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

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Denise "Larana" Cerreta Interview: James Beard Award for Humanitarian of the Year

Diana Landau | January 09, 2023

Denise Larana Day Cerreta Interview Episode 65Carl interviews Denise "Larana" Cerreta this week. Larana is author of the new book, "The Dead, The Rose and My Yellow Brick Road" and at age 61 is on her fourth (or is it fifth?) act. In addition to taking off a year to follow a Grateful Dead tour and writing about it, Larana has had a successful acupuncture practice, a very unique cafe, founded a global non-profit foundation and most recently has opened up an apothecary in Canton, Ohio. "I march to my own drum and follow my passions!" she tells us.
 
Larana grew up in Canton with a very large Italian-immigrant family on both sides. Lots of cousins, great food and holidays were a big part of her childhood. "I didn't realize how special that was until I got older," she tells us. As a teenager, she was always inquisitive and cared deeply for humanity. These qualities were woven into her career paths.
 
As an adult, she owned a successful acupuncture practice in Salt Lake City. (Fun fact: Acupuncture helps with pickleball injuries!) Larana says she felt privileged to help so many people. She closed the practice when she was 41 and took a leap.  She wanted to do something new and she started a cafe. "With lots of trial and error, I wanted to provide a way for people to eat good, organic food within a community." Larana was a pioneer in the "pay what you can" movement, where customers paid what they felt they should or could. (The CEO of Panera was so inspired by her example that he tried it at Panera with the "Pay What You wish" program in 2010). In 2017, her One World Everybody Eats Cafe received the James Beard Foundation Award for Humanitarian of the Year.
 
Food insecurity affects 800 million people globally. At the same time she was running the cafe, Larana says her heart opened again and she knew what to do next. She started a non-profit foundation called "One World Everybody Eats" to help others launch their dreams of building community through providing good, organic food. She envisioned One World Everybody Eats cafes to create spaces where people come together, eat in dignity, and form strong bonds that foster an interconnected community. Now (un)retired from the organization, she says they continue to hold inspiring annual summits for the cafe owners around the world.
 
On a spiritual journey to Santa Fe, Larana decided to change her name from Denise to Larana. "I found my new self," she says. She always wanted to follow the Dead and Company (formerly Grateful Dead) on tour, so she decided to embark on a "Celebration of Life" tour at the age of 57 and give herself that gift. 
 
Always an inspiring, creative entrepreneur, Larana has now opened Miss Larana's Alchemical Apothecary in downtown Canton. Customers can create personalized skincare and beauty products using organic ingredients and essential oils to blend lotions, lip balms, bath orbs, and more. "I feel like I have an 'Aha!' moment every day. It's important."
 
Larana's (Un)retirement Advice:
  • "I like the lottery theory: Think about what you would do if you won the lottery and then do it! It gets fear out of the way and cuts to the center of what you really want."
  • "Don't talk yourself out of crazy ideas that come to you. It can be a good thing."
  • "Health is so key! Yoga is really important as we age for flexibility. I also recently bought an electric bike and now ride 20 miles a day. I feel so invigorated!"
 
 
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   denise cerrreta interview   larana day interview   chef   author   unretirement   james beard award  

Neil Haley Interview: Pro Wrestler Turns Into The Media Giant

Diana Landau | November 15, 2022

Carl interviews former pro-wrestler Neil Haley, who pivoted to teaching after retiring from the wrestling entertainment world. Turning 50 soon, Neil is now experiencing a "rebirth" with a whole new media career. (I'm perfect for the I Used to be Somebody podcast, he tells Carl.) Neil has had a unique life path and he shares what he's learned from his past experiences as well as his enthusiasm for his new adventures in media now. He has a very popular "Neil Haley Show" podcast/radio show that airs 7 days a week in more than 180 countries and is syndicated in 150+ stations.


Neil grew up in the Pittsburgh area as an only child. His father went to MIT and landed in the corporate world, his mother worked at a university. Neil is 6 ft. 10 inches tall, so his childhood years were not always easy for him. Neil says that being a 6 foot, 4 inches tall high school freshman then was "....not the same as growing up tall today. It was odd to be so tall in the '80's. People didn't accept anyone that was different in those days."


After playing basketball in college, Neil began pro wrestling at the age of 23. He was known as "Neil the Real Deal", "Future Shock, "The Giant Warrior" and others. When he decided to retire, it was not so easy. " You have all these accolades and then it's different," he tells Carl. "Now they have great programs and training facilities for wrestlers who are moving on, I didn't have that." But he did take away some very transferable skills from the experience.

