Episode 14 – 6 Ways to Discover True Wealth and Claim Your Purpose

ThirtyFiveSixtyFour
ThirtyFiveSixtyFour
6 Ways to Discover True Wealth and Claim Your Purpose
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Show Notes:

Age is just a number, and those of us in the middle are here to prove it.  Join us for an inspiring conversation with Curtis Thompson, a remarkable musician, dedicated father, loving husband, and esteemed professor who eschews ageist stereotypes to follow his dreams. Together, we challenge the conventional wisdom surrounding ageism, and Curtis shares his thoughts on defining success from within and using criticism as a driving force. Our discussion expands to the concept of true wealth, emphasizing gratitude, meaningful relationships, and serving others as keys to a fulfilling life. In a consumer-driven world, Curtis’ insights illuminate a rare path to genuine happiness and purpose. Tune in to redefine what it means to live a rich life and be inspired to make the most of the present.

In this episode:

  • Living without regrets, learning lessons – Curtis Thompson defies age stereotypes, views success as a personal metric, not societal
  • Emphasizing self-worth, self-acceptance, and addressing traumas related to aging
  • Therapy and Reflection: Essential for growth and well-being at any stage of life
  • Gratitude, relationships, and community service as antidotes to materialism
  • Curtis encourages living in the present and serving others
  • Value in Scarcity: Understanding how scarcity and difficulty can enhance appreciation and meaning
  • The 3564 podcast is one of the only venues speaking to the middle
  • Sneak Peak – 7-Day Generosity Challenge
  • Feeling down and depressed? Lonely? Try service to others
  • “You know you’re old when…” game
  • Follow, subscribe, share, and rate…Send me your comments and feedback on the show!

ThirtyFiveSixtyFour is a podcast for listeners between the ages of 35 and 64. Available on all major podcast platforms, the show offers an engaging journey through the various challenges and experiences of midlife. ThirtyFiveSixtyFour presents a distinct departure from the traditional midlife crisis storyline. Instead, it champions the perspective that midlife should be viewed as a period marked by play, discovery, transformation and possibility. With new episodes released weekly, ThirtyFiveSixtyFour is positioned to become one of the fastest-growing podcasts of the year, providing both valuable insights and entertainment for those in the middle.

So, subscribe and get ready to join show host Karen and the ThirtyFiveSixtyFour regulars for both serious and fun conversations around living middle age to the fullest. After all, it’s not too late. You’re not too old. And you’re definitely NOT dead. 

Resources:

Gabby Bernstein
Curtis Thompson Vancurt Music
Simon Sinek
Attachment Theory
Simply Psychology-Attachment Theory 
thirtyfivesixtyfour.com

Episode Transcript:

[00:01:29] Karen Stones: Welcome to another episode of 3564, a podcast for the middle. Today we have so many great things to chat about jam packed into one episode. We’re going to talk about ageism. We’re going to talk about aging and how to seize the moment and live in the here and now. We’re also going to talk about how to reflect back on our past, not with an eye of regret, but with an eye of gratitude and lessons learned. We also talk about the importance of giving back, of service to the community.

I want to welcome Curtis Thompson to the show. Curtis is a musician, a father, a husband, a professor, and a man with a lot of deep thoughts. We are so excited to have you here today, Curtis, welcome to the show.

[00:02:27] Curtis Thompson: Thank you for having me. I’m looking forward to it.

[00:02:29] Karen Stones: One of the reasons why you have such a powerful story is that you at your age, which were in middle age, have pursued your dream and you do not think that age should prevent all of our listeners and us from pursuing our dreams. Can you tell me more about that?

[00:02:55] Curtis Thompson: A lot of times, you know, we as people will look for the masses to kind of tell us what’s acceptable, what success is, and all those sort of things. I kind of look at the other way around. Success is something that you determine inside of yourself. When people tell me that I’m too old to do something, to me, that’s kind of fuel, like, okay, all right, Dan, let me show you and come about it from, you know, from that perspective. I do a lot of reading because I teach also. I teach at a university out here in Azusa. But one of the things I read was that I think it was. I want to say it might have been Marcus Aurelius. It was one of the stoic philosophers or Ryan holiday or somebody, but it was. And I don’t know where he got it from, but it was the concept that if you play to the whistle blows, you don’t have to worry about how much time is on the clock. And that really resonated with me because we’ll be looking at, like, I don’t have too much time. Like, my clock is ticking. I gotta do this, I gotta do that. Well, just play the game. Whatever your game is, play it. Play it fully, play it to the max. Play it as hard as you can. And don’t worry about the time. The time is gonna pass whether you play or not. But you might as well go ahead and play to the whistle. And when it’s all over and said and done with, it’s over and said and done with. That’s kind of how I look at how it is that we do what we do. Don’t go by the metrics of someone else to determine what success is for yourself. You go, this is what I. This is how they. This is what I want to do.

