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.
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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.
On today’s show, Liz talks with David Harry Stewart — The Super Ageist. David is the founder and face of Ageist, a new media company and agency that champions the vitality and influence of the modern 50-plus. David’s second act was as a professional photographer, but he eventually realized that there was something just not right in photographing 20- and 30-year olds for products targeting people over 50. So he and a friend launched media agency Ageist to represent the mindset and aspirations that drive this influential demographic. Today, he is a passionate champion and leading authority for those in the modern 50-plus age group.
1:52 Becoming a photographer
5:00 Getting really good at it
6:11 The 20 year olds in the 50+ campaign
10:54 Starting Ageist
16:26 Knowing a lot about 18% of the population between 50 and 70
18:23 The MasterMind class
22:17 The SuperAge podcast
30:00 The mindset of the Super Ageist
35:24 What’s ahead for the Ageist Agency?
Find out more about David Harry Stewart. Learn more about the Ageist podcast and magazine here.
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.
0:00:06.4 Liz Tinkham: 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.
0:00:21.2 Liz Tinkham: Hi and welcome to Third Act. On today’s show, I talk with David Harry Stewart, The Super Ageist. David is the founder and face of Ageist, a new media company and agency that champions the vitality, capabilities, and influence of the modern 50-plus. People like me, which is why I so enjoyed interviewing him. David’s second act was as a professional photographer, but he eventually realized that there was something just not right in photographing 20 and 30-year olds for products targeted at people over 50, so he and a friend decided to launch their agency Ageist to represent the mindset and aspirations that drive this influential demographic. Today, he is a passionate champion and leading authority for those of us in the modern 50-plus age group. Good morning, David, and welcome to the show. How are you?
0:01:16.0 David Harry Stewart: I’m great. Thanks for having me today.
0:01:17.8 Liz Tinkham: You’re welcome, as I mentioned in the intro. You have a successful podcast called The Super Age. How did you come up with that title? And what does it mean to you?
0:01:25.5 David Harry Stewart: Well, who doesn’t want a super age?
0:01:27.1 Liz Tinkham: Well, I want a super age, so tell me what you’re meaning by that?
0:01:30.3 David Harry Stewart: Well, it means living your best life now, and I think that so much of the media attention out there is more like, “Let’s live a diminished age.”
0:01:40.0 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:01:40.8 David Harry Stewart: I don’t wanna do that.
0:01:42.0 Liz Tinkham: I know, I know.
0:01:42.8 David Harry Stewart: I want a super age.
0:01:43.8 Liz Tinkham: We’ll get to that in a little bit, but let me go back to your first act. So where did you go to school? And how did you end up as a professional photographer?
0:01:52.1 David Harry Stewart: In high school, I was kind of a shy kid, and I was highly imaginative, which led to my fellow students and teachers not really understanding me too well. So I just got really quiet and so they interpreted that as me being dumb, and I was told I couldn’t handle going to college, because I’m not smart enough so I said, “Well, fuck you, buddy.”
0:02:15.4 Liz Tinkham: I know.
0:02:17.4 David Harry Stewart: What’s the hardest thing… I’m going… What’s the hardest thing I can do, so I went to engineering school, which is sort of like joining the Marines. It’s super hard.
0:02:27.1 Liz Tinkham: Yes, I went to engineering school too, it is super hard.
0:02:29.6 David Harry Stewart: It’s super hard, and it was back in the day when things were not PC and you would get yelled at and humiliated, it was tough. So I did that and I did really well, but I decided I didn’t really wanna be an engineer because it was just too focused on one thing and I wanted to learn more, and I didn’t like the idea of sitting around for work all the time, so I went to Boston University and I got a degree in political science, but that was a little large but so much easier than engineering, that at the same time, I enrolled in a photography school at night, in this little technical school that was… Kenmore Square in Boston, doing School of Photography, and then… I think I had a job too… Anything is easier than engineering school?
0:03:17.9 Liz Tinkham: I would agree, yeah…
0:03:19.0 David Harry Stewart: It’s so hard.
0:03:19.1 Liz Tinkham: My first job was easier than engineering school.
0:03:21.5 David Harry Stewart: It’s just so hard.
0:03:23.8 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:03:24.3 David Harry Stewart: So then at… I think I was like 23, and I just declared myself a photographer, I just said, “If you say it you are.” Like a few months I was getting commercial jobs and my first ad in Vogue when I was 24…
0:03:39.4 Liz Tinkham: Who was it for? Who was your first ad for? Do you remember?
0:03:42.5 David Harry Stewart: It was like a clothing company. I don’t remember exactly who… It was… Joan Severance was the model, and I forget the name of the brand, and then moved to Paris, and I worked for the magazines there, and then I came back, and I worked in New York for about 25 years. For all the magazines, I did like a dozen covers in New York Times magazine, I did maybe 1000 advertising campaigns, I travelled over the world, and it’s a super fun job, that world doesn’t really exist anymore, but it did when I was. And it was fun.
