Dean Harder Cutout
Dean Harder

So Glad You Stopped By

Thanks for swinging by for a look. If you are wondering who we are and what we do, you’ll find some of that here.

Better yet, if you find yourself curious about your own future, there is also some of that on these virtual pages.  In either case, stay a bit longer and see for yourself.  

This is a place where you will find both professional, as well as personal posts from others, about others, as well as a handful from me.

The hope is that something on these pages will cause you to feel a nudge or perhaps even a whack aside the head to message me or check something out a tad bit more.

The 2nd H

You probably know something about a sport or two.  Sports like basketball, football and soccer play two timed halves.  Together the two halves make up a whole game.  Being a pumpkin-pusher back in the day – a basketball player – it still amazes me how different the 2nd half of a game can play out when compared to the 1st half. 

You are either in the first or second half of your own life.  I’m in the second half of mine, that is if I don’t live past 112.

The 2nd H is the Second Half

Are you a part of this first list?

The people below were in the 2nd half of their lives when they shifted gears. Perhaps you’ve heard of them.

  • Ray Kroc was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s.  
  • Colonel Sanders founded the finger-licking Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant franchise when he turned 65.
  • May Tennyson designed and started selling fashionable, walker-friendly purses at the age of 63.
  • Leo Goodwin founded GEICO (Government Employee Insurance Company) at age 50.
  • Carol Gardner turned a challenge from her therapist into a multi-million-dollar card business, Zelda Wisdom, at the age of 52.
 
Source: AgingGreatly.com

Or do you see yourself in the next list?

The 2nd Half doesn’t have to be solely based on age.  You may be in your 20’s, 30’s or even early 40’s with hopes of living to be 100 yourself. 

Below are a few successful musicians who found a second calling in life when they were considered to be in their 1st half of life.  

  • Ross Valory, a founding member of the band Journey, also co-founded MouthMan, a children’s clothing company.
  • Terry Chimes, the original drummer for The Clash, dating back to 1976, ultimately became a practicing chiropractor in 1994, and is the proprietor and chief practitioner of Chimes Chiropractic in East London.
  • Brian May, Queen guitarist earned his PhD in astrophysics in 2007, and served as Chancellor of Liverpool’s John Moore’s University from 2007 to 2013.  Dr. May continues to play guitar with Queen.
  • Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, master guitarist was a founding member of Steely Dan, as well as a member of The Doobie Brothers.  In the 1980s, while chatting with a neighbor who was a retired Pentagon engineer, Baxter began wondering whether existing high-tech military systems could be adapted for other purposes.  Since 1994, Baxter has worked as a consultant to various government agencies & private companies on missile defense since his research paper on converting the United States Aegis Anti-Aircraft system to a missile defense system caught the eye of the Department of Defense.

Source: considerable.com

Most don’t want to be in this third group?

You could actually be in the 2nd half of your life and not even know it. This reality is by far the biggest reason why I have felt the nudge to shift course in my own life. I may get to 112 someday, or I may be gone from this earth tomorrow.  

Tim McGraw’s song, “Live like you were Dying” was written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman. Check out the song if you’ve never listened to it before. The lyric that hits me right between the eyes every time I listen to McGraw sing the song is ‘And he said: “Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dyin”’

This is why the 2nd Half isn’t solely about your age. Below are a handful of younger people who accomplished much in their 2nd half of life.

List 3

  • Jessica Dubroff, a pilot, died in a plane crash.  Jessica was 7.
  • Jim Croce, an American Folk & Rock singer died at the age of 40.
  • John Harvard, former Clergyman known as the founder of Harvard College, dead at 31.
  • William Nelson, a General Electric employee, invented a new way to motorize bicycles. Nelson fell off his prototype bike during a test run. He was 24.
  • Johann Ritter discovered ultraviolet radiation in 1801. He was 34 when he died.

Most don’t want to be in this third group?

The 2nd Half Vision

Over the past 56 years my journey has taken me from a family farm in Mountain Lake, MN to splitting time between two neighborhoods – one in Indiana, the other in Florida.

The 1st Half of my life was mostly about…

  • the pursuit of education – a college degree & further formal education
  • the pursuit of a career – a teacher, a fundraiser, a farmer, a financial professional
  • the pursuit of success – recognized for being good at what I do
  • the pursuit of personal enjoyment – being entertained
  • the pursuit of stuff – you know, all the stuff you don’t think about when your days are #’d
 

The 2nd Half of my life is unwritten, may it be mostly about…

  • the pursuit of purpose – living for something other than me 
  • the pursuit of understanding & wisdom – starting with truth 
  • the pursuit of intimacy – building authentic relationship with family & sacred friends
  • the pursuit of personal accountability – seeing iron sharpen iron
  • the pursuit of legacy – being remembered for helping others live their best lives
  • the pursuit of forgiveness – knowing healing doesn’t really happen without forgiveness 
  • the pursuit of love – giving & receiving genuine love
 

So what Dean!

There is no denying I feel like I’m being called to do something I’ve never done.

Let’s put to rest that you will not find a fast-food franchise coming to the market named “Harder’s”. Nor will you find me auditioning with Queen to take the place of Dr. May. And I have no plans to invent a contraption that looks like a hovercraft recliner.

Stop Pitching

is the spark that has lit this fire in me. You would be correct to assume I have a real love/hate relationship with personal electronic devices like cell phones, as well as a real love/hate relationship with social media – take your pick of any platform. Stop Pitching is the spark that has lit this fire in me. You would be correct to assume I have a real love/hate relationship with personal electronic devices like cell phones, as well as a real love/hate relationship with social media – take your pick of any platform. Stop Pitching is more than a book about the role of conversations in the world of sales. One of the most meaningful sentences to flow from my pen is, “When relationships matter, so too do conversations.

The world shutdown beginning in March 2020 altered reality. People withdrew from people. Shoot, I withdrew from nearly everyone I had interacted with up to that point in my life. Of course, business went on pretty much as usual, given we had established a virtual business long before the world shutdown happened. 

But what was a 60% virtual business/40% in-person business did become a 100% virtual business in a snap of the fingers.

I’m social. I love being in the middle of people – live people, fun people, interesting people, ambitious people, thriving people, hurting people, all kinds of people.  

All that stopped. Conversations were limited to virtual interactions. No hugs. No handshakes. No pats on the back. No fist bumps. No nothing.

Personal Devices. Social Media. Isolation

Stop Pitching Book Dean Harder

In this eye-opening book, I will show you how to attract and engage others into meaningful dialogue so that the other person compels themself to take action that helps them get what they want.

Looking back…

Communication has been a massive part of my life.

Starting in my childhood, youth organizations like 4-H & FFA gave me a local platform to be introduced to one-on-one oral talks, speaking in front of classmates & peers, and even acting in two theatre productions my senior year of high school.

Then, a national platform presented itself in my early 20’s, allowing for travel to 35 of the 50 States across the Country to lead, share, speak, facilitate, organize, train, conduct, & present in small intimate settings, as well as in auditoriums and arenas filled with thousands of people.

Two trips to the White House, a presentation to Congress, as well as hundreds of speeches to peers and adults highlighted a still formative period of my life.

The past 25 years has been filled with thousands of opportunities to have conversations with one or two people at a time, usually a husband or wife or a husband and wife. Yep, the past 25 years has been a series of conversations at kitchen tables, coffee shops, conference spaces and boardroom tables throughout this same great Country we call the United States of America.

Also, over the past 2 ½ decades the financial industry has welcomed me to speak, present, train and share in front of both peers and industry executives on matters related to personal financial decisions likely anyone reading these words makes themselves.