughest-bosses-in-america-to-working-on-his-own-terms

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   barry pincus   CFO   second act  

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