[00:04:16] Karen Stones: Is there anything, as you reflect back on your life that you wish you would have started or pursued earlier?

[00:04:23] Curtis Thompson: No. And I’ll tell you why. Because it’s a waste of my time and my energy. It didn’t happen. There’s no use in me. I can’t go back and change it. I can start from where I am today, you know, and give it 100%. But, no, I don’t. You know, the rear view mirrors, this is what my wife and I always say. The rear view mirror is just for quick checks, but you can’t go forward looking in the rearview mirror because you will crash. Right. And so when I talk about the rear view mirror or past, I just go, oh, yeah, I remember that. It was. I’ve had some really, like most people had some things that were rough in my. In my history, right. There were challenges and tragedies and deaths and. And all of those sort of things. But I look at it like, did I learn the lesson for the life tuition that I paid when I was going through all of those rough things so that then I don’t have to take that same lap. And so no, no regrets, none of that. But there are some lessons that I learned that I paid hefty tuition for, that I’m good, that I learned it. Now I don’t have to go back and relive that. Or when I see it in the future, I see it in the present. I know how to contend with it because I’ve already taken that class.

[00:05:30] Karen Stones: You know what, Curtis? I have to say that lesson or approach to life has been easier and easier for me as I’ve aged. But when I was younger, I was often full of regret. I wish I would have gone to this school. I wish I would have done that sport. Maybe if I had met that person, I would have. And I, like you, have realized that the would’ve, could have, should have game is an absolute waste of time. And all we have to control is the present and our hopes for the future. So I think that’s a really good lesson that you want to share with our listeners. Well, one of the things that we’ve talked about together is as you get older, and by the way, my definition of old gets older as I get older. Now, I think you’re old if you’re, you know, over 100.

But we have spoken just briefly about how sometimes there is ageism out there, and not only from others, but we have this sort of philosophy and mindset that we place on ourselves. I’m too old to do that or pursue this or be there. What are your thoughts about that?

[00:06:55] Curtis Thompson: I remember the first time that someone called me like, sir. And I was like, sir or, you know, Mister Thompson. I was like, my dad is not around here. And so that’s something I still have to cause in my mind, I’m not the age that I am. I’m still the young kid that I was. But ageism is, you know, it’s real. I notice that sometimes people discount some of the things you say and they go, you don’t know. Yeah, you don’t know because this is the da da da da da. And I just have to go back and go, yeah, but that’s just the thing that happened in the sixties just coming back. And the reality is that you don’t know because you haven’t had that experience. It’s brand new to you. And so that’s one thing I’ve learned to stop counting or holding my value based upon someone else’s metric, I get to determine my worth, whether it’s in the marketplace or how I feel about myself. That’s not determined by someone’s response to me. I’ve learned at this age to just be comfortable in my own skin and move with good intentions. And then after that, people get to decide what it is they want to decide. I can’t control that. I just have to move with good intentions. And the other thing that I had to learn to contend with was myself.

The thing of the lie that your subconscious will tell you, the enemy will tell you that you’re too old to do this. You know, what are you trying to do? You know, you can’t do it because you’re this age or you’re that age. And I don’t believe that either. There are certain things, of course, like, I’m not going to go out and play football at NFL level, right? I’m not going.

[00:08:27] Karen Stones: Come on, Curtis, you’re not going to go do that?

[00:08:30] Curtis Thompson: No, you don’t want to see that. That would be horrible. Unless it was like a Saturday night live skit or something. It would be comedy. But, you know, I can play music, and I can play music well. I’m still creative. I still have faculties enough to play, you know, physically play the things. And it’s what I love. It’s what I was built to do. I’m not built to go out and be Michael Jordan. There’s a certain point where you become comfortable in your own skin, right? And it’s like, this is who I am. This is who I was made to be. You can like it or you cannot like it. You can just like, doesn’t really matter as long as the intent of my heart and my communication is to build up and not tear down, the rest of it is on someone else. So we have to learn to, like I said, be content with who we are and not have the fear of man. Are they going to like me? Are they going to accept me? The real question is, do you like yourself? And do you accept yourself? Once you settle that issue, the rest of it is gravy.

