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Officially I announced my early retirement from Sensormatic / Tyco / Johnson Controls on social media last week. Culminating an amazing 25+ year career, this life changing event was nearly a decade ahead of my long-term plans.
“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion for life.” – Federico Fellini
Continuous learning in building a personal brand has opened some interesting new possibilities. The foundation of this post are the comments that I shared with the Tyco Retail team at my farewell celebration where I answered four simple questions.
1. How Did I Get Here?
Personal branding was a plan written on a hotel napkin during a sleepless night when I had a career disappointment seven years ago. That restless night recognized that each of us has a leadership story that differentiates us from the rest of the world. Concurrently realized that new technologies were evolving that could strengthen personal and professional market value.
Career setbacks can either be occasions where you give up or execute on a formalized offense plan to augment your brand value. My initial social media experiments were rough as illustrated by the very first blog in 2012.
Showcasing your skills today is much easier. Success requires focus, perseverance, and the ability to compartmentalize activities to deliver positive results in your day job while concurrently build an authoritative global brand.
2. Where Am I Going?
Current near-term plans include:
- Work with a few select private equity firms in developing growth plans for their portfolio companies either through consulting or board of director’s positions.
- Public speak globally on the “Disruptive Future of Retail”. A December 2017 videoversion and an April 2018 PowerPoint Presentation are examples of the global technology disruption trends exploration.
- Partially monetize my personal website www.tonydonofrio.com
- Continue to write about technology and leadership. This could include a couple books currently in planning stages.
- Apply more lean startup ideas to my social media activities.
- Have fun and plan a few surprises along the way.
3. Why Change is Your Life Friend?
My Reinvention 2.0 journey has been transformational. Sample global accolades to date include:
- Top 100 Global Retail Influencer list 2018 by Vend
- Top 100 Global Retail Blogs 2017 by Retail Minded
- Top 25 Must Read Retail IT Blogs by BizTech
- Top 25 Retail Website by Vend
- Top 40 European Blogs by Market Inspector
- Retail Excellence Award, Asia Retail Congress
- Social Media Leadership with 130,000+ Linked-In Followers
- Publisher on “The Retail Digest” and “Digital Transformation People” platforms
Remarkably, my professional career flourished as a result of the intensified focus on personal branding. Increased industry visibility meant more doors were opened with new ideas constantly surfacing through continuous learning.
4. What is My Legacy?
At the Tyco Retail farewell celebration, my closing comments were about people. It starts with customers. I will miss the direct customer engagements from the company perspective. Proud that in an era where acquaintances are getting easier, I was able to build so many global lasting strategic customer partnerships.
The most difficult part of this early retirement was leaving the Tyco retail team. Emotionally, I shared with the audience one of my favorite personal quotes that “retail is a team sport.” Firm believer that prosperous business models are only possible when everyone is 100% engaged towards mutual successful futures. Remember and always believe that you are on a winning team.
Thank you global community, NCR, Kyrus, and Tyco Retail Solutions.
An Infinite Passion for Life
The road to thousands of great experiences starts with a single step towards continuous learning. Failure or setbacks are a time to reset and reinvent yourself. Every day, each of us has the power to exceed our own expectations towards a fulfilling life.
I am very excited by the infinite possibilities ahead in helping new technologies emerge, engaging with customers from a new perspective, and driving disruptive change through writing and public speaking. Retirement is not the end. It is in fact the apex moment for re-discovering the infinite passion for life.
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