Your first act is school, your second act is work, but have you thought about what you’re going to do in your third act? Join host Liz Tinkham, a former Accenture Senior Managing Director, as she talks to guests who are happily “pretired” – enjoying their time, treasure, and talent to pursue their purpose and passion in the third act of their life.
Inspire others to get more and to do more later in life.
Athena helps women achieve executive-level leadership expertise, polish their boardroom and executive knowledge, get closer to board seats, and make leaps in their careers.
Third Act crossed a big milestone — 60 episodes and still going strong with fabulous guests! On today’s show, Liz talks with Third Act producers Lexie Banks and Evelyn Wong about what they’ve learned from the show’s guests, their favorite episodes and who their dream third act guest would be. Liz also talks about what she’s learned from guests Bradley Schurmann, Michael Clinton, Lori Trawinski, Stela Lupushor, Chip Conley, and Paolo Gaudiano about aging and, of course, what’s happening with her third act!
0:41 Introducing Lexie and Evelyn
1:25 Lexie and the liking the unconventional
3:40 Evelyn drawn to feminism
3:44 What Liz has learned about aging
5:44 Lessons for Lexie’s second act
8:17 Liz’s third act
9:36 Lexie’s dream guest
10:09 Evelyn’s dream guest
11:46 When is Hillary Clinton coming to Third Act?
12:22 Favorite episodes
If you enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe and share a review. Engage with more stories of those finding fulfillment in the third act of their lives on Liz Tinkham’s Third Act podcast at thirdactpodcast.com.
Liz Tinkham (00:06):
Hi. This is Liz Tinkham and welcome to Third Act, a podcast about people embracing the third act of their lives with a new sense of purpose and direction. The third act begins when your script ends but your show’s not finished.
Liz Tinkham (00:21):
Hello everyone and welcome to what I’m calling the 60th episode recap show. I’m joined today by my producers, Lexie Banks and Evelyn Wong and we’re going to have a quick discussion about what we’ve learned from the guests so far, some of the highlights, and maybe a low light or two, and where we’re headed with the Third Act. First I want them to introduce themselves, so, Lexie, give us a little bit of your background.
Lexie Banks (00:41):
My name is Lexie Banks. I am the marketing manager for Athena Alliance, which is the community for top executive women, where they can get access to the learning, opportunities, and networking to propel their career journeys forward. I currently work remotely in Morocco, but I’m originally from Oregon.
Liz Tinkham (01:01):
Okay. And Evelyn, give us your background as the other producer of the show.
Evelyn Wong (01:05):
Yeah, I’m also a co-producer of Third Act. I’m currently at the University of Washington, studying information systems and marketing.
Liz Tinkham (01:12):
Lexie, you’ve produced every episode of the Third Act and we’re obviously 60 in. As you think about that, which of our guests has really influenced your life and why? What have you taken away?
Lexie Banks (01:25):
Well, I really love the stories of people who are doing something kind of unconventional. I guess that’s most of your guests, but I think there’s been a lot of lessons that I can apply to my life now, even though I’m a millennial and still very much in the second act. For example, the recent episode with Shelli Brunswick launching the Space Foundation was really interesting to me because she found a new take on what she was already doing. Finding that next level of impact in her current space. Jamie Hunt, taking on the spirits industry and blending Amaro was so fun. And even Rhonda Mims was really interesting because I know a lot about her as an Athena member about her executive career, but hearing what she’s doing, expanding her impacting, getting into documentaries was so fun. And stories of people who are pushing themselves to the limits like Jerry Palmer, walking across the United States, that was so inspiring to me.
Liz Tinkham (02:21):
It was so inspiring. Evelyn, interestingly, at the end of the year, I downloaded my Spotify stats and I have quite a few folks who are in their early twenties. I think that’s probably because I’m a professor at the University of Washington, the gen Zers were not necessarily my target audience, but I have some, so what do you take away? What are some of the things you’ve learned?
Evelyn Wong (02:40):
Yeah, I definitely really enjoyed a lot of the episodes kind of keyed towards feminism and just evening out that playing field. Particularly with Eva Helen, she really recognized that continued gender disparity that’s going on. And she really just took those steps to remedy it, especially in that tech area. As well as episodes like Donna Orender, which she really had a focus on empowering the younger generation. Once again, in that predominantly male space, I just thought that those episodes are really meaningful. And I think that even though a lot of these guests are a lot farther ahead than us in college or whatever, there are a lot of fantastic lessons to learn and to keep in mind as you are forging through college or even as a young professional, you can definitely just continue looking ahead. And it’s something that I’m not usually thinking about as I’m very focused on just immediate short term stuff sometimes.
Lexie Banks (03:33):
There’s been so many episodes that kind of dance around this topic of aging and age discrimination. What has been your takeaway from those conversations?
Liz Tinkham (03:44):
I’ve interviewed Chip Conley, Michael Clinton, Bradley Schurman, Stela Lupushor, Lori Trawinski, and they’ve all talked about some work that they’ve been doing. What I take away is that there’s definitely age discrimination that’s out there but because the demographics of Western countries in particular are changing so much to be skewed towards older age, I do believe things are going to change and all of those guests talk about it. Particularly the three gentlemen who’ve written books on it. And there’s more companies that are employing older folks. They’re making things more accessible for them.
