Success story: Reading native shares his expertise in book, seminar

WORTHINGTON -- Don Redinius has lived and worked around the world, but the Worthington area will always be home. "Someday I think I'll get back there," he said. "Right now, I'm enjoying things out here." "Out here" is the Norfolk-Hampton Beach ar...

Don Redinius

WORTHINGTON -- Don Redinius has lived and worked around the world, but the Worthington area will always be home.

"Someday I think I'll get back there," he said. "Right now, I'm enjoying things out here."

"Out here" is the Norfolk-Hampton Beach area of Virginia, where Don currently lives and works. But he plans a visit back to Minnesota this month to share his latest endeavor with the folks in his hometown. Don recently published a book, "The New Era of Financial Success," and will conduct a seminar on the topic locally on Sept. 20.

"I was born in the Worthington hospital and raised in Reading until I was 18," said Don, the son of the late Elmer "Stub" and Doretta Redinius. "My mother passed away when I was very young due to a congenital heart defect. My father owned a small earth-moving construction company, primarily doing work for farmers, picking out old groves, knocking down buildings, building driveways. A lot of people will remember him if they were the right age. ... He was called 'Stub' because he was so short, and I'm 6' 4" -- how does that happen?"

Don had a twin sister, Donna, who died tragically in a car accident when they were just 18 years old.


"It was over by Cherry Point in Worthington," Don recalled. "The car she was riding in slid off the road right at the curve as they were turning north and hit the huge cottonwood tree right before the water. ... I was actually in the military in San Antonio, Texas. I was out-processing, had 20 minutes to go, when these two guys from the Red Cross came in. The instructor pulled me off to the side and told me what had happened. If they hadn't come at the time they did, I would have been in Florida."

Before entering the military, Don was a 1967 graduate of Worthington High School. When he put in his four years in the Air Force, he returned to Worthington and what was then Worthington Junior College.

"After two years at the junior college, I had to decide on a major," Don said, noting that he had hoped to become an airline pilot, but with the U.S. involvement in Vietnam coming to an end, there was a surplus of aviators. "I decided to flip a coin: heads I'd go into aeronautical engineering, tails into electrical engineering. I flipped and it came up tails, so I decided to go two out of three. It came up tails again."

So Don headed off to the University of Minnesota, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering.

"I got into management right away," he said about his career path following college. "I became a fairly high level executive in major companies, and that's where I got to know finances."

On Don's résumé are the company names Honeywell, Seagate Technology and Toshiba.

"The two areas that I specifically found myself in were engineering research and development and operations," Don detailed. "At one time I had 18,000 people working for me around the world. I've lived in Thailand, Singapore and all over the United States because of that. Between 1988 and '98, I made 110 trips between the U.S. and Singapore, 55 trips between the U.S. and Tokyo. It wears you down, but you get experience that way, you learn things."

When Don took the post as president of a software company, he landed in the Virginia coastal area.


"We were working with the military, had the opportunity to work with various branches of the service, and the Virginia Beach economic development board, so I came out to the Hampton Beach area because of that. Our project related to recruiting and hiring, kind of like

"After I got here in May of 2008, I could start to see the beginning of the recession, and I said to my boss, 'You might want to consider shuttering or hibernating this business.' He said, 'I think it's going to be OK.' But I told him, 'I think it's going to be 8 percent unemployment; I think I need to move on.' I didn't want to be associated with it anymore. So I quit in September of '08, and he asked me to stick around a little bit and transition the reins back to him."

Once that commitment ended, instead of going to work for another company, Don decided to put his professional expertise to use in a new enterprise.

"I started thinking I've lived through six recessions since I was adult, and I could see this recession coming," he explained. "I could see it, I could smell it. I started thinking that I know enough about business improvement that I could help other people reduce the pain and grief they're going to feel as a result of this recession. I need to write a book on that.

"I had written or helped author some other books, so it was not a new activity to me, but this was my first solo publishing of a book to the general marketplace. So that's how I got to where I'm at. I'm not really retired; I've decided I'm going to build a business around helping people become more personally and financially successful, because the two have to go together."

Within "an amazingly short amount of time," Don had the makings of the book he envisioned.

"I started in November 2008 and had 110,000 words written by June 22, 2009. There was a lot of stuff in my head," he said. "I sent it out to my review team -- nine people around the country from various walks of life -- and had it back by the middle of August. Then I had to lock in on a publisher. I signed the contract in December 2009, and it took them until July 14, 2010, to release the book."

Through the book, Don aims to help people to realize their full potential.


"Throughout my corporate career, it dawned on me that people are a lot more capable than what they realize," he explained. "... Part of it is demonstrating to people that you can accomplish a lot in your life, and you have all the tools and power in your life to do that. You just have to realize it.

"Once I help people realize they can accomplish a lot more than what they thought they could -- I provide various tools, techniques and motivational things to do that -- the next key item is you have to define what it is you're going to be when you grow up, a personal success vision and financial success vision.

"The personal thing is like when they read my obituary, what are they going to say about me -- family, friends, loves, interests, that kind of stuff. From a financial perspective, it's what's my position going to be when I get ready to retire. I create this vision, using so many practices from business, a convergence technique."

The whole purpose of the book, Don stressed, is to help people become financially successful and consequently remove strains in other areas of their lives.

"Ninety-eight percent of divorces have a financial argument in them someplace," he said. "There are all kinds of statistics on child abuse being related to financial stress and worry. There is so much detrimental damage to human lives caused because of poor money management. It's plain and simple.

"I started studying why people get into so many money problems, and one of the things that attributes to it is the switch in money from coins and bills to digital cash," he continued. "Credit cards made it too easy, and people didn't understand the ramifications. ... A lot of people got into trouble because they paid the minimum balance.

"You manage your money," he emphasized. "Don't let it manage you."

In conjunction with the book, Don is working with a local company, Ide@s, to create a website, , which will offer supportive and supplemental materials. The site will be up and running by Wednesday, he promised, in time for the Worthington seminar.


While he's in Minnesota, Don will also spend time with his immediate family. Daughter Heather Tollefson and his two grandchildren live in St. Peter, and his son, David, will fly in from Phoenix. Don also hopes to play some golf and reconnect with old friends during Worthington's King Turkey Day celebration. The seminar just makes the trip a working vacation.

"I'm of the mindset now, at the point in my life where I'm trying to give back," he reflected. "I've always been considered a mentoring executive. Stress and worry are probably the most detrimental things in people's lives, and if you can remove the biggest contributor to stress and worry -- finances -- you've affected people's lives for the good. That's why I did this.

"In the end, I believe I'm improving the quality of life and standard of living, and I hope to do that for millions of people."

The free "Jump Start Your Personal and Financial Success" seminar by Don Redinius will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in the cafeteria at Worthington High School.

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