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

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Home Features Every Newly (Un)Retired Couple Wants

Diana Landau | April 11, 2022
This is a “love letter” from my wife Diana about her experience with me moving my office home.
  1. Cone of Silence—That’s right, Get Smart style. Just press a button and you can have actual phone conversations without your partner “interjecting” with helpful opinions.
  1. Padded Room—Not for your partner, but for yourself. Sometimes sharing the home 24/7 is all a bit too much.
  1. The True Divider—This is an actual wall constructed down the middle of your one office that you have to share. Matching shelving on each side for storing YOUR very important mementos and vital personal items that your partner erroneously states are “junk.”
  1. Kitchen Sweeper—Not for your floors, but for your kitchen counters where partner has left remnants of lunch, part-time work papers, backpack full of pickleballs and lots of notes written in tiny scribble that not even the cat can decipher.
  1. Private Sanctuary—Uh, a certain partner uses this term for the bathroom. Whatever.
  1. Discerning Doorbell—this features a speaker that says loudly, firmly yet politely, “Go Away!” for those times when neither of you want to get up and see who’s at the door.
  1. Living Room—This area is actually your new office/sanctuary. As you talk on the phone, you look at the walls and imagine them padded. (See #2 above.)
  1. Sports Viewing Room—It’s actually outside. Well, ok, the man or woman cave in the garage, but please, just outside.
  1. Pet Throne—With all the extra time you two have now, you both spend an inordinate amount of time fawning over the pet(s). Perfect, fluffy, organic, silk pillow for Fido? Yes, Amazon!
  1. Outsized Wine Rack—This feature becomes critical to survival and civility as time goes on.
Tags:    the carl diary   unretirement   home office   marriage   work from home  

Getting WAY OUT of your Comfort Zone

Carl Landau | February 08, 2022
I talk about getting out of your comfort zone a lot on my I Used to be Somebody show. It's is a big theme of the show and one of the reasons I started the podcast. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could have a successful podcast after selling my company and also to help others figure out how to create their own successful second acts in life.
So I just took a big leap! I recently confessed to comedian Greg Schwem, a guest on the show, that I had just signed up for a stand-up comedy workshop. We meet for 6 weeks and for our "final" my classmates and I each get a 5 minute set in front of a LIVE audience. 
I saw this class advertised on a Facebook post. And there was no one at that moment who I could talk to, in hopes of "talking me out of it." So I immediately signed up before I chickened out. I was literally shaking as I filled in my credit card info to pay online for the workshop.
I just had my first session. Our teacher is the very talented Jack Gallagher who I actually had interviewed last spring for my show. He's been a comedian / writer / actor for 40+ years. Another reason I signed up for the workshop was to meet and get to know the other weirdos like me that want to try this stand-up thing. I wasn't disappointed. They come from all walks of life. Everyone there had a different reason for attending. We are an interesting bunch for sure but it all seemed to be good- hearted and supportive. Which is what you need in a nerve-wracked environment of stand-up comedy.
And as Jack pointed out.........a five minute set is waaaay longer than you think. It's also a very long time if you're bombing.
Jack had each one of us go up on the stage right away. He wants us to feel comfortable on that stage. Some of my classmates have already done some stand-up. Some have an acting background. Oh, and then there is me.
The first time on the stage was easy. Jack did a Q & A session with us -- our life story, why we were there and who are favorite comedians were. I did fine. The second part on stage was a complete disaster for me. Jack performed a 3 minute comedy bit and each of us took turns to repeat that set. Just about everyone was able to jump up there and do their version of the bit. I was in total panic mode while watching everyone else. 
Ironically, the set I'm working on for my own stand-up set is that I'm dyslexic and how I've had to deal with it my whole life. Sometimes my brain gets jumbled up and I don't have the skills to do exactly the task I want it to do. So my 28-second act was a disaster. My classmates politely clapped and I sat down mortified. 
I'll do another diary entry before my final stage performance. I'm actually eager to go back next week. I was successful by showing up and making the effort. I certainly got out of my comfort zone. And you know what? Nothing bad has happened to me yet.
Tags:    the carl diary   stand up comedy   comedy   comfort zone   try new things   unretirement   Jack Gallagher  

Renel Brooks-Moon Interview: Former Radio Personality Breaks Barriers as Baseball Announcer

Diana Landau | February 01, 2022

This week Carl interviews the remarkable Renel Brooks-Moon. If you haven't heard of her, you probably know her famous voice. Renel has been a big-time radio personality in the San Francisco/Bay Area for over two decades, one of the major markets in the country. For her second act, she is now the public address announcer for the San Francisco Giants. She has earned a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame as the first woman in history to be the public address announcer for a World Series game and championship game in ANY professional sport. (Note: Carl has a super-fan gush going on in this interview.)


