Paul Tasner, Co-founder and CEO of PulpWorks, Inc., and more recently, Co-founder of Sort, has 40 years of operations experience. He has held leadership positions in ventures ranging from startup to Fortune 100. For the last decade, his focus has been on sustainability.
Seven years ago, Paul took a leap of faith while his peers were contemplating retirement. He embraced the challenge of disrupting the traditional packaging industry. Appalled by the amount of plastic pollution on our planet, and no longer content to accept the dangers of plastic packaging materials, he founded PulpWorks and set out to create a safe, eco-friendly packaging for consumer products. PulpWorks uses paper and agricultural waste to mold compostable packaging and therefore diminish the waste deposited in our landfills, waterways, and oceans. In 2016, PulpWorks was awarded a patent for their Karta-pack™, a compostable replacement for the toxic plastic blister pack. PulpWorks and Paul have been recipients of more than 20 awards and the subject of more than 70 stories in the media. Paul was selected as the TED Resident in 2017. His TED Talk on sustainability, entrepreneurism, and ageism has been seen by more than two million viewers and translated into 28 languages.
In 2018, Paul, with colleagues in San Francisco and Mexico City, founded Sort, a company using artificial intelligence, IOT, and computer-vision technology to solve the contamination challenges facing the recycling industry.
[1:14] Marc welcomes you to Episode 125 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.
[1:45] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, 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.
[2:06] This week is Episode 125. Marc has been doing the Repurpose Your Career podcast for two-and-a-half years. The podcast should exceed 8,000 downloads this month! Five episodes have had 1,700 downloads or more in the last year.
[2:26] Marc has been blown away at the success of this podcast! The audience is one of the smallest demographics — Baby Boomers — that listens to podcasts. Marc says, Thank you!
[2:31] Next week Marc will speak with Kathy Lansford. Marc has known Kathy as the founder of Launch Pad Job Club, which is one of the first and one of the largest job clubs in Texas, founded in 2001. They are calling the discussion, “Got Hope? Current and Future Job Prospects for 50+ Workers.”
[2:59] This week, Marc is interviewing Paul Tasner. Marc shares Paul’s bio.
[5:47] Marc welcomes Paul Tasner to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Paul feels that in real life he is not the person one envisions after reading his bio. He will let the audience judge.
[6:52] Marc found Paul through his TED Talk, which Marc found very inspiring to those of us in the second half of life.
[7:28] The first half of Paul’s life was devoted to engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain, including packaging and logistics, always as an employee. He had what appeared to be good jobs. Sadly, they didn’t remain good jobs. Entrepreneurism, however, has remained great for Paul.
[10:38] Paul asks people if they’ve considered entrepreneurism, and they say it’s risky. Paul says they’re at greater risk in their corporate job than Paul is as an entrepreneur.
[11:37] At age 64, Paul was fired. His company had done poorly and had a series of layoffs to meet budgetary restraints. The CEO who had hired Paul was replaced. The new CEO was someone Paul had known before and Paul was sorry to see him again.
[14:22] Paul was leaving the building on a Friday afternoon and was called into a meeting. The meeting was his exit interview. He and two others were let go. Paul met his wife and another couple at a restaurant, where he informed them he was just fired.
[16:06] On some level, the firing wasn’t a surprise to Paul. It was overdue and just the push that he needed. He never looked back. It was a blessing in disguise.
[17:10] Paul had flirted with entrepreneurism all his life but just hadn’t taken the plunge.
[17:52] In the 1990s Paul had consulted with some success and had gotten a permanent position from it. So he tried it again, only because he needed an income. He did it without any real passion and he felt that was not OK for his last career chapter.
[20:05] A former colleague of Paul’s had started his own business in Asia, creating packaging out of molded pulp fiber made from waste material. He asked if Paul wanted to be his North American sales manager. At first, Paul wasn’t interested.
[21:24] After thinking about the offer, Paul realized he really liked what his former colleague was doing. Paul came up with a counter-offer to start his own company in the States and outsource the manufacturing to his former colleague. They agreed.
[22:17] Paul’s former colleague’s business and Paul’s business both changed, and they no longer work with each other. Today, Paul has several other manufacturing partners that manufacture packaging for consumer goods for Paul’s company. Most packaging is high-end, using sugarcane fibers that create a sleek-looking package, almost white.
[23:33] Most of PulpWorks’s clients fall into the premium end of consumer products, such as electronics, cosmetics, and premium food items. PulpWorks is a small company and can’t compete with mass-producing products for huge organizations. Their production runs are short. Paul feels it is a fairly nice niche.
[24:40] Most of the packaging PulpWorks makes is designed to replace similar packaging made from plastic. We encounter unnecessary plastic packaging every day.
[26:06] Plastic disposal is in a crisis. Paul explains how we shot ourselves in the foot with China. Some waste management companies have no option but to put recyclables into landfills. They don’t have a market for it anymore.
[27:51] PulpWorks has always had two full-time employees: Paul and his Co-founder. Everyone else is a contractor, a temp, or a consultant. There are about half-a-dozen people according to the situation. They use lawyers, accountants, designers, coordinators. There is a deep pool in the gig economy and Paul has a large network.
[29:04] Paul and his Co-founder tried to raise money for the business but never did. They boot-strapped it all There were valid reasons people did not invest in PulpWorks and some reasons Paul thought were less valid, such as his age! Paul says the success rate of older entrepreneurs is 70%; far better than the rate of young entrepreneurs.
[30:35] Older entrepreneurs are a very successful group and getting more successful every day because the Baby Boomer Generation is growing in ranks and will outnumber the youngest generation that is in the workforce.
[31:18] Employers are going to have a problem if they simply set their sites on hiring twenty-somethings. They’re going to run out of talent. There just aren’t enough twenty-somethings to fill the roles.
[31:38] Success among older folks continues to rise. The 70% success rate of older entrepreneurs is a good number to bet on.
[31:53] PulpWorks is at cruising speed. They have their infrastructure completely developed and in place. Most of their efforts are focused on securing more business. They get a lot of inquiries online. They come up very high in SEO. They are intent on growing their revenues. They have no plans to sell the business.
[33:06] Paul is 73. If he feels pretty much the same as he does today five years from now, he will still be doing this or something like this. He loves what he is doing and gets up early to check his email every day. He keeps in pretty good shape by walking a lot.
