Sunday, September 17, 2017

Tennis Anyone?

By Tami Adachi
Guest blogger

I haven’t worked in a year. I’m at the age where people ask me if I’m retired. I always answer “no” because I consider myself a Rebooter and someone who will never retire. Playing tennis has filled in the work gap and I’ve taken on a bigger role as a USTA team captain.

I recently started thinking that I am working, in my relatively new job as a tennis captain of about 15-20 women (and sometimes men). The only difference is I’m not getting paid. I started making comparisons of my new found employment and why money was the only difference.

When I had a handful of comparisons, I tested them on my husband Lee, who is one of my biggest tennis fans. Here’s what I found:

·        Teammates are like employees, except they don’t get paid.

·        As a captain, I am leading a team of teammates (employees) that changes every three months. I have to recruit the team, set lineups, schedule practices, and see that we play in compliance with all the rules of our tennis club and the USTA.

·        As the “boss,” I have to figure out ways to motivate, lead and support my team. This is a true test, mainly because no one is getting paid to do this job. My teammates play tennis because they love the game. If I don’t do a decent job, they can tell me to take this job and shove it! In the real world, this is harder to do!

·        It’s very rare that you have to fire someone from their job. When I was a paid boss, I was fortunate that I never had to fire anyone. It’s human nature that everyone wants to do a good job. Telling someone they are fired is not easy. I’ve only had to do this once as a tennis captain, when the team chemistry required it.

·        Before every tennis season begins, I always set the tone, explaining what my philosophy and expectations are. My philosophy is the same every season: we are a competitive (and fun) team as opposed to recreational. My expectations are the same every season: keep your availability up to date, try to come to practice and be a good ambassador of our tennis club. Availability is a tennis captain’s biggest challenge in putting match line ups together. When a player who is scheduled to play becomes unavailable, it changes the entire line up.

Lee thought I was on the right track. That’s when I suggested I write about it and perhaps he would post it on his website! So here we are.

Is my tennis job fulfilling? The answer is an overwhelming “yes!” I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in and tennis is a lifelong sport. I enjoy the women and men I play (work) with. A lot of them return every season. We have a great track record of making our goals of playing well, having fun and even going to the playoffs. I have a healthy respect for my teammates, many of whom juggle careers, families and tennis. And from what they tell me, they think I’m doing a good job. I can certainly say they have done a good job.

So what’s the moral of my story? I believe that when I re-enter the world of paid employment, I will be a better employee and boss. Tennis teaches you a lot of life lessons and I’ve learned a lot.

Tami Adachi is a consultant in the Bay Area with more than 20 years of experience in public relations and public affairs. She took up tennis just a few years ago and has quickly established a reputation as a team captain people want to play for. She is married to Lee Callaway.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Losing -- and finding -- the breadcrumbs

"Breadcrumbs" are a type of secondary navigation that reveals the user's location in a website or web application. The term comes from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in which the two title children dropped breadcrumbs to form a trail back to their home.

Well, I lost the breadcrumbs to find my way back to the page for publishing new posts on this blog. I know, duh. But thanks to a tech specialist with Google, I found my way back and am  bringing the blog back to life.

Talk about rebooting! How many times have I owned up to letting the blog (and the website, get stale? Too many times. Will this time be different? I hope so.

I still believe passionately in the principle behind RebootYou -- that we must continually reinvent ourselves to stay vital, relevant and, well, alive.

Please join the conversation -- or let's start one! I'd love to hear from anyone who considers himself or herself a rebooter about your experience in reinvention. Post a comment to this blog. Let's talk!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Going back to work as a ‘boomerang’

Boomerang retirees: people who exit gracefully after their career at a company, then return shortly afterward to work there part time.

A growing number of firms are offering programs to bring retired employees back for their knowledge and expertise.

“From the corporate perspective,” Christopher Farrell writes in the New York Times, “it is useful to have experienced hands who can train younger people, pass along institutional wisdom and work with fewer strings attached.” Farrell notes that while formal corporate programs to engage retirees are still relatively rare, “human resource professionals predict that the number of boomerang retiree programs will expand, especially among larger companies with deep pockets.”

