70 over 70; Who, not How; Days of Disruption: Sears; Econ Recon

“Change before you have to.”

Jack Welch
Former Chairman of General Electric

“70 over 70”

Many aging boomers are looking forward to retirement so they can, “ check out”. Not Paul Tasner. A few days before Christmas in 2007, at the age of 64, Mr. Tasner was called into a meeting and fired as director of operations for a company where he had worked for years. At that age, he might have said, “Oh well, I’m close to retirement anyway.”

Instead he became an entrepreneur and launched a company that is growing geometrically, earning widespread recognition and making a real impact. In a seven minute TED talk he shares his story and the remarkable finding by a British research firm that companies launched by entrepreneurs over 70 years of age have a 70 % success rate, much better than those started by those under 30. 

If you’re a boomer, maybe you should consider “checking in” to a new venture instead of  “checking out?”

“Who, not How”

If the above “70 over 70” story inspires you,  here’s a valuable tool for your new venture from Peter Diamandis, successful entrepreneur, co-founder of over twenty companies, and founder of the X-Prize Foundation .  He suggests that we spend too much time trying to figure out how to do things.  Far better, he says, to be think about who, not how.”

Days of Disruption: America’s Retailer

Sears has been struggling for many years. Today they filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, with the specter of  proceeding to Chapter 7 Liquidation. This indicates just how hopeless many of its lenders believe the company’s situation has become. 

This article from Business Insider tells in a milestone format the sad tale of the iconic retailer’s demise after a long and mostly successful history Once known as “America’s Retailer,” Sears enjoyed over a century of success until Wal-Mart and then Amazon and arose to challenge it. “There was a time when Sears was the Amazon of its day” one writer recently reminded us. You could even buy a house or a barn from Sears in kit form which the average carpenter could knock together in about a week. After you read the Business Insider article, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn more about its remarkable founding and how “the Amazing Mr. Sears” built a legendary business that may soon be no more.

As Jim Collins reminds us in his book How the Mighty Fall : “Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.”

Econ Recon

Pension Tension: As shared above, many Boomers may want to consider one more career. When one considers the perilous state of the nation’s pensions, many may have to. If you want a quick primer on the health of state and local public pension plans,  Alex Chausovsky of ITR Economics provide a quick ranking of the health of these plans.  Just because you’re not a government employee does not mean you shouldn’t be concerned. Some unpleasant and politically unpalatable mix of taxes, means testing, and postponing retirement ages means we will be affected directly or by the effect of these changes on the economy.

Confidence Dropping? Check out the latest summary of the Vistage Confidence Index to see what your CEO peers in Vistage are thinking about the economy. Is their optimism fading?



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