Tim Drake – A Q&A with Generation Cherry’s new superhero..
Generation Cherry’s Tim Drake – the man, the author, the superhero?
I know 2 Tim Drake’s now. One is Tim Drake the fictional comic book superhero from the DC Comics universe. He was the 3rd Robin to Bruce Wayne’s Batman. And is the subject of our featured image.
The 2nd is Tim Drake the author, who; with the touch of the heroic about him too, had to pick himself up and dust himself down after being left without a job or income following the forced sale of his sportswear business just prior to his 50th birthday. Fast forward 20 plus years and Tim; fit, healthy and ever the optimist, has entered later life with a bounce in his stride and some great ideas in his head.
Look, I’m a big fan of Generation Cherry as the review testifies too. And I didn’t expect to be. I’m a cynic and if something’s a pile of you know what, I’ll tell you. This isn’t. Thus I set out to meet Generation Cherry’s superhero over a drink and some Fish n Chips. This is the Q&A that resulted from our conversations. Enjoy!
On being an author…
ROB: When/Why did you become an author? What compelled you to write?
TIM: My first book was called “Wearing the Coat of Change”. I wrote it about five years after losing the retail business I had co-founded and built to 42 stores, with a turnover of £17 million. It happened in 1993, after the recession of 1992, and our bank going bust on us, forcing us to sell it for £1 to protect our staff and our suppliers. It deals with the experience of loss (indeed I lost two stones in weight during the process!), and how I had to rebuild my life. I had two young children, no income, and having run my own company, had no ability to work for anyone else again. Looking back on it now, it is amusing to see that the suggestions I made for creating income don’t mention the internet, as it didn’t exist!
ROB: What is your writing routine? Do you have any writing rituals? Superstitions?
TIM: I start work, when writing, at 6.00am and work for two hours uninterrupted, as I find this the productive way to write. The rest of the day can then be devoted to normal stuff. I am no longer superstitious. After my setback, I willed myself to give up all my old superstitions. Indeed, I decided my lucky number is 13 – which is about as lucky as my old lucky number used to be!
ROB: What did you want to be, career wise, growing up? And what do you want to be now? Are you fulfilling the potential of your “promising youngster”?
TIM: Growing up, I had no clue what I wanted to be when my education ended. I’m still not totally sure what I want to be when I grow up. But I’m enjoying finding out.
On Generation Cherry…
ROB: What is Generation Cherry?
TIM: It’s the generation that had a cherry on everything – it was easy to find a job. We had pensions. We could afford to buy a house. And it went up in value. Now the cherry is shriveling. Fewer, poorer-paying jobs. Redundancy. Skinny, or no, pensions. Housing increasingly unaffordable.
Generation Cherry originally referred to us of more mature years – but now it refers to most age groups. The book is about getting a second bite of the cherry. Finding autonomy, fun and fulfilment.
ROB: Where did the nucleus of the idea come from? Who have you written this for?
TIM: It came from being in a roomful of people of all ages who were discussing the subject of the challenges of ageing and approaching retirement. Most felt they were losing hope, and were searching for both an identity, and a coherent approach to the challenges of life today. No easy answers emerged.
After pondering it for some time after that discussion, the Second Biter concept clarified in my mind, and slowly crystallized into the subject of a book.
ROB: Sell me a copy Tim – why should I buy it?
TIM: It will give you an insight into the need to develop a mindset that enables you to positively take control of your life, and capitalize on your talents. It will then give you both the tools to develop that mindset, and the belief that you can do it. You will become a Second Biter.
ROB: How would you define “autonomy” in the context of this book?
TIM: Autonomy (self rule) means that you are in control of your life. You control not only your actions, but your feelings. You carry your own weather around with you, because your sense of control is real – it is based on solid foundations. It will not go away when you encounter setbacks or doubt from those around you. The Four Autonomies work.
ROB: What is enlightened thrift?
TIM: Enlightened Thrift is the understanding that you have enormous wealth beyond the financial: family, friends, sense of humor, positive mindset, enthusiasm, gratitude for what we have etc. The amount of stuff you need to find fulfillment and contentment is a lot less than you imagine. By stripping your life of unnecessary stuff will make you feel lighter, fitter, more confident, and much less fearful.
ROB: You have a tenner left in your wallet. What would you spend it on, if you had to spend it?
TIM: Bread and cheese for a meal to share with my family sitting round a table
(ROB: Sounds lovely. I’ll throw a bottle of red wine in Tim!)
ROB: Why do 2nd biters need young brains?
TIM: Being a Young Brain means you open to people, open to change, are full of enthusiasm and fun. You enjoy life. If you are an Old Brain, it means you are closed, sour, the world is black and white, and you are always right. Life is tiresome, and you don’t get the respect you deserve.
On Older Workers…
ROB: What are the main challenges do you think older workers face?
TIM: Loss of confidence – in themselves and their ability to cope with a world that is changing fast. They have the talent, but are sometimes loth to admit it, even to themselves. They have a huge amount to offer – they just need to appreciate it, and capitalize on it.
ROB: As a thrifty writer, how would you describe Greydient in less than 10 words!
TIM: An opportunity to capitalize on their skills, enthusiasm and experience
ROB: Thanks Tim, totally agree! To find out more about Tim and his work, click on this link and let me know if you have any questions for Tim too!