Liz Tinkham (04:25):
I think coming out of this sort of great resignation, that’s been coming out of the pandemic, we’re going to see more and more people stay in the workforce or go back into the workforce. I actually think it’s a really good time to get a little bit older because I think there’s more recognition that the world isn’t just for 15 to 30 year olds and there’s going to be more advertising targeted at older people because the age group is so much bigger than the younger ages and I think we’re going to see more work written on it, et cetera. I think it was good. I don’t know if either of you had an opinion on it.
Evelyn Wong (04:59):
I’ve heard about the concept of ageism in the workforce and I feel like though it wasn’t particularly relevant at this moment in time, it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to learn more about just to open up conversations around that because it’s something that I can empathize with. Usually discrimination in the workplace wise, we focus on gender, ethnicity, et cetera, but it’s definitely a very, very important conversation to have, particularly because your age shouldn’t discount you from the new skills you can learn and all the experience that you can still transfer and apply to a role.
Liz Tinkham (05:34):
Lexie, you’re in your second act, what lessons have you learned as you think about going forward into your third act, which may still be a few years off? I think you got to get back to the United States at least first, right?
Lexie Banks (05:44):
Yeah. That’s definitely true. Well, I am, despite not being in the US, already trying to plan ahead. And I think what resonated most with me from these episodes is that feeling of I can do more, I can make a bigger impact in this area. And the lesson I’m taking away or I guess my key learning is identifying those things now. And even if I’m in a place where I don’t have the time, treasure, or talent to be pursuing these things and actually making the full impact that I envision, I should be laying the groundwork and identifying these opportunities now.
Evelyn Wong (06:26):
I think what’s really important about listening to Third Act and just keeping that really long term mindset is something that I really hadn’t thought about at all. I think in general, when you’re a college student, you’re focused really, really on short term gratification, what am I going to do straight out of college? And what am I going to do for my next midterm coming up or my next final? But I think that with Third Act continuing to just be involved and listening to these stories, it makes me realize I have an entire life ahead of me. I have so much that I can do and fulfill and pursue and it’s not just the next five, 10 years that are going to define the rest of my life. And that’s something that I personally as a very risk averse person, it gives me a lot of comfort knowing that, just because I know that despite whatever may happen just in my second act, there’s still so many opportunities and things that I can figure out that I’m passionate about in my third.
Liz Tinkham (07:18):
Yeah. And we had guests like Lori Trawinski, who started off, she was an economist, then she went to become a comedian, which is just so interesting. And then she went back to working for AARP and eventually she wants to be a park ranger. Those are the four most diverse things I can possibly sort of think about, but it gives you an idea that you can kind of string those things together.
Lexie Banks (07:38):
Some of these people, whether it’s members like Rhonda Mims or Kim Alexis Newton or even Coco who founded Athena, hearing some of the stories behind what I know has happened, some of the stories behind the success that we see at the end, because of course we see, oh wow, they created this organization, they did this thing, but what struggles did they go over to get there? When did they feel like they failed? I think all those were the moments that really stuck out for me.
Liz Tinkham (08:06):
Lots of stories about failure across all of them. But then again, the resilience coming out of that.
Evelyn Wong (08:17):
What about your third act? Have you figured it out yet, Liz?
Liz Tinkham (08:21):
Well, I’m working on it. The third act has sort of turned into this podcast in some ways. But the key thing that I’ve always talked about is wanting to do something with my husband because when I was in my second act, I was so busy and we didn’t get that much chance to spend tons of time together. And I sometimes feel like as a woman in business with kids, you kind of take for granted your husband in some ways. And so since I retired, I’ve been really focused on making sure we do everything sort of together. And we are pursuing a board of a pretty strategic charity here in the Pacific Northwest where we would work on it together.
Liz Tinkham (08:56):
And I’m inspired by Tim Breene, by Steve Wilcox, by Andre Hughes, by a number of my guests who have gone on to do that kind of work. Katherine Lucey did the Solar Sisters, et cetera. Hopefully that’s going to work out this year. Maybe when we do our 100th episode recap or something, I’ll have something to announce, but that would be really fun, to take what we know, sort of our brains, and to apply it to some broader sense of good.
Liz Tinkham (09:26):
I want to ask you, as we think going forward, we’ve done 60 episodes, we’re marching towards a 100, who would be some of your favorite guests to have? Lexie, who would you like to see on the show?
Lexie Banks (09:36):
I want to talk to Martha Stewart about her jail act.
Evelyn Wong (09:44):
Oh my goodness.
Liz Tinkham (09:46):
I’m not sure she’d consider that her third act, but okay. Because she’s done so much more. I saw she was getting into the cannabis gummy bears.
Lexie Banks (09:55):
Yeah. I’m not sure which act it is for her but I want to hear about them all and how she sees them all tie in together. What is her why?
Liz Tinkham (10:03):
Yeah. No, she would be fascinating and talk about resilient. Talk about resilient. What about you, Evelyn? Who’d you like to see on the show?
