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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with The Content Guy.

I love William Shatner.  I cannot help myself.  And not just because I am now, and always have been, a huge "Star Trek" fan.

And the thing is, Shatner is the living personification of a great business lesson.

He started out as a journeyman actor.  Maybe not the best in the world, but very good, and even underrated.  If you doubt me, try to track down the PBS production of “The Andersonville Trial,” which was directed by George C. Scott - he’s extraordinary in it.

Over the years, as he built a post-Star Trek career, he’s become a master at self-reinvention, and even self-parody when it was called for.  And built a terrific and sustainable career out of it.Sure, there have been some missteps - some of the toupees from the seventies and eighties, and even “Star Trek V:  The Search For God,:” or whatever it was called.  But he also became a multi-millionaire by doing Priceline commercials for stock.  He’s done a bunch of TV series.  He’s used the internet to communicate with his fans and build demand for future and existing projects.  He’s written and co-written a number of books, and even recorded some albums that people who know a lot more about music than I say are pretty good and even edgy.  Go figure.

I was thinking about this because he’s out with a new book called “Shatner Rules,” and the Wall Street Journal featured a video interview with him.  I’ve imbedded a link to the interview, which you have to watch, if only to see the pure, unabashed joy in his face.  This is an 80 year old guy who is having a great time, doing what he wants to do, with no plans to stop, and the wherewithal to do another career reinvention if given the opportunity.  I’m not sure that anyone will ever vast him again in a serious drama, but I’d be willing to bet that if they did, he’d knock it out of the park.

( can see the interview by clicking on the picture of Shatner at right or by clicking here.)

This is something we all should be striving for, in our businesses and, I think, in ourselves - the ability to change things up, to keep trying new things, to find sustainable ways to build our businesses, and to enjoy the hell out of it while doing so.  I can’t wait to read the book.

In some ways, in watching this interview, I am reminded of my mother in law.  She’s 92, but man, is she with it.  She loves reading, going to the theater and movies, trying new restaurants, discussing politics - she’s totally engaged in not acting like a 92 year old.  She’s also pretty computer literate, because she did not want to be left behind. The other day I’m talking to her on the phone because she wants to go see the new High Line Park in New York City and we’re going to take her, and she mentions to me that she had no plans to see Moneyball but after reading my review here on MNB, she’s going to - and then she says she has to get off the phone because she has an appointment with her trainer.  She’s 92!  If I make it to 92, I want to be like that.  Heck, if I make it to 80, I want to be like William Shatner.

In a lot of ways, despite their age, they both continue to go boldly forward.  Which is the only way to live.

That’s what is on my mind this Thursday morning.  As always, I look forward to hearing what is on your mind.

KC's View: