Hello all. This is my first post for Second Verse, and I’ve got to tell you it’s a thrill to be featured here at Forbes.com.
Forbes Magazine was where I cut my teeth in financial journalism in the glory days of the 1980’s. It was in the hallowed halls of the stately Forbes headquarters, at 60 Fifth Avenue, where I learned, admittedly, somewhat fearfully at times, from legendary editor, the late Jim Michaels, who once told me to “skip the flood and interview God”, and Ed Finn, now editor and president of Barron’s and chairman and editor in chief of SmartMoney, subsidiaries of News Corporation.
Since my Forbes MBA, as I like to call it, which had followed on the heels of graduating from Duke University, my personal career path has lead me squarely into the realm of personal finance and consumer journalism with staff reporting, writing and editing time logged at Money Magazine, part of TimeWarner, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, U.S. News & World Report and Gannett Co.’s USA Today. I also have authored several personal finance books covering retirement, estate planning, and women and money advice.
I truly cherished covering growing businesses while at Forbes, including companies such as Arrow Dynamics, a roller coaster design company based in Clearfield, Utah. Arrow Dynamics was responsible for some of most amazing advancements in the roller coaster industry during those days–the first tubular steel tracked coaster, Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland, to the first modern inverting coaster, Corkscrew at Knott’s Berry Farm. (In 2002, the company went bankrupt but was quickly bought by ride manufacturer S&S Power to form S&S Arrow).
But I digress. I relished interviewing CEOs of billion dollar corporations like global foodie Pittsburgh, Pa.-based H.J. Heinz Company, chemical and pharmaceutical giant, Bayer AG, and Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, now a Berkshire Hathaway Company, among many others.
But it was the nuts and bolts of everyday personal finance that I could relate to and share my expertise in a way that could really make a difference in people’s lives. I had been down the road, or was on it. I, too, had run up credit card debt in my 20s and had to learn how to pay down debt and run lean, land a mortgage, relocate, start my own business, and much more.
An offshoot of this journey has been to delve deeply into issues of retirement and careers, which can spin off in many directions from nonprofit endeavors to entrepreneurial start-ups to basic smart money management.
So I invite you to come along with me as I keep you abreast of what’s happening in this broad playing field. You will no doubt get a kick out of meeting from time to time the wise, risk-takers I profile in my new book, What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job (Chronicle Books) and others I continue to meet along the way. Their stories illustrate the steps many of you might consider when choosing to take up a new direction.
Changing your work life can be risky, but it can be a successful risk—and even more so, a truly satisfying one.