Giving Speeches All Over the Country at 72 & Published 100th Book at 74 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 13
In this part of the Inspiring Seniors series, we meet two women in their early 70s who are completely going against the norm. Neither plan to retire anytime soon, and both are often referred to as “the Energizer bunny” by colleagues and friends.
Here are their stories.
NANCY FRIEDMAN, 72 YEARS OLD
When many people her age would either be slowing down or retiring, Nancy Friedman, age 72, is flying all over the country.
She is the President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Inc. in St. Louis, MO, and she helps with customer service training for some companies that perhaps you’ve heard of.
They include AT&T, the Central Intelligence Agency, National Association of Realtors, and the Chicago Cubs – just to name a few.
So, how did Nancy become “The Telephone Doctor?”
THE TELEPHONE DOCTOR
Many years ago, Nancy had a terrible customer service experience with an insurance company. “I called the agent and canceled all my policies,” she says.
And in the world of business, this is a real problem – bad customer service can be the reason people take their business elsewhere.
Nancy ended up going into the office to explain what happened and how they could improve. After about 30 minutes of basically coaching the staff on what they should have said and done, Nancy realized this was the start of a new business opportunity.
At one of her later meetings, a newspaper editor in Davenport, Iowa complimented Nancy and said he was going to call her “Telephone Doctor.”
Nancy ran home to her husband and said, “what should we do?”
He said, “Let’s go get it registered; we’re going to have some fun.”
“The Telephone Doctor name has helped us brand our business,” says Nancy.
Since then, Nancy has been travelling the country giving speeches and training sessions at franchise, corporation, and association meetings and conferences. She was also voted a Favorite Speaker in a national poll for Meetings & Conventions Magazine.
“I help businesses improve their consumer relations by training them to communicate better with their customers and co-workers. My main message is that more business is lost due to poor service and poor treatment than poor product,” she says.
Nancy is the author of nine books relating to improving customer service, and she has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah, CNN, CBS This Morning, Fox News and has been published in The Wall Street Journal telling one and all how they can provide better customer service.
ON AGING AND RETIREMENT
While Nancy is 72, her age hardly has any relevance to what she does, other than the fact that she has experience and expertise from her many years of training.
“I believe that my training sessions and intensive travel schedule keeps me young and active when many my age would have already slowed down or opted for a golf course or yoga class,” she says.
And it’s true – Nancy is constantly on the road, and even her PR spokesperson says that her travel schedule would be a challenge to any millennial.
Nancy explains that in reality, she has two audiences to present to: the older age group, and the younger crowd.
She says, “I’m always flattered when people who are older than I am come up to thank me for speaking to them. In many ways, being a seasoned presenter gives me an advantage. Older audience members are more prone to adapt and accept our techniques than they would be to a younger presenter. So, in effect I have two audiences – those in my age bracket, and those who are younger looking for ideas from a seasoned veteran.”
As far as retirement goes? Forget about it.
“What would I do?” Nancy laughs. “When they stop asking me to help them with customer service training is when I’ll consider the possibility.”
At the end of the day, Nancy loves what she does, and she’s clearly making an impact for all of us – who doesn’t like better customer service?
As for the future, Nancy plans to stay happy, healthy, and to keep having fun.
CYNTHIA MACGREGOR, 74 YEARS OLD
At age 74, Cynthia MacGregor, a freelancer writer and editor, is often referred to as “the Energizer bunny” by her colleagues and friends.
And it’s no wonder why that’s the case – she has over 100 published books to her credit.
ON WRITING OVER 100 BOOKS
Cynthia seems to write about anything and everything from writing exercises to a book of everyday prayers to money-making ideas for stay at home moms. Cynthia’s most popular books have to do with parenting and round-ups, such as 400 ways to be good to yourself or 150 non-competitive games for kids.
Cynthia also wrote the book Wisdom From a Happy Woman, which promises to deliver short, motivational essays that followers of her daily Facebook posts have long awaited.
Her Facebook posts give small doses of wisdom, like one from April 16: “The ancient advice is ‘Quit while you're ahead.’ I say, ‘Hell, no!’ Don't quit. Keep going. Better your lot in life. Reach for the stars. Why settle for just SOME success. Take a leaf from the Army's slogan and ‘Be all you can be.’”
Another post urges you to take a chance:
“How satisfying is your life? Or maybe I should ask how ordinary it is? Have you settled into a rut because it’s comfortable? Have you avoided any kind of adventures because they take you out of your comfort zone?
STOP! Stop missing out on so much of what life has to offer!
~ Do you want to go rock-climbing, spelunking, parachute-jumping, deep-sea diving, bungee jumping? Unless the cost is an obstacle, gather your inner resources and DO IT! Don’t put it off for “tomorrow” (read: “never”), or say, “Well, I really couldn’t.” You really could!
~ Have you always wanted to own your own business? While it’s almost impossible these days to start a business on the proverbial shoestring, going into business for yourself doesn’t have to be a million-dollar proposition, either. Find a business whose start-up costs are within your budget, whose knowledge requirements are within your scope of knowledge…and one that interests you. (You don’t want your workdays to be drudgery, after all.) Then DO IT!
~ Is there someone you have a romantic interest in who hasn’t seemed to pick up on your cues? Be bold! Make the first move.
~ Is there a new food or new cuisine you haven’t tasted? Whether it’s smoked eel, pickled octopus, breadfruit, sweetbreads (which aren’t a bread at all!) or calf’s brains, go ahead! Be daring! Try it!
Life can be much more exciting when you dare to take a chance.”
Cynthia also gets up before 5am every day, and she writes 7 days a week – “with time off for church on Sunday morning,” she adds.
She does ghostwriting for other authors, business writing for clients, editing for authors and publishers, and she’s even hosted and produced two TV shows for the South Florida viewing area.
“I definitely did the TV shows after age 60,” she says. The first, "Solo Parenting," ran for a year and a half, and the second, "Younger Every Day," ran for a short season. “The tagline on that one was ‘the show that helps you look, act, and feel younger… no matter what your driver's license says,'" she recalls.
“As far as how I stay so energized, I honestly don’t know… it’s just a mix of good genes and a love for my work.”
Cynthia is often quoted saying there’s no one in the world she’d want to trade lives with.
Other Posts in this Series
- Introducing: The Inspiring Seniors Series
- 84-Year-Old Pat Boone on The Gold Label, Shark Tank, Aging, and the Future | Inspiring Seniors, Part 1
- Becoming a Model at 61 & Reuniting with a Long Lost Love at 68 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 2
- Getting a Black Belt at 60 & Launching a Podcast at 67 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 3
- Hiking All 58 National Parks at 82 & Writing His 27th Book at 80 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 4
- Trying Surf Kayaking at 66 & Growing a New Consultancy Business at 61 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 5
- A World Champion Powerlifter at 60 & Becoming a CEO at 62 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 6
- 10-Mile Bike Rides at 69 & Graduating at Age 62 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 7
- Writing a Math Musical at 60 & Skiing Downhill at 75 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 8
- Starting a Goat Farm at 64 & Joining a ‘Circus Family’ at 63 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 9
- Starting a Second Business at 60 & Writing About Light and Health at 93 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 10
- Publishing Her 14th Book at 70 & Appearing on Television at 62 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 11
- Developed a Fitness Program for All Ages at 77 & Hunting With a Pack of Beagles at 70 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 12
- Giving Speeches All Over the Country at 72 & Published 100th Book at 74 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 13
- Volunteer Blacksmith at a Historic Gold Mine at 67 & Co-President for the Master Gardener’s Board at 64 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 14
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