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Mary Rogers – Experience 50 Podcast

I’ve stowed my bag in the overhead bin. My seatbelt is secure and tight, my tray table up and locked. And now the part I love –  the freedom to listen to a string of podcasts with no thought as to what else I should be doing.

Mary Rogers’ Experience 50 podcast focuses on mid-lifers, loosely defined as those folks between 45-65, and their issues. She wants us to kick our middle-aged bodies into gear, reinvent ourselves, and finally “learn the stuff we ought to know by now.”

Reared in Detroit, Mary eventually found her way to Traverse City, Michigan. When she noted a lack of resources for women in the business community, Mary founded Marigold Women in Business. This organization became the city’s “go-to program” for the personal and professional development of female executives and managers. 

Mary Rogers Experience 50 Podcast

A local radio station, striving to position themselves as a “smart woman’s” channel, called on Mary and her expertise. Hunkered down in their control room for one long day, she recorded 200 one-minute tips and tricks targeted to the busy, working woman.

Admit you failed or made a mistake – it’s the way we learn. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Do not hesitate to ask for help. Day in and day out, the station played these inspirational public relations messages over and over.

And the station manager called with another offer.

Mary in the Morning debuted in 2007. Every weekday morning, Mary hosted savvy conversation, in a favorite friend sort of way, related to current events, women’s issues, small business, and entertainment.  “It was the scariest, most fun thing I’ve ever done,” she says.

Mary Rogers Experience 50 Podcast

“Except the other employees hated me,” Mary laughs. Mary “waltzed” in to the talk show – no degree, no training, no experience. But her audience loved her no holds barred manner. She was funny and articulate and said things we all might think but are afraid to voice.

Four years ago, Mary parlayed her approachable personality and contagious energy into one of the eight podcasts the Wall Street Journal recently recommended for those “nervously facing retirement.” At Experience 50, Mary and her guests delve into topics relevant to most of the middle-aged folks I know. Dating, health, reinvention, caregiving, finding friends, professional pivots, drinking, anxiety, and travel.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

Mary is quick to point out her podcast is not a “self-help deal.” “My goal,” she says “is to acknowledge midlife is tough. But it is also filled with opportunities for personal growth, because pain is where that happens.”

Mary’s podcast is a bootstrap operation. Her first step was to invest in the kind of equipment – microphone, headphones, cables, software – to produce professional and seamless episodes. She researches guests – easier these days with a WSJ endorsement – and does homework on the discussion topic. After the interview, she edits, throws in music, designs the graphics, and promotes on social media.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

When she’s not talking to midlife people, Mary digs in the dirt and nurtures her hostas and lilies and peonies. The empty-nester, who loves a good British series, enjoys her alone, non-talking time. “I am my favorite person to hang out with,” she laughs.

Carefully chosen ads provide some income for Mary’s business. But her greatest paycheck is an email from a listener who heard an episode and felt like it was designed especially for her – or him. “No matter what your life looks like, we are all going through some sort of stuff,” says Mary. “Everyone has a story to tell.”

Photos courtesy of Mary Rogers

For more information about Mary’s podcast, please visit the Experience 50 website. Follow Mary on Facebook and Twitter.

You may also enjoy reading about a Google engineer who randomized his life and how to determine your Enneagram type.

 

 

 

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