Baby Boomers Retirement Club

Selling Your Expertise After You Retire

Richard Roll Interviews Jan Wallen


Richard: Hi everyone, it’s Richard Roll at the Baby Boomers Retirement Club, the
BBRC and today our guest is Jan Wallen. She is the internationally known creator of
Selling your Expertise and she’s going to talk to us about how to not worry about money,
never worry about money again and have an income always after retirement. It’s a
subject that everyone wants to hear about because basically here’s the opportunity to take
your expertise, your passions, your hobby, your skills, your experience and turn it into a
new rewarding stream of income. Welcome, Jan.

Jan: Hello there, Richard, I’m so glad to be here.

Richard: Great to have you. Jan, when you got started with this whole idea, the whole
idea of helping people figure out what their next step could be in life and tapping into
their own life experience and their own skills. What was the most challenging thing that
people found about this? What is the thing that they find most challenging to get started?

Jan: Really good question, Richard. One of the things I found the most challenging is
really having a clear vision of what they want to do. And also related to that really what
their expertise is and what they can do, how to take what they know how to do and the
expertise they’ve developed over the years and put it into something that they will really
enjoy doing and then be able to create income.

Richard: And you’ve developed a system to help people, a seven step system to help
them to do this, haven’t you?

Jan: Yes, I have. Yes, it’s something I developed and I’ve used it myself and I also have
used it with my clients.

Richard: Then in a minute Jan is going to have some information that she’s giving as a
freebie to everybody’s who on the call today and who’s listening in through Podcast and
downloads. The two things, one of them is called the Big Picture Worksheet the other is
called Fifty-Seven Ways to Turn Information into Profit, which is something that I can’t
wait to get my hands on Fifty-Seven Ways to Turn Information into Profit it’s something
that everybody needs to know, so we’ll get that information in a couple of minutes as to
how you can get that free. But Jan maybe we can get started looking at the system itself,
where does it begin?

Jan: The system begins with creating a blue sky really clear vision of your retirement,
what you want it to be like not simply what you want to do, but where you want to be and
what you want to do on a day-to-day basis. For example, one of the best ways is to
picture yourself in a movie living your ideal life. An example, when you get up in the
morning what’s it like and who are you with, and what are you doing, so that you really,
really have a clear vision of where to go. Once you have that vision it’s easy enough to
take the steps to make that happen or head towards that.

Is that something that people have trouble doing though getting to that vision,
especially if they’re still in their work life?

Yes, you know, it’s interesting some people know exactly what they want to do.
For example, they’ll say “Oh, I want to do what I want not have to come to a company
and do what I do now. I want to do whatever I want or others will say “Oh, I don’t want
to work” and others will say “Well, you know, I really want to leave a legacy” or others
“I want to have more time to myself.” So some people really have a clear idea. What I
find is a lot of people don’t have the specifics they have a general idea that they want to
leave a legacy or they don’t want to work or they want to continue working with people
but they don’t know exactly how or how to go about doing that.

Well, some people just want to stop their day job and they want to be done with
that and then start to think about what they’re going to do. I had an interesting
conversation the other day I was in the elementary school where my daughter’s are
actually – I have twin daughters and they’re in kindergarten – and we were there for a
teacher conference and I bumped into the principle, and this principle is a woman who’s
been acclaimed in the community as a really top principle. She’s received honors and
awards and she’s really been the principle to have and she moved over to this school just
a couple of years ago and everybody was thrilled. And so I bumped into her in the hall
and I had heard that she was going to be leaving the school at the end of this school year
and I was really, you know, I was unhappy about that because the girls are still – they’ve
got years to go in that school. I said to her “I heard you’re leaving, what are you going to
be doing?” And I thought “Oh, she must have gotten a much better offer.” And she said
“I’m retiring.”

Jan: Oh.

Richard: And I said “Oh, that’s very interesting and what are you going to do?” She said
“I don’t know but I can’t wait to have the freedom to find out.”

