The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated

I receive several email updates every day from various LinkedIn groups. One of them included a link to “5 Ways To Uncover Your Personal Brand’s Strengths” by Jorgen Sunderberg. I don’t know Jorgen. I don’t think I’ve heard of him before and I can’t say that I agree with everything that he wrote in this article, but I can’t use his stuff without letting you know that I got the idea from him. He writes:

“Imagine you are sitting on the porch of your home and old friends, family members, and colleagues are showing up. People are coming to celebrate your retirement. As everyone gathers they are gradually breaking into smaller groups, talking, laughing, and having a great time. They are talking about you and how you have impacted their lives. You get up from the porch and walk around. As you pass by each group you can overhear what they are saying. Write down what you hear. How have you made an impact? What did you do to help them?”

Now, interestingly, I have heard some of this stuff. I remember a client telling someone else that I took their business from $30K/year to $30K/month in less than 6 months. Another client hired me to grow retainers from $40K to $250K/year. He did $7K in month #1, $14K in month #2 and $20K in month #3 (all monthly retainers). When I asked, “Are we done?”, he asked, “What will it take to get to a million?” I’d also expect to hear recaps of sales calls that happened exactly as we had ‘rehearsed’ during a coaching session.
Truth be told, though, I wouldn’t expect all the stories to be ‘happy’. I’d expect some to complain that I was too ‘black and white’ or that I wasn’t easy on them when they didn’t do what they agreed to do.
That brings me to the title. As you know, I retired from Kurlan and Associates last year. I ended every client engagement cleanly and haven’t spoken to most since. Here’s why.
My maternal grandfather died, at work, 9 days short of his 58th birthday. He never got to retire. I turned 60 on 12/29. His son, my uncle will be 82 July. He’s enjoying his retirement and has a couple of part time things that he does to keep active. My father died when he was 72. He did get to retire as a carpenter, but found a fun job helping senior citizens do wooden projects in a workshop environment. Used his brain without heavy lifting.
Retirement doesn’t mean death. Retirement should be enjoyable. Spending time with people that are fun. For me that means working with people who will tell good stories about me and avoiding those that won’t.
If you know an entrepreneurial business person that’s looking to multiply sales, put us together. Just forward this post to them, copy me and include their phone number. I’ll do the rest. I don’t know how long I’ll be retried, but I ain’t dead yet.

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