Renel was born and raised in the Bay Area and loved to entertain, even as a young child. She comes from a family of trailblazers—her father was the first black high school principal in San Francisco and her mother was also an educator. She gets her deep sense of community service from her parents, who were long-time community activists. She went to Mills College and after graduation started an entry-level job for a Bay Area radio station, eventually doing every single job there. “I fell in love from Day One,” she tells us. She was finally offered a nightspot on air in 1985, not expecting it to ever become a career. But everything clicked. “Once I turn on that microphone, it’s where I belong!”


Renel went on to have a very successful career in radio, meeting Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, Tina Turner and even singing once with Lionel Richie. Renel was in her element. When she got the call from the San Francisco Giants, she blazed a trail again. She feels a responsibility to be a role model for girls and women in both radio and major league sports. “When I was a little girl, there was no representation for that.” She inspires little girls everywhere to go after their dreams. Renel notes, “For some reason, I ended up in two very male-dominated professions, but I love the work.”


She’s had many highlights in her second act, whether it’s making history, interviewing baseball legends or giving her voice and influence to community service. Now, after 22 seasons with the Giants, Carl asks her what her third act might be. “Who knows? I've always wanted to have my own talk show!” We won't be surprised when that happens.
Renel’s (Un)Retirement Tips:
Network: “Networking is very important, no matter what your career is or where you are in it. Every job I've had is because of a relationship.”
Serve your community: "The most rewarding part of any job I've had is to use my voice for community service.”
Try it now: "If you've had something you've always wanted to do since childhood, and you are still thinking about it, there’s no reason not to try it now.”
Keep moving: “Stay on top of it. Take care of yourself, listen to your body. Mental health is just as important as physical health.” 
• More about Renel Brooks-Moon
• 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:    interview   blog   baseball   san francisco   world series   san francisco giants   unretirement  

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  

2022 – Ready or Not, Here We Come!

Diana Landau | January 04, 2022
Even the challenges of the past two years have not stopped our podcast guests from moving forward. We checked in with some of our guests on the show to see what's new in their lives since the interview or if they have any words of wisdom to share with our audience.
Click and listen to the original interview...


Joe Pulizzi: Godfather of Content Marketing: Make Your Own Good Luck!
Well, I just can't retire. After selling my previous company, I launched The Tilt in April 2021, a newsletter for content creators who want to be content entrepreneurs. Now, just a few weeks ago, we announced CEX - Creator Economy Expo, an event for content creators held May 2-4, 2022 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.
Jim Roddy: Media Exec Turns Biz Coach with "The Walk on Method"
I’ve been named President & CEO of the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA), North America’s largest community of technology solution providers serving the retail, restaurant, grocery, and cannabis markets. I will continue to share insights on the RSPA Blog, host the award-winning RSPA Trusted Advisor podcast, and evangelize the lessons from my book The Walk-On Method To Career & Business Success. https://www.gorspa.org/rspa-announces-ceo-transition/
Mark Shaiken: Discovering his Wonderful "Afterlife" Beyond 41 Years of Law
I sent my latest legal thriller off to the editor, entitled “Automatic Stay.” In the new book, 3J and Pascale are back with six Kansas City jazz clubs that have somehow managed to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
My hope for 2022 - peace, love, and health. A guy can dream, eh?




Richard Haiduck: Life Science exec Shifting Gears to First Time Author at 73
In writing my book, I had an opportunity to hear stories from retirees exploring their next stage and it was a privilege to hear their candid tales. However, it felt like something was missing. Wouldn't this group like to meet in person and share their yarns? So we had a party and people came from near and far and were able to actually meet each other. Half of the stories from the book were represented and a good time was had by all.



Val Haller: Music Maven with a Good Beat!
The pandemic continues to challenge the music industry with canceled concerts and festivals (we do both) – requiring creative pivots to bring artists & fans together. Our popular house concert series (Chicago) is in big demand and I’m posting daily about music news on social media (@valslist Facebook / Instagram / TikTok / Twitter). Our music community is vibrant and we'd love to have you! Whether you're a superfan or casual listener, we'll keep you in the know. sign up for our mailing list!



Chris Welles: Safari Vacation + Rhino = Life-Changing Second Act
My update on the business front has been challenging. COVID and the global supply channel issues have been a double whammy for American Rhino. While Rhinos don't hibernate, the business has certainly been slumbering. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it enables us to kinda hit the reset button. We will be scaling back our product line substantially in 2022 and just concentrating on our sneakers which are our most popular item. We should be able to get a good supply of shoes and we will introduce new styles and colors in early 2022. Keep an eye for updates on kicks!! Happy new year to your loyal listeners from the Big Rhino.


Mike Branon: Construction Mogul Turns Zen Pickleball Instructor
My (UN)solicited (UN)retirement advice –– UNplug! Life is precious. Live more of it firsthand rather than through a device. Travel and chat and hug as much as possible (or as Covid allows). Free your mind from the political and social media noise living rent-free in your head. Live in the world you can actually affect — relationships, nature, your physical and emotional state. Sing, laugh, dance, and misbehave just a little. No regrets!