Evelyn Wong (10:09):
Ooh. Dream guest would definitely either be, I think Simu Liu, the actor that was playing Shang-Chi in the recent Marvel movie. I know that he’s really young, but he was briefly at Deloitte and I think it’s so interesting how he pivoted from Deloitte to being a Marvel main character. I just thought that was so cool. I’d love to hear about that even though he is younger.
Liz Tinkham (10:33):
Okay producer, you got to get him on the show.
Evelyn Wong (10:35):
Oh yeah. You know me, can I do it?
Liz Tinkham (10:37):
Yeah, you go for it.
Evelyn Wong (10:38):
No, not at all.
Liz Tinkham (10:39):
Just DM him. Slip into his DMs, there you go.
Evelyn Wong (10:41):
Yeah. No, I also just think he’s just, I love his acting. I love like what he stood for in the Shang-Chi movie. I watch that movie so many times, I cried every single time.
Liz Tinkham (10:50):
Evelyn Wong (10:51):
But I also think Robert Downey Jr. would be fantastic, in that same vein, because I remember he had a really harsh growing up, with addiction and that sort of thing. The way he pulled himself out of that and managed to become just kind of the face of Marvel, insanity. That’s truly such an inspiring story. Those are kind of some.
Liz Tinkham (11:09):
Yeah. And I just heard him on Pivot, which is one of my favorite podcasts with Scott Galloway and Kara Swisher and he is producing now and he’s directing and producing movies and he’s also a huge fan of theirs and they’re really into tech. I think he’s gotten into tech investing. I totally agree with you, Evelyn. It’s so funny because I just heard him and I thought, what an inspiring story, given everything that’s happened to him. I think he was in jail at one point too. We got kind of a jail theme going here actually.
Evelyn Wong (11:36):
Oh my goodness.
Liz Tinkham (11:37):
How people have come out of jail and come back.
Liz Tinkham (11:46):
As I think about going forward, we were kind of rolling around in this earlier that I’d love to see Hillary Clinton, what do you do after you lose probably her sixth act but being the President of the United States, what do you go on to do? And she has a podcast. She’s doing some interesting things. Love to have her on the show. Ginni Rometty, who used to be the chairman and CEO of IBM. She stepped down a couple years ago. She’s doing some bigger boards, but I haven’t really seen her surface quite to see what she’s doing. Lots of interesting guests, if you two producers can work on getting those folks on.
Lexie Banks (12:21):
Let’s do it.
Liz Tinkham (12:22):
Evelyn, as we think about all the ones that you’ve edited and thought about, any favorite episodes?
Evelyn Wong (12:27):
I think my favorite episode would have to be the May Lee episode.
Liz Tinkham (12:30):
Oh, I loved her.
Evelyn Wong (12:31):
Yeah, for sure. I think that she was one of the most relatable for me as an Asian American woman and what she shared about AAPI was just really meaningful to me. It really deeply resonated. And I feel that sharing that perspective and kind of being able to publicize that aspect of current events was just something that kind of deeply affected me because at the time it was as well. I’m really glad that we had her on the show.
Liz Tinkham (12:58):
I was driving when I was originally talking to her and I was so struck by her story and I was kind of in a hurry but I had to pull over on the road and got out a piece of paper because I’m pretty good at memory, but I’m writing it all down thinking because it was just so compelling and I loved, loved, loved interviewing her. What about you Lexie? Any favorite episodes of yours?
Lexie Banks (13:18):
I had a lot of favorite episodes, but one favorite moment, I guess I haven’t mentioned yet, was Chris Peterson, the former head coach of UW football, talking about the life scoreboard and society’s scoreboard. I think that was really an impactful lesson that everyone can apply to their lives. And I really did enjoy his episode. It probably was one of my top favorites that I haven’t mentioned.
Liz Tinkham (13:45):
I loved talking to gosh, Jerry Palmer, maybe I was so shocked by what he said about walking across the United States and just the way that he phrased all of that and the kindness of strangers. I thought his story was very impactful. Dominique Mielle, who had the crush on her Stanford professor and that’s how she got into the type of banking and finance work she was doing, I thought was just hilarious. Stela Lupushor, who got into HR because she knew tech in Russia and they put her on the SAP HR module because she was the gal. I thought that was just like, what? But she’s end up really making hay out of that. And there’s just so many great moments from so many of the episodes. I just feel really blessed that I’m able to do this. Thank you all to all of our listeners for staying with the show. If you like this podcast, please go out and rate it on your favorite platform and more to come. Thank you, Lexie, thank you, Evelyn.
Liz Tinkham (14:47):
Thanks for joining me today to listen to the Third Act Podcast. You can find show notes, guest bios and more at thirdactpodcast.com. If you enjoyed our show today, please subscribe and write a review on your favorite podcast platform. I’m your host Liz Tinkham, I’ll be back next week with another guest who’s found new meaning and fulfillment in the third act of their life.
Want to share the story of your own Third Act on our podcast? We welcome stories from executives who pivoted their careers to find their passion and purpose later in their lives. Tell us more about yourself to be considered as a guest.