Jan: Yes.

Richard: And so I said, you know, so the first thing that she wants to do is kind of
breathe a big sigh of relief. And, you know, in the teaching profession when you come
into the summer you’re off anyway so a lot of people are use to having the summer off or
what have you, see she’s not that alarmed and I’m sure that she’s going to, you know, be
really actively looking at to figure out how she wants to spend her time and we’re going
to do another interview like this with her to find out what the process is that she’s going
to go through.

Jan: Yes. You know you bring up.

Richard: Very…

Jan: Yeah, go ahead.

Richard: Well, just a very serendipitous encounter.

Jan: Yes, it is. And you bring up a really good point. It’s hard to think sometimes of
something completely new and different when you’re still in your day-to-day life.

Richard: Well, here’s what she said, she said “You know, the key thing is” – first of all
she said, she’s 62, she said – I guess I told her something about how old I was - and she
said “You know, I have students your age.” So I really didn’t understand is she teaching
people who are 55? No, she started her teaching career when kids who are my age – kids
who were born when I was born and a lot of our listeners and BBRC participants were
born in that early 50s she had students in high school in the ‘60s…

Jan: Oh.

Richard: …and she was teaching music and she says that she still bumps into former
students who are now 55.

Jan: Okay.

Richard: What she was saying was that that era and that era that we all – all of the baby
boomers grew up in or actually the first half, especially, grew up in the 60s and
experienced all those things, and she said “That was such a time of possibility and
everything was so free and interesting and, you know, very stimulating and very multifaceted,
everything was going on at once in music and in politics and, you know, all of
that, so and all of the other things. So she’s basically like so many baby boomers harking
back to that and sort of wanted to get back to herself. She said “My career is so
narrowing.” Now, here’s a really acclaimed professional and she said “My career has
been so narrowing I can’t wait to get out of that narrow mode.”

Jan: That’s a very goo point and that’s exactly what happens and you also get
comfortable, you just do what you do in your career and you have many other talents and
skills and interest that you simply can’t bring to what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis.
And that’s exactly what we look - part of the system is finding what your expertise is.
What are the things that you’re really good at and that you enjoy so that you can really
make the most of those after retirement?

Richard: Does it help to have somebody to use as a sounding board for that?

Jan: Oh, absolutely.

Richard: You know I would have such trouble; I just would have a lot of trouble trying
to get my mind around that.

Jan: It absolutely does, yes, exactly. And the other thing a sounding board is to run some
ideas by and something that some of my clients have done, and I myself did, sounds very
successful was, ask select people that you know what they see you’re doing. What would
be – what they see that you’d be good at because other people see things from a different
perspective than we all do about ourselves?

Richard: Isn’t that a little scary and threatening?

Jan: It can be and that’s why you’re very careful about who you talk to. Some people
have done that and they’re very – they have found things that they never had thought of
themselves and they’re very successful doing it, other people simply aren’t comfortable.
The whole thing is what you want to do is find out what your expertise is and who want
to be with and do things with without the stress and the pressure.

Richard: Well, the good news is also is a lot of people at our stage of the game that’s
been through various assessments and that type of thing, so they have some sense of, you
know, what are you good at? You know, if you don’t have an ear for music you’ve
probably figured that out by now.

Jan: Yeah.

Richard: You know, if you’re petrified at the idea of speaking, not to say you couldn’t
change that, but maybe that’s not the avenue that you want to go in, that type of thing.

Jan: Yes, exactly. And that’s exactly why you want to think about what you want your
ideal retirement to be like and it includes what are the things that you love to do and that
you really want to do and that you do well. And then…

Richard: So for example, I love to sell.

Jan: Oh, yeah.

Richard: How can I make an income in relations to selling? Give us some ideas.

Jan: Sure. There are several different ways and one of the first things you’d want to look
at is do you also want to be around people? One of the things you can do is teach people
to sell or you could be a salesperson selling yachts. Or some people wouldn’t really like
that aspect of it they would rather spend their time sailing and perhaps they setup an
information products business first where they sell things on the internet and they go off
cruising. We have some colleagues who do exactly that now.