"I learned ideation, creativity, and storytelling from wrestling." After teaching 4th and 5th graders and middle-schoolers, he says, "Teaching was a stretch for me but it was still performing," he observes. He tells Carl that he really enjoyed inspiring his students in new ways.


Neil made the transition to multi-media giant by inspiring his clients with that same zeal. He had learned storytelling and hosting TV shows in wrestling, and took it further with social media, celebrity endorsements, his podcast/radio show, and as a full-on brand agency, "The Media Giant." He plans to keep loving what he's doing and working for a long time. (His father didn't retire until 83.) "Who knows? By the time I'm 80 or 90, that'll be the new 60!"


(Un)Retirement advice from Neil Haley:
  • You have to use your transferable skills to move to the next career."
  • "Find the right experts to help you."
  • "Educate yourself as much as possible and spend some time studying thought leaders."
  • "Develop a daily routine. And it's important for entrepreneurs to also schedule an end-of-day time on their calendar!"
 
 
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   interview   Neil Haley   pro-wrestling   Neil the Real Deal   multi-media giant   unretirement  

Richard Eisenberg Interview: Journalist for Money Magazine, People, Yahoo and PBS's Next Avenue on (Un)Retirement

Diana Landau | October 25, 2022

Carl interviews one of the Founding Fathers of the (Un)Retirement Movement, Richard Eisenberg. Rich spent 40+ years as a personal finance reporter, editor, writer, producer and popular podcast host. He worked with organizations such as Money Magazine, People, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, CBS Money Watch and most recently with PBS's Next Avenue. Rich just "unretired" in January 2022, and shares some lessons learned about having a second act.


Rich grew up in the New Jersey suburbs. He was always a curious, studious kid, he says. He became editor of his high school newspaper and also worked at the school's radio station. After graduating from Northwestern, he pursued his passion for journalism. "One of the reasons I wanted to be in journalism was because I wanted to be helpful and useful to people in some way." Also interested in pop culture, Rich's first job out of college was as a fact checker for People magazine. Rich's career took him from that position, to becoming a reporter, Senior Editor, then Washington correspondent and Executive Editor for Money Magazine and others.


During his career, he worked remotely and was an early adopter for working with people all over the country, from his home office. "I didn't have any problem with it," he tells us. Now, Rich is still writing a column and hosting a podcast, writing book reviews for People, plus volunteering and pursuing other opportunities such as getting involved in a NYU student program on digital media and book publishing. Carl asks Rich what he's learned in the last 9 months. "I'm still writing, but trying some new things and liking the mix of the two. So far, so good!"

Richard Eisenberg's (Un)Retirement Advice:
  •  "Until you're actually in it, (unretirement) you can't know exactly how it will be. Maybe the scariest part will be having a blank calendar with nothing filled in on it. So you'll need to figure out how much you want to fill it up. Some people will want to have stuff every day. Some people may want lots of free days. You have to spend some time thinking about how you want to spend your time."
  • "Don't be scared-- realize you are going to make some mistakes. There's really no right way to do it."
  •  On becoming too busy: "Saying 'No' to opportunities can make you feel uncomfortable sometimes. There's an adjustment period."
  •  "People need to be able to find meaning and purpose in their lives--whether it's part-time work, or volunteering, or spirituality, but they have to have a reason to get up in the morning. Sometimes they're following a passion, or seeing a need, and then finding a way to serve that."
 

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   interview   unretirement   Richard Eisenberg   journalism   executive editor   People Magazine   PBS   Money magazine  

Dan Rudd Interview: Psychotherapist, Ironman and Wedding Officiant

Diana Landau | September 13, 2022

Episode 60 Carl is excited to interview Dan Rudd, a noted psychologist, Ironman competitor, trainer, poet, public speaker and now a wedding officiant. As a second act, Dan has officiated 35 weddings and 9 funerals. He also was a founding member of the successful "Every Man" meetings and retreats, focusing on men's issues. Right before the interview, Carl taught Dan how to play pickleball for the first time. Dan says, "I like it because you can just start playing,"
 
Dan was born in New York and moved to Tucson with his family at the age of 3. His mother was in poor health and his father worked seven days a week as a DJ and in Radio to support the family. As a chubby kid, Dan saw himself as not very athletic. After graduation from UC Santa Barbara, he went on to graduate school and became a psychotherapist, focusing on marriage/relationship therapy.
 
At 28, a friend invited Dan to participate in a triathlon at Donner Lake, taking on the swimming portion. Dan says his first thought after finishing was, "This is fun!" He eventually went on to participate in 200 triathlons and 8 Ironman competitions. More amazingly, Dan didn't compete in his first Ironman until the age of 51. "I've never been a frontrunner, but I have great endurance," Dan tells us with a smile. He says he met many good people who became friends while competing. No surprise, Dan also still trains and coaches athletes.
 