0:04:15.4 Liz Tinkham: So why did… I mean I know that print advertising has certainly decreased, is that why it doesn’t exist anymore?
0:04:21.5 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, the economics of the ecosystem just don’t work, so the magazines were supported by print advertising… Print advertising cratered. Right basically, what happened was digital, so digital changed everything, it changed the means of production, the means of distribution, and the means of consumption, and all of that meant that… You know there were like maybe 50 people in the world who could do what I did, and suddenly that moat was no longer there.
0:04:50.9 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:04:51.4 David Harry Stewart: And the means of consumption on the other end, digital and then social media, so everything just kinda went upside down on that.
0:05:00.2 Liz Tinkham: So there are… I mean, there had to have been thousands of photographers working at the time you were working, and obviously, if you were able to make a career out of it, you must have been really good. What do you think distinguished your abilities over others, such that you were able to keep going with that career and build on it?
0:05:18.0 David Harry Stewart: Well I’m stubborn.
0:05:22.6 Liz Tinkham: Okay.
0:05:23.0 David Harry Stewart: And I had this degree in mechanical engineering.
0:05:25.7 Liz Tinkham: Okay.
0:05:25.7 David Harry Stewart: So the tactical stuff, which back then in the beginning was really a big deal, you couldn’t… It wasn’t like a phone, there was no auto-focus there is no auto anything, it was transparency filming, you really had to know what you’re doing. So that was good, and I’m pretty good with aesthetics and… I don’t know. It just so worked out…
0:05:50.3 Liz Tinkham: So you just had that edge and you were… It was working out.
0:05:52.4 David Harry Stewart: Yeah it was just like a… It was just like combination of things like… I’ve had agents, photo agents tell me I’m sort of unique, and that I have this left brain and right brain thing that most photographers aren’t they’re sort of like one or the other, they’re like super technical or they’re super creative and I can sort of do both.
0:06:11.9 Liz Tinkham: Got it, got it. So eventually you realized you’re shooting ad campaigns for purchasers who are over 50, but the photos are of people who are younger, who was that? And what did you do about it? You kinda had this sort of moment, right.
0:06:24.9 David Harry Stewart: Pretty much everything is bought by people over 50, and the only things that are exclusively not… I mean maybe you’re like Forever 21 or something, I don’t know, but there is like…
0:06:35.3 Liz Tinkham: Kylie Jenner, Lip Pump.
0:06:36.9 David Harry Stewart: Right? That stuff…
0:06:37.3 Liz Tinkham: Exactly.
0:06:38.6 David Harry Stewart: But I mean if you’re not in that world, everything else is people over 50, the largest consumer segment for Apple products is men over 65, they buy more than anybody else.
0:06:51.6 Liz Tinkham: You’re kidding.
0:06:52.3 David Harry Stewart: No who knew.
0:06:53.1 Liz Tinkham: Men over 65?
0:06:54.6 David Harry Stewart: Yeah.
0:06:55.2 Liz Tinkham: Wow.
0:06:55.8 David Harry Stewart: I mean, they’re not just buying them from themselves, they’re buying for everyone in their family.
0:06:58.9 Liz Tinkham: For their family. Right, right, right okay.
0:07:00.8 David Harry Stewart: But they’re the ones writing a check. So it’s not the 23 year old that is going on buying a MacBook pro or the latest iPhone or anything. It’s their parents. So what was interesting to me was that I came to realize that we were selling products, and services to a consumer base that was not buying them. Only, essentially because of laziness on the part of the brand people, because that’s all they knew how to do. And it didn’t make any sense to me at all. I mean, I understood, they were like involved in the decision making cascade, but they weren’t the ones actually doing it. So I thought, well, that’s a little bit of dissonance there. What’s up with that, how can we investigate that and see what’s going on?
0:07:49.4 Liz Tinkham: And so you were saying to me that the advertisers were asking the wrong questions, they weren’t asking how people see themselves in the future.
0:07:57.1 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, that’s right.
0:07:58.8 Liz Tinkham: What were they asking? Like, were they looking at…
0:08:01.1 David Harry Stewart: Well they believe in the wrong stuff I mean, they’ve gotten a little better at it now this was like seven years ago, but you know, seven years ago there was this sort of immediate sort of reflex. We want the 23 to 28 year old consumer, because they have this long consuming ramp and basically, well Bob’s doing that. So we should do that, sort of mentality. And they’re, you know and the creative departments an art director and advertising sort of tops out around 32, maybe.
0:08:32.0 Liz Tinkham: Oh my goodness me.
0:08:32.7 David Harry Stewart: And director like 38. So, you know, they’re gonna sort of sell to the people they know and question this and they say, well, we can’t time travel into the future and that’s sort of our advantage, we can time travel back, we can’t time travel forward.
0:08:46.4 Liz Tinkham: Got it.