Richard: Really, and what – can you speak more specifically about that?

Jan: Well, they decided about a year and a half ago that they were going to stop their
jobs and they bought a boat that was designed for cruising around the world and they’re
going to cruise – they stared cruising around the world. And so what they decided to do
was take some of what they’ve been doing. One of them Iris is an Interior Designer and
Alex is in creative advertising. So they’ve taken some of what they did before and now
they’re sailing around the world.

Richard: So when you say they’ve taken some of what – do you mean that they’re doing
freelance work from the boat?

Jan: No, they’re not. One of them has created some information products and is selling
them from the Web site, so even while they’re away the income is coming in because it’s
on the Web site.

Richard: Are they actively working in the selling process or, you know, with the Web
site while they’re cruising?

Jan: No, this is a really good point. One of the best things you can do with the internet
and internet marketing and a Web site is you can get it setup so that it’s really automatic
so that you have a Web site that tells about your products and services and then emails go
out to people who are interested. People go to your Web site and sign up for your email
and sign up for your easing and then can buy your products without you even being there.
The best thing, the way to do that if you’re really going to be around cruising around the
world or traveling is to have a Virtual Assistant or someone who can check the Web site
and keep things going.

Richard: So have a person who’s…

Jan: You have a Personal Assistant, yes.

Richard: Yeah, somebody who’s on land.

Jan: That’s exactly right on land and on internet.

Richard: That’s fascinating. Well, there will be…

Jan: This is one of the things that give you so much freedom.

Richard: There are other interviews we’re also going to be having with people who are
experts in how to setup a business like that and, you know, I’m sure some of the people
listening today are saying “Well, how do you get people to go to the Web site? How do
you get traffic, how do you…

Jan: Sure.

Richard: you know, how do you do all this? But we’re going to have those answers in
the future calls with a whole host of people who are actually doing it, teaching it and so
forth. It’s all about the BBRC helping our members be able to have an ongoing income

Jan: Yeah.

Richard: …look at all the choices that are available and have resources and tools to
actually make it work.

Jan: That’s right. What I found myself was it’s given me a tremendous amount of
freedom and also I’ve learned things that I never would have known otherwise, because
you can do things on the internet, you’re not limited geographically, you don’t have to
stay in the same geographic place. Or even if you start a business and you hire an
assistant your assistant doesn’t have to be in your same geographic area or the web
designer or the creative people you hire don’t have to be in your geographic area now.
So you can really choose the best of the best and you can be doing what you want to do,
travelling, enjoying your days, whatever you want to do.

Richard: Okay. Well, one of the fundamental questions I think that people have to
answer for themselves and part of it has to do with how much income they want to earn,
part of it has to do with their own priorities. One is do they want to continue to work full
time or part time. Some people, you know, the work is kind of like a hobby so that don’t
mind if they have to put in the hours, especially initially getting started, and other people
say “No, I really don’t want to do that, I want to play golf four times a week and I want
to, you know, travel, visit my grandchildren or whatever it might be.” So you have to
decide full or part time. Next thing you have to do also, Jan, I think and this based on
your experience in part you have to make a clear cut decision. Do I want to leverage the
experience that I have from what I’ve been doing and the knowledge and skills that I
have for what I’ve been doing, or do I want to get into something completely different
that I have passion or knowledge or a hobby in an area and I want to pursue that because
that turns me on and I really want to, basically, leave this professional stuff I’ve been
doing behind. I think you kind of have to make a clear cut decision there and when you
do you have to also realize that you can use that experience in a whole different way.
Instead of being a practitioner you can be a coach, instead of being a practitioner you can
be a niche specialist, you can become a consultant’s consultant on a very specific narrow
area, and just basically skin the crème off the profession and the activity at the highest
possible rate of pay because you’ve got the expertise in this very, very, specific area that
other professionals need. So all of those are possible but you have to begin sorting out
those choices.

