064 Thomas O’Grady of Life Unsettled Talks About the Economy, Selling Gum, and Why the Boomers are in Trouble

064 OGrady

Bob welcomes Thomas O'Grady, Host of the Life Unsettled podcast, a self professed entrepreneur at heart, tells his story from being a child chewing gum tycoon to understanding just why there is so much individual struggle in the current economy.

After he graduated from Berkeley with his PhD in mathematics, he went to an interview at GM with no expectations.  He surprisingly landed a great job during research with unlimited computer support and a career for his wife and an assignment asking him to do whatever you want.  He later went to Chase to manage the automotive division.  He was told there that there was no way that the division would ever be profitable, so he went out and made it profitable. Bob points out that opportunities such as these don;t fall out of the sky, that they are indeed the result of ongoing hard work.

The one leader he has worked with that was an inspiration to him was Lee Iacocca.  He was known at the time to have a bit of a temper.  When he met him as a potential consultant, Thomas told him that he talked straight whether he wanted to hear the message or not.  Iacocca stood up and shook his hand saying it was about time he found someone that wouldn't be a yes man to him.

Thomas says the current economy is one in which the structure has changed and companies and individuals need to adjust.  He argues the country has transformed including how it looks at unemployment and the speed at which businesses expand.  The rules have changed as companies reduce costs by reducing hours and seeking a younger less costly work force.  Small businesses are the segment that seem to be experiencing real growth.

Finally, while in the service he did intelligence work and was recognized for successfully cracking Russian codes.  He also intimates that he has been asked to do more throughout his career.

Thomas' hit podcast Life Unsettled focuses on the challenges that Baby Boomers and others have shifting to later phases of their lives. He quotes Dave Ramsey when he mentions that 97% of people age 65 and over cannot write a check for $600.00.

His advice to a new MBA just hitting the street now?  Start setting aside for retirement now.

Thomas can be reached at Life Unsettled.

Thomas on Twitter

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