Dan semi-retired at 70, moving into a physical therapist's office and learning more about sports psychology. Now 75, Dan says he's retired. "I want to focus more on my inner world. The inner world is about checking in with yourself, becoming more mindful and not worrying about the past or future." Dan has two grown sons and lives with his wife Amy in the Sacramento region. He enjoys adventure travel, family, gardening, learning Spanish, meditating daily and officiating weddings. "I don't feel like I have to reinvent myself right now, I know there will be something else eventually!
 
Dan Rudd's (un)retirement advice:
  • "The winner is the one who has the most fun!"
  • "Be more kind than you need to be--to yourself and others."
  • "Do what you love, do what brings you light."
  • "Now you have the time to do what's important to you!"
     
  • Sponsored by The Monkey Creative
  • Sponsored by Capital Advantage
  • Sponsored by How to Retire and Not Die

     
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   interview   Dan Rudd   psychotherapist   ironman   wedding officiant   unretirement   ironman competitor   

Audrey Hitchcock Interview: Finds Her Passion Making Buffalo Mozzarella

Diana Landau | July 12, 2022

Episode #57 - Audrey Hitchcock This month Carl interviews architectural designer/ranch owner/cheesemaker Audrey Hitchcock. Audrey and her husband Craig Ramini did not hatch their Second Act plan until they were in their 40's. Audrey, who has a successful career designing high-end homes and restaurants, didn't set out to become a pioneer mozzarella di bufala maker in the U.S. Her path is a love story to her late husband, to her water buffalo, and to finding her life's purpose.
 
Audrey grew up in Massachusetts. Her parents divorced when she was 7 and the family went from middle class to food stamps. Both she and Carl acknowledged that when your parents divorce, it greatly affects your life. In high school she was very active, participating in sports, theater and Girl Scouts. "I wanted to grow up to be Jane Goodall, or live like the People in "Born Free" in Africa."
 
While earning her BA at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, she met her future husband, Craig Ramini. After years of studying in London, Audrey and Craig then decided to move to San Francisco. She worked as a designer and Craig had a high-tech career in Silicon Valley--which he hated. Craig decided to try something entirely new and took some time off to explore his core values. He wanted to work with animals, become an entrepreneur, and he loved food. This led him to learn from cheesemakers in Italy and Australia. The couple bought 5 water buffalo in 2009 and began making highly-desired Mozzarella di Bufalo, as one of the only dairies producing the product in the country.
 
Water buffalo are not like dairy cows. They are intelligent, loving and affectionate, much like dogs. Audrey and Craig named their animals after rock stars and singers, so the herd includes Grace Slick, Joan Jett, Annie Lennox, Pat Benatar--and today they have Taylor Swift and Beyonce on the ranch too. By 2013 Audrey and Craig were successfully raising a large herd and selling their hand-pulled mozzarella and ricotta to high-end restaurants and grocery stores. Tragically, Craig was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and he died in 2014.
 
Even though most people told Audrey she was crazy to keep going, she did--managing her design career and the ranch at the same time. She pressed on, building up the business which today includes 12-15 restaurant and winery customers, 10 grocery stores and 8 farmer's markets. Audrey expanded the occasional ranch tours to every weekend, drawing 65-85 people per tour. (Did we mention you get to pet the gentle, 1600 lb. water buffalo? Did we also mention the Bufalo di Mozzarella is really, really good!! And that their cheese is higher in protein yet half the cholesterol of cow's milk?) Audrey says, "Everyone experiences grief in a different way. The animals are my family."
 
Audrey's advice on starting Second Acts:
  • "Passion, love and purpose--it's why I work as hard as I do. Start with passion and love what you're doing. Find your purpose. This isn't about making lovely mozzarella and hanging out with the water buffalo. I also want to make a contribution to the world."
  • "Map out your (Second Act) business plan. Research every aspect of it. You'll have a better chance at smooth sailing if you plan ahead."
  • "Craig knew he was going to have to re-write the traditional dairy business model. Be fearless!"
 
• More about Audrey Hitchcock and Ramini Mozzarella: https://www.raminimozzarella.com/about/Unretirement Newsletter
• Sponsored by: Capital Advantage
• Sponsored by: How to Retire and Not Die
 
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   interview   Audrey Hitchcock   architectural designer   ranch owner   cheesemaker   water buffalo   Ramini Mozzarella   Mozzarella di Bufalo  

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