He likes his boss a lot! He’s a good guy.
[35:34] When Marc saw Paul’s TED Talk, he told himself, he needed to get Paul on the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Marc calls Paul a real inspiration. Marc and Paul agree they both want to work as long as they love what they’re doing.
[36:00] Paul talks about Sort, the new business he has started with a couple of partners. Unlike PulpWorks, it can’t be bootstrapped. They need to raise money in order to launch it. There are capital requirements in order for it to be successful. It’s a tech venture. They are in Northern California, where tech is king, so they hope to find the capital.
[37:03] Marc thanks Paul and hopes you enjoyed this episode. Paul is a great guy. Marc recommends that you watch Paul’s TED Talk.
[37:22] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.
[37:33] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.
[37:48] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[38:11] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
[38:30] Please come back next week, when Marc will speak with Kathy Lansford on current and future job prospects for the 50+ workers.
[38:39] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[38:44] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-125.
[38:52] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com 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. And, if you’re listening anywhere else, please let Marc know!
Over four decades, Patti Temple Rocks has held senior leadership positions in three distinct communication sectors: PR, advertising, and corporate/client side. She is an inspirational leader, innovative thinker, problem-solver, growth driver, brand steward, and an agent of change. Patti is passionate about fighting age discrimination and helping people understand how it harms individuals, businesses, and society, as a whole. You can learn more about this issue at Imnotdone.rocks.
Listen in for ways you can have this conversation where you work and where you live.
[1:09] Marc welcomes you to Episode 124 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you this podcast. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.
[1:41] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors, and colleagues.
[2:02] Next week will be Episode 125. Marc has categorized the episodes. Look for them on CareerPivot.com/podcast. Scroll past the player to find Show Notes by Category, including interviews, audiobook chapters, series, and more.
[3:23] Let Marc know what you think about how they are organized. Feel free to email Marc at Podcast@CareerPivot.com
[4:01] This week, Marc interviews Patti Temple Rocks, the author of a great book on Ageism.
[5:46] Marc welcomes Patti to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Patti reveals some of her personal passions: traveling and experiencing local cultures.
[6:28] Patti explains the inspiration to write her book. Her boss and mentor, the first women to reach the C-suite at this large corporation, was pushed to the sideline. Patti asked the CEO why, and he said she was “just tired.” Patti knew that wasn’t true, and she started noticing age discrimination from that point on.
[8:45] Patti’s wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to her, and to prepare for the day when the workplace decided it was time for her to go do something else.
[9:10] Patti found a lot of writings about creating a second career when you are not perceived as valuable in your first career. Patti wasn’t ready to go do something else. She still had a lot to offer and give. Patti realized there were others who felt the same.
[9:55] Patti’s book focuses on a message for businesses: You’ve got to change because there is this huge population of us who are reaching the stereotypical retirement age and we’re not going to want to go.
[10:37] Marc has noticed code words for ageism. One term used in his workplace was he “doesn’t have the energy.” Patti says “digital native” can exclude Boomers.
[11:07] Chris Farrell in Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life, says that companies are going to need Boomers. Without companies changing their behaviors, there will still be ageism.
[11:29] When Marc interviewed Ashton Applewhite she had said that Boomers need to change behaviors. Patti saw there was room for her book.
[11:51] In Patti’s opinion, there were a lot of people willing to make assumptions without having conversations about what is in the best interest of the company and the employee. Talking about age is considered taboo. Talking about salary is forbidden. More transparency in business will uncover inequities.
[13:16] People assume that when an employee reaches a certain age, they don’t want to travel or move, or they are not worth training. These untruths continue due to lack of conversation.
[13:40] Ageism exists because we don’t talk about it. Patti remembers a time when there were no diversity and inclusion officers or strategies. Today, we are talking about racism and sexism in corporations and in society. Age does not have that protection.
[15:31] We need to start noticing when workers in their 50s and 60s are being ushered out of organizations. Ask the question, “What’s going on in my organization?” We can make a change. Marc tells of a case of disguised ageism from his corporate history.
[16:30] Patti gives an example of ageism from her own career. Our view of retirement changes as we approach the expected retirement age.
[19:34] Marc will interview Andrew Scott in May. Andrew and his wife, Lynda Gratton, wrote The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity. Young adults are probably not going to retire until they’re 85. They just haven’t figured that out, yet.
[20:29] Marc talks about Del Webb, who opened the first Sun City on January 1, 1960, with five model homes and a strip mall. 10,000 cars came through the first day. A lot of the people smoked. They were in their 60s and weren’t going to live for more than 10 years. Today a married couple of age 65 have a good chance that one will live to 100.
[21:53] Patti talks about how Herman Miller has addressed ageism. They realized that if everybody who was eligible for retirement took it at the time of their eligibility, they would have serious labor shortage and knowledge-transfer problems.
[22:47] Herman Miller also noticed that most people were retiring without giving much notice. Those people were also not really prepared for retirement. Herman Miller created a program of flex retirement that encouraged employees to work with their managers to plan for retirement in steps, as much as five years ahead of time.
[24:13] There almost always was a solution that was in the best interests both of the company and the employee. A major benefit for Herman Miller was in being able to plan for orderly successions with the person whose job is being filled making some contributions to the discussions. This program was a win-win.
[25:08] Companies need to realize that it’s in their best interests, from a labor standpoint, to keep their employees around longer. If we Boomers can get people talking about ageism, and treating it as a taboo subject, solutions will arise from that conversation.
[26:13] Patti interviewed many people who had experienced ageism. One obvious conclusion is that older workers are not around because of their higher salaries. It’s up to all of us to continue to prove our value, no matter what our age, so that we earn our salary. In cost-cutting times, that may mean reduced hours or a lower-paying job.
[27:51] 100% of the people Patti interviewed said that if their boss had offered the option to change roles and reduce compensation, they would surely have considered it and more than likely would have taken it. Most people aren’t in a position to completely retire in their 50s or early 60s, if for no other reason than the high cost of health insurance.
[28:30] Nobody should take a pay cut for doing the exact same job but companies can find a way to reorganize someone’s job to use their strengths at a lower salary.
[28:51] Marc is living in Mexico because of the high cost of health insurance in the U.S. Marc also notes that he never was offered at any job the option to do something different for less money.
