Work disrupted? 5 Tips to bounce back faster and higher. Ep. 52

Jim Enright interviews John Livesay, baby boomer, keynote speaker, author and podcast host. John’s long stint at Conde Nast ended abruptly when he was asked to leave in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. Instead of cowering and giving up—John rose to the occasion by reinventing himself so that he could stay relevant with the changing times. Little did he know that this seemingly tragic disruption in his career would lead him to some of his greatest accomplishments to date. John urges all baby boomers to learn new skills in the “third act” of their lives and he also offers some great advice for people who have already taken up retirement. Tune-in as John shares what he has learned from his tribulations, so that you can take all the highs and the lows in stride.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

    00:09 – Connect with Jim via email; alternatively you can also send a voicemail through the Planet Boomerville website or get in touch with us on Facebook Messenger

    00:57 – Spread the word with your baby boomer friends in person and on Facebook—Teach them how to listen to podcasts and how to subscribe

    01:12 – Boomers find it difficult to deal with career disruptions due to some deep-rooted biases against them; self-inflicted doubts are the greatest hindrances

    01:36 – Today’s guest, John Livesay is a baby boomer who has witnessed multiple career disruptions; transitioned from being a media sales executive with Conde Nast to a speaker, trainer and podcast host

    02:33 – Learning to move on….

o      02:33 – John was selling housing ads for W Magazine; he got laid off in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis

o      03:28 – Offered to prepare a turnover report in spite of being asked to clear his office that very day; this decision had a HUGE impact after a couple of years

o      04:12 – In spite of believing that “Who we are as people is bigger than our job”, John faced some difficulty in moving on to a life beyond Conde Nast

o      05:35 – Was contemplating selling digital ads

o      06:06 – Keen to acquire new skills to kick off the next phase of his life

o      06:32 – John gives the analogy of silent movie stars who succeeded in making the transition to sound; when faced with a technological disruption, you need to drive yourself to make this transition

o      07:58 – “When you forget who you are, surround yourself with people who remind you of the truth of who you are”

o      08:20 – Felt some initial shame from losing his job; however, he realized that it was a business decision and not a reflection on his abilities

o      09:00 – Leverage your network instead of utilizing recruiters; got a job at a website called The Daily Beast thanks to the referral of former Conde Nast employees

    09:50 – Isolation is the “kiss of death” when dealing with a career disruption; important to move on instead of wallowing in self-pity

    10:36 – A friend of John’s refused to take a pay cut and never got hired again; similar to a house up for sale, the longer you are on the market, the harder it is to cut a deal

o      11:08 – Critical to find employment to ensure that you do not become technologically obsolete

    12:00 – Prepared a 90 day plan detailing how he would find advertising for “The Daily Beast”

o      12:25 – Went to an Apple Store and learned how to create presentations on the iPad; created an excellent presentation showing how he would convince Lexus to advertise for “The Daily Beast”

    13:34 – Had to settle for a 50% pay cut and a humble office at his new job; learned to deal with this new situation by thinking of it as a “paid internship”

    14:28 – Managed to successfully convince Lexus and other organizations to advertise; a big BREAK came along when Conde Nast offered to hire him back

o      14:47 – The digital skills that he had picked up at “The Daily Beast” came in handy since Conde Nast was looking for someone with print and digital skills

o      16:02 – The BIG decision that John made when he moved back was to have NO FEAR; this attitude fetched him the “The Salesperson of the Year” Award in 2012

    16:51 – At this stage of his career, John had developed an attitude where he realized that he was bigger than the highs as well as the lows

    17:15 – Learn how John managed to start his own podcast

o      17:15 – Got a chance to interact with startups after being promoted to the corporate division; realized that there was a huge need to help startups with their sales pitches, funding and in finding new clients

o      18:21 – Started his own podcast to establish a network of investors who could potentially fund his clients; had to overcome the fear of rejection, failure and technology

o      20:10 – John’s BIG solution for the fear of the unknown: “Don’t do it alone: collaborate”

    20:46 – John thinks of himself as a stock, since he is investing money in himself

    21:29 – Got another break when he was able to have Judy Robinett as his 2nd podcast guest on LinkedIn

    22:09 – Determined to PIVOT again, launched his next big idea which was to help sales teams become expert storytellers and hence, revenue rock stars

o      22:26 – Got his first speaking assignment through a past classmate; delivered a talk on “How to Get to Yes”

o      23:08 – Realized that he could leverage his years of advertising experience and apply it to his speaking career

    24:46 – Tips and Tricks for Baby Boomers to deal with the “Third Act” of their lives

o      25:12 – In the “third act” of their lives, baby boomers need to learn new skills and leverage all their wisdom

o      25:51 – Finding your purpose and your “Why” is the key to success

o      26:01 – Even if you are retired, you can discover your passion; find a way to give back and get back something in return

o      27:25 – Developing a mindset where you want to genuinely help others will result in pulling in buyers

    27:47 – Invested in a support group where he could brainstorm strategies to grow his business

    28:56 – If he had a chance to relive the past three years, John would’ve conditioned himself to have less moments of self-doubt

    29:18 – Brian Smith, author of The Birth of a Brand told John, “If you start a business, it is like a baby. And no amount of rocking the cradle will get the baby crawling before the baby is ready”

o      29:44 – Develop patience; have faith and keep taking action

    30:47 – Loves listening to Jim Croce and Harry Chapin; “Time in a Bottle” is his all-time favorite

    32:18 – Would like to die in his sleep; death is a great way of realizing how precious life is right now

    33:08 – Connect with John via his podcast, The Successful Pitch or through his website; you can also check out his book

    33:28 – You can also connect with John via Twitter

    33:35 – Check out John’s LinkedIn for transcripts of his podcast

    34:23 – John’s takeaway: “The key to success is confidence, and the key to confidence is preparation” – Arthur Ashe

    35:38 – Jim Enright’s sign-off message: Be stellar, and live life lively

    35:47 – Spread the word with your baby boomer friends in person and on Facebook—Teach them how to listen to podcasts and how to subscribe

    36:06 – Download your personal copy of the Boomer Manifesto on our website

3 Key Points:

1.       Leverage your network instead of resorting to online recruiting when faced with a    career disruption; do not isolate yourself, surround yourself with friends and family and keep on taking action.

2.       Just like a house that is on the market for too long and loses its value—if you are unemployed for too long, you can’t keep pace with the rapid technological developments.

3.       Keep your patience when you start a new business; have faith, keep on taking action and do not yield to self-doubt.

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