[00:09:28] Karen Stones: Yeah, that’s really good insight, Curtis. What would you suggest to our listeners if they are having trouble, even in middle age, you know, accepting who they are and loving themselves, what. What kind of advice would you give them?

[00:09:43] Curtis Thompson: There was a guy named Simon Sinek who I listened to and read a lot, and one of the profound things he asked was, he said, we often look at the what instead of asking why? And the why is the thing that gives you the answer to the actions. And so if a person is struggling with that particular issue, I would ask them, why do they feel that way about themselves? What is the thing that you’re either seeking or that you missed, or what is the past trauma? You know, was it someone who told you that you weren’t anything? You know, I ran across that a lot where people, grown people now have juvenile behaviors because of the trauma that they received when they were young, and they haven’t dealt with that.

[00:10:28] Karen Stones: Yeah.

[00:10:28] Curtis Thompson: You know, and so what I would say is, ask yourself, don’t pay so much attention to what it is they’re feeling you’re feeling, but then go back and do the hard work of asking yourself why. Why it is that I feel this way. What is the unfulfilled need that I have? What is it? And then why is it unfulfilled? Or why do I have that need? Was it something that, you know, my daddy told me that I wasn’t going to be anything when I grew up or, you know, I was abused as a child? Do the deep work, the hard work of figuring out those things. And if that means therapy, then therapy is great. And I know a lot of people from my generation and from my age, you know, therapy was just, like, shameful. You know, it was like, ah, you crazy. And therapy, going to therapy doesn’t mean that you’re crazy. It means that you’re actually doing the hard work to become a better you. And so those are the things that, you know, that I would, that’s the advice that I would give to someone. Go do the hard work of why it is you feel this way. It’s good. Talk to someone who’s a professional who can help you dig and break down, break that concrete that’s got hardened with all of that junk in it. Break it up and then lay a new foundation and you can grow on.

[00:11:33] Karen Stones: For the rest of your days mentioning what you were just talking about. You know, what has happened to us in our childhood greatly affects who we are now. And I have done a lot of reading about attachment theory. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that, but a lot of that is understanding who you were as a child and why you do the things you do now and kind of bridging that gap so you can heal. And one of the things that you and I know is, is that our parents did the best they could with the resources they had. And so it’s not so much about judging them or being upset with them. But it’s mostly about healing in the areas that are possible now and celebrating them for what they did do. And it’s hard work, like you said, to dig deep and address some of those things, but it is well worth it. I also agree with you that therapy is not a sign of weakness. Therapy is brave, and the brave people show up to talk about their stuff. It’s probably one area that some of the younger generations do better than we do, and that is their open conversations around mental health, those things, that. That is generational. I think it’s continued to get better and better.

[00:13:04] Curtis Thompson: Yep, I agree with you. I agree with you. And, you know, taking advantage of that at this age, at this point in life is critical. It’s never. It’s never too late. And it’s so interesting, though, because, you know, if you run a race, right, if you run a hundred yard dash, the way you start is cool. I mean, it has some. Some impact on. On the outcome. But the last ten yards, that determines a win versus a loss, right. If you run the race hard and know that in your last ten, whatever, that. I’m just saying this metaphorically. I’m not saying ten years. No, but again, it goes back to the play, to the whistle, right? You run to the finish line. It doesn’t matter how many yards. Like, I tell people all the time, if I put in a football metaphor, I’m on the field. I know I have more yards behind me than I have in front of me, right? What is my duty now? My duty now is to play to the end zone, play to the finish line, run to the whistle with all the vigor that I have inside of me without any regrets about what happened to play before any of that kind of stuff, just go for it. Because there’s one thing that I can tell you, and I say this with, like, joy and not, like, a morbid kind of sense, death is undefeated, right? It is absolutely undefeated. We’re all going to do that. Okay. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s live, you know, 35, 64, 75. Whatever it is, enjoy it. It’s a gift, you know, and be excited about unwrapping it. Like on Christmas, you know, kids go and they’re excited about unwrapping a gift. They don’t know what’s inside, right? They’re just excited about unwrapping that gift, right? Every day is a gift. We need to wake up in the morning. I would encourage people to wake up in the morning with that same excitement. About unwrapping whatever that gift today brings and view it as like, well, maybe it’s not my favorite toy, but it’s still a gift.

[00:14:52] Karen Stones: Yeah.

[00:14:53] Curtis Thompson: You know, and if you can. If you can master that every day, man, it’s all gravy. It’s all good.