[29:20] One of the common themes in Marc’s online community is that everybody wants the freedom of when they want to work, what they want to work on, and how hard they want to work. It’s not as much about the pay.
[29:43] Patti has seen through her career that everybody wants flexibility and freedom. It is especially important toward the end of a career. CVS offered a package to pharmacists and store managers to spend winters in Florida. This solved a training and staffing problem and worked out well for older workers. Flexibility is huge.
[32:11] Patti’s hope is that, as a result of this conversation in society, we will all have more choices about our own end of careers.
[33:46] Patti has the idea that the vast majority of people who don’t get employee reviews when they’re supposed to are over 40. It’s sort of decided for us at that age that we care less about career development. Patti says, let’s take control of the end of our careers, not just the beginning of our careers.
[34:28] Marc doesn’t ever want to retire. He wants to work less at something he loves, on his terms.
[34:46] Patti’s book, I’m Not Done: It’s Time to Talk About Ageism in the Workplace, is available on Amazon. Patti’s website is Imnotdone.rocks and you can reach out to her there. Patti’s focus in her writings is to continue to raise awareness for this topic. People always thank her for bringing this up. Patti is not done talking about it!
[35:41] Marc thanks Patti and hopes you enjoyed this episode. Ageism is not going away anytime soon. Marc recommends Patti’s book. Let him know what you think of it.
[36:00] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.
[36:11] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.
[36:27] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[36:52] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
[37:14] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Paul Tasner, owner of Pulpworks.
[37:20] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[37:25] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-124.
[37:32] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com 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.
Creative destruction occurs when a disruptive industry supplants a legacy industry, causing the loss of some jobs and the creation of others. Marc explains the need to get ahead of the disruptions in your industry, using examples from industrial giants who quickly became insignificant or who vanished as a result of unexpected market or social movements. Marc shares current technological changes and views of more drastic changes soon to come.
Listen in for a sample of the helpful advice in the new edition of Repurpose Your Career.
[1:14] Marc welcomes you to Episode 123 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you this podcast. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.
[1:44] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, 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 they reach, the more people they can help.
[2:06] Next week, Marc will be interviewing Patti Temple Rocks, author of I’m Not Done: It's Time to Talk About Ageism in the Workplace, a great book on ageism. Marc thinks you will like this great interview.
[2:20] If you are a regular listener to this show, you probably noticed that Marc has stopped talking about the next edition of his book, Repurpose Your Career. Susan Lahey and Marc are back on track and a draft of the third edition just got sent to the copy editor.
[2:35] Marc’s plan is to release the third edition of the book in September of this year.
[2:41] This week, Marc will read the pre-release chapter, “Learn to Embrace Creative Destruction.” He plans to release this chapter in PDF form to the review team within a week.
[2:54] If you are interested in being on the release team and get early access to chapters in the new edition, go to careerpivot.com/rycteam. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode.
[3:12] The pre-release chapter of “Learn to Embrace Creative Destruction.” In his book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains the problem of turkeys. A butcher feeds a turkey for 1,000 days. Every day that that turkey’s life remains constant confirms the surety of his current existence.
[3:40] “This is the way it goes. This is the way it has always gone. This is the way it always will go.” All of the data confirms that butchers love turkeys. The turkey can rest confident in this idea because he has 999 days of benevolent treatment to back it up.
[4:01] Then, a few days before Thanksgiving, everything in his worldview is upturned. This is what Taleb calls a ‘black swan event.’ All of the evidence proves it can’t happen, until it does.
[4:16] The truth is that this is the normal course of things in human existence. A sudden rain shower hits the picnic. A car accident ruins travel plans. A financial windfall or unexpected romance changes your trajectory. Death comes unexpectedly. This is how life is.
[4:36] In the world of work, the force behind these changes is often the power of creative destruction. One thing is destroyed and another is created. The turkey’s life is over. Dinner is served.
[4:52] If the change is in our favor, we think it’s a good change. If the change is not in our favor, we think it’s a bad change. Regardless of how we feel about it, though, it’s going to happen. We need not be taken by surprise, like the turkey.
[5:10] I was listening to a rebroadcast of a Freakonomics Radio podcast called “How Safe Is Your Job?” The hosts were talking about pianos. In 1905, they said, 400,000 pianos were made in America. If you wanted music in your house, you learned to play the piano.
[5:31] The phonograph had been created 30 years before, in 1877 but phonograph sales didn’t take off until 1915. A decade later, the radio became popular. Then, eventually, the tape player, the eight-track, the CD player, and streaming and…
[5:49] Today only about 30,000 pianos are made each year, about eight percent of the number made in 1905.
[5:58] Each new iteration of musical enjoyment was a form of creative destruction. Each caused people in the previous industry to lose jobs or pivot.
[6:09] In 1975, an employee of the Kodak company created a digital camera. But instead of developing it, Kodak concluded it was a non-starter because they didn’t think people wanted to look at their pictures on their TVs. So the company continued on focusing on chemical film until it became clear that they had bet on the wrong horse.
[6:31] In 2001, Kodak had the second-most-popular digital camera on the market but lost $60 on every sale. A decade later, Kodak declared bankruptcy.
[6:47] In these cases, creative destruction took 20, 30, or 40 years to bring down one giant and birth another. Now, that pace is accelerating.
[6:58] Amazon.com was founded in 1994 and, initially, just sold books. They were credited with the demise of several brick-and-mortar bookselling chains. Over the next 11 years, Amazon moved into retailing pretty much everything and by 2015, it passed Walmart to be the most valuable retailer in the world, by market capitalization.
[7:24] It took them and their online retail competitors only a few years to bring down what had been a staple of the world economy, the brick-and-mortar store.
[7:36] In 2018, Amazon started buying surviving brick-and-mortar retailers, including Whole Foods, presumably to collect data on people who still shop there and further strengthen their market presence.
[7:50] Now, Amazon is opening brick-and-mortar stores around the country, including convenience and book stores. They’re remaking retail, Amazon-style.
[8:00] The iPhone was created only 11 years ago, in 2007, but at that time, I used my phone for talking to people.
[8:10] Today, this is what I use my phone for: the weather report from the Weather Channel app; manage my social media with LinkedIn and Twitter. I removed the Facebook app after the last presidential elections.