Jan: Yes you certainly do. Those are very important choices.

Richard: Let’s talk about leaving a legacy and contributing to your community. Can you
talk a little bit about your experience with people in regard to that? What does it mean
and what are some examples of people doing that? What’s going on? What does that
mean? A lot of people are going to hear that and they’re going to say “Well, I don’t
really understand what that means.”

Jan: Yes, some people – I’m actually working with someone now who wants to leave a
legacy and what she’s doing is she’s taking a lot of the information and experience that
she has gained over the years and her specific expertise and putting that into a Web site
and information products so that she can share that knowledge and expertise much as you
were talking about a minute ago with other people so that they don’t have to learn at all
from scratch they can take what her experience and build on that.
Richard: Well, legacy in this case, Jan, let’s define it so people really understand what
we’re saying when we talk about a legacy.

Jan: A legacy, yes, sometimes a legacy is a financial legacy that they pass onto their
children or to charitable causes. Another one, the way this person wanted to do it, was
she really wanted to give people the information that she had learned so they don’t have
to start from scratch and learn it all themselves.

Richard: Yeah, I haven’t looked up…

Jan: Passing it along.

Richard: Yeah, I think it’ll be interesting to look up the definition. We don’t have time
to do it now but I bet it has to do with the giving of a gift that, basically, it’s giving a gift
to whether its society or the community or your peers or your offspring or it can be for

Jan: Yes.

Richard: …in a gift to civilization…

Jan: That’s right.

Richard: …in a way I suppose to be that broad. So what’s – can you speak specifically
about this person and what is the field?

Jan: Well, I was going to say another one was an attorney and one of the things he really
felt was missing in his career and at the stage that he was at was he was very good at
what he had done and he’d been doing it for years and he loved what he was doing,
however, he wanted to leave a legacy which was more of his contributing and his
expertise working with charitable organizations in his local community where he can use
his expertise and pass that along.

Richard: What specifically was his expertise?

Jan: He’s an attorney in estate planning.

Richard: Okay, so how was he going to do that? Let’s tease it out a little for people to
see an example at work.

Jan: That’s where he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do. So we went through the
vision process and clarifying the vision that he had of what he wanted to do and also
really looking at his expertise and some of his expertise went beyond the law practice that
he had. He was a people person and he really wanted tow work closely with people. And
what he decided after we did part of this was to take some time off, he had some time
coming and he decided to take some time off and go someplace completely different
where he could think about it better before he made the decision. He had several
possibilities but what he wanted to do was have that time off and freedom to think.

Richard: Yeah, do you know I’ve talked to a lot of estate planning attorneys and its
funny how your perspective changes over time. When I was a high school student my
father really wanted me badly to become an estate planning attorney.

Jan: Oh.

Richard: Pardon me he wanted me to become an attorney.

Jan: Oh, okay.

Richard: That he absolutely wanted me to be a lawyer and his way of trying to help me
to do that was he had me visit a family friend who was a trust in estate planning attorney.
Well, my experience of it at that time, and I was probably 17 years old or something, my
experience of it at that time was so deadly dull, you k now, this law firm was so quite you
could hear a pin drop and it was like, you know, it was all about dead people and/or these
very, very turgent documents, you know, these very, very, intricate involved documents
and it was like “That’s not me.” But what I discovered – so that absolutely turned me off
to that entire path. But what I discovered, subsequently, is that estate planning attorneys,
especially today, they have to be part social worker, part psychologist, part guru, part
strong man, you know, they have to really do a tremendous amount of things and it’s a
very interesting field and we’re involved in it with the BBRC because people have these
issues right now and it’s front center is one of the things, one of the 10 key questions that
they have to deal with.

Jan: Yeah.

Richard: So what you’re saying, what I’m hearing is that even in a given profession there
are different facets or different sides of your personality that you can start to emphasize
that you didn’t have the opportunity to do in the format that you were operating in…

Jan: Yes, exactly.