Boomerang programs are appearing in the public sector, too. California and other states offer retired employees the opportunity to come back part time, and the federal government has initiated a phased retirement program where hours are cut back but additional retirement benefits can still be earned.

Are you boomerang material? Check out the whole article here.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Not a mastermind? No problem. They're all around

You don’t have to be a mastermind, but you can benefit from one. You can start or join a mastermind group. A mastermind group is a group of people who get together regularly to collaborate, help each other, offer advice and exchange contacts for the purpose of mutual benefit.

“Starting a mastermind group is a natural fit for retirees,” according to Tobe Brockner, who is quoted in a recent article in Business News Daily, “6 Smart Business Ideas for Retirees.” Brockner is the author of "Mastermind Group Blueprint: How to Start, Run and Profit from Mastermind Groups" (Aloha Group Publishing, 2013).
"Many [retirees] already have a network that they can tap into to find excellent mastermind group members, and by being the group organizer and facilitator, they can make a nice supplemental income," said Brockner. 
Depending on the size of the area in which they live, Brockner said enterprising retirees can start and facilitate multiple mastermind groups, and charge a premium for the value of being a member. 
"Mastermind group facilitators can generate between $1,500 to $3,000 per month per group for just a few hours [of] work," he said.
Stephanie Burns, founder and CEO of Chic CEO, a free resource for female entrepreneurs looking to start a business, wrote an article in Forbes magazine about seven reasons to join a mastermind group. They including being a part of an exclusive group, getting advice from people you trust, and picking up new learning.

What if you want to join a mastermind group instead of starting one? Here’s one source of information: The Success Alliance, headed by Karyn Greenstreet, author and small business consultant. The website lists various mastermind groups, some that meet in person and others that meet via videoconference and telephone. The site provides a description of each group’s area of focus and contact information. The list is updated monthly.

Looking for one in my neighborhood, I found with mastermind group contacts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a latecomer to the worlds of both mastermind groups and meetups, I found that there are tons of opportunities out there in both fields. All you have to do is look! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What to do when a state of denial becomes undeniable

“No, I’m not in denial,” I said.

But I was – and the subject was my hearing. My wife had suggested numerous times that I was getting hard of hearing but I denied it. I thought I could hear fine, even though the person closest to me was telling me otherwise.

This blog is about denial, specifically denial about hearing loss, one of several forms of denial that I have been guilty of (more to come in the next several blogs.) I’m writing about denial because it is one of the biggest barriers to rebooting and reinvention. And I also will be writing about how to get out of this unfortunate state.

Hearing loss common in older adults

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), age-related hearing loss gradually occurs in most of us as we grow older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults. 

“Approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing,” says the NIDCD’s website. “Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, respond to warnings, and hear phones, doorbells, and smoke alarms. Hearing loss can also make it hard to enjoy talking with family and friends, leading to feelings of isolation. 

“Age-related hearing loss most often occurs in both ears, affecting them equally. Because the loss is gradual, if you have age-related hearing loss you may not realize that you’ve lost some of your ability to hear. 

Brought up short

“There are many causes of age-related hearing loss. Most commonly, it arises from changes in the inner ear as we age, but it can also result from changes in the middle ear, or from complex changes along the nerve pathways from the ear to the brain. Certain medical conditions and medications may also play a role.”

Whatever the cause in my case, the incident that brought me up short (and out of denial) was when a co-worker asked me one day if I had a hearing disorder. She said she had noticed that I seemed to miss some things in telephone conference calls. To my embarrassment, I had to acknowledge that I did indeed have some hearing loss and would get a checkup. I also had to admit to my wife that she had been right, both about my hearing and about being in denial. 

I went through the process of being tested and fitted for hearing aids. That was almost 10 years ago and I have been wearing them ever since. Of course I can hear much more clearly now and have moved past the social stigma of having them in my ears.

