Friday, May 14, 2010

The Last Ziegfeld Follies Girl Had Rewired Many Times

You might not recognize the name, Doris Eaton Travis, but she just passed away at 106. She was the last of the Ziegfield Follies chorus girls and had been a "hoofer" for over 90 years! She was from Michigan, which I am also, so I took extra interest in this unbelievable woman!

They said that Travis' love of dancing and musical theater was shaken when the stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the Depression and many theaters closed. Travis had been dancing on Broadway since 1907 so in the early 1930's, as a result of the Depression she had to rewire!

She took a job as a tap dance instructor at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in New York, then branched out into social dancing, which led to her opening a Murray franchise in Michigan, which became a second career. Sound familiar?

Doris Eaton Travis used her passion for dancing and her love of the stage as the foundation for her lifelong career. How about you? Has your job become redundant? Has your industry been affected by the economy? Think about it. Do you have a passion or idea that you could pursue as your encore or next career?

Having to rewire into a new career is nothing new! Today there are more tools and resources to help you jumpstart your thinking.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010


I had the wonderful opportunity to see the group, Young @ Heart perform in the American premiere of the musical END OF THE ROAD by the No Theater company at St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO, Brooklyn, New York! I know that that is quite a mouthful but I hope you will remember the group from their wonderful movie/documentary entitled: Young @ Heart. And don't think that the audience was comprised only of seniors because it wasn't! It was truly a multi-generational audience where everyone was rocking out especially when the group sang Sly and the Family Stone's "I Want To Take Yhou Higher!"

This is a chorus of over 30 dynamic people whose average is 80. Please take the time to read their story here! You'll love them, and get some good ideas for your own life!

Corporate America could learn a few things...the group doesn't focus only on songs from their generation .,..but also sang Dylan, Springsteen, BLONDIE, and Kurt Cobain and when they sang Only The Strong Survive...all I could think was--these people have definitely rewired..and continue to do so!

In fact I would recommend that you learn more about the group and a lot about life--- check out the full movie story. The chorus is entertaining, and much more! You'll learn who they are and I hope you'll begin to reflect on your life...or rather your own future.

The Young@Heart Chorus was created in 1982, and all of the original members lived in an elderly housing project in Northampton, Massachusetts, and only one original member is alive today. Bob Cilman, the Chorus Director is brilliant...a true leader who stretches his team. He is demanding of his singers; he doesn't do the expected and he even gets on stage with them. He is the best coach ever!

Bob Cilman gets everyone, including the audience, to think out of their comfort zone. Recognize that the group has set changes, costume changes, and they have to memorize I don't know how many songs---so when an assumption is made that seniors can't learn something new, give me a break! I write that line for both seniors and society! We all have to change our thinking! We can all rewire and learn new things---if we want to! The group Young at Heart is living proof of what is possible when you try!

Part of my future rewiring will be to sing with this group! I'm serious! So in preparation for the future--I am going to take singing lessons now. I'm pretty rusty, and definitely an alto and I know that you have to prepare for what you want in life! so what do you want to do when you're 92?

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


The times remain challenging, but people are getting ready to move on! And there are a lot of tools to help people jumpstart their next acts. There is a special and unique event that I wanted to make you aware of … the 1st annual Encore Career TeleSummit for Women 50+. Many of you know that I am the former Editor at Large of WORKING WOMAN magazine and women, creating successful next acts, remain very important to me!

The TeleSummit will provide education and information for women 50+ who want to create an encore career as they begin looking ahead to that timeframe called retirement! As I travel around the country talking to women, and men too, I know that this is a key topic for many. What do I want to do next and how do I begin? I think you'll find this FREE TeleSummit on April 24-25, 2010 extremely valuable.

Maybe you've been downsized or forced to retire out of your lifelong career. Or maybe, you just know it's time to move on, but just can't seem to take the leap. The fact is, you have a wealth of skills, expertise, experience and wisdom that you could bring to your encore career. If you're stuck or scared, it's hard to gain the clarity you'll need to make good decisions.

Let's face it. In 99% of cases your Encore Career is not going to fall in your lap. Just dreaming about it is not enough. You have to take action. You have to know how. The telesummit will feature 12 well-known experts, and I'm thrilled to be the kick off speaker!

All of us are committed to the program: people like Dr. Joan Borysenko, expert in the area of health and healing, Deborah Russell , leader at AARP on workforce issues, and Richard Leider who will help you find purpose and passion---just to name a few. The reality is---we all want to help you design your next career without wasting precious time and money. And let's be honest, none of us has time or money to waste!