0:08:48.4 David Harry Stewart: And you know, they were doing this sort of quantitative analysis, which is like big data analysis. They’ll say, okay, we want a consumer that’s between, whatever ages, like 45 to 55, this is the income level, this is the zip code, the educational level, all that stuff. So that’s how they were doing it. But it was a total fail because it doesn’t tell you, I mean, it tells you something it’s not total fail. It tells you a little bit, but the main thing you wanna know, but the crux of the whole thing about what determines someone’s behavior and that includes their consuming behavior is how do they see themselves in the future.
0:09:29.5 Liz Tinkham: In the future right.
0:09:30.7 David Harry Stewart: So do they see this sort of long health span, optimistic open… So if you have that you’re open, you’re curious. You’re gonna try new things. If you think it’s game over in five years, why on Earth would you try anything new? No. You’re just like your curiosity closes down, your access to new information, your desirability, your desire for new information goes down, and you become sort of fossilized. So you really, you know, what we found was, you want these people who are thinking positively, optimistically about their future, and guess what, if you think optimistically about your future, you’re gonna behave in a way to cause that to happen.
0:10:12.8 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. And you’re gonna buy the products that are gonna fix that.
0:10:15.2 David Harry Stewart: They’re gonna help you do that. And it’s like, oh, buy a new house. Okay, great. Oh, new car, new, whatever, because I’m gonna be around. But if I think I’m it’s game over in five years, like, Hey, let’s go join Jimmy Buffett and drink myself to death. Like whatever. So that’s, I mean, and there’s a, you know, whatever people can do, whatever they wanna do. They’re not those people are not the people that I understand.
0:10:36.1 Liz Tinkham: And so you said that you sent a newsletter or questionnaire out to 50 of your friends.
0:10:41.6 David Harry Stewart: Yeah. World domination.
0:10:43.0 Liz Tinkham: And what’d you ask them? Go ahead.
0:10:45.2 David Harry Stewart: Well, I just, it was like the beginning of our publishing.
0:10:47.7 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:10:48.2 David Harry Stewart: So it was this very basic sort of text. I mean, I, maybe we put a picture in it. I don’t even know.
0:10:54.3 David Harry Stewart: It was really pretty basic, it was basically just an email that said, you know, Hey, welcome to Ageist and I think we did a…
0:11:01.8 Liz Tinkham: Oh, this is the start of Ageist. So you have the idea?
0:11:03.9 David Harry Stewart: Yeah. The start of Ageist yeah.
0:11:05.2 Liz Tinkham: Okay Okay.
0:11:05.7 David Harry Stewart: But it was like 50, not 50,000.
0:11:09.2 Liz Tinkham: Right, right.
0:11:10.0 David Harry Stewart: Very different thing.
0:11:11.6 Liz Tinkham: And so you were seeking information from them on what, what they were yeah.
0:11:15.4 David Harry Stewart: We weren’t seeking information on them. We were just publishing, we just said like.
0:11:18.1 Liz Tinkham: Ah, okay.
0:11:18.8 David Harry Stewart: Hey, look at these interesting people, look at this like interesting stuff that’s going on.
0:11:22.4 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. Yeah. And so you and a friend decide to launch, is it the Ageist media agency at this point?
0:11:27.7 David Harry Stewart: Well, yes.
0:11:28.2 Liz Tinkham: What’s your intent?
0:11:29.6 David Harry Stewart: Well, the intent we discovered this anomaly that there are all these people out there who are not being properly addressed, who are essentially being infantilized told that they, you know, there is no future, be very scared. This is a horrible thing.
0:11:45.9 Liz Tinkham: Right being force fed as I don’t know if you ever listened to Scott Galloway on Pivot, but he always says CNN force feeds you insurance and drug ads all day.
0:11:54.9 David Harry Stewart: It’s that stuff.
0:11:55.4 Liz Tinkham: Horrible.
0:11:56.4 David Harry Stewart: Well it, it works great with cable news, because cable news is all about, be scared. Be very scared, watch more, get more scared, get more scared and then it’s like, oh, LA yeah, pharma and ARP and all this stuff, dove tables, real really well into that mindset.
0:12:09.9 Liz Tinkham: Right be scared. Okay.
0:12:12.2 Liz Tinkham: I am scared.
0:12:13.9 David Harry Stewart: I am scared. I’m gonna watch more CNN and, and find this weird chick.
0:12:15.4 Liz Tinkham: Or Fox news, whichever one I pick. Right.
0:12:18.3 David Harry Stewart: Yeah whatever.
0:12:21.4 David Harry Stewart: So we saw this anomaly and we understood this future looking pivot point and. So then we did a lot of research. We did thousands of hours of recorded video interviews to really understand this better. Like what are the drivers, what are the ambitions, what’s going on here? What’s different between me and my parents, or me and my wife’s family’s from North Georgia. So 63 in North Georgia is a very different thing than like the people that I know. So what, what are those differences? And, and let’s understand that.
