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.

Goodbye GE…Hello JC: Father James Martin’s Second Act

Father James Martin is an American Jesuit priest who has written a dozen books including The New York Times best sellers “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Anything,” “Building a Bridge” and “Jesus: A Pilgrimage.” He’s got a huge following on Facebook and Twitter and is frequently a religion expert for everyone from The New York Times to CNN to Comedy Central (where Stephen Colbert appointed him the official chaplain of The Colbert Report).

But we are talking to him today about his second act – when he made the move from a promising career at General Electric to embrace a life of poverty, chastity and obedience as a Jesuit priest. It is one of the most dramatic life changes that you can imagine.

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Check out “Building a Bridge,” “The Jesuit Guild to Almost Anything, “Jesus: A Pilgrimage,” “The Abbey” and “Seven Last Words” on the Harper Collins website. “In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience,” Father Martin’s second book referenced in the podcast, was published by Sheed and Ward. All books are available on Amazon

 

 

 

Acting Is Her Second Act: A Public Relations Star Finds A New Role


For 40+ years, Judi Schindler worked in the field of public relations. For most of that time, she ran her own firm called Schindler Communications. According to Judi, it was “a hugely rewarding job.” And she emerged as a pioneer among women entrepreneurs helping to establish a Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

But when she decided to retire, Judi went back to a pursuit she enjoyed in her youth…acting. And what started out as simply “taking a class” turned into a second career with headshots, an agent and auditions. Now in her mid-seventies, she is still full of energy and creativity and going strong on-and-off stage.

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Check out Judy’s book, “Husbands: An Owner’s Manual” or sign-up for her blog “The Toilet Seat Must Go Down.”

 

James and the Perfect Burger: Redemption With A Side of Fries


This “Second Act” Story takes us to Rockford, Illinois, a city of about 150,000 people in Northern Illinois. We’ll meet a successful entrepreneur and hometown hero named James Purifoy. He has built an incredible “burger joint” named “Fifteenth and Chris” that has the most creative and delicious hamburgers that you’ve ever tasted. Every day a line starts forming an hour before he opens his doors. People love James’ burgers.

But his story starts back in 1994 when James took a wrong turn and at the age of 19 was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting a rival gang member. And he spent the next ten years of his life in prison.

But he made the most of his time in prison gaining a degree in culinary arts. And when he returned to his hometown, the people of Rockford gave James a second chance.

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CNN MONEY ARTICLE “SUPERSTAR BURGER CHEF CREDITS PRISON FOR HIS SUCCESS” 

The Last Laugh: 81-Year Old Man Tries His Hand At Stand-Up Comedy


Trained as a chemist but working as an executive recruiter, Art Schill decided he wanted to try his hand at stand-up comedy — at the age of 81.

And it turns out, he’s really good at it. Less than a year after taking comedy classes near his home in Long Island, New York, Art has played a range of top comedy clubs including Carolines, Dangerfields, Mohegan Sun and the Broadway Comedy Club. In a way, he’s the newest and oldest thing on the East Coast’s comedy circuit.

We interview Art, his daughter Lisa and his comedy mentor Paul Anthony who shared, “Art is really, really talented. None of us can believe he just started doing this in his 80s.” Paul quipped, “Sometimes he comes to me to say, ‘Why can’t I go on last?’ I say, ‘Art, you’re 82. I got to get you on stage as fast as possible. I don’t know how much longer we have here.”

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WATCH ART’S ACT ON YOUTUBE

Special thanks to Daniel Bubbeo, Assistant News Editor at Newsday, for connecting us with Art.

Ready for Some Expert Advice? 23 Minutes with Marci Alboher


On this episode, we spend time with Marci Alboher, the author of The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life. She also is a Vice President at Encore.org, a nonprofit focused on helping people pursue second acts for the greater good.

Marci offers her thinking on the best practices in transitioning to a second act. And she outlines common traits shared among individuals that have been successful in making the change. And finally she talks about her own journey from lawyer to journalist to author to non-profit leader.

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ABOUT THE ENCORE CAREER HANDBOOK