Life is full of infinite opportunities and to stay alive we need challenge and activity. My advice to people is to constantly grow even in retirement. Take the time to learn a new skill, start a new hobby, volunteer, join an organization, etc. It is one thing to retire from a past role, but you need to think about your next role in life. It needs to be something positive that you want to be or do. Staying active mentally is key for brain health and retirement provides an incredible opportunity to do new things that could stimulate the brain as well as nourish the soul.
Terry Moore is the Founder and CEO of HomeoLux™, a health and technology company that designs wellness products based on cutting-edge scientific research. This entrepreneurial endeavor follows 30+ years in management consulting where Terry delivered strategic marketing services to large corporations, including ConAgra, Ameritech, and H.J. Heinz. Terry has been a speaker at the United Nations and Columbia University, and his TED Talks have garnered ten million views and are in the top 20 most translated talks in the world. Extending his global impact, Terry sits on the boards of TEDx and the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research. He is also an advisor, investor, and mentor to HealthTech and BioTech companies impacting innovation in public health.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Istudied business and followed a career path that took me to explore different sectors in business from health to food to science. I was always fascinated by business because it has a big potential to solve problems in quite diverse ways.
I spent 30+ years in management consulting delivering strategic marketing services and my career path was never a straight line. Most recently, I left retirement to address another big problem which I personally face alongside millions of others. My wife’s Dementia diagnosis. This unexpected curveball ripped me from my comfort zone and led me to form HomeoLux, a health and technology company that designs wellness products based on cutting-edge scientific research that could help people with this disease.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
It’s impossible to live without unexpected, unwelcome and unwanted experiences. In 2016 my wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The news hit us like a freight train. What did this mean? What could I expect to happen? How could I help? Receiving a life-altering diagnosis is never easy for a patient or the people who love them. Some people pray, some people scream, some crawl into a ball and hope it’s just a bad dream. I did all of that and more. And then, when I was able to get my bearings, I did what comes naturally to me, I looked to science for a solution.
With determination, I kept searching until I found a flicker of hope. Researchers at MIT were focusing on light therapy as a treatment for Alzheimer’s — where flickering light shone into the eye induced healthy gamma rhythm in the brain. They discovered that visual stimulation, given one hour a day for three to six weeks, had dramatic positive effects on brain function.
For me, this was a eureka moment. Like so many others fighting against the clock with our loved ones facing dementia, I feared too much time had passed and that I might be too late. I called on some colleagues to help develop prototypes of Gamma light lamps just like the ones from the MIT research. We immediately began using them at home. The flickering lamps had notable positive effects on my wife and her doctors asked me where they could get more of them. The benefits combined with their interest led me to unexpectedly leave retirement to create HomeoLux™ and help families like mine who just can’t wait.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?
This one is easy. I was leading Business and Marketing for a company in Indiana state which makes lots of products. In one of my projects, I was asked to do an analysis of the soap shop. The conclusion of the analysis was that it wasn’t a good idea and the results were set to be published as “Not worth two Shifts”. However, in the published article I left out the letter “f” in the word “shifts”. Here I learnt two things: (1) People became eager to edit my articles (2) I will always work with an editor and have always worked with one since that incident.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have had a lot of help along the way, all of whom have played different roles but my wife Lynn is the person who most changed my life. I have loved her since high school, but we pursued different paths and reunited 30 years later. She was a pioneer in the business, a philanthropist, a financial genius and an artist. I have never seen someone with such talent.
4 years ago when I started witnessing her cognitive decline, it struck me in such hard and deep ways. I could not fathom how someone who has created so much for the world with her skills, could no longer perform simple things and would eventually forget who I, her husband, was. It is the one thing that forced me out of retirement, to find any way to save her. That is why I am the most passionate I have ever been about business. We might help millions of people battling cognitive decline.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
Stay active, try to diversify your interests, and experiment with new things because you never know what lies ahead. But if I could leave someone with one piece of advice it is to meditate. I read a study some years ago that 80% or 90% of Nobel Prize winners had their breakthrough idea when they were showering, driving..etc basically not when they were working. I have found my best ideas come when I silence my mind. It’s hard at the start, but worth diving into.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
For me, fantastic work culture is about curating and fostering the right amount of challenge and interaction while framing it to be fun to solve problems together.