0:12:58.4 David Harry Stewart: And we knew even seven years ago, starting a media company was suicidal because you are going up against Fox and CNN and Facebook and Google. So you’re gonna lose unless you have just, endless amounts of capital. And we had had, we had access to some of the internal financials of other recently launched media companies. And we saw like the amount of money they were spending on the churn, versus the revenue. It was impossible. It was just like a business impossibility. So we said, okay, well we’re not gonna do that. We’ll do, we’ll do publishing, but let’s make our money with our knowledge base.
0:13:36.0 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:13:36.4 David Harry Stewart: So let’s go to brands and companies and say like, Hey, we know a lot about this customer and my guess is this is one of your main customers. And if it’s not, it should be, and here we can talk. You, we can tell you like what they’re about and what channels they use and how to talk to them and what they’re interested in. And this might be useful to you.
0:14:00.3 Liz Tinkham: Is the agency, the Ageist tell us a little bit about everything you do as part of that.
0:14:03.9 David Harry Stewart: What we have here, what you see when you go to ageist.com is you see a media front end to what is a consultancy. So most people, 99% of the people who interact with us are readers of the content. Are people who enjoy the whole 360 ecosystem. We have developed around this positive sort of vital, vivid, forward leaning sort of person and, through, and we don’t, we once in a while we do a famous person, but not too much. It’s more like, Hey, these are kind of like regular people hidden in plain sight that are doing cool stuff. You wanna know how to do that here? This is what they did. And then we talk about health, and science and travel and fashion, and a lot of other things that are confusing to people, then the other part of what we do this agency we have. And so we model our business after the way Monocle, Monocle magazine is really sort of the media front end for wink design. So that’s Tyler Relays.
0:15:09.2 David Harry Stewart: So Wink designed as like the branding for the country of Finland, but they had this media, they had this sort of media front end and the two works synergistically and, and Vice back then was sort of similar. So Vice was essentially a production company that produced this stuff.
0:15:26.7 Liz Tinkham: Right.
0:15:26.9 David Harry Stewart: But they didn’t make any money on the production of the stuff. It was all like working for AT&T and Microsoft and people like that.
0:15:32.8 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:15:33.3 David Harry Stewart: So that’s, so that’s what we, that’s still, what we do. So we work with big, we just did a big thing for the largest sneaker company in the world. And I can’t tell you the name because they’ll cut my head off, right. We work for big car companies, finance companies, consumer companies, sort of… We do a range of stuff depending on what you need. And they’re all manifestations of this knowledge base that we have. So it could be, you want your finance company, and you really like numbers, so, okay. We’ll do like a big quant analysis for you. You want, qualitative feedback on whatever you’re up to. We can do that. We produce white papers. We produce branded content that lives on other people’s channels on our channels.
0:16:19.9 Liz Tinkham: And your knowledge base is all based on these aspirational older vessels. Is that correct?
0:16:26.3 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, so really, my data people tell us our, our sort of like core people, our core knowledge is 18% of the population between 50 and 70. Now what’s interesting about that is.
0:16:39.9 Liz Tinkham: It’s pretty impressive, 18%.
0:16:41.3 David Harry Stewart: Yeah. Well, the other, whatever it is, 82%, we don’t know anything about.
0:16:47.2 Liz Tinkham: Right. Okay.
0:16:50.0 David Harry Stewart: But but a lot of those 82% look to the 18% as role models and influencers and like, how do we get this? Right. And, and I tell the brands that we work with, I said, just slightly under 50% of our readers are under 50, and 25% of them under 30.
0:17:09.1 Liz Tinkham: Wow.
0:17:10.7 David Harry Stewart: So if you hit the button, right, you speak to everybody up and down the age comp, because you’re cool. Everybody wanted to be cool.
0:17:17.6 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. I see what you’re saying.
0:17:18.6 David Harry Stewart: Yeah. Don’t, don’t stop it with a golden retriever and the Dockers on the beach and all that shit. Like, the Viagra ads and the like, really, so we don’t, that’s what we do.
0:17:33.0 Liz Tinkham: So do you miss.
0:17:33.7 David Harry Stewart: We do cool, cool and faceless?
0:17:35.1 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. So do you miss being a photographer or you still do as like that?
0:17:37.6 David Harry Stewart: Yeah. I still do it for it’s super fun. It’s such a fun job. Oh my God. I had such a good time. I was really, really lucky to be in that world in a time when it was really thriving.
0:17:50.5 Liz Tinkham: Right.
0:17:52.1 David Harry Stewart: So now, I still have that skillset. Yeah. And I use it really just for, I don’t work for anybody else. Just Ageist or sometimes one of our brands wants us to, wants me to do something for them. But, but otherwise.
0:18:05.9 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. Well, your web, your website is beautiful visually.
0:18:09.5 David Harry Stewart: Thanks, thank you.
0:18:09.6 Liz Tinkham: As it would be as you’re a photographer, but we’ll, we’ll come back to that. One of the things I love is you offer this really interesting class called mastermind. Talk about the class and what it is.