[8:23] I take and view pictures, edit files in Google Drive or Dropbox, communicate with clients over Skype, check scores on the ESPN app, find my keys, using the Tile app, listen to podcasts and audiobooks (as I no longer listen to the radio), find the new coffee shop via Google Maps or Apple Maps, …
[8:45] … enter the YMCA by swiping the barcode in the YMCA app, manage multiple credit cards and bank accounts, show the police officer my proof of insurance via the State Farm app, check airline schedules to see if my son’s flight home is on time, …
[9:17] Because of the technology we have now, everything is being reimagined, reconfigured, reinvented, at a pace our parents never could have conceived of. One way to say it is the world is being ‘SMACed.’
[9:38] S = Social media: LinkedIn Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat. Today, people go to social media for everything. It’s the U.S. Mail, the telephone, the photo album, the gossip chain, the opinion column, the news, the entertainment, education, and job board, all rolled in one.
[10:02] It’s also one place employers go to find you and find out whether you are the kind of candidate they want.
[10:10] M = Mobile. Roughly 60% of adults get their news on a mobile device. According to the research by the Pew Research Foundation, mobile apps track our behavior and our preferences as well as give us a means to pay for things. People use mobile devices to shop, to bank, and to date.
[10:32] If your career isn’t mobile-friendly, you will be left in the dust.
[10:39] A = Analytics. More data has been collected in the last few years than was collected in the previous century. A lot of it is coming voluntarily from our activities via social media and mobile.
[10:55] How we shop, where we shop, what we pay with, where we go online, and even how long it takes to get somewhere are some of the things that inform this data. Do you remember the movie, Minority Report, where Tom Cruise walks through the mall and hyper-customized ads display everywhere?
[11:15] Analytics will affect how you are hired.
[11:19] C = Cloud. Cloud is changing everything in the technology world. Most of the major technology hardware vendors are seeing portions of their business collapse because data isn’t being stored on their hardware. It’s being stored in the Cloud.
[11:39] A classic example is IBM, who missed the shift and is seeing massive changes in their business. Their hardware business is collapsing. Cloud computing is sometimes referred to as SaaS or Software as a Service.
[11:55] With SaaS, you don’t have to buy a disc. You don’t have to save data on your computer. You don’t have to have a photo album or a filing cabinet. You can keep everything in the Cloud.
[12:10] Also, you can get services in the Cloud, rather than hiring someone to do them, like bookkeeping, record keeping, customer relationship management, and marketing.
[12:19] You can book travel on the Cloud, make appointments in the Cloud, even hold conversations in the Cloud. SMAC is a representation of what we’ve long called the Robot Invasion. Articles have said for decades that robots are going to take our jobs. And SMAC is robots doing just that.
[12:40] Some people assume the jobs robots can do are severely limited. I’m here to say, “Nope.”
[12:48] Surprising jobs a robot can do: journalism.
[12:52] An article in Wired called, “What News-Writing Bots Mean to the Future of Journalism,” leads with “When Republican Steve King beat back Democratic challenger Kim Weaver in the race for Iowa’s 4th District seat in November, the Washington Post snapped into action, covering both the win and the wider electoral trend.”
[13:15] “‘Republicans retain the control of the House and lost only a handful of seats from their commanding majority,’ the article read, ‘a stunning reversal of fortune after many GOP leaders feared double-digit losses.’”
[13:30] “The dispatch came with the clarity and verve for which Post reporters are known, with one key difference: It was generated by Heliograf, a bot that made its debut on the Post’s website last year and marked the most sophisticated use of artificial intelligence in journalism to date.”
[13:52] Any type of writing that is based on data can be replaced with automation and robots. In fact, artificial intelligence is working to take over creative writing, too. Another piece, in the Observer, is called “Will Robots That Can Write Steal Your Creative Job?”
[14:12] The author writes, “So, could the machines eventually begin to analyze popular fiction and start to come up with all new narratives that fit our tastes? Indeed, to ever more narrow tastes? We have already seen greater individuation in fiction as the e-book market has made shelf space infinite.”
[14:36] “Before e-books took off, novels about werewolves were already a healthy little Fantasy and Science Fiction sub-genre. Since e-books, though, billionaire werewolf romance novels are now a thing.”
[14:52] Automation robots will have an incredible impact on medical professions. If a doctor wants an EKG, he can record it on your smartphone app. All of your medical data will be digitized, including X-ray images, CT Scans, and MRIs.
[15:12] The Economist produced a special report called “Automation and Anxiety,” which discussed the impact on medicine of deep learning. A product from Enlitic can outperform doctors in reading diagnostic images.
[15:27] It’s not just the images are sent to places like India or China to be evaluated by doctors who are paid less but automation and robots are actually doing the work that doctors have always done.
[15:40] Jobs are being eliminated in retail at an alarming rate. Retail giants like Sears have shed legacy brands such as Craftsman and Lands End in an effort to survive. Many specialty chains are failing, like Tailored Brands (TLRD), owner of stores like Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank.
[16:05] Amazon is opening up stores like Amazon Go, where people can do their whole shopping trip without interacting with a single person. As the “Fight for Fifteen” movement works to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, one of the unintended consequences will be the deployment of automation and robots.
[16:25] I’m already seeing fast food chains rolling out mobile apps and kiosks where you can order your food and never have to speak to a person.
[16:35] I’m seeing lots of requests for career middle managers in the retail segment looking for assistance in getting out of the industry. A 2018 study by PWC predicts that nearly 40% of jobs in the U.S. may be vulnerable to replacement by robots in the next 15 years.
[16:54] Hopefully, I’ve demonstrated to you that professions that one would have thought would be immune to automation and robots are at risk. Similarly, if the industry where you are working is at risk, you must be on the lookout.
[17:10] If you think you are safe from automation and robots sabotaging your career, you must be smoking something! And yes, you are inhaling.
[17:22] It is devastating to realize that the career you built — the skills you’ve honed, the seniority you’ve acquired — have all been wiped out because someone built a robot that can do what you do faster and cheaper if not better.
[17:38] For many people, these changes have hit like an earthquake or hurricane. They are living in a career disaster area. They will recover but they’re not moving back into the old house.
[17:52] Sally was 65 and was a consummate marketing professional. She had worked in a variety of different industries over the span of her career. At different times in her career, she worked freelance and she worked for some major agencies.
