North County Entrepreneur interviewed at the Beach
Jim Bryant – San Diego Independent Journalist | Posted October 27, 2020, 2:00 pm
I finally caught up with this guy, as I have been trying to chase him down for months, ever since I read about his current endeavors. His name is Joseph William Stasaitis, and he is also known as the Un-Retired Entrepreneur. His catch phrase is “When you love what you do, why retire?”.
This is what caught my attention when a friend shared one of his blog posts with me. He has worked both in human services and business development over his forty-seven year career, and does not see that ending any time soon, although his projects do vary.
Rather than fill in all the blanks let’s get into the interview I had with Joseph William (an artist friend in Mexico started calling him that years ago and it just stuck) on a cool sunny late October afternoon on Carlsbad Beach in North San Diego County.
We agreed to meet on the far end of the beach just past the Army Navy Military Academy near the border of Carlsbad and the city of Oceanside. It was late afternoon and the sun was still shining brightly off of the crystal blue waves, and the scent of the misty salt air was evident.
As I waited near our designated meeting spot, I noticed a figure in the distance approaching. As he drew closer I recognized him from the photo on his blog. Although in his late 60s, he had an energetic bounce to his step, and his 6’5″ lean and firm figure betrayed a man of those years.
He had on a pair of quite chic Italian sunglasses with a black Italian windbreaker over a dark blue shirt with the words “The Next Steppers”, black sweatpants, and red-orange running shoes. He greeted me with a big smile and suggested we take a walk along the beach.
“Thanks for meeting me for this interview. You’re quite a challenge to catch up with.”
“My personal assistant does a good job screening folks out for me so that I avoid the overwhelm thing. I do have quite a few plates always spinning around in the air.” Joseph William replied.
“So let’s begin. Tell me how your company, Resistance Transformation Associates, got started?”
“Well, it actually started many moons ago within my most active imagination. I have been on a life-long search of wanting to find out what makes people tick. I eventually realized that I needed to discover what made me tick first, in order to make such a discovery valid. After college, the search began with my work in mental health as well as business development.”
The wind picked up a bit and we were being sprinkled with cool refreshing ocean mist as we walked in front of the breaking waves.
“Where did you go to school?”
“ My undergraduate work was at the University of Connecticut in psychology, and then I did additional work in spiritual studies at a school in Barbados in the West Indies. I have been a life long learner and continue to be. I have studied many disciplines, both Eastern and Western, and even trained in Aikido for several years, but now primarily practice Qi Gong and different yoga exercises and postures.”
“So, how have things transformed to bring you to where your are today with your company Resistance Transformation Associates and its various divisions serving both adults and children?”
Joseph William then went into an Aikido roll, bounced up, and did a number of jumping jacks. It was quite interesting to watch.
“Well, let me give you the short version. After college I attended grad school in School Psychology, but I quickly figured out I wouldn’t be happy and fulfilled pigeon-holing kids with a bunch of IQ and personality tests. So I left and worked a few blue collar and sales jobs, until I found something working with folks with disabilities. I really enjoyed that work, but then I moved from Connecticut to California on the spur of the moment. I’ll save the details of that for another time.”
“For several years in Southern and Northern California I worked in finance and did consulting work in the computer and microelectronics industries. My heart was not in that work, and in the early 1990s I reentered the human services area working with children with emotional as well as gang-related and probation type challenges. I enjoyed the work immensely, and continued in this work until I relocated to Southern California for family reasons, and then did some work with adults with disabilities.”
“That’s quite a career. What about your business development work?”
“After leaving my consulting work in the San Francisco Bay Area, I did various projects part-time, and currently continue to take on projects primarily in finance, investments, and mergers & acquisitions. I occasionally accept assignments in other markets as well.”
A few seagulls flew by and Joseph William made some remarks about Richard Bach’s book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, which was a perfect metaphor for what we were discussing.
“During that time I formed Resistance Transformation Associates and setup the “Next Step Paradigm” program, and the kids’ workshop on creativity and entrepreneurship. It’s been a fun ride.”
“I know you mentioned you have another appointment this afternoon, so before we finish up here, break down for me what your work is really all about.”
As we got closer to the volleyball nets which were setup along the beach, we saw several games being played with a good number of interested spectators.
“Well, my intent has been to offer both online and offline products and services that make a positive impact in people’s lives by empowering them to trust themselves. Any good coach, mentor, therapist, or counselor has as their objective to put themselves out of business. After a little guidance people learn to take the initiative and become empowered to be self-directed. But at the same time, it’s always good to bounce things off a mentor or valued colleague and mastermind a bit.”
“I embrace the concept of “neoteny” as my guiding principle. Neoteny is the retention of childlike qualities and attributes well into adulthood”, Joseph William explained as he did another Aikido roll and a few quick jumping jacks in the sand. “I play all out in all areas of my life, and enjoy expressing my creativity for the benefit of as many people who I can positively affect.”
“To activate change in others, we must be the change ourselves. We all have a life purpose and legacy we desire to leave. When our vision is aligned with concrete strategies and goals we are effortlessly carried to our destination.”
“The key is to begin. We all have an “Inner Genius” just craving to emerge into the bright sunlight. That’s why I created the Next Stepper Movement which brings people together to encourage each other to define their heart-felt desires and to take the Next Step.”
“What about your Un-Retired Entrepreneur designation?”
Joseph William stretched a bit in the bright sunlight, tossed his sunglasses aside, and then ran and quite unexpectedly jumped into the ocean with his clothes on. Emerging completely soaked, he was laughing and jumping around in a child-like manner.
“See what I mean by neoteny?” He immediately exclaimed.
After I finished shaking my head in bewilderment I was able to reply, “I sure do”.
“My work as the Un-Retired Entrepreneur is devoted to inspiring people of all ages to stay fully engaged in life, and to never stop creating and making a positive difference.”
“Well, I see the time has come for us to depart, but I want to say I really enjoyed this time together. You most certainly are an interesting and unique type of individual.”
“And a little whacko as well.” He quickly added. “I have also been called peculiar and a bit odd. But it is all good.”
“So many people live their lives without discovering and sharing their unique gifts. I encourage all not to do this, and to avoid the regrets down the road. Let me now leave you with one of my favorite quotes from George Bernard Shaw.”
Joseph William then stared out into the twilight at the setting sun over the ocean and began,
“This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can…..
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” — George Bernard Shaw –
With that he waved good-bye, invited me for a follow-up interview at his other home on the San Luis Obispo coast, did another Aikido roll in the sand, and actually skipped along the shore heading to his next appointment or should I say adventure. I could only smile and shake my head.