Celebrating Next | Douglas Hartley
It is our mission at Lifelaunch Consulting to help others define their ‘next’ with purpose and intention, and to celebrate as a new chapter unfolds. As part of this, we are highlighting our friends who have successfully navigated the move from ‘now’ to ‘next’ and are thriving as a result! It is our hope that by sharing these stories, we inspire others to live their lives to the fullest.
My pre-retirement career:I have always worked in the Rubber Polymer Industry. I started a rubber trading company with 3 other partners after 17 years working for one. Then after two years we sold this business to a competitor. I worked for them for 7 years then my son and I started rubber polymer compounding business that we owned the majority of. After 13 years we sold this business to the largest rubber polymer compounding company in the world. I worked for them for 2 and ½ years before I semi-retired.
Three ways I spend my time in retirement:I am now investing in businesses with younger 30 something year old’s (with experience) that have the vision, work ethic and drive to succeed long term. I work with them on a limited basis to strategize, mentor, and in a sales and finance capacity. I do this because early in my career I had 4 mentors that work with me and believed in me and our team at the time. These 4 men taught us everything they knew. They asked me many years ago to give back and pay it forward to others once I reached a point in my growth that I could do so. This is very rewarding for me. I am involved in 3 different things now so that counts I guess as my 3. Hopefully more to come.
What I love most about retirement:The freedom everyday to do what I want to do when I want to do it. The focus is on spiritual, mental, and physical growth with in myself. Having the time to spend more quality time with my family is very important as well. I am also an old rock and roll drummer. I bought a new drum set and now practice several times a week in my basement. I think that this also keeps me mentally and physically alert and it is just a lot of fun for me to do. Maybe some day I will play in a band again. We will see!
My biggest challenge with retirement:Is maybe still not having the time to do everything I still want to do. Choices are many and you need to choose wisely. You just can not do everything you want to do.
What I did to prepare for retirement:Watching and talking to others! Some retired early and did nothing. They either died early or their health started to fail. Some were just very bored with nothing to do. They watched too much TV in my opinion. Others seemed to have less time than before, were always happy, and keeping busy doing things they like to do.
Something I’ve recently done for the first time:I went on a 10 day trip to Israel with my son. He is now a pastor and living his dream. I plan to take more trips like this with my children and grandkids as they grow older. In the past vacations always seemed to be in a rush. Now I do not want to rush life and just enjoy every minute I can.
Most recent book/article I’ve read:My best friend I grew up with almost died from a very rare cancer. He survived more from his own will power than anything else. I am very happy to say that he is doing great now. He has been sharing many things on his view of the universe and life after this one on earth. I find this fascinating and I am reading books and articles in this regard. It is probably more about science than it is about religion. I read a lot of rock and roll history and music history in general. I do read more than I have in the past. When something crosses my path that sounds interesting I take the time to check it out. In the past, I really thought that I did not have time for this.
My future:Keep doing what I am doing. My wife and I are going to Hawaii for our anniversary this October. I can’t wait! I failed to mention that I try to work out 2 or 3 times per week. Swim when I can as well, walk the dog, ride a bike, play golf, and so on. Staying active physically is the key to a long healthy life. It is great for the mind and the body. This is very important!
My advice for future retirees:Most importantly stay active physically, mentally, doing what YOU want to do. You need to have fun no matter what you are doing.