Kerry Hannon on Success in the Second Half of Life #141


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By Marc Miller and Marc Miller - Career Designer for Career Pivot. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Kerry Hannon is a nationally-recognized expert and strategist on career transitions, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and retirement. She is a frequent TV and radio commentator and is a sought-after keynote speaker at conferences across the country. Kerry has dedicated her work to making a difference in people’s lives to give them confidence and the tools to succeed personally, professionally, and financially. She offers her audience and readers a can-do expert’s advice on the best ways to empower themselves. She has spent more than two decades covering all aspects of career, business, and personal finance and is a columnist, editor, and writer for the nation’s leading companies, including the New York Times, Forbes, Money, U.S. News & World Report, and USA Today. Kerry’s work also regularly appears on Kiplinger’s Finance and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

Key Takeaways:

[1:05] Marc welcomes you to Episode 141 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot is the sponsor of this podcast; is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:34] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors and colleagues. The more people Marc reaches, the more people he can help.

[1:54] Marc and his co-author Susan Lahey are working on the final draft of Repurpose Your Career, Third Edition. If you’d like to get some pre-release chapters, go to and you’ll receive the chapters Marc has already released and updates on the launch.

[2:17] Marc plans a soft launch of the book on Thursday, September 12, followed by both a virtual and a real book tour starting Monday, September 16. Marc has already recorded many podcast guest appearances, some of which have already been published. Go to you’ll find all the links of all the podcasts.[2:52] Marc will be in Austin the week of September 22nd, the New Jersey area the week of September 29th, and D.C., the following week. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[3:04] Marc has two events planned for Austin and four in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Marc will then have a meet-and-greet in D.C. You can find the events on

[3:17] Next week will be a one-year reflection on being an expat. Marc and his wife have lived in Ajijic for about a year. They will reflect on what they have learned and how they have changed in the last year.

[3:39] This week, Marc interviews Kerry Hannon, author of Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life.

[3:53] Marc introduces Kerry and welcomes Kerry to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[5:23] Kerry was a guest on the podcast almost three years ago and that episode,, still gets 30 or 40 downloads a month!

[5:47] A number of years ago, Kerry wrote, What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job, after traveling the country for three years meeting with people who had shifted to completely different jobs after working 20 to 30 years in one field. Most of them started small businesses in their second act. Kerry loved their spirit.

[6:25] Kerry started recognizing a trend in people over 40 starting their own businesses. Kerry wanted to share their stories. She also saw studies showing that people over 50 are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S. and globally.

[6:57] Women, in particular, are starting businesses in the second half of life. With longevity growing, we are going to see more people starting businesses later in life.

[7:16] In the book, Never Too Old to Get Rich, Kerry profiles 20 winning entrepreneurs, because we learn from winners. She presents their stories, challenges, and rewards, and gives readers a playbook of actions for how to accomplish similar successes.

[7:41] Part 1 of the book is about turning a passion into a business. Sometimes hobbies are better as hobbies but studies show that people who can turn their passion into a business are often more successful than other entrepreneurs. They know their customer; they are their customer.

[9:00] Kerry interviewed people who started businesses in filmmaking, coffee, scooters, woodworking, and more, all building on passions. Kerry shares some stories about them.

[12:14] Part 2 of What’s Next deals with building a winning Senior-Junior partnership. There is a great synergy in building a business “that has legs,” not for the next five years, but for the next 20 years or more. You have the experience and the network of someone who’s been through it, and the tech skills and enthusiasm of youth.

[13:25] One of Kerry’s favorite stories from the book is about a mother-daughter team, Bergen and Morgen Giordani, who started One Hot Cookie with their cookie-baking skills and built retail outlets in Ohio and Pennsylvania. They are now franchising.

[14:18] The daughter is the expert at social marketing and store design. The mother is the big-picture business planner. The mom kept her full-time job for a long time before stepping all the way into the business.

[15:56] In this section, Kerry has a story about Paul Tasner, who has been a guest on the podcast in Paul started his company PulpWorks in San Francisco and paired up with somebody a couple of decades younger than him.

[17:21] When you make a shift to being your own boss, you need to do an inner MRI to find your skills, weaknesses, and strengths. Look for others who can partner with you and balance you in launching your business. It’s understanding who you are and what it is you truly want to do and what you can do.

