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In this episode of our retirement podcast, we talk with Dorie Clark, about her latest book Entrepreneurial You. Dorie is a highly successful entrepreneur and she shares her story of transitioning from journalism and her observations on why entrepreneurship is an attractive option for some people as a Second Act Career.
How Can You Leverage Your Skillset as an Entrepreneur in your Second Act?
She gives us her take on what it takes to succeed and practical tips on where to start. If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business after your primary career, you’ll benefit from hearing Dorie’s story, her valuable advice and wisdom.
Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Entrepreneurial You (Harvard Business Review Press,), Reinventing You, and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes. It was also a Washington Post bestseller. Her books have been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, Korean, and Thai.
Clark, whom the New York Times described as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives,” consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Yale University.
A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, Clark is an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Visiting Professor for IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. She has guest lectured at universities including Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Georgetown, NYU, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the University of Michigan.
Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review Guide to Getting the Right Job and the Harvard Business Review Guide to Networking, and she is quoted frequently in the worldwide media, including NPR, the BBC, and MSNBC. She is also a regular commentator on Canada’s CTV and was named one of Inc. magazine’s “100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference.”
A former New England Press Association award-winning journalist, Clark directed the environmental documentary film The Work of 1000, and was a producer for a multiple-Grammy-winning jazz album.
At age 14, Clark entered Mary Baldwin College’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. At 18, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College, and two years later received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. You can download her Entrepreneurial You self-assessment at dorieclark.com/entrepreneur.
On Paying Attention to The Market
“When it comes to challenges that entrepreneurs need to overcome, I think in a lot of ways it varies over time. The first one that you have to overcome, especially when you’re in that transitional mode, is the product-market fit. Meaning basically just figuring out, What is it I actually am selling? – and Do people want it? It sounds so obvious in some ways, but it can really take a while. When I first started my consulting business, I actually, my original vision is that I was going to do political consulting. That was how I started… I had business cards made up, “Dorie Clark, Political Consultant” because I thought, “I can consult around,” I worked in campaigns so “I can consult around this. This will be great.” What often happens, if you are wise enough to listen, is that your market will sometimes tell you differently. They will tell you what they do want. When I first started my business I realized, “Oh, not a lot of political campaigns are hiring me, but a lot of non-profits and businesses are.” I wasn’t even expecting to get that kind of work, but people that I knew that were running organizations were saying, “Oh, you’re doing communications consulting? Can you work for me?” I needed the money so I was like, “Sure, okay.” And before long I had this marketing and communications consultancy rather than a political consultancy. I realized, “Oh, this is what the market wants. I should pay attention to that.”
On Entrepreneurial Pursuits in Retirement
“The things that I would be inclined to suggest would be perhaps for people to focus on things that allow for location independence because a lot of retirees are interested in traveling, or maybe they want to spend part of the year in a different location or be able to have flexibility to spend more time with kids, or grandkids, things like that. Location independence can be very valuable. That might imply things like maybe freelance writing or maybe having some kind of an online business that they’re doing that they can do from anywhere that has an internet connection. I think that another thing that retirees may have an advantage in is going back to coaching or consulting. They are people who presumably have been in the workforce for quite a while. They have strong networks of people. So they may have colleagues that could hire them for consulting contracts. Maybe former colleagues or something like that, who already know their good so it makes the sales process easier. They’ve accrued a lot of wisdom and so may have some real information to share with others in a coaching capacity.”
For more on Dorie Clark:
Dorie’s Entrepreneurial Self -Assessment
Dorie’s latest book: Entrepreneurial You and her courses
Stick around for the brief Noteworthy segment on an article we think is worth your time
This week’s selection is Proof That the Most Successful Entrepreneurs Are Older Ones
By Kerry Hannon, Next Avenue
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