March 2, 2015

After sending out over 5,000 e-mails to my “friends and family” letting them know of my departure from Boardroom and my forwarding address, the question that came up more often than I expected was:

“So, Brian, are you retiring?”

Well…it depends how you define “retirement.”

According to Dan Sullivan, the most prolific coach for entrepreneurs on the planet (and I’m paraphrasing):

“Retirement is when you retire from the things you don’t like to do and you retire from the things you don’t do very well.”

Based on that definition, I am officially retired.

But as I’ve said previously, I’m just getting started on my ultimate life goals and mission.

I hope you are too…no matter how old you are…

And after you read this post, I would love to hear how your “retirement plans” are going…and also how you are planning to increase your impact in the world with all that extra focus on what you like to do best with the people you like the most.

I came up with four biggies for my “retirement”:

1) Umpire in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania: I know…you think that’s a silly goal…

But fame and fortune awaits: Two weeks straight on TV with a dumb look on my face while making no money.

Actually, the fact that I don’t get paid to umpire is a lure in itself.

No one really understands my love of umpiring…although I tell people that I am essentially a Little League Umpire and I do this direct marketing stuff on the side…

Read my post “When Being Invisible is Golden” and maybe you will understand it a little more.

But regardless, look for me on ESPN sometime in the next five years…

Advice for you: Find something in your “retirement” that you LOVE that has nothing to do with your vocation…preferably something that has nothing to do with making money either.

However, I would recommend that you pick something that doesn’t involve angry parents yelling at you all the time…

2) To be the embodiment of “Contribution and Connection”: Those of you who are familiar with “Landmark Forum” (which is the reincarnation of EST…but at Landmark they let you go to the bathroom!), know the power of their 3-day Forum and 4-day Advanced Course.

On the opening night of the Advanced Course, you “declare” who you are to everyone. I was:

“Know everyone and do the right thing.”

Seems like more of an obligation than something to aspire to…

On the closing evening after four days of exploration, you “declare your possibility” (usually one word) and the room of 75 people decides whether it rings true or not.

I became “The Possibility of Contribution.”

That seems a bit more interesting.

I’ve since added that I am the possibility of “Contribution and Connection.”

But NOT “networking.”

I think I want to be the “anti-networker”…and when people tell me how amazed they are at “how many people I know” I am quick to tell them it’s all about the quality of those relationships rather than the quantity.

My post, “The real Vitamin C…and it’s not in your O.J” talks in detail how we all overuse the term “networking”…and if you just read the part about  how I handle my LinkedIn requests, you will have a tool that can lead you to more contribution and connection in your own life, I think.

3) Leaving every campsite in a better condition than when I (or you) arrived: After 34 years working in the same company, coming up with thousands of ideas and then getting them tested/executed (mostly by more capable people than me in the areas of follow through and implementation), could have created quite a mess.

It sometimes did.

Please read my recent post “Beautiful Mess” for more on that topic.

But from chaos and confusion came order…and being committed to that my entire career must follow through into my “retirement.”

This has led to my consulting assignments over the last month being quite a learning process.

I am trying to work in more follow through to the consulting so I am not guilty of what I call “New Grandparent Syndrome”:

This is where as a consultant (“grandparent”) you get the client (“grandkids”) all ginned up (probably with a lot of sugar, figuratively in ideas and literally with ice cream and chocolate)…and then you let the company leadership (“parents”) figure out what you just did.

Not a model for me.

To prevent this from happening, I will be posting an interview on my site that I just did with the amazing Joe Polish called:

“How to Hire and Work with a Marketing Consultant”

I’d like to fundamentally change how this marketer/marketing consultant relationship works…Joe does too…and this dialogue is only the beginning.

Back to the campsite analogy:

“Only you can prevent forest fires”…and making sure your marketing consultant doesn’t start raging fires that you can’t put out is something I am committed to in the future.

I will let you know when that interview with Joe is available.

4) I aspire to be “The Bridge”: I’ve told many people recently that I think I am uniquely qualified to be the “bridge” between the eternal truths of direct response marketing and all that is state-of-the-art in direct response today…and on into the future.

Owning the assets from the “Titans of Direct Response” along with the rights to some of the greatest books ever written about direct marketing like “Breakthrough Advertising” by Gene Schwartz and “Secrets of Successful Direct Mail” by Dick Benson (and some others) will help with this “bridging “ in a huge way.

And I will look to you for ideas and insights on what else you think may be needed to fulfill on this mission.

For me, the consulting will be one piece…but I think many more live events like “Titans”, a high end Mastermind, a subscription to the most useful content I can find and my first book will also be part of the mix.

Please e-mail me anytime with things you think I should add into my thinking going forward regarding, “never forgetting the past while choosing a bigger future for all of us.” Help me build that bridge to somewhere very special.

And again, don’t forget to tell me all about your upcoming “retirement!”



P.S. The “Titans DVD package” will be available next week…but only for friends (i.e. YOU!). You’ll have special pricing for a limited time that I won’t make available to the general public.

I’m a little embarrassed it took so long and I hope I didn’t damper your enthusiasm with the long delay. There was so much to do regarding getting all of the rights to everything I’m including with the set of 12 DVD’s.

Watch your e-mail next week for the ultimate package from “the event of the decade!”

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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