One of the reasons I highlight interaction is because I noticed the further one gets in organizational life and the more power and influence one obtains, the more isolated one becomes and the more the likelihood of being trapped in one’s thinking. In order to avoid this, I keep myself surrounded by new people and new ideas. When selecting which people to surround yourself with, try to find the people who have a deep mission and care rather than a job. It is easy to find a job but to be on the pursuit of a deep mission takes courage. I truly believe at the end of the day everyone wants to have a mission and with a mission, you are likely to build a much better life.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact nearly every aspect of one’s life. Obviously everyone’s experience is different. But in your experience, what are the 5 most common things that people wish someone told them before they retired?
Life is full of infinite opportunities and to stay alive we need challenge and activity. My advice to people is to constantly grow even in retirement. Take the time to learn a new skill, start a new hobby, volunteer, join an organization, etc.
It is one thing to retire from a past role, but you need to think about your next role in life. It needs to be something positive that you want to be or do. Staying active mentally is key for brain health and retirement provides an incredible opportunity to do new things that could stimulate the brain as well as nourish the soul.
Let’s zoom in on this a bit. If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important financial issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?
- Invest. Make an investment, buy stocks or if you can’t invest at the moment find resources online that will teach you how to do so. Today there are many ways to invest without using heavy financial resources by investing with however much a person can. To me investing helps keep my mind on financial and economic health. Investing could also lead to a strong positive impact which leads me to my latest financial decision, to invest and build HomeoLux™. This is a financial decision I am proud of and that presented itself while I was in retirement
- Minimize debt. Today’s businesses and economy encourage debt and we need to be careful to not structure our lives around debt.
- Hire a financial coach. In order to know how to best structure my life financially, I have found working with a financial coach has helped me immensely. No matter at what age or where you are on the financial spectrum, a financial coach is an incredible asset to have. If you want to be at your best, then you always need a coach.
If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important health issues to keep in mind before they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?
Our lifespans are expanding, but our brain health is not. In fact, cognitive decline is becoming a global health crisis. There is plenty we can do to take care of our brain’s health through tapping into the latest technology, staying active and getting enough rest. Additionally, I made a decision to do genetic testing to discover what diseases I may be vulnerable to and I have established proactive habits around that insight. Regardless, everyone should make brain health a priority.
If you had to advise your loved ones about the 3 most important things to consider before choosing a place to live after they retire, what would you say? Can you give an example or share a story?
So often the notion of retirement and choice of location is mixed up with the notion of not doing things, of having long lazy days in which one doesn’t have any activities other than walking in the sand. But that is not reality and neither should it be. My first advice is to have your interests and activities drive where you choose to live. My second piece of advice is to thrive with love. I reconnected with my high school sweetheart after 30 years. Finally, it is not about ending up somewhere, it is about the place that you want to start your next phase of life.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I have become an advocate for the world of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is a worldwide epidemic and is the 6th leading cause of death in the US. When my wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, I began searching for a solution, both as a husband and an entrepreneur with deep roots in science. Finding no cure in sight and discouraged that no new drug has been approved by the FDA since 2003, I turned to scientific studies. My singular impetus was the question: What can I do to help?
Today, I have taken the research and created HomeoLux™. Alzheimer’s disease is called a family disease because the ongoing stress of watching a loved one decline has a destructive effect on everyone. That’s why HomeoLux™ focuses on family and caregiver needs. Everything we do is in the service of families battling Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. It provided such different ways of looking at our reality, both trivial and profound. It is always interesting and thought-provoking to get a view from a different perspective. It has ideas that are true, but not necessarily what you have thought about before. Trivial example being: When you say somebody has red hair, it is in fact not really red, but it is red if you are talking about hair. Also, it’s the first book I came across that has an acceptable definition of love which is: The condition in which someone else’s happiness is essential for your own.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
I’ve been inspired by the quote “Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.” shared by Mulla Nasrudin. One must embrace risks to gain good judgment and learn. One may say I’ve taken a risk launching a company this late in life, but there are so many mistakes to learn from and so much good judgment to gain. Go out, take the risk and that way you will learn and gain good judgment.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?