[00:15:58] Karen Stones: Actually, I want to reference our listeners back to a previous episode where we spoke about future chasing. And in specific, future chasing is not being grateful or happy for what you have now, but it’s always looking towards the next best thing. And how would you recommend our listeners live in the present and enjoy the now, even though we may be, you know, more limited in time than. Than, say, you know, our 20 year old friends, what would you tell them? To be present and grateful.

[00:16:38] Curtis Thompson: Someone once told me two things. One was that it’s about being grateful for what it is that you have. Right? And he said, oatmeal is better than no meal. And so the reference was, whatever it is you have in front of you, be grateful for it and enjoy it, because there’s, you know, not to be comparative to someone else, but, yes, kind of be comparative. There’s someone there that wish that they could have. We might want a steak. We have first world problems, right? There’s somebody who’s probably wanting just a bowl of oatmeal, just something, some sustenance from day to day. And so if you really look at it that way, you go, I am not. This is a first world problem. I’m not starving. You know, that thing. And then the other thing was, this is an american problem, I think, because when I’ve gone to other places, they don’t have the same issue. We have stuff. We have, like, all kind of, like, I got, you know, there’s an acoustic base there, there’s an electric base there. There’s some more bases over on that side. And, you know, I got a computer. I’m talking to you. I got you. I have a bunch of stuff. But someone once told me, you never see. You never see a Hearst pulling a U Haul truck, right? And so all of the stuff that we accumulate that we think has value, we can’t. We’re not going to drag it with us. Somebody’s probably going to argue or fight over it unless we, you know, lined up things. And so the idea of being grateful for your provision at that moment, because really, that’s all you have. You can only have that at that moment. You and I are having this conversation, right? It’s going to be memorialized on tape. Tape. That’s it.

[00:18:07] Karen Stones: That’s it.

[00:18:08] Curtis Thompson: 35 to 64 reference.

[00:18:10] Karen Stones: Yes. Yes.

[00:18:11] Curtis Thompson: It’s going to be digitized, right in ones and o’s. But the words that we are actually speaking have already been spoken. I may be able to say the same words again, but I can’t say those words because those words are gone. I can look at tomorrow and go, maybe I’ll watch this tomorrow on, you know, on the podcast. Right. The only problem with that is that I don’t have any guarantee of tomorrow.

And so when we begin to look at the reality of living in the stark reality of what actually is in the moment, now, yes, you plan for the future, but you don’t deny yourself living today for the possibility of something that may never happen in terms of tomorrow. Now, I’m not saying, you know, just throw caution to the wind and go run out in front of a bus. There’s some common sense wisdom to that. But for people who are always missing what they have or hopes of something that they want, that they have no guarantee that they’re going to get, to me, that’s the definition of insanity.

Tomorrow. What if, when I finally, if I can just. Well, if you can just learn to live where you are with good intentions tomorrow, serving others, tomorrow will take care of itself.

[00:19:20] Karen Stones: Yeah. Wouldn’t it be radically different if we looked at wealth as the quality and quantity of relationships we have and the service that we’re able to then bring forth into the community?

What if that was the definition of wealth? What if that was everything we chased?

[00:19:45] Curtis Thompson: So let me ask you this question now. Is that not the definition? Could it be that society has it all askew in the way that it defines it. I would posit to you that what you said is the real true definition.

[00:19:58] Karen Stones: It is so easy to go about your day to day, though, and not be reminded of that. We’re bombarded with ads and get the bigger thing and the nicer thing, and you have only made it if you have this. It is not easy to navigate life like that.

[00:20:20] Curtis Thompson: You’re absolutely right. But let me ask you this question. Is it worth it, though? Everything that has value is usually because of scarcity. If you take a, you know, you take a lump of coal, it has to go through this grueling process to become a diamond, right? Wherever there is scarcity, people tend to put value in the things that are worth something, are worth working for. You can just pick it up. If everybody has it, you kind of go, is it really valuable? So now the reason I say that in this way is because we talked about how hard it is to live the way that we were just speaking of, right? Because it’s rare. There’s scarcity. That’s the narrow path. I would posit to you, though, that that’s where the value is. Just because it’s so hard. If I can get up every day and just do what everybody else does, nobody’s going to value that. For example, you have this unique podcast platform, and what you’re speaking to, I think, is going to be very, very successful. And the reason why is because there’s nobody talking to this demographic about the things that you’re talking about yet. This is a huge swath of population that needs service. This podcast serves that need for those people. All you have to do is continue to do it and just watch it just exponentially grow because it’s service to someone. And I would bet you dollars to donuts that this is not an easy proposition for you from the startup, from the cause, from, you know, staff that you have to put together all of the things that the editing, you know, the, all of that. It can’t be easy, but I’m going to posit to you that it’s worth it because it’s serving someone, it’s serving us, serving our demographic. That’s one of the things that made me so excited about the possibility of, and thank you so much for having me on is to be able to speak to us. Yeah, because, you know, I can club shade, you know, all of these drama podcasts and all that stuff that’s going on, they’re out there a dime a dozen.

