Fresh Off The Press

The Back Forty:

7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half

What has been called “the liberation to follow The Great Resignation,” The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half arrived on Amazon in softcover and ebook form on February 2, 2022. To those engaged in the “Big Quit”, the future gets brighter for you on 2/2/22. See the inspiring launch day videos of difference-makers here.

In a continued pandemic-laced era when many aspects of personal and professional life are all up for grabs, grabbing a copy of The Back Forty might be the best insurance for a more joyful and self-expressed life ahead.

In this period of deep and wholesale life/work introspection, The Back Forty is both timely and intimately helpful, serving as a trustworthy guide for a powerful midlife makeover. Its spirited message of rejuvenation and inspiration transforms any prevailing resignation into momentum toward a purposeful next phase of life: not only guaranteed, but perfectly timed by your own design.

From The Back Cover


Darrell Gurney’s The Back Forty—at once an intimate memoir of freeing self-discovery while also a practical guide to midlife awakening and bold progression—lays out 7 Embraces that will transform every aspect of your life experience and guide you in crafting your desired future.

What if your entire life this far has simply been R & D—just research and development—for the bigger game you have yet to play? What if nothing in your past was wasted and your life was actually timed and organized for exactly this moment? What if the only start that matters is the one you make now? You are never who you “are” or who you’ve been. You are who you’re becoming.

Praise for The Back Forty

“In The Back Forty, Darrell Gurney has laid down an effective and inspiring roadmap for getting deep and insightful with oneself at the midpoint—or any point—of life. Disassembling, recontextualizing and causing one's purposeful life going forward, guided by these seven Embraces, ensures anyone a future of possibilities that weren't going to ‘happen anyway.’ This is indeed radical thinking.”

MARSHALL GOLDSMITHThinkers50’s only two-time winner of #1 Leadership Thinker in the World, the World’s #1 Executive Coach and Top Ten Business Thinker

“Yes, your first half of life was simply research and development. This outlines what to do with the second half. Inspiring wisdom for any age, don’t enter or leave midlife without The Back Forty.”

CHIP CONLEYNew York Times best-selling author of Wisdom @ Work and founder of Modern Elder Academy

“The Back Forty is a testament to the unstoppable spirit in each of us. Darrell Gurney intimately shares his own midlife quest for purpose, stepping beyond fear and doubt to pave the way for himself and each of us to have our second half of life be the best half. This is required reading if you want the next phase of your life to be the best part ever.”

CYNTHIA KERSEYBest-selling author of Unstoppable and founder of The Unstoppable Foundation Foundation

“Through his spiritual daring, Gurney sheds light upon the vital subject of discovering one’s inner wholeness at any age and stage on life’s journey. He moves his readers into a revolution in consciousness: loving ourselves for who we are, for the innate capacities of the heart and soul.”

MICHAEL BERNARD BECKWITHAuthor of Life Visioning and Spiritual Liberation founder/spiritual director of The Agape International Spiritual Center

“The Back Forty is an honest, authentic take on how the most challenging moments lead to powerful truths. It provides an opportunity to examine the past like a scientist and experiment with creating mindsets which will set you up for a joyful present and enriching future. As Darrell points out: ‘The only start that matters is the one you make now.’ So true."

BARBARA WAXMANMS, MPA, PCC, coach, gerontologist, speaker, author of Middlescence Manifesto: Igniting the Passion of Midlife

“Darrell Gurney tilled the soil of his personal experience and harvested an inspiring process for embracing challenges and living life to the fullest. In The Back Forty, Gurney offers a crucial counter to the prevailing pessimism about midlife and shows his readers the best is yet to come!”

MARGIT COX HENDERSONPhD, author of Optimistic Aging: from Midlife to the Good Life, an Action Plan

“Ever run into someone you felt like hitting when you turned forty and they said, "The best is yet to come"? Well, if they ducked when you took a swipe at them and then gave you a copy of The Back Forty, you’d not only thank them but you'd apologize profusely for taking the swing.”

MARK GOULSTONM.D., founding member Newsweek Expert Forum and author of Just Listen, the top book in the world on listening

“The Back Forty is a profound and engaging inquiry into what it takes to expand when society is betting you'll contract. For anyone seeking to clear their path of self-imposed obstacles, habits, behaviors and attitudes so they can build a rich and fulfilling second half of life, The Back Forty serves as a bible of empowerment.”

SALLY HELGESONAuthor of How Women Rise, The Web of Inclusion, and The Female Advantage

About The Author

Chief Empowerment Optimystic (CEO) Darrell W. Gurney is an executive, business and career advisor; speaker; workshop facilitator; author and licensed spiritual counselor. Founder of and, Gurney coaches individuals to achieve their highest self-expression and presents to professional, trade and community groups as well as MBA programs and university alumni organizations nationwide. He is known for his commitment to supporting individuals in creating and live their best life now.

ISBN: 978-0-9674229-2-3
Pub Date: 2/2/2022
Price: $9.95

ISBN: 978-0-9674229-1-6
Pub Date: 2/2/2022
Price: $24.95

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The Back Forty

IMBUE Journal:

Inspiring Massive Beauty Uniquely Expressed

Created to inspire and enable you to fully and authentically express who you truly are, your unique beauty, and what is important to you. Through this journal, you will create and play your own Back Forty IMBUE Game.