0:18:23.0 David Harry Stewart: Oh yeah. Yeah. So we do… A couple times a year, we do these, they’re really master classes, but I just love being able to say “Mastermind.”
0:18:33.1 Liz Tinkham: Okay.
0:18:33.3 David Harry Stewart: It’s so James Bond, like, “Ah, mastermind.”
0:18:36.1 Liz Tinkham: Do we get to shoot guns if we go or, well, interesting. Like, does what’s his name come or what’s her name? Come and show us all the cool gadgets. Oh, blank on the guy’s name. Okay.
0:18:46.3 David Harry Stewart: It’s so what it is, it’s, it’s really a master class in how to super age and it’s a very tight group. We keep it like, 10 to 15 people and it’s super high touch, when… Before you join, you have to apply. And then you talk to me for, half hour, an hour. And one of my superpowers is like, in 10 minutes of you telling me about whatever’s going on with you, I can like right away say like, “Okay, stop, you need to do X, Y, Z.”
0:19:20.3 Liz Tinkham: Okay.
0:19:23.3 David Harry Stewart: So, we break… The super age program. What we realize is people… Everybody wants the blue pill or the red bill, and it’s really more about the basics. So I say like, listen, we need to get what we call the big rocks straight first. So that’s, what are you eating? Exercise, how are you moving, let’s talk about your sleep and let’s talk about de-stressing how you’re dealing with that. And so we have this venn diagram of how these things interact, and if you’re weak in any one of those, the other ones don’t work. So you gotta get all four of those straight. And then we can talk about the exotic stuff. But those four things, that’s like 90, 95% of it. So we, we help people sort of navigate that.
0:20:07.6 David Harry Stewart: Depending on what we’re talking about, I can be very prescriptive with telling people like, “Alright, this is how you get sleep, like you need to do this.” With food, it’s more generalized because it’s so individualistic, we each sort of digest processed foods, we have different levels of activity, different things we wanna do. So that’s a little different, but we still… We tell people, especially with the food, very few people have any idea of what they’re eating, like none. They just eat that and it sort of mindlessly, and they’ll say, “Well, I eat vegetables or I eat beets,” and they don’t think it’s like, “Well, how many grams of protein did you eat today?”
0:20:50.3 Liz Tinkham: Oh yeah.
0:20:50.5 David Harry Stewart: And then they just look at me like, they have no idea? So that is sort of like the first thing is this, the most fundamental thing that you do, it’s not your bank account, it’s not how fast… You know how fast your car goes, you know all these other metrics in your life, but you don’t know this. So let’s get real about this and then see where we are can go with that. So we do that, and then… I think it’s very important that people have a cohort, that they have a gang. And oftentimes the people who join, it’s the really wide range of experiences. You have people who have a B in their net worth, and people who are much more humble, and they also work together, because everybody has this desire of where they wanna go, which is living the best life…
0:21:38.1 Liz Tinkham: To super age.
0:21:38.7 David Harry Stewart: To super age. How do you do this? How do you make disease essentially an option, have requirements, so lifestyle choices have consequences.
0:21:52.9 Liz Tinkham: And through this, you talk through all that. Help them figure that out.
0:21:55.7 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
0:21:57.0 Liz Tinkham: So I’m gonna pivot a little bit to the part of the interview where I get to learn something from you, ’cause you have got an awesome podcast called Super age, which by the way, I was listening to prior to Bradley Sherman introducing us.
0:22:08.0 David Harry Stewart: Oh Bradley.
0:22:08.8 Liz Tinkham: So because… Yeah, right. Then so.
0:22:11.4 David Harry Stewart: He’s brilliant by the way.
0:22:13.1 Liz Tinkham: What’s that?
0:22:13.9 David Harry Stewart: He is brilliant.
0:22:14.8 Liz Tinkham: Oh yeah, yeah. And his book is… The super age is…
0:22:17.1 David Harry Stewart: It is great.
0:22:17.6 Liz Tinkham: It is great. Great. We interviewed him in January, I interviewed him in January. I’m still quoting things from that book because it was so amazing, but you have such a wide variety of guests from health, relationships, fashion, travel, etcetra. How do you… Talk about how you got that podcast going, ’cause if it’s not the exact same as mine… But it’s targeting some of the same groups, how did you get going? Where do you find your guests… Etcetera.
0:22:44.3 David Harry Stewart: So I find the guests like now… We’re much bigger now, so people… I get hit up endlessly.
0:22:51.1 Liz Tinkham: Oh people come to you.