[18:00] Part 3 of the book is the path to social entrepreneurship. Kerry found that at this point in their lives, many people may have experienced a health crisis or a loss, or may be wondering if there is more to life than what they have done. They wonder how they want to make a difference to the world.

[18:47] Social entrepreneurs have a vision of making the world a better place by using their skill sets to launch a nonprofit or something that has the ability to touch lives. Kerry shares a couple of examples. One, Jamal Joseph, started a nonprofit, IMPACT Repertory Theater, in NYC. Kerry met him through

[19:28] Jamal started this group to help young people in Harlem find a purpose through repertory performance and encouragement to study, to find a way out of poverty to succeed.

[19:57] Another example is Bernadette’s House, an after-school program for disadvantaged girls, started by Carol Nash in Baltimore.

[20:33] Doug Rauch, former President at Trader Joes, went to Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative to learn to solve big social problems. He went on to start Daily Table in the Boston area to provide food at a lower cost. Marc compares food supply practices in Mexico and the U.S.

[22:33] besides the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative, other schools are offering similar initiatives to urge people to start in social entrepreneurship. Stanford, Notre Dame, and the University of Texas are a few schools offering such initiatives.

[23:33] Daily Table offers cooking classes for people who are not accustomed to healthy foods.

[24:01] Part 4 of the book is Winning Strategies for Female Entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing cadre of entrepreneurs, world-wide. Women make good entrepreneurs and also good investors for a few reasons. Women do their homework. They take their time when they launch a business. They are idealists.

[24:53] By laying this groundwork, women set themselves up for success. Women are willing to start a business as a side gig, keeping their full-time job. Women have the ability to understand where their weaknesses are. They admit it and ask for help. They ask for directions. Women often partner up with other women who can fill in the gaps.

[25:29] Women tend to be very collaborative. Entrepreneurship is a team sport. Women understand that entrepreneurship is a marathon and not a sprint. Women are patient.

[26:04] Rachel Roth started Opera Nuts in New York, combining her love of nuts and opera. Now she sells them online as well. It’s a true passion for Rachel. She was able to find tech help at Senior Planet classes in entrepreneurship and tech and from young tech mentors.

[28:04] Ginny Corbett started a healthy juice business, Salud Juicery, in Pittsburgh, after going to school to learn about nutrition related to eating issues.

[29:49] Kerry wants people to walk away with a message of hope, possibilities, dreams, and knowing that it is never too late to start doing work around your passion. Every person Kerry profiled told her about the inner richness of doing work they love, with people they love, that has meaning in the world.

[30:49] Marc recalls an earlier podcast guest, on, author Andrew Scott, author of The Hundred-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity and author of the article “Is 75 the New 65? How the Definition of Aging is Changing” on Next Avenue. What are you going to do with your extra 10 years?

[31:50] The importance of working at this stage of life is it fulfills us, it may be a financial necessity or safety net. At 60, you have at least 15 more years ahead of you where you could do something totally different. You might need to add some more skills, by apprenticing, moonlighting, or volunteering before you launch on a new path.

[32:32] There’s no ideal starting point; you just need to get started. Marc plans to work until he’s 90!

[32:48] You can learn more about Kerry at, on Twitter at @KerryHannon, on Facebook at @KerryHannon and LinkedIn at Kerry Hannon. Kerry would love to hear from you and hear your entrepreneurial stories!

[33:23] Marc thanks Kerry for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[33:29] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Kerry is passionate about helping our community who are in the second half of life. Marc hopes everyone is inspired by her latest book.

[33:40] The Career Pivot Membership Community continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project to grow and thrive. The community has moved on to the next phase where community members who have experienced success get to share their successes and teach others.

[33:57] This is a community where everyone is there to help everyone else out. They have been hovering at about 50 members for a while. Members are experiencing successes like going back to work, starting new businesses — even someone buying a franchise. Some leave the community when they’ve found success, while others stay.

[34:19] Their legacy stays with the community as they have built an extensive library of forum entries and discussions. Marc will be publishing shortly testimonials of what they got from being part of this community.

[34:34] Marc is recruiting members for the next cohort. If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to

[34:45] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Please go to to learn more.

[35:07] Marc invites you to connect with him on Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[35:25] Please come back next week, when Marc reflects on the last year of being an expat.

[35:30] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. You will find the show notes for this episode at

[35:45] Please hop over to and subscribe to get updates on this podcast and all the other happenings at Career Pivot. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, the Overcast app, or the Spotify app. Marc will add to this list soon!

148 episodes