Identifying Your Ideal Second Act: Nancy Collamer and the 25 Questions

Nancy Collamer is the author of Second Act Careers: 50 Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. She is a recognized expert on career change and writes a monthly blog for the PBS site NextAvenue.org.

Our interview with Nancy focuses on an especially, powerful resource from her website (www.mylifestylecareer.com). “25 Questions to Help You Identify Your Ideal Second Act” details a series of questions in four major areas: 1) Values, 2) skills, and experience, 3) strengths, gifts and talents, 4) hopes, dreams and impossibilities, It’s a terrific exercise for anyone considering a second act.

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GET THE “25 QUESTIONS” FROM NANCY COLLAMER’S WEBSITE

 

Anita Hellman, Beat Cancer Boot Camp

She Started “Beat Cancer Boot Camp” (This Pity Party Is Over)


Anita Kellman is a little like Superman. During the day, she is a quiet, mild-mannered patient navigator at the office of a breast cancer oncologist. But on Tuesday afternoons at 5:30 pm and Saturday mornings at 8:00 am, she is transformed into “Sarge” – a tough Navy Seal drill instructor who barks orders and leads cancer patients and cancer survivors through an hour-long “Beat Cancer Boot Camp” in Morris K. Udall Park in Tucson, Arizona.

She first began “Beat Cancer Boot Camp” back in 2001. Every class begins with Sarge shouting “It’s a beautiful day for boot camp.” After a 5-7 minute warm-up, the class moves into 40-45 minutes of active exercises. “One of my trademark is that you end up doing 100 push-ups. I want people to know that they could do something that they thought they couldn’t do. I want to make you physically stronger so you’re mentally tougher.”

Over the past 17 years, Anita “Sarge” Kellman has helped hundreds of cancer patients and cancer survivors in her home of Tucson, Arizona. And she has helped thousands more via Kellman Beat Cancer Boot Camps in Massachusetts, Ohio, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Utah and her appearances at different national events and races.

A Gambler Gets A Second Chance: The Fall And Rise Of Terence Gerchberg


Terry is a compulsive gambler who hit “rock bottom” at the age of 30 when he lost nearly $1 million in a 36-hour period in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. But he got himself into rehab, shifted gears from gambling to running and got his life together. This Fall he will run his 16th consecutive New York City Marathon.

Terry’s love of running extends into his new position/career as Executive Director of the New York Chapter of Back On My Feet. As Terry describes it: “Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of running and community support to help our members get employed and housed. Our members run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning. And if achieve a 90% attendance record in the first month, they get into our Next Steps program. That’s where the secret sauce is. That’s where we really can help overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.”

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Click here to learn more about Back On My Feet.

Buddy’s Unusual Path: Radio Disc Jockey to Economic Developer


From the age of eight, Buddy Rizer wanted to be in radio. He landed his first job at the age of fifteen and rose up through the ranks to actually owning his own radio station in his early 40s. But like many other industries, radio changed. “Deregulation” not “video” killed the radio star (to amend the 1979 hit song by the Buggles). And it sent Buddy on a completely different path into the world of economic development – a profession that he has excelled over the past 11 years.

Today Buddy Rizer is the Executive Director of the Loudon County Economic Development Authority. His job is to create jobs and opportunities for the 400,000 residents of Loudon County, Virginia – a county about 50 miles west of Washington, DC.

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“Mama, I’m Gay” Fuels A Second Act


Eva Levias Andino is a big personality with a compelling back story. She grew up in Cuba and proudly counts herself as a 9th generation Cuban. But at the age of 17 years old she left Cuba with her mother. She married and raised four children living in Puerto Rico and California before settling in Miami, Florida.

Her life changed dramatically when her 20-year-old son Paolo invited her to lunch and told her “Mama, I’m gay.” Over the next eight years she struggled with this news. But it eventually led her to work with the Yes Institute, an organization focused on suicide prevention and ensuring the healthy development of all youth through communication and education on gender and orientation. What started as a volunteer role turned into a full time position as Director of Development and eventually Chief Financial Officer. At the age of 75, she is now retired but still actively involved with the organization.

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Click here to learn more about the work of the Yes Institute.

What Is “Post Traumatic Growth?” Interview with “Jolt” Author Mark Miller


In this episode, we spend time with Mark Miller, a veteran journalist who has covered the retirement beat for a dozen years.  Today, we’re talking with him about his new book “Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation.” The book tells the stories of people have experienced traumatic events — the loss of a child, a natural disaster, a life-threatening accident or illness, financial ruin or a terrorist attack — and bounced back to thrive and grow.

I sat down with Mark at his home in Evanston, IL and had a conversation about “Jolt” and what it can tell us about Second Acts.

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“Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation” is available on Amazon.com.

Fired at 64…An Entrepreneur at 66


In December 2009, Paul Tasner walked into a conference room and was let go from his position as the Senior Director of Operations of a San Francisco-based manufacturing firm. He was 64 years old. He met his wife Barbara and another couple for  dinner that evening and proceeded to get “silly drunk.”

He wasn’t ready for retirement. So two years later, he started Pulpworks, a company that designs and manufactures biodegradable packaging replacing the toxic, disposable plastic packaging to which we’ve all become accustomed to. With his 2017 TED Talk, “How I Became an Entrepreneur at the Age of 66,” he’s became a poster child (or perhaps “poster senior”) of older entrepreneurs.

The episode also includes interviews with Dr. Benjamin Jones, Professor of Strategy at Northwestern University who directs the Kellogg School’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative and Barbara Walter, Paul’s wife.

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Exiting the Courtroom: A Trial Lawyer Finds Nature Photography


Over the course of a 40+ year legal career, Richard Turner served as Governor Ronald Reagan’s personal attorney and then as a high-powered trial lawyer. But at the age of 60, he had a series of epiphanies during a month-long sabbatical wandering around the Western United States. And he eventually left the bar and became a nature photographer. And a pretty successful one at that.

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Interested in checking out Richard Turner’s photography? Click here to visit his website. And here’s the photo — taken at an Idaho campsite during a month-long sabbatical — that launched his career. The “Richard, this is terrible” feedback offered by a respected portrait photographer motivated him to learn how to take better photographs and ultimately launched his “second act” as a nature photographer.

The “little moose/big pond” photo that launched Richard Turner’s second act.

 

Not Just For Kicks: NFL Place Kicker Returns For Diploma 33 Years Later


Kevin Butler had a dazzling football career that began at the University of Georgia. He then played for 13 seasons as a place kicker in the NFL from 1985-1998. In his rookie season, he was part of Chicago Bears that won Super Bowl XX.

But he always regretted not graduating from the university. And he told his three children, that he’d get his degree “when you are all done.” On May 5, 2018, some 33 years after leaving the University of Georgia, he finally made that happen.

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Special thanks to Andrea Clement Santiago for connecting me with Kevin Butler and making this episode possible.

 

 

Honey, I Just Bought A Liquor License: Sharon Starts A Wine Store


Sharon Sevrens had a thriving career as an investment banker. But when she and her husband experienced September 11th from their apartment building just a block and a half from the World Trade Center, she knew it was time for a change.

Over time she had developed a passion for wine. So with no experience in retail sales or in the wine business, she purchased a liquor license from Whole Foods for $150,000. And in October 2005, she opened a wine store called Amanti Vino (which roughly translates to “lover of wine” in Italian) in her home town of Montclair,, New Jersey. It’s been a runaway success with a second store now planned in Morristown, NJ.

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Check out the Amanti Vino website.

Special thanks to a public relations colleague Sharon Nieuwenhuis for connecting us with Sharon Sevrens and making this episode possible.