0:22:52.7 David Harry Stewart: And yeah just like…
0:22:53.6 Liz Tinkham: And then you have to weed them out. I get to some of that, not as much…
0:22:56.1 David Harry Stewart: They are PR people, and most of that is just like delete delete delete delete. And then oftentimes it’s somebody that I come across, somebody that I need, or I… Some tangentially, somebody that will tell me about like,” Oh, this person’s wrote this really interesting book, you should check them out.” And I bring people on that … Fundamentally, they’re just interesting to me. I wanna talk to them, and I figure, the baseline outcome is I have an interesting conversation with each new interesting person, and maybe somebody else likes it too… Cool. That I’ve never been able to… In my photography career, or the way we run editorial at Ageist, I have no… I can’t get into anybody else’s head, like then I just get… I just get lost, it’s like,” Well, what do you… ” I don’t know. But if you ask me what do I like, Oh, I can tell you that. So that’s just sort of how I make the decisions. It’s like, “Oh, I like you, you’re interesting, and you know you have some sort of interesting thing that I wanna learn about,” and my guess is if I wanna learn about it, there’s somebody else out there who wants to learn about it too.
0:24:06.6 Liz Tinkham: Yeah, that is the way I feel about it too. So we just did… For my podcast, we just did like a recap, 60th episode recap, and we have kind of summarized some of the fun things we’ve learned. If you think about it, I know you have had hundreds of guys, but what are some of the things that you’re learning about super aging from your guests?
0:24:21.4 David Harry Stewart: Some sort of the main thing is that we have… First of all, science matters.
0:24:30.2 Liz Tinkham: Yeah, yeah, you have a lot of really interesting… Like health experts, I’ve noticed and in different topics…
0:24:35.7 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, it’s not goop. Like if you wanna come on, and you’re gonna tell me some… I listened to some very popular podcast guy the other day and in the sun, and I was like, I “Oh my God, why are you telling people that you are gonna kill them?” If you’re gonna come on, you’re gonna say something, you better have some science behind that or you are not coming on to say it.
0:25:00.1 Liz Tinkham: Okay, so now Joe Rogan, anti-vax… Back to…
0:25:04.2 David Harry Stewart: We don’t roll like that. Yeah, Rogan would just have anybody on… Just because they are controversial, I don’t do that. I feel like I’ve got a responsibility here as the gatekeeper, and if I’m gonna bring somebody on, you’re either funny ’cause I like funny or you are entertaining, or you’ve got something like you’ve spent the last 30 or 40 years researching whatever, and your peers think that you’re really smart and you know what you’re doing. So okay, why don’t you come on and explain this, whatever it is, and then… So my job is to sort of be the shaper… The interpreter of like, “What does this mean?” So I think that their behavior has consequences. And there’s a lot that you can impact based on What you are you eating, are you exercising, how you’re treating, all that sort of stuff. And I also think that people are somewhat on… Not everyone, but a lot of people are unaware that the state of science medicine these days… You sort of sit look back at like, and the when they originally mapped the human genome for… I don’t know what that cost and I am like a $100 million or something, and now you can… You know $200 bucks you get it done.
0:26:23.7 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. It’s amazing, really.
0:26:25.2 David Harry Stewart: It’s amazing. And so what’s happening here is, it’s this… And actually, COVID has helped massively with this because it’s caused scientists… Like the vaccines were actually developed through Zoom.
0:26:39.7 Liz Tinkham: Oh really? The collaboration part of it?
0:26:41.9 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, all the collaborations.
0:26:42.7 Liz Tinkham: Isn’t that Amazing? Wow I didn’t know that.
0:26:43.3 David Harry Stewart: People used to just live in these little silos and not really talk to each other. And because of COVID, they’ve got acclimated to the idea of talking to… Now here we just there’s like Bob and Budapest who’s got some kind of lab like… Oh, interesting let’s talk to them. So what’s happening is we’re moving from a time of organ repair to organ regeneration. And this is a… Just massive, massive change and people like right now even… So what COVID has done is, it’s for a regular person, for like a consumer, or a patient, it’s moved the… A great deal of responsibility for their own health and well-being off of their primary healthcare doctor to them, right?
0:27:33.7 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:27:33.9 David Harry Stewart: So It’s like you’re in charge of…
0:27:36.4 Liz Tinkham: Right. You wear a mask you…
0:27:37.4 David Harry Stewart: You wore a mask.
0:27:38.6 Liz Tinkham: Keep yourself safe. You do…
0:27:39.5 David Harry Stewart: Right. Make sure your vitamin D is up, like what’s your BMI? All that stuff. So that’s your responsibility, not theirs, that’s a shift. This and that combined with what’s happening with the wearables, and understanding what’s really going on inside your body rather than just once a year, you go and go to your doctor and they either usually just say, “Oh yeah it looks okay,” or, “Oh you should keep your eye on… ” I am like,” What does that mean?”
0:28:07.1 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:28:07.5 David Harry Stewart: Can you please give me a little color on that?
0:28:11.8 Liz Tinkham: Right.
0:28:11.8 David Harry Stewart: So, and as we’re moving into this… Or that combined with a the sort of organ regeneration, which is what’s happening is this… So the underlying DNA is being… They have figured out how to signal that… That’s a really big deal. And so you see in the long… All the lot of stuff that was just like science fiction, four or five years ago is now actually happening. And they’re starting with mice and then sorting of moving up. But I’ve talked to the people who are involved in this and it’s… Thinking it’s well within the realm of possibility, I’ll say.