Caroline Ceniza-Levine: Creating Your Own Dream Job
Since the March episode, I have continued my (un)retirement schedule of balancing career coaching and travel. We did a 7200-mile road trip to New Mexico and Colorado to see the lunar eclipse, as well as a week in Costa Rica. On the coaching front, I’m hosting 12 Days of Coaching a free event that runs through Jan 6, 2022.





Melissa Davey: M. Night Shyamalan Chance Encounter Launches Film Director Second Act
After two years of Covid lockdowns, including paused filmmaking, canceled trips, and loss of the many face-to-face interactions I am accustomed to, I am very hopeful that the new year will bring us closer to a less restrictive life. I am looking forward to resuming plans for a second film and getting out to see so many friends and family that have been put on hold. Finally, a goal is a trip to a faraway land.



Dan Blank: Taking the Leap to Entrepreneurship!
In 2022, I am most looking forward to approaching my mission with fresh eyes. To consider anew how I can best help writers and creators, and double down on ensuring they find success in sharing what they create.





Cinde Dolphin Interview: Big-Time Beer Exec Becomes Unlikely Entrepreneur
"Bad news travels at the speed of light and good news travels like molasses" - Tracy Morgan.
My invention - the KILI Medical Drain Carrier - initiated the process for a US patent six years ago. December 12, 2021, the US Patent and Trademark Office notified us that we were awarded Patent #D938580. Within 48 hours an associate informed us of a knockoff product selling online - by a business partner!


Jerry Reynolds: Former NBA Exec, Broadcaster, and Sacramento Legend!
The last year has been very interesting as I do a twice a month podcast for an NBA and Kings fansite, The Kings Herald. Since I no longer work for the Kings, it is a lot easier to discuss the negatives of the team (a lot!) Also, I plan to spend a lot more time in Tahoe, as my wife of 54 years loves it there. Finally, I just try to make up for lost time with family, as there was too much travel over the years but I have plenty of time now. Me and my man cave recliner will continue our love affair. All the best and stay safe!


Andy Robin: Big Time High Tech Exec Living the Tapas Life
I’m working on my third round of self-taught French since I’m going to Bordeaux next year to visit some of the top chateaux. Vive l’vin!






Paul Ollinger: Former Facebook Exec Turns to Comedy
In 2022, I look forward to more engaging podcast conversations on Crazy Money and performing comedy all over the country. For those in or near Los Angeles, I will be headlining The Venice West in Venice on February 3 with very special guest Wendy Liebman. Tickets are available here.





Bob Franceschelli: Big Time Beer Exec Turns into Pickleball Fanatic
Bibi and I recently updated our long-standing Bucket List. Our sections include Religion, Family, Volunteer, Consulting/Work, Travel/Leisure, Sports/Health, Education, and Miscellaneous. A favorite “repeat” is readying to embark on our 4th year of making maple syrup from trees on our property. Reasonably easy, so fun, and rewarding: but clearly some of the most expensive liquid known to mankind. A “newbie” on the list, from just this week, is earning my level 1 IPTPA (pickleball) teaching certification. In essence, we have the framework and embrace continuous improvement to evolve, refresh and improve. I’m constantly learning from others and especially from my mistakes!


Dan Kennedy: Biz Publisher Creates Zen Life!
In January I will begin teaching at UCD in person, after nearly a two-year sentence to a remote island called Zoom. I'll be masked, but whatever......(we've all learned to shrug). This year's 42 MBA students will keep me on my toes. Hopefully, they'll learn to stand tall with their critical thinking about business matters and life itself, which is mostly what I teach. Oh, and they're masked as well. Breathe deep...project my voice...and pray for successful discussions!



Scott Miller: "Roger That" -- Pilot, Professor, Broadcaster, and Tiki Aficionado!
Currently, I am applying to a number of Ph.D. programs to improve my chances of becoming a full-time professor in aviation after I retire from my airline. In the meantime, I am still enjoying my Hawaii flying.





Robin Pajaro: Former Chef Gets Her Groove Back!
My business goal in 2022 is to learn and take steps to identify and attract my ideal client. I’d like to break into the corporate world of events. A few things I've learned over my first year of being in business is not to let the fear of losing or gaining a client by lowering your price. It’s very important to see what businesses in your field are charging, but more important is to know your own self-worth. I saw a great quote, not sure of the author, that says, “Anything or opportunity that is meant for you can never pass you by.” This quote reduces stress and gives me comfort because I know that after I've put the hard work in, I will attract the client that’s perfectly aligned with me and my business philosophy.
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:    unretirement   update   new year   dealers choice   recap   2022   resolutions   changes   blog   interview  


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