Thursday, December 15, 2011

Life after Ponzi

As most of you who have followed this blog know, two years ago last month we were "Madoff'd" by a New Hampshire Bernie-wannabe. We lost our entire retirement savings - including the money from the sale of my company, No Pudge!. My husband who had been working part-time and was about to retire completely, had to go back to work full-time. We were immensely lucky - he was able to find a job quickly, but the job he found was based in New York City. "Great!," we told each other, "An adventure is just what we need." I hunkered down in NH to finish the book I was sure would become a bestseller and to sell the four year-old dream house we were certain would sell quickly while he headed off to slay dragons (a.k.a. selling software) in Gotham City. 

Fast forward two years. On the not-so-great side of our life-ledger, the economy tanked, the house hasn't sold and, despite some rave reviews (Reviews!) The Pig & Me languishes.  On the pretty-great side, Paul's job enabled us to get an apartment in Brooklyn so he's no longer living in a hotel and commuting each week, and I'm not spending the winter alone in NH. Our two sons, one almost-son-except-he's-a-nephew, and their respective two girlfriends and one wife live in New York and we see them regularly. After twenty-five years of residing full-time in NH, living in The Big Apple is an adventure on steroids. I am learning to love our new life-style and Paul is actually beginning not to hate it. To say that we are blessed and have a great life would be no exaggeration. Oh yeah, except for one little thing... At 60 & 61, we have no financial cushion and retirement is a pipe-dream (guess that's two little things). 

I want/need to make a contribution to our financial well-being and since being a best-selling author doesn't appear to be in my immediate future, it's time to start a new journey. 

My first step on this new journey was to sign up for Steve Harrison's one-year Quantum Leap program.  Steve had been recommended as a marketing guru who helps people sell books, garner great PR and get speaking engagements. The recommendation was from someone whose opinion I trust completely, so I jumped online to check him out. There I discovered a description of his year-long program of education and support called "Quantum Leap". It's a program designed to help people fine-tune their message (message??) and then get that message out to their niche audience (if I don't have a message, how can I have a niche?). Turns out the day I checked it out was the day before applications for entrance into this twice a year program closed. Damn. My options were to wait six months or to apply on the spot. Being the patient, think-everything-through-before-jumping-in kind of person I am, I closed my eyes and took yet another huge leap of faith: I filled out and submitted the application. And got in.

I don't have a road map for this journey yet, but I have a starting point and that's something. I'm hoping you'll tag along, offer your thoughts and suggestions and maybe even shout-out a cheer now and then (not of the Bronx variety, please).