0:28:52.6 Liz Tinkham: That you can regenerate your organs.
0:28:54.8 David Harry Stewart: Yes, that someone’s gonna be… People are gonna be living much longer.
0:29:00.0 Liz Tinkham: Much healthier as well.
0:29:01.0 David Harry Stewart: And much healthier for longer.
0:29:02.9 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:29:03.0 David Harry Stewart: Yes, but to do that… And so, I tell people in the Super Age Mastermind, is that, you’ve gotta keep your organ systems in good shape for the next eight to 10 years, so that you will be able to take advantage of all these things.
0:29:26.5 Liz Tinkham: I was very influenced by a book called A Younger Next Year, I don’t know if you have ever read it.
0:29:29.7 David Harry Stewart: Oh I love that book, oh they are so funny those guys, I love them.
0:29:32.8 Liz Tinkham: Well, that book changed my life.
0:29:35.6 David Harry Stewart: Right.
0:29:36.1 Liz Tinkham: Because I read it right as I retired, and it basically said, exercise six days a week, everything in moderation, and don’t lose your friends.
0:29:45.8 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, I like it that’s… Basically.
0:29:48.6 Liz Tinkham: That is the summary of how to die. I wanna be skiing when I’m 96 and just fall over on the mountain top, right. So as opposed to living in a hospital, so.
0:30:00.7 David Harry Stewart: No, we don’t want that.
0:30:00.8 Liz Tinkham: Yeah, exactly, and I’m like,” Okay, that’s the life I want now that I’ve retired.” So I’ve been very true to that book since I’ve read it. But as you think about back to the Ageist and your brand, your advertising and what people are doing, I mean, you said you had 18% of your database, do you think… How many people as they get older are starting to think this way? And how long before general advertising trends, everything catches up with that? Because one thing I see, and I think it came out heavily during the pandemic was the comorbidity problem with COVID, the correlation between…
0:30:37.8 David Harry Stewart: Yeah, sure.
0:30:38.3 Liz Tinkham: Being obese or being diabetic, it is huge. And so I just see it like how long is it gonna take for the 82% of the population to catch up?
0:30:49.3 David Harry Stewart: There’s a lot of overlapping issues here. The refrigerator magnet approach of… I think it was like, drugs are bad, and you put that on your refrigerator, how would that work?
0:31:01.3 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. For your kids, yeah, your brain on drugs.
0:31:06.6 David Harry Stewart: So, I think that on a societal level, people confuse health with fat shaming. And having… Carrying a lot of fat on your body, is a disease state, let’s just get real about that, that’s what that is. That is a comorbidity, this is not just an inconvenience, it’s not an appearance thing, it is a disease state. And doctors are like… They don’t want to… For some reason, they don’t wanna say that, they don’t wanna say like, “Hey, okay, that this is your condition and this is your outcome.” Let’s get real about that. So I think there’s part of that, I think there’s… People get confused with this idea of, “Give me a little slack. I’m gonna have a Big Mac tonight,” and this is sort of involved in this idea of the optimistic,” What’s your view of the future?” And if you don’t feel good about your future, you’re not gonna feel really that good about your present and you’re gonna behave in a way that’s gonna cause your future to not be so good because you… And some of this is… It’s sort of tied up and in, “I don’t deserve it,” or, “It’s not possible.” And this is where…
0:32:30.6 David Harry Stewart: If there’s an underlying reason for what we do at Ageist, it’s that. Where we say, “You do deserve it.” And “It’s not impossible.” I’m not saying it’s not going to be hard. It’s not sitting at ease… Lazy-boy watching TV pumping donuts. You got to take some actions here for this to happen. And a lot of these actions involve your body’s stress adaptation response. Which means you need to stress your body. And that means different kinds of exercise, and how you’re eating, and these various different things. And people just sort of are like… They’re unconscious of what… In a way, of what they’re eating. And that’s okay. I mean if you don’t… If you want to be like that fine, I mean, I don’t have a problem with it. So to answer your question, there’s two things. People need to understand that it’s possible. They need role models, they need stories, they need pictures, they need images that are not super humans in… Ex-Olympians, or people with endless resources in Hollywood. These are just regular people. And this is how they get from A to B. And you too can do this if you want to do it. And I think as more and more of that starts to be shown, and as more and more of this science comes out into the world, it says like, “What’s the payoff?” And the payoff is you live a longer, healthier life. Like that book that you mentioned, A Younger Next year.
0:33:56.9 Liz Tinkham: Great book. Yeah.
0:33:57.8 David Harry Stewart: Great book. So once you get… What’s great about that book is they vividly paint this picture of what your future could be. We need to know that. That it’s not like… I’m not just doing these somewhat unpleasant things to myself, and bad things are going to happen to me anyway. No. So I think that there’s a lot of bad messaging out there.
0:34:25.4 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:34:26.7 David Harry Stewart: The whole… All this Type 2 diabetes. That has one cause, your mouth.
