Find a penny, pick it up all day long you’ll have good luck. Put the penny in your shoe, and good luck will come to you!
Finding your Lucky Penny & Encore Entrepreneurship
I met Brian Munoz of Penny Luck Shoes® through a business colleague in Round Rock, Texas. My friend bragged up Penny Luck®. And, after meeting Brian Munoz, it’s hard to resist his infectious optimism embodying the American Dream. But a successful business, especially an encore business, requires more than a dream. Brian’s success is a good reminder that luck finds those who practice persistence and networking. The current $10 words for those rules of success? “Rapid iterations” combined with “continual learning and improvement” are good lessons.
Continual Learning & Improvement
Successful encore businesses demand daily focus on continual learning. Notching up our knowledge, our networks/friendships, and reaching for that next level. Complacency is the road down, not up. A decline in our personal health. A decline in our business’s health. Brian is a rising entrepreneur. Going up. Not down. He learned this skill. I’m pleased to share with you his background and successful example:
- Use the resources you have and make the most of your strengths — Brian knows shoes. So his artisan shoe line, PennyLuck® reflects his deep expertise and connections. It’s the entrepreneurial corollary to the writer’s rule of write what you know.
- Network with others who have prior experience and success —Learn their lessons — Brian networks with other entrepreneurs, and not just in his own industry. And seeks out lessons and connections to apply to PennyLuck®. It’s a key entrepreneurial skill to be able to learn from others’ experiences rather than having to make every mistake yourself. Copy what works and innovate.
- Continue to read and learn — Focus on incrimental improvments and continual growth — Brian knows a business or business success is never done. The world around us is constantly changing. That means business requires constant change. Lead the changes to grow. While steeped in traditional shoemaking craftsmanship. Brian is looking ahead to the power of emerging technology to change the production of custom shoes to assure more individualized fit. He doesn’t plan to “make” his core products the same way five years from now as he does today. PennyLuck® is investing in continual improvement.
- Adjust your attitude when faced with changes — Brian, like other successful entrepreneurs, knows failure and disappointment. Rather than getting lost looking backwards? Learn. Apply the lesson and move forward. For instance, PennyLuck’s face-to-face, event driven marketing model broke down with the pandemic-induced isolation. A change beyond Brian’s control. It required a fundamental shift to more online marketing and brand development. Complaining doesn’t change anything. Acting on the lesson and moving more online does. It’s a long-term investment but necessary.
Successful retirement has a lot of parallels with making your own luck in business.
Use the resources you have and make the most of your strengths. Retirement is often complicated by loss. It’s far more effective to focus on exploiting your remaining abilities and strengths than to bemoan the inevitable losses in life’s passage. I’m reminded of a great line from Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone (as played by Tom Seleck in the movies), “You can only do what you can do.”
Network with others who have prior experience and success. Surprise! Other people have retired before you. Find successful examples in-person and online and copy what works. Don’t copy the unhappy ones. (This is also a good rule for preparing for retirement.)
Continue to read and learn. Keep your mind active and engaged by seeking out new knowledge, insight, and skills. We’re learning animals. Stop learning? It feels like living stops. So don’t stop believing. (Cue Journey.) In the power of learning and knowledge.
Adjust your attitude when faced with changes. Blaming the world when the world changes? Sinking into anger and despair? Is not very emotionally or spiritually rewarding. The challenge and the adventure are in how we choose to respond to change. We always have a choice. Choose action over complaining.
There are parallels between business lessons and retirement lessons.
Because Brian Munoz stimulated me to think about applying entrepreneurship lessons to a successful retirement — I thought I should sample his product. Here are my observations and a quick product review of my new PennyLuck Shoes®.
During the lost year of COVID, casual footwear dominated because no one could see your feet on Zoom. If you wore shoes at all. Suddenly with the reemergence for work and society wardrobes are expanding to meet the renewed need for socially appropriate style.
Not sure I wore dress shoes more than a couple of times last year after an early March wedding in 2020. The First Daughter got married the weekend before the lockdown. Our long-planned celebration went perfectly. Can’t say, “without a hitch,” because she did get hitched. A week later and it would have been so bad. Lucky for us? It was so good. We got to dance the night away at the celebration reception. I in my rented shoes that went with the tux. After which my feet really needed a break. I was turned off on dress shoes. So casual shoes worked for the pandemic. No more. People can see my shoes again.
Stepping back into Social Life
But as much as I love my ASICS® Gel-Nimbus runners? They are not appropriate everywhere. It’s a thrill to step out again in my new Penny Luck® Dream Oxfords. Unlike those wedding rental dress shoes? PennyLuck® fit perfectly from day one. And their style contributes to a positive self-image and confidence. Style matters even in retirement, or especially in retirement, as you reimagine your identity past what you used to do. For me? Penny Luck’s motto? “Wear your luck” is on-brand as an innovator and quiet leader and happy retiree.
The Lucky Penny is the Maker’s Mark.
An American penny – the traditional good luck symbol – is embedded in each shoe. Bringing you luck with every repeated step or iteration. Find a penny, pick it up.
Find a Penny, Pick It Up
See more options at Penny Luck’s “Zappos Style Room” where you can find all their styles. The Hughes sneakers are coming to Zappos soon but are currently featured on Penny Luck’s own website. Penny Luck Shoes®
On a side note, my maternal grandmother’s last name was Schimelfenig – literally shiny penny in German. So Penny Luck® also fits my heritage. And I grew up with the saying, “Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.”
Satisfaction of Supporting the Like-minded
Penny Luck Shoes® are “on brand” for my personal identity as an entrepreneur and leader. Plus, I get the satisfaction of supporting Brian. And keep my feet and ego happy with Penny Luck Shoes® winning style and comfort. Part of Aging With Freedom is pursuing purpose even in retirement. Purposely redefining your personal retirement brand beyond your former work roles is part of that mission. In retirement? I support emerging innovators and entrepreneurs. Like Brian and Penny Luck®. The details of brand image consistency add up.
Retirement offers a legacy role of giving back and supporting others, whether family or friends or businesses, that are doing things in which we believe. We’ve found this to be a repeated theme of successful retirees. Legacy matters. Like you, we love the chance to play coach with our kids and grandkids. Both assisting and cheering for their successes. And we also consciously spend or time and money on things we’re passionate about. Businesses help change the world, one customer at a time. Conscious buying supports the entrepreneurs who are making the world a better place. Entrepreneurs like Brian Munoz of PennyLuck Shoes®. That’s another retirement legacy I hope we all care about.
Finding Your Penny in Retirement
What figurative shiny penny have you picked up along the way that are lessons in entrepreneurship or retirement? We’ve started thinking about the habits of success as found pennies. Those little nuggets of wisdom or practices add up to good luck. Share your finds. And keep looking. Find a penny and pick it up.