What to do about it

If you think you have hearing loss, and are in denial about it, there are steps you can take to get out of this double bind. Here’s what the NIDCD advises:

“The most important thing you can do is to seek advice from a health care provider. There are several types of professionals who can help you. You might want to start with your primary care physician, an otolaryngologist, an audiologist, or a hearing aid specialist. Each has a different type of training and expertise. Each can be an important part of your hearing health care. 

“An otolaryngologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and neck. An otolaryngologist, sometimes called an ENT, will try to find out why you’re having trouble hearing and offer treatment options. He or she may also refer you to another hearing professional, an audiologist. 

“An audiologist has specialized training in identifying and measuring the type and degree of hearing loss. Some audiologists may be licensed to fit hearing aids.

“A hearing aid specialist is someone who is licensed by your state to conduct and evaluate basic hearing tests, offer counseling, and fit and test hearing aids. You must be examined by a physician before you can be fitted for a hearing aid, although federal law allows you to sign a waiver if you don’t wish to be examined before you purchase an aid.”

We’re going to talk about other denial traps, including rebooting denial, how they can come to define us, and how to get out of them. So stay tuned. And you might want to take notes!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tennis for underserved youth

OK, re-rebooting and re-running.

I’m in the process of updating and doing some redesign on the RebootYou website at More details to come. Yes, it’s about time!

I’m also running in the 2013 ING New York Marathon on Nov. 3. This time I’m running for USTA Serves, the charitable foundation of the U.S. Tennis Association. USTA Serves brings tennis – and more – to underserved and disabled people with an extensive program that combines tennis and education. You can learn more about USTA Serves and how it carries out its mission at the USTA Serves website. I encourage you to take a look. This organization is doing a lot of good for a lot of deserving people.

You may be wondering if I have suddenly taken up tennis. No, the tennis player in the family is Tami, and it was through her membership in the U.S. Tennis Association that I learned about USTA Serves being an official charitable sponsor of the New York Marathon. When she got the USTA email telling her about the sponsorship, we both got excited because this would give us a way to do good and have fun at the same time.

By raising money for USTA Serves, I could earn a guaranteed a spot in the race. Which is a big deal, given that it is difficult to get into the New York Marathon in any case. Unless you run for a charity, to get in you have to compete for a spot in a lottery with about a zillion other people, and until I learned about USTA Serves, I was not seriously motivated to run for one of the other sponsoring charities. What’s more, getting in this year’s race was especially challenging because everyone who was officially entered in last year’s Sandy-cancelled race has an automatic pass into the 2013 event. But being able to run for USTA Serves changed all that for us – this is really Tami’s and my race.

So I will be getting my own street view of New York’s five boroughs on Nov. 3, taking a few small steps to bring tennis to people who might not otherwise have an opportunity to play. I’ll be blogging about my training along with continuing thoughts about rebooting. Hope you’ll come along for the ride. Or the run, as the case may be!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Life in the safe lane

On the website, we’ve suggested going back to school as one strategy for restarting. Well, I took my own advice recently and went back to school, although it wasn’t exactly what I originally had in mind.

It was driving school – a course for seniors whose skills behind the wheels may be slipping.

It was a pretty thorough refresher course, lasting about 2-1/2 hours and covering freeway, residential and downtown traffic.

I was encouraged to take this course by my wife, who sees my driving habits from the passenger seat and has a much more objective view of my abilities than I do. So while I was initially skeptical, it turns out she was right – the course did show me several areas where I can definitely improve, and underscored the fact that I am not the Mario Andretti that I used to be.

For example, glancing in the rear view mirror regularly to see who or what is behind you and what they are doing – closing on you, passing on the right or left, etc. It’s a way of staying mindful of your total environment. I wasn’t doing it often enough.

Another example, when exiting the freeway: don’t step on the brake pedal while you’re still in freeway traffic. Just take your foot off the accelerator, slow down to make the exit ramp, then apply the brakes. Putting on the brakes on the freeway may slow you down too fast and it also sends what could be an alarming signal to the car behind you.

And looking in the right hand side mirror (and turning around to look) before turning  right at a stop sign or traffic light – there may be a bicyclist or skateboarder slipping up beside you.

So, steering out of denial and into the safe lane. The life I save might be yours – or mine!