[18:06] Like many of her peers, she took a hit in the great recession. Then her spouse passed away suddenly and Sally decided to move across the country to be closer to her children.
[18:16] Now, she’s trying to re-establish herself in a new city where the culture and job market are very young and vibrant. Sally is taking courses in social media and digital marketing but the skills required to be productive marketing professional have made tectonic shifts in the direction of technology.
[18:37] In the 1990s, when I was working in a marketing and sales support function in IBM marketing or in the executive briefing center, we produced presentations and marketing collateral; web content that supported the sale of IBM hardware and software. That world no longer exists.
[18:56] The world that does exist today, as I launch the Career Pivot Online Community, requires a completely new set of skills. I’m learning about Facebook marketing, Google Adwords, re-marketing, re-targeting, pixeling strategies, ad networks, and other digital marketing approaches.
[19:14] When I made the decision to leave the world of technology marketing, more than 15 years ago, I left a place that looks nothing like it does today. Can Sally shift into this new technological marketing world that’s populated with a very young workforce, at the age of 65? It’s possible but not probable.
[19:37] Larry is also 65. He is an engineer who has worked for some of the top companies that designed and manufactured leading computer hardware through his career. He was a program and project manager for huge multinational, multi-company development projects with huge scope and complexity. That world is disappearing, fast.
[19:59] Companies like HP, IBM and others have seen their hardware business almost completely disappear. Companies like Sun and DEC have been wiped off the map in a very short period of time.
[20:14] There are many like Larry, who built their careers around designing large and ever-growing complex hardware systems. But in the last 10 years, the hardware market has been commoditized. The iPhone sitting next to me has more computing power and function than huge computers of just a few years ago.
[20:35] Larry interviewed for a program management job with one of the leading Cloud infrastructure companies. And the first thing they asked him to do was to take a coding test. What?! A coding test? For a program management job?
[20:51] Like Larry, I haven’t written a line of code in over 15 years. Could I pass a coding test? Probably not. Does it make sense that they want to see if he can code? Probably not. But that’s not the world we live in, now.
[21:06] They moved my cheese. The complex world that Larry excelled and thrived in moved from hardware to software, at Warp speed. They moved Larry’s cheese — referencing the book Who Moved My Cheese, an amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life by Dr. Spencer Johnson — and he didn’t even realize it.
[21:31] The career space that Larry and his peers lived in for so many years now looks like a career disaster area. Like Sally, he could retool but can he do it fast enough and be accepted in a very young, fast-moving market? It’s possible but not probable.
[21:52] It’s now time to shift expectations and direction. People can and do rebuild after a disaster. Sometimes people have to walk away from the disaster scene because it’s just too risky to stay. This is the destruction part. But after a period of grieving all that, it’s time to move away from destruction and get on with creation.
[22:15] From here out, there is no safe haven where you can just tuck yourself in and work as long as you want to work. Creative destruction is happening every day and you have to be constantly learning, evolving, and pivoting. How you do that is the subject of the next chapter.
[22:35] Action steps: Is your industry in the process of being SMACed? Evaluate where you’re keeping up with changes. Research what skills you need to keep up with your current industry and how much of a challenge will that be? Does it mean going back to school or merely taking online classes?
[22:55] Write down how your current skills might be useful in other emerging business types or industries.
[23:04] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. It is imperative that you learn to embrace creative destruction, as it’s not going away. If anything, it’s going to accelerate.
[23:15] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for about 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.
[23:27] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.
[23:43] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[24:07] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
[24:28] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Patti Temple Rocks, author of I’m Not Done: It's Time to Talk About Ageism in the Workplace, a great book on ageism.
[24:38] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[24:43] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-123.
[24:57] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com 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.
Susan is Marc’s co-author for the Repurpose Your Career books. Susan Lahey is a freelance writer who is driven to taking on new challenges, whether they’re writing about the nature of meaning, the scary adventure of changing your career, or truly death-defying acts like jumping out of airplanes and parenting. Marc was her first real Austin client.
Listen in for an update, where Susan discusses her upcoming move to Portugal.
[1:09] Marc welcomes you to Episode 122 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you this podcast. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.
[1:40] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors, and colleagues.
[1:58] Regular listeners probably have noticed Marc has stopped talking about the next edition of the Repurpose Your Career book. Between last week’s episode about the Miller’s trip back to Austin and starting the resident visa process and this week’s episode, it is evident that the Millers have gotten busy but are getting back on track.
[2:23] Marc’s current plan is to release the third edition of the book in September of this year (2019). He will continue to release preview chapters starting in a couple of weeks.
[2:35] Next week, Marc will read one of the pre-release chapters of the next edition. Stay tuned!
[3:33] Marc is excited to present this episode. Susan is a freelance writer and a lot of the listeners want to become freelance writers.
[3:55] Susan is always tempted to stay home with her adult children and watch Netflix, paint, and hide out from everyone. So she makes herself go do stuff, instead. She just got a tattoo that says “Life is Short” to remind herself to push past whatever fears and barriers she has.
[5:12] Susan was a newspaper reporter for the beginning of her career, at the Kansas City Star, from age 17 through college and as her first job out of school. After several years she got a job as an associate editor of a business lifestyle magazine in KC. She left there to raise a family, freelancing from home.
[5:57] At age 42, Susan was divorced. She took the children and moved to an off-the-grid house in New Mexico, taking what work she could get. The Taos News wanted her as a freelancer but didn’t move on it.
[6:58] She started working as a community liaison for an EPA technical assistance group for a Superfund project. That was tough since she did not speak Spanish and was new to the community. She also did substitute teaching. She was broke.
[7:29] Susan and her children volunteered at a food pantry for the food. Finally, she got on as a freelancer with the Taos News, for maybe $100 an article.
[8:19] Taos was challenging in being far behind the times. Susan was out of touch with the times as a freelancer. She wanted to give her children a better opportunity.
[9:41] After a trip to Europe they were motivated to change their lives. Austin had “a similar vibe” to Taos, a University, and a lot of intellectual capital. Susan rented an apartment and drove the family to Austin to start over. She sold the house in Taos for “five dollars.”