0:34:35.4 Liz Tinkham: Yup. Exactly. Overeating, right?
0:34:37.5 David Harry Stewart: Stop putting certain things into your mouth.
0:34:40.8 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:34:41.0 David Harry Stewart: And you will… You just remove that comorbidity.
0:34:45.2 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. I think that the, whoever the CDC or whoever it was should have hired your agency to rebrand certain things. But well we could have a whole show just on that.
0:35:00.1 David Harry Stewart: They get scared. They’re like, “Oh my God, there are all these people out there, they’re not going to be able to relate.” And it’s like, “Well, let’s get real, come on.”
0:35:07.7 Liz Tinkham: Yeah.
0:35:08.1 David Harry Stewart: Will you tell… This is where you’re at, this is what’s going to happen, this is what you can change, this is pretty easy.
0:35:14.2 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. You don’t want to die, here’s what you need to do.
0:35:17.8 David Harry Stewart: Right.
0:35:18.3 Liz Tinkham: Right. Yeah. I feel like they had a miss. Well, again, we could talk about this forever. So again, I so love what you’re doing with the Ageist.
0:35:25.1 David Harry Stewart: Thank you.
0:35:25.4 Liz Tinkham: And the podcast, and the Ageist magazine, and we’ll publish all that in the show notes. Where’s it all headed?
0:35:30.6 David Harry Stewart: We’re looking towards increasing our channels, increasing our impact, increasing the amount of people that we can reach. And Ageist is a bit like fight club. The only way you know about Ageist is if somebody tells you about Ageist.
0:35:43.7 Liz Tinkham: Oh yeah. And then you get the secret code to go.
0:35:45.6 David Harry Stewart: And then you get the secret code, right?
0:35:46.8 Liz Tinkham: Yeah. Down lower east side in New York, and there you are.
0:35:49.6 David Harry Stewart: But, you know we’re not gonna do billboards, we don’t do like promotions, we don’t do any of that. So I think having more impact, more influence, and moving this conversation forward. And because I… I just tell people like it is, I’m not a bad guy, I’m not a mean guy. I’m just gonna say like, “Hey, if you do X, you’re going to get Y. You want, Y… ”
0:36:17.9 Liz Tinkham: It’s such a… And let me just say, because I’ve looked at your magazine and listened to your podcasts. It’s not just you. I mean you have…
0:36:23.5 David Harry Stewart: Oh, yeah.
0:36:23.5 Liz Tinkham: So many great role models who are modeling great behavior. Right?
0:36:30.1 David Harry Stewart: That’s right. It’s me. Like I kind of… I’m the director of the thing.
0:36:32.8 Liz Tinkham: You’re the curator, right?
0:36:34.3 David Harry Stewart: Right. But yeah., I mean, they’re… I don’t know how many people we’ve… A lot.
0:36:40.7 Liz Tinkham: So I almost titled this podcast, I’m not done yet. Because I feel like I’m not done yet. So what aren’t you done with yet?
0:36:47.0 David Harry Stewart: Oh, everything. I’m such a late bloomer. My God.
0:36:51.8 Liz Tinkham: I don’t think you’re a late bloomer. I mean, think about that photography career, but keep going.
0:36:55.9 David Harry Stewart: Yeah. Well I tell you… I’m doing magazine covers, and I’m doing big advertising campaigns. You know how many people from the outside contact me every year who are not part of my industry? It’s like one, two. And so what’s the impact that I have now is… I’m not like Oprah, but it’s… I’ve got influence.
0:37:20.1 Liz Tinkham: Right. Yeah. You speak, you give TEDx talks, everything.
0:37:25.0 David Harry Stewart: I change… You do one of my super age masterminds. I change your life.
0:37:27.7 Liz Tinkham: Ah. That’s so cool.
0:37:28.6 David Harry Stewart: Yeah. It’s sounds amazing. It’s just amazing. This is wonderful. That to me is incredibly rewarding. When people write me back, and they’re like, “You changed my life.” And you know what, it’s not big stuff. It’s just little stuff. You change 1% a week, that’s 52% a year. That’s all you got to do. So I… More of that is what…
0:37:54.5 Liz Tinkham: Oh, that’s wonderful. Well, David, thank you so much for being on the show.
0:37:57.8 David Harry Stewart: Yeah.
0:37:58.1 Liz Tinkham: We’ve got lots of things to put into the show notes. We’ll publish how to get to the magazine, the podcast, everything. And where else can our listeners find you online?
0:38:06.3 David Harry Stewart: Just type in Ageist. You’ll never forget it. It’s like racist, sexist, type in Ageist and you’ll find us. Highly memorable.
0:38:12.2 Liz Tinkham: Okay. All right. Well thank you very much.
0:38:14.6 David Harry Stewart: And Super Age. Yeah. Very good. Thanks.
0:38:16.2 Liz Tinkham: Take care, bye bye.
0:38:18.7 David Harry Stewart: Bye bye.
0:38:20.4 Liz Tinkham: 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.