Richard: …as a practicing attorney. He could be a coach for estate planning attorneys,
he could be a coach for financial planners in regard to that and then a completely – he
could do an information product, all sorts of things.

Jan: That’s right.

Richard: All sorts of possibilities, right, that’s what we’re trying to…

Jan: Exactly.

Richard: …do.

Jan: Exactly, that’s right. And part of it too is he can show other people how to run a
law practice and how to get clients all the things that he’s been doing in terms of
managing a law practice also.

Richard: So…

Jan: Very good point. Yeah, there are many different aspects that you don’t always get
to use in your career.

Richard: Yeah. So how to reduce the amount of friction that comes from just the process
of operating the law firm so that those who are doing that can actually spend more time in
productive ways relative to clients and their needs.

Jan: Yes.

Richard: Cool. Well, it certainly, you know, even as we’re discussing this, the
boundaries of all the possibilities are expanding. Why don’t we talk about a little bit now
how does this translate into – so it sounds to me like there’s a combination of leaving a
legacy, making an income and transforming your work life and it’s in different doses
depending on the specifics of your situation.

Jan: Yes, exactly. The specifics of your situation and really a lot of it is what you want
to do and how you want to live your life. One of the things that I’m working with my
clients with now is showing them how to create a lifestyle business and a lifestyle
business is a business that fits the life you want to live, which includes how many hours
do you want to work? Where do you want to be? How much do you want to travel?
Exactly what do you want to be doing? And then we design the business and getting the
income around that.

Richard: Let’s talk about some other possibilities…

Jan: Sure.

Richard: …in terms of a lifestyle business. What are some other areas – what are other
ways of translating expertise or deepening expertise in a particular area so that you can
translate it?

Jan: Yes. What some people are doing is they’re going to conferences and learning
things that they never had a chance to learn before because it wasn’t directly related to
the work they were doing. And so they’re deepening their experience to some degree and
they’re also learning things from a different point of view to broaden their experience and
their expertise. There’re people for example, who have been salespeople and they want
to use their sales and marketing skills in a new way, so rather than be a salesperson what
they’re looking at is helping a non-profit organization with fundraising.

Richard: Perfect. Perfect. Non-profit organizations need sponsors, they need to have
people who buy tables at events, they need to have people who fill seats, you know, all of
those things, and when you’re talking about non-profit you’ve got museums, you’ve got
children’s museums, you’ve got arts and performing arts, you have preservation,
conservation and…

Jan: Yes.

Richard: …just an endless number, you have causes, you have diseases, you know, there’s
cancer and multiple sclerosis and all of these different things that need help. They have
events that they’re doing to raise money and, my heaven, so that’s a whole area, that’s a
whole avenue in and of itself. Now, you’re not going to necessarily make money but you
might depending on the need of the organization and its budget and so forth.

Jan: Exactly, that’s right.

Richard: You may be able to be a consultant or have a project for which you do get
compensation. Jan, let’s talk about – you’ve talked a little bit about finding the things
that you love or that, you know, how to find your niche and you talk about ask yourself
“Who do you love to work with and what are their characteristics and qualities and…

Jan: Yeah.

Richard: …what can you do for them and where do you find them. Let’s talk about how
do you package yourself and your company when you’re on your own and you’re serious
about I want to make income at this not just do it for free?

Jan: That’s right. This is one of the most important things is packaging yourself. One of
the things to really make the serious income if you’re really serious about this you must
position yourself as the expert in your area., one of the ways to do that is have a specific
niche and have people recognize how are you different from someone else who does
something similar. For example, if someone were a doctor what they might have gained
the expert status as a physician, they might not have, and if they want to really after
retirement get a serious income they have to be seen as the expert.

Richard: Okay. Now, how do you do that?