[11:02] At first in Austin, she wrote eHow articles but that was unsatisfying for her. Susan met Marc and attended networking events. She met Jenny Magic. Susan learned how to market herself online with blogs and web content and how to network. Susan used EMDR psychotherapy to help her overcome the fear and stress of networking.
[15:38] Creatives are typically introverted so selling themselves as “a creative” is really hard for them. Confidence is essential for approaching clients.
[17:31] Marc was Susan’s first major client. Then she got some blogs. Through a contact recommended by Marc, she started writing articles for a tech news startup, Silicon Hills News, and finally got paid reasonably. Susan has covered SXSW for the last six years and she went to Thailand and Norway to see their technologies.
[19:41] Susan got an article in Wired and is hoping to write more for them. She had also written a profile for bootstrap guru Bijoy Goswami, who works people through the psychological risks and fears of starting your own business.
[20:14] Bijoy introduced Susan to his best friend, Danny Gutknecht, and Susan worked with him on one book and other writings. They will write more. Most of her work is with Danny. When Susan has 'bandwidth,' she looks for freelance work online (at GlassDoor and MediaBistro) and she networks.
[21:20] Susan mentors and one woman she mentored hooked her up with a gig of writing for Zendesk. She still does journalism.
[21:45] Susan was an old-school journalism person. Her idea of journalism came from All the President’s Men. Her sister was a journalist. She never imagined journalism wouldn’t be there for her. Most of her friends who were journalists are out of jobs. Journalism is dying. Journalism can’t find a business model that works today.
[22:41] Susan never imagined she would be a tech writer or a business writer, and she is so glad she pursued both of those because that’s the direction the world is going. She never thought she would get to travel the world for tech writing.
[23:31] When Susan was asked to find her ‘why’ she had never thought about it. She realized that she loved writing about people who were doing scary, brave things. She uses Marc as an example. When he started his business, it was scary new for him, but also, scary new for the job pivoters he is helping. Her children encouraged her career.
[24:46] For the most part, Susan’s career pivot has turned out amazingly. She’s definitely not rich, but she’s supporting herself, doing what she loves. It fuels her as well as paying her. Ninety-nine percent of what Susan writes fits that category.
[25:11] Marc is proud of Susan. In spite of her hard times, she has survived. Her three great children have gone to college on full scholarships, and are doing well. Her oldest is teaching English in Tangier, as Susan continues to enjoy her career.
[25:54] People tell Susan she’s brave but they have no idea how hard she has to work to be brave. She’s sometimes afraid but she just makes herself do things. She recommends people examine why they act a certain way or go in a certain direction. They need to examine their self-limiting ideas. People need to steer their own ship. [27:24] Susan hopes to move to Morocco in the next year or so. Marc mentions his plans to move to Ajijic, Mexico. Marc thanks Susan for telling her story.
[29:04] Marc welcomes Susan back after the interview for an update on her career since this episode was recorded.
[29:16] Susan is now planning to move to Portugal. She just got back from there. She was planning to move to Morocco, originally, but her son cautioned her that as long as she doesn’t understand Arabic, she would not be safe in the street culture.
[29:45] She started looking at other options, such as Portugal, that have a visa for self-employed people who make a moderate living. The Netherlands has a similar visa. Susan settled on Portugal because the Netherlands is cold and expensive and Portugal is warm and cheap.
[30:10] Everyone Susan mentioned it to told her Portugal is so beautiful she wouldn’t believe it. She wanted to apply for the visa before visiting but she needed an actual lease on an apartment and a tax number before that was possible. Rather than hire someone to do that, she went herself, to set things up. That was a really good idea.
[30:57] When Susan’s youngest graduated from college she felt free to do what she has always wanted to do — move to Europe. Until she moves, she and her son have moved in with her daughter. They all get along really well.
[31:56] Susan’s youngest son will go to Portugal with her on a visit, to check it out. He might also move to Portugal. Susan’s daughter just went with her on her recent trip, and she loves it!
[32:28] Because Susan is single the prospect of being an empty-nester was terrifying to her. For the last twenty-something years her purpose had been to raise her three children. Now she has to find out what is important for her. She doesn't want to fill time taking spin classes or doing Soduko. She has always wanted to travel.
[33:27] She decided she needed to find a place where she could live and see the world more inexpensively. It’s hard and expensive to get around the world from the U.S.
[33:54] Susan has talked to several of her clients and told them her plans. Since she works remotely with most people, anyway, no one was concerned. Susan has never met some of her clients in person. While she might work with some Portuguese companies, it is simpler to just keep working with her U.S. clients.
[34:37] Susan has “sort of” figured out the technology she needs. She got an apartment, and a SIM card, so she now has a Portuguese phone number. She almost made an illegal and costly mistake with an apartment contract.
[35:15] She ended up hiring an advisor or consultant who took her to the local tax office for a tax number, to the bank for a bank account, and recommended a fantastic real estate agent, who hustles. The agent took Susan to several different apartments.
[36:38] Susan was considering two apartments. Both the owners backed out because Susan was not from Portugal and didn’t have a co-signer. Her agent found her another apartment but Susan is waiting for the contract. Every contract is drawn up by a lawyer; they don’t have boilerplate contracts for apartments. Each contract is bilingual.
[37:37] On Facebook, Susan was looking at a group for the area. Fabiola, Susan’s real estate agent, who will live in the same neighborhood, had put a post on the group talking about what internet provider she would use. Susan believes she will go with the same provider.
[37:53] If nothing else, Susan will go to a café for the internet.
[38:00] Marc is very proud of Susan for having made this leap. Marc comments that in Mexico, ‘mañana’ does not mean tomorrow; it means not today.
[38:14] Susan thanks Marc for all the help getting ready to go. She finds Portugal to be very chill and relaxed. Someone there told her she should move there. Susan felt she could really do this. She loves Portugal. It’s stunningly beautiful, the food is very good, and everything is affordable. People are insanely nice. It’s going to be great!
[39:18] Marc thanks Susan for giving us an update on her experiences. Susan appreciates how supportive Marc has been while she has been preparing to go. Marc says he talked Susan off the ledge before she went.
[39:42] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Susan has done a lot of research on her move. Marc was afraid she would move to Portugal without ever visiting there.
[39:55] In Episode 119, Marc interviewed Queen Michele, who moved to the North Shore of Lake Chapala without having ever visited. Queen did a ton of research and even walked around the town using Google Maps’ Street View feature.