So sign up for the April 24-25 event at It's free of charge! Give yourself a leg up...and GO FOR IT!
Wonderful new tools, ideas and experts are all around us, we just have to take advantage of the opportunities that exist! Happy rewiring into your encore career!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010


There are only 24 hours in the day and it's up to each of us to decide how and where our time is used. Work, plus family and daily responsibilities take up a large portion of that time, and of course we know that eight hours of sleep is the ideal. I may be nervey to say this, but today I am putting in a big plug for finding "some" time, even a little time, to exercise. I know some of you are groaning already; others are smiling because you have made time for fitness and are feeling smug, and still others are sheepishly admitting that exercise has been on their to do list for too long to remember, which is a good seque to why I hope you will make some time for exercise.

Over the past several weeks there have been many articles in both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on exercise. Take a look at these headlines (in fact two are VERY similar!) and take a look at the benefits.

On March 2 Jane Brody wrote her Personal Health column: "Even More Reasons to Get A Move On" and in the March 9 Wall Street Journal Health & Wellness section journalist, Ron Winslow wrote: "To Double the Odds of Seeing 85: Get A Move On." They are great articles, covering different angles, but work together to deliver a one two punch message that it's not just about good abs or a tight butt but rather about the long term health benefits for the body and the brain!

Then on March 9 Jane Brody wrote: "To Keep Moving, Look Beyond the Physical" where she indicated that she had heard from many readers who said it's easy to get started exercising but hard to stay motivated. So Jane's March 9 article talks about how exercise improves life, includes a list of motivators and concludes with a quote from Dr.Michelle Segar, a motivational psychologist at the University of Michigan that " we need to rebrand exercise as something we can enjoy, something that really feels good to do."

My sentiments exactly-- now that I have finally rewired my time and added exercise to my life!
So are you ready to rewire your thinking about exercise and fitness and wellness? Maybe it's time to turn exercise on its head! If you hate running, try biking, if not biking, then swimming...the point is there are choices all around us...pick one and try it. If it isn't the "right one" for you, DISCARD IT and CHOOSE ANOTHER! Do it for your good health! It is a patriotic act these days.

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Monday, March 15, 2010


When we did the research for DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! a key part of our research focused on people answering the question: Why Do You Work Beyond A Paycheck? Unsolicited we received over 85 reasons, or what we call drivers, for why people worked beyond the money. These drivers ranged from having accomplishments and a sense of belonging to being valued, getting recognition and making a difference.

Our goal was to have people recognize their drivers, or what made them tick, and to use that knowledge for creating their next act, third age, encore career, or whatever they chose to call it!

I often told my corporate clients that if they could incorporate our driver component into their performance reviews and in how they managed their employees, then everyone would win!

Daniel Pink's latest book DRIVE! has done just that! It has hit every bestseller list in just the first month because it has the message we both believe is NOT just about the money!

So I'm helping people get rewired by making sure they understand their drivers and Dan Pink is doing the same on a big corporate level! Maybe together we can make some real difference!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Entrepreneur?

There has been a sharp rise in people 55+ becoming entrepreneurs; with many more in the wings checking out the idea. The rise is a result of desire and default. My comments in the New York Times article on entrepreneurism prompted many people to call and write me about what do I really think it takes to become an entrepreneur today. I have a checklist of ideas but I wanted to see what the specialists were saying.

I remembered that when I was Editor at Large of WORKING WOMAN magazine that we ran a special section on entrepreneurship in conjunction with the Small Business Administration in Washington DC. Some of the best insights and advice came from professors at Babson College (one of the first schools offering classes in entrepreneurship).

So as I was doing my research for this blog I was thrilled to discover this article in The Harvard Business Review entitled: "Should You Be An Entrepreneur? It reflects my thoughts and is honest, straight-on and practical. Just what every potential entrepreneur needs to hear! And it is written by Professor Daniel Isenberg of you guessed it, Babson College. He challenges the reader with thought-provoking questions that are broad in scope and gives you the chance to take a terrific 2 minute quiz that should not be missed.

To get you thinking here are a few of Professor Isenberg's Yes or No questions:

1. I don't like being told what to do by people who are less capable than I am.

2.I like challenging myself.

3.I like to win.

4.I always look for new and better ways to do things.

5.I can't sit still.
And there are 15 more personally-challenging questions that you need to answer if you are thinking about starting your own business. You can score yourself ...and for your own sake, be honest! The worst thing is try and fake out yourself; usually the only one who loses when that occurs is you!
To see the full article, and many more from Daniel Isenberg, go to the Harvard Business Review and put Daniel Isenberg in the search box. You'll be amazed by the breadth of knowledge this man has about entrepreneurship! Even current entreprenuers will benefit from his research!

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