Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What are you doing with your life?

That question is most often reserved for teenagers and young adults. Those of us who have run the gauntlet of 16 - 25 with our children know what I am referring to. Those of you who have that to look forward to, get ready.

Recently however that question has been posed to me. Not directly in all cases but the shifting eyes and stammering from lots of friends and family over the past 10 months since I 'retired' from my 25+ great years in the advertising agency business says it all. And no matter how well I answer, the response has usually been polite yet dismissive.

But the funny thing? I don't care. OK, that may be too strong. The more politically correct way to say it would be, "I have no concerns". Either way, my response back is usually, "Thank you for your concern, but I know where I am going". I wish I had been that tactful at age 18.

The truth is that my advertising career was my second career. And one that I fell into because of my talent for developing and nurturing strong business relationships with my clients. My first career, broadcasting was over by age 25. This 25 year run has been incredible.

Now on to career number 3. And it comes from a most unlikely source: my Grandma Wilson . She asked me when I was about to head off to university not what I wanted to do for a living, but what did I want to do with my life. I know I gave her a hasty, dismissive answer. I am sorry for that.

But the question stuck. And now that I have the time, energy, drive, ambition and support (thanks Sally), I really can tell you what I want to do.

Helping people achieve their full potential. That's my real passion. I have enjoyed much success in my advertising career mentor younger employees.

Helping people is the reason I joined Pre Paid Legal (I have seen the upward rolling eyes over this decision). But it was simple really: our membership gives you the power to protect your legal rights and protection from having identity theft destroy your life. My family came awfully close to both of those last fall. No one should have to go through that. Plus, we get great satisfaction of talking to people and educating them about the risks of identity theft. We do that through our public information seminars. We are available any time any place. (

Related to that is the underlying motivation for getting up each day to go to work: running in the Reggae Marathon this December to raise money for research on behalf of all father's who take an interest in their kid's lives. Within a couple of weeks I will be able to announce details of the campaign and how you can help. And yes, I will be asking for your help.

So over 30 years later, I can more honestly tell my Grandma that I am working to help people. I know she would be proud.

Until next time...


  1. Well said Chris.
    Before moving to canda in November 2007 I was with the same company for 18 years. Comfortable but no satisfaction.
    The move here gave me the opprotunity to get into Real Estate which I thouroughly enjoy and also start a new phase in life rather than drifting towards my 50's ( I was 45 when we moved.)
    My daughter was only 5 so ideal for her and I had a dread of in 10 years time wishing we had made the move and then it might be too late for a nmber of reasons.
    It's great to get up in the morning and look forward to the day rather than wishing the next 8 hours away.

    Can't match you with the running but playing soccer for the Wasaga Warriors over 45's is similar.


  2. Hi Andrew. WOW! Love your story. I likely heard similar stories when I was younger but obviously chose not to listen. Playing catchup now, but the funny thing is that I am enjoying it. Thank you for sharing. Would love to meet you for a coffee sometime. Let me know.


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