[40:13] Marc “talked Susan off the ledge” before she went, and she’s doing quite well.
[40:20] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for more than 50 members in the Beta phase of this project. They have crossed the 50-member threshold! Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort in a few weeks.
[40:33] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.
[40:48] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[41:12] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
[41:33] Please come back next week, when Marc will read a chapter from the next edition of Repurpose Your Career.
[41:39] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[41:43] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-122.
[41:56] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com 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.
In this episode, Marc covers the events of the Millers’ trip back to Austin where they stayed with an old friend, Marc’s presentation to an association of his Multi-generational Workplace Workshop, getting rid of old stuff, connecting with old friends, and stocking up for the trip back to Ajijic. Marc covers the steps to getting resident visas, crossing the border, and meeting with their attorney in Mexico to get their paperwork processed.
Listen in to this fascinating episode for insight into becoming an expat with U.S. ties.
[1:12] Marc welcomes you to Episode 121 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you this podcast. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.
[1:41] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, 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 can reach, the more he can help.
[2:02] Next week, Marc will share an Encore Episode where he interviews Susan Lahey, who is the co-author on the Repurpose Your Career books. He is trying to get Susan to speak to us about her move to Portugal. That’s where Susan is, as Marc records this episode.
[2:26] This week, Marc will be discussing their trip back to Austin, his experiences in Austin, their return trip and the start of the Resident Visa process, first in the Consulate of Mexico in Laredo, and then back in Ajijic. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode.
[2:44] Marc had a variety of reasons to return to Austin at this time. In the first week in March, Marc was speaking at the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange, an association. The speaking gig was booked long in advance of the Millers’ move to Ajijic. Marc also needed to get the car inspected and the registration renewed.
[3:28] The Millers also were still emptying their storage room, which was costing almost $80 a month. On this trip they gave a king-sized bed to a friend.
[3:52] They had planned to start the visa process at the Consulate of Mexico in Austin in December but they had run out of time. So, they are stopping at the Consulate of Mexico in Laredo, on the way back to Ajijic from this trip.
[4:16] On this trip, Mrs. Miller got to visit her parents while Marc did the income taxes.
[4:32] The Millers left Ajijic on February 29 and drove to Matehuala the first day. It was a nice six-and-a-half-hour drive on toll roads and a few small roads. They stayed at the Las Palmas Midway Inn, where expats stay as they travel. It is an old pet-friendly motor inn. They stayed in a more renovated room that was quite nice, for $61 for the night.
[5:19] They left about 7:30 a.m., expecting a seven-hour trip to Laredo. It turned into a 12-hour day. Road construction added an hour. A security checkpoint backed up traffic for miles as they looked at every truck. There are 10 trucks for every car on the road.
[5:59] Next, there was a power line draped over the highway. The power company, CFE, fixed it after an hour-and-a-half. Marc is happy they were near the front of the line.
[6:40] They arrived at Laredo at about 4:30 p.m. and processed through the banjercito for the temporary import permit for their car. Their $400 was refunded to their credit card (in spite of the Millers’ having changed card numbers because of a compromised card). Then it took an hour-and-a-half to cross the Laredo International Bridge Number 1.
[7:31] The Millers got to the hotel in Laredo at about 7 p.m. They were pretty exhausted. It was a very, very long day with lots of sitting in traffic. It’s something you have to get used to. If not for the delays, they could have made the trip in one 12-hour drive from Ajijic to Laredo. But delays are expected.
[8:04] The Millers checked into the La Quinta at the Laredo airport, which they like better than the one near the border. They had a nice dinner and the next morning headed off for Nacogdoches in East Texas. Mrs. Miller visited her parents there. Stephen F. Austin State University is the primary employer, besides the lumber industry.
[8:41] Friday and Saturday, Marc hung around the hotel and did his income taxes. Being near the main road, what Marc first noticed was the massive amount of noise. Marc was no longer used to road noise and constant mechanical environmental noise.
[9:57] Marc read in the Guadalajara Reporter that Mexicans don’t understand about Americans why we control the temperature year-round in our cars. That is not the practice in Mexico.
[10:25] Sunday morning, the Millers headed for Austin. They stayed with an old family friend, Donna, in the neighborhood where they had lived for 28 years. She let them use an extra bedroom, where they stayed for about two weeks.
[10:57] The old neighborhood was where the Millers had lived, in a house built in 1959 or 1960, until they moved to a condo near downtown in 2010. Marc noticed immediately the amount of gentrification that had occurred in the neighborhood.
[11:22] The Millers walked two miles to Upper Crust Bakery and saw that 20 to 30% of the homes had been demolished and replaced with “McMansions” or were drastically added onto. In 1978, when Marc moved to Austin, it was the cheapest housing market in the country. Now, it is one of the most expensive. The change has been dramatic.
[12:04] The second thing Marc noticed was everytime he wanted to do much of anything, he had to get in the car and drive. There was a Fresh Plus a mile-and-a-half away. Marc walked one day to Top Notch, a 1950s hamburger place, which was in a movie. It blew Marc away that everything is designed around the car, not around people.
[12:47] He remembered that from his bicycling days. He used to lust after Downtown Portland, which was designed around people, not around cars. But this is Texas. Even the old neighborhoods, cars are necessary.
[13:08] In Ajijic, in the last three months they have used the car three times. Twice, it was to get a 40-lb. package of kitty litter they didn’t want to carry on the bus. It was a mind-shift not to need the car. Austin’s public transportation is problematic. Most of the people who used it have left the area from gentrification.
[14:05] 130 people move to Austin every day and the school system has lost enrollment six years in a row, primarily because people with children can no longer afford to live in Austin, so they are moving East, out of town.
[14:26] Marc doesn’t like what his town was turning into. It was also during the week of SXSW, which consumes the central city, with 40-50,000 people visiting. SXSW is now mostly “hipster’ visitors. Locals stay away from SXSW.
[15:03] Marc recently saw photos posted on Facebook of Austin downtown in 2010 and 2017 and it has changed — which is one reason why it has gotten so expensive, and one reason why it has driven the Millers out.
[15:25] Marc drove up to Lakeway and gave the Multi-Generational Workplace talk that he shared on this podcast in Episode 111 and Episode 112. This event was a presentation for hospital administrators in rural counties.