[00:22:12] Karen Stones: Yeah.

[00:22:12] Curtis Thompson: And they’re making quick money. But this, I think, is gonna have lasting impact. That’s gonna add value to you and what it is you do.

[00:22:19] Karen Stones: Well, Curtis, it’s one a privilege to have you on. So thank you for coming. And secondly, I’d like to just thank you for acknowledging, like, the mission here behind this podcast is really to support those in middle age, in midlife, and to provide, you know, entertaining stories, but also hope that it’s not too late, you’re not too old, and we still have a purpose here. And I actually, I know the podcast team behind the scenes might not want me to talk about this yet because everything is not solid. But we are working on a seven day generosity challenge. And if you’re interested in being part of that, make sure to check in with us on our social channels regularly. But we are putting together a seven day challenge that all of our listeners can easily participate in, no matter where you are or your financial resources or other things, easy things that each one of us can do to be more generous in our community, in our families, in our friendships and other areas. So stay tuned for that. But we do believe here that serving our fellow human, brother, sister, friend is of utmost importance and really, truly brings purpose in the end, all these other pieces do not. But serving others and providing hope and other positive things to the community is very important and near and dear to our hearts here.

[00:24:08] Curtis Thompson: The idea of generosity, even if it’s just so that you get something back, is beneficial. And I love what you’re talking about with these seven days, and so I will be checking in with that because it’s a core belief of mine.

[00:24:21] Karen Stones: Good.

[00:24:21] Curtis Thompson: I just have to tell you that, because, interview aside, I think we’re kind of vibing, and I love that.

[00:24:26] Karen Stones: Yeah. Yeah. I was trying to think what kind of number of people would be a success here. And this goes back to the beginning of our conversation.

I thought, oh, gosh, what if we had a million people participate and how much change that could do? And then I dial back and I say, this is a success if one person participates.

This is not about numbers or anything else, but change and service and good. So, yes, I would love a million people to participate because that goodness is exponential when you start talking about numbers like that. But it just takes one. It takes one moment to serve, to change someone’s life. So do good.

[00:25:16] Curtis Thompson: Do good, and then watch good be done.

[00:25:18] Karen Stones: Yeah. I was listening to another podcast that I love, Gabby Bernstein, and she was mentioning that if you are lost, if you don’t know where to start, if you’re in a bad place, the first thing you should do is serve others. It will pull you out of that bad place and make you grateful for things you didn’t even know you were grateful for. And I thought that was such a good tip. If you are depressed, lonely, uncertain, have no purpose to go out and serve, and those things come with service. And I remember hearing that from her, and I thought, wow, that’s a really, really good piece of advice.

Well, you know that at the end of every episode, we like to do something fun. And I have a game that I want to play with you, Curtis, and it is called, you know, your old one. So I’ve got a joke for you. Are you ready?

[00:26:23] Curtis Thompson: Yeah. Let’s go.

[00:26:24] Karen Stones: Okay, here we go. You know you’re old when you used a VCR.

[00:26:33] Curtis Thompson: Oh, man. You know what’s so fun? I’m old because I can get up right now and walk and bring a VCR within a minute.

[00:26:41] Karen Stones: Love it. Okay. Do you have a VCR collection? Are you going to confess that?

[00:26:47] Curtis Thompson: I actually. I actually do. I have VCR tapes. I have, you know, the mini dvd tapes.

[00:26:54] Karen Stones: Mm hmm.

[00:26:54] Curtis Thompson: I still have those with, like, my kids on them and their school projects and all that. And I was just looking at it because they were like, I gotta digitize this stuff.

[00:27:02] Karen Stones: Yeah, we do.

[00:27:04] Curtis Thompson: Yeah. Before they are no good anymore.

[00:27:06] Karen Stones: What do you got for me?

[00:27:07] Curtis Thompson: You know you’re old when you try to get up out of the chair repeatedly and just end up rocking yourself back to sleep.