Jan: Part of that is picking a niche of people to work with and some people think it’s
picking a niche really limits them. What it does is the opposite, if you have a very small
niche, for example, if your niche is chiropractors and you do marketing and your niche is
marketing for chiropractors you can easily stand out as the expert in doing this because
there aren’t so many people who have that niche. Another…

Richard: Well, you can go even narrower than that, you know, there is certain kinds of
chiropractors who have strength in certain kinds of ailments or certain…

Jan: Yes.

Richard: …methods of treatment.

Jan: Exactly. That’s right. And so you package yourself as the expert in that niche and
then it’s really a system of positioning yourself, writing articles, getting visibility, public
relations, a lot of marketing so that really people see that you’re the expert. Another way
to do this is through information products where you have a number of products like Ebooks
and audio CDs and home study course and on and on, when you have something
like that, and a book, that that really adds all to your credibility and they see you as the

Richard: And what about the unique selling proposition this 30 second elevator pitch

Jan: Yes. That’s really important. What you have to do to really get attention with that
is tell people what you do for them and the results you get not simply list a menu of all
the things you can possibly do for them that you do. Get their attention with and here’s –
let me give you an example, for a financial planner could say one of two things for an
elevator speech. One would be Hello, I’m Joe Smith, I’m a Financial Planner and I put
financial plans together for people. Well, when you hear that what’s your reaction it’s
sort of “Oh, well I don’t need that” or “So what it doesn’t really do anything for me.”
Another financial planner says Hello, I’m Joe Smith, I manage business owner’s finances
so that they can retire two to three years earlier than they thought they could.

Richard: Wow, what a difference.

Jan: So wow, what a difference. Yes, exactly.

Richard: Well, I went through that same process in developing a very brief description of
Baby Boomers Retirement Club and a 10 minute retirement plan, basically…

Jan: Oh, yeah.

Richard: …with 10 questions in 10 minutes that anyone could answer and there are no
wrong answers. You’ll get an intelligent plan to make the most of the rest of your life
and all the resources you need and how to have all the money you need to get there.

Jan: That’s great. That’s perfect. You know what you’re doing there, and also the
financial planner who was talking about so his plans could retire two to three years
earlier, what you do is you’re creating a picture in someone’s mind about what it will be
after they work with you or after they sign up to Baby Boomers Retirement Club. It’s
that picture that is so important.

Richard: Exactly. Well, let’s talk about the freebies that you’re offering for our listeners.
The Big Picture Worksheet and 57 Ways to Turn Information into Profits, is that really
free or are they really going to be able to get that?

Jan: They are really going to be able to get that. The way they can get that is to send an
email to me at

Richard: So

Jan: That’s right.

Richard: And…

Jan: And put 57 Ways in the subject line and we’ll send you both.

Richard: So is that – where did you get – is that from the Heinz Ketchup?

Jan: I started out with a list and it turned out be 57; there actually are many more than are
on that list but this is a really, really good place to start.

Richard: The 57 ways, yeah it sure is a good start. And what about The Big Picture
Worksheet, what’s that going to do for people?

Jan: The Big Picture Worksheet what that helps them with is the vision what they want
their retirement to be like. And they answer several easy questions thoughtful questions
and well, by the time they fill The Big Picture Worksheet out they will know the direction
to go in and some of the steps to start taking right away.

Richard: Fantastic. So they’re going to get that also when they send an email to and say 57 Ways in the subject?

Jan: That’s right they’ll get both of those.

Richard: Fantastic. Well, I think our BBRC members are really going to appreciate that,
that’s going to be very helpful to them. Jan it’s really been a pleasure having this talk
with you today and thanks for being on this call with us. I’m looking forward to working
with you in the future and to continue to develop these kinds of programs and services for
our members.

Jan: Oh, I’m looking forward to it too. Thank you so much for inviting me, Richard, it’s
been wonderful.

Richard: It’s Richard Roll at the Baby Boomers Retirement Club
and we’re going to sign off for now and talk to you soon. Bye, everyone.

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