[15:46] That left the rest of the visit for the Millers to get their stuff done. They got the car registered and inspected and bought Mrs. Miller’s food supplements, which filled the car. They also got their bicycles serviced and ready to go — except for the pedals on Mrs. Miller’s bike, left in storage, so Marc ordered new pedals from Amazon.com.mx!
[16:26] The Millers filled the rest of their time reconnecting with as many people as they could. They got rid of stuff from storage and started re-packing the car. Marc shared pictures of the packed car on Facebook. They ended up with about 13 milk carton crates filled with supplements and clothes.
[17:08] They left some stuff behind to pick up in October and end their rental of their storage room.
[17:21] The Millers drove back to Laredo on Sunday evening and had appointments at the Laredo Mexican Consulate Monday morning to apply for Mexican resident visas. They needed two passport pictures for each of them, filled out applications, 12 months worth of bank statements or investment statements to show adequate assets.
[18:01] You must show that you’ve had over $100K in assets over the last 12 months or $2,400 a month in pension income or Social Security for a permanent visa. For a temporary visa, you must show $20K in assets or $1,200 a month in pension income. The Millers both qualified.
[18:34] Mrs. Miller applied for a permanent resident visa and Marc applied for a temporary resident visa. The car is in Marc’s name, and you cannot bring a car into Mexico on a permanent resident visa.
[18:56] Their appointments were for 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. Mrs. Miller got in about 9:40. Marc got in about 10:30. They were out by 11:15. They were at the Mexican Consulate a couple of blocks from the border. It was fairly easy.
[19:20] The Millers chose to do it in Laredo, instead of at the Mexican Consulate in Austin, is that in Laredo they do lots and lots of these visa applications and they are not very “picky.”
[19:38] The Millers have a neighbor, John, in Ajijic, who had applied through the Consulate of Mexico in Dallas. He had to return to the consulate six times. The Laredo consulate runs like clockwork. They get people in and out. It’s a very, very busy place.
[19:59] The next morning, the car packed to the gills, the Millers crossed the bridge to Mexico at about 7:00 a.m. Marc drove into the “nothing to declare line.” They looked at the car and looked very quickly in back, saw a bunch of milk crates and the bicycles and they said, “Go.”
[20:30] However, if they had seen the supplements in the milk crates, or the cat food on the top of the car, they would have charged duty on these items. Marc had an inventory of the food supplements, so they were prepared, if asked.
[20:49] The Millers next drove to the immigration office where they processed their passports. Interestingly, Marc unknowingly dropped his passport in the parking lot. He didn’t have it when he went into the office, so he ran out. A young Mexican gentleman picked it up and handed it to him. Marc wiped the sweat off his brow and thanked him.
[21:23] Passport in hand, Marc went into the immigration office and processed through. Once they have processed their visas, they have 30 days to complete, so Immigration approved them for 30 days. They also got their Temporary Import Permit for the car for 30 days. They crossed the border and drove to Matehuala.
[21:59] They could not get a reservation at their regular hotel. The Las Palmas Midway Inn was full! Instead, they found the Hotel Casa Real Matehuala. The reviews on Hotels.com were mediocre. They checked in around 3:00 p.m. It was not a “dump.” It was old and worn, but clean. They each had one frayed towel, no washcloths.
[22:44] There were two beds and two bathrooms! It was right across the street from Walmart, so they did a little shopping there. Then they ate dinner at their favorite restaurant in town, at the Las Palmas.
[23:05] Then people started streaming into their hotel. Marc says they looked to be people traveling for work, in industrial service trucks. Marc says their hotel absolutely filled to the gills by midnight. It was noisy, but clean. It was $50 for the night.
[23:45] The next morning, the Millers did not rush to get out. They got to Ajijic about 3:00 p.m. It was a fairly easy drive and they ran into no problems. There’s only one short section of about 10 miles that’s not on toll roads. Each day, the Millers spent about $35 to $40 in tolls.
[24:11] When the Millers got home, Marc immediately contacted their lawyer for an appointment. The lawyer told them the sooner the better. They needed 15K Pesos, or about $700. The bank was closed when they needed the money, so Marc pulled money from the credit union and from the bank through ATMs and got enough.
[24:56] On Friday, the Millers went to the law office, processed and filled out all the forms, and learned they needed pictures made, both front view and side view. They did that on Saturday. The pictures had to be from a studio and they were 150 Pesos for each set. That came to 300 Pesos or about $15 for both of them to get pictures.
[25:27] The attorney was able to send all the paperwork to the immigration office and had their passports back to them by 3:00 p.m. The immigration office should get back with them in about two weeks when they will go and get fingerprinted.
[25:58] One of the things Marc noticed in returning to Ajijic was that he did not like living in Austin anymore. He did not like the noise. He did not like having to drive everywhere. The mass transit is not acceptable to him. He does not like the packaged food. Marc and his wife are eating all fresh food in Ajijic, and he is down to 170 pounds at 6'4".
[26:48] It was a very stark contrast, being back in Austin, and it was not the city that he remembered.
[26:55] Marc hopes this gives you a good feel for the process. By the time this episode is published, the Millers should be very close to having their resident visas. Please read Marc’s fascinating blog post of March 25 on banking abroad to understand the issues of accessing your money in another country.
[27:25] Marc hopes you enjoyed that episode. The Millers have spent nine of the last 12 months in Mexico. Their current plan calls for them to return to Austin by car in October. Marc will likely fly to New Jersey for a high school reunion, and possibly some audience meetups. Marc has a huge following in the NY Metropolitan area.
[27:52] In 2020 the Millers will likely return to the U.S., sell the car, and either go carless or purchase a Mexican-plated car. Marc’s attitudes about money, environment, and the culture he desires have changed a lot, in the last 12 months.
[28:23] Marc thanks you for listening to this episode.
[28:26] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for more than 50 members in the Beta phase of this project. They have crossed the 50-member threshold! Marc will be recruiting new members for the next cohort in a few weeks.
[28:41] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.
[28:55] This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[29:12] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.
[29:34] Please come back next week, when Susan Lahey, the co-author of the Repurpose Your Career books tells her story of going from a journalist to a freelance writer. This is an encore episode with an update on her move to Portugal.
[29:48] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[29:52] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-121.
[30:00] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com 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.