[00:27:18] Karen Stones: Back to sleep. You know you’re old when you’re sleeping in a chair, first off.

[00:27:23] Curtis Thompson: Right?

[00:27:25] Karen Stones: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:27:26] Curtis Thompson: Yeah. That is so true.

[00:27:28] Karen Stones: So if people want to get ahold of you and get a sense of the kind of music that you’re passionate about and even created, the best way for them to do that is on your website.

[00:27:41] Curtis Thompson: Yeah. If you go to vancouver.com on our landing page, you will see all of our social links. You can just click on and get to our Instagram, our Facebook, our TikTok, awesome Twitter or X, whatever it is this week. So, yeah, vancur.com is if they’re interested in some of our merchandise or whatever. Everything is in the vankur.com universe.

[00:28:03] Karen Stones: Well, Curtis, thank you so much for taking time today to connect with me and our listeners once again. If you have interest in reaching out to Curtis and hearing what he is doing in the music industry, you can visit him on his website. So thanks again for coming on, Curtis. It was great to have you.

[00:28:26] Curtis Thompson: It was a pleasure being here.

[00:28:30] Karen Stones: That brings us to the end of another episode. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did. Okay, so if you haven’t already, make sure to hit that subscribe button so you never miss another episode. If you’re loving what you hear, I would be incredibly grateful if you took just a moment to rate and review this show on your favorite podcast platform. It helps others discover us, and it’s a great place to share your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas for future episodes. For even more exclusive content and detailed show notes, check out our website at 3564 DoT and that’s spelled out 3564.com. As always, a huge, huge thank you for spending time with me today during this episode. I appreciate that you tuned in. I’m going to leave you the same way I do every episode. Remember, it’s not too late, you’re not too old, and you’re definitely not dead. Okay? Until next time, friends.

  • Karen Stones

    Show host Karen Stones is the creative heart of ThirtyFiveSixtyFour. Born in 1979, Karen is a child of Generation X. As a podcast enthusiast, she noticed a major void in content catering to listeners her age. Karen found existing productions were either niche, evangelized negative perspectives on aging, or hosted by a well-meaning young adult who lacked the wisdom and life experience to provide meaningful insight. Thus, ThirtyFiveSixtyFour was born. The philosophy behind ThirtyFiveSixtyFour stands in stark contrast to the conventional midlife crisis narrative, advocating instead for midlife to be seen as a time of confidence, reinvention, growth, reflection, exploration and renewal.

    Karen has over twenty years of mass communication and marketing expertise. Her journey in media started early, as she interned for notable figures like Larry Morgan and Ryan Seacrest at the Los Angeles FM radio station STAR 98.7. During her university years Karen served as a disc jockey for the on-campus, student-run radio station. Following a successful career in the corporate world, she took the entrepreneurial plunge, founding 13 Jacks Marketing Agency in 2014. The agency currently oversees multimillion-dollar projects including global product launches, international events, specialized social media and advertising campaigns. Beyond her agency pursuits, Karen extends her expertise to coaching executives seeking to enhance their business strategies and personal growth. Based in Orange County, California, Karen is a dedicated mother to three and an outdoor enthusiast.

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About the Author

Show host Karen Stones is the creative heart of ThirtyFiveSixtyFour. Born in 1979, Karen is a child of Generation X. As a podcast enthusiast, she noticed a major void in content catering to listeners her age. Karen found existing productions were either niche, evangelized negative perspectives on aging, or hosted by a well-meaning young adult who lacked the wisdom and life experience to provide meaningful insight. Thus, ThirtyFiveSixtyFour was born. The philosophy behind ThirtyFiveSixtyFour stands in stark contrast to the conventional midlife crisis narrative, advocating instead for midlife to be seen as a time of confidence, reinvention, growth, reflection, exploration and renewal.

Karen has over twenty years of mass communication and marketing expertise. Her journey in media started early, as she interned for notable figures like Larry Morgan and Ryan Seacrest at the Los Angeles FM radio station STAR 98.7. During her university years Karen served as a disc jockey for the on-campus, student-run radio station. Following a successful career in the corporate world, she took the entrepreneurial plunge, founding 13 Jacks Marketing Agency in 2014. The agency currently oversees multimillion-dollar projects including global product launches, international events, specialized social media and advertising campaigns. Beyond her agency pursuits, Karen extends her expertise to coaching executives seeking to enhance their business strategies and personal growth. Based in Orange County, California, Karen is a dedicated mother to three and an outdoor enthusiast.

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