So, what is the Back Forty that we keep referring to? The Back Forty represent a radical ida that in our second half of life “the best is yet to come.” In our early years two things happen. First, we are heavily influenced by external forces: parents, education, culture, friends, environment, media, etc. Secon, we tend to pay more attention to the needs of others (lovers, spouses, children, etc.) than our own.

In our Back Forty of life, it is time to decide for ourselves what real beauty is, and to take care of our own critical needs even before the needs of others. We deserve to focus on our own unbridled Self-expression and let our uniqueness shine.

Alexandra’s own individual journey to embrace and fall in love with herself came from declaring “I’m in love with my wrinkles!” and fully embracing what they represent for her about who she is.

That is her game. This is YOUR journal to create YOUR game and find YOUR own insights, answers, and freedom. The questions throughout take you on that journey.

From The Back Cover


The Back Forty IMBUE Journal invites you on an inward journey to create and play a meaningful and vibrant game of inspiring Massive Beauty Uniquely Expressed – by YOU and as YOU. Through loving, step-by-step guidance and insight-provoking questions, this wise companion provides a framework and support for accepting, embracing and empowering your beautiful essence.

  • Discover the four environments that shape your experience of yourself, and learn how to design them
  • Infuse your life with the spirit of play, and notice how it lightens up your projects
  • Adopt a practice of acknowledging and rewarding yourself all wins, big and small
  • Engage in supportive practices, rituals, and success strategies
  • Fall in love with yourself all over again!

About The Author

Alexandra I. Levin co-created The Back Forty movement (, community, and transformational coaching programs which support midlifers to see the second half of life as an inspiring, radical and purposeful best half, based on the dual premises that “the best is yet to come” and “you have yet to do what you came here to do.” Alexandra’s own next half of life is focused on the spiritual and inspirational empowerment of others. Her experience spans over 25 years as a coach, mentor, and organizational and personal development expert. Her expertise is in the areas of personal and professional success, living a joyful and empowered life, performance, effectiveness, leadership, communication, teamwork, business consulting, and human potential development.

ISBN: 978-0-9674229-3-0
Pub Date: 4/2017
Price: $14.95

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Headhunters Revealed:

Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters

The purpose is to empower you, the working professional, to reap every bit of potential career support from the executive search profession—and to protect and enhance your self-esteem in the process. Securing your right livelihood is an intimate activity of paramount importance, and it is easy to take everything personally. However, tetting the most out of a headhutner means knowing how to manage that relationship professionally.

Here’s an insider’s perspective of the business of placing you in business. I hold nothing back—no trade secrets, no hidden agendas. As a matter of fact, some of my colleagues weren’t all that happy with everything I revealed! They still entertain the notion that there is some “control factor” to be maintained with candidates by keeping certain things quiet. However, my purpose is to give it to you straight in order to foster more open, sound partnerships between career-changing professionals and those in the recruiting business. The idea is this: when you know how headhunters operate, their work will not only make sense, but you’ll join them at the controls—for your own best interests.

From The Back Cover

Here’s how to get “placed”—in the driver’s seat of your career!!

It’s a job-search jungle out there, but when used wisely, Executive Recruiters (Headhunters) can carve an amazing, lucrative path for rising professionals. This book is your machete and friendly guide!

Written by an industry native, this light, witty trail map deftly steers you through the underbrush with insider tips to help bag the best booster for your career. Cutting away myths and misconceptions of the recruiting world, it reveals everything about the mind and mechanics of search professionals—things they do and don’t want you to know! Whether in transition for a better position or simply interested in getting top-value return from your life’s work, this book is for you.

You will discover how to:

  • Reap the enormous benefits of being a hunted head
  • Stay cool in the wrong job until the right one shows up
  • Assess and interview headhunters to find the best ones for you
  • Manage your career like an entrepreneur—for all it’s worth
  • Establish “career partnerships” for lifetime payoff
  • Command the most from your “employable assets”
  • Position yourself strategically in a recruiter’s database

Praise for Headhunters Revealed

“In many industries, recruiters are the key to a fruitful job search. For those job seekers who don’t know the difference between contingency and retained recruiters, among other nuances, Darrell W. Gurney’s friendly and concise Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets™ for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters is a welcome resource. With helpful checklists and bulleted summaries, Gurney explains in upbeat, chummy prose all there is to know about the recruitment process—from what headhunters actually do (hint: it’s more than just peddling resumes) and why they can help your career to the best way to make yourself an attractive candidate (e.g., be specific about your needs, keep in mind long-term goals).”


"For some reason, the field of executive recruiting has always been cloaked in mystery, perhaps because recruiters deal with only a select group of candidates. Those on the "outside" seem to believe there is some sort of unknown ritual in getting tapped. Even headhunter, the popular term for the profession, suggests the exotic. Nearly three decades ago, Allan Cox first offered the Confessions of a Corporate Headhunter (1973); then, twenty years ago, John Wareham revealed Secrets of a Corporate Headhunter (1980). Now Gurney, a Certified Personnel Consultant who has practiced for 14 years, reveals why recruiters exist and what they do. He explains the differences between contingency and retained recruiting. He suggests how to capture the attention of recruiters and lays out the advantages of working with them. Gurney advises what recruiters want to hear in an interview and what they want to see on a resume. Of course, since the time when Cox and Wareham offered their inside looks, the Internet has become a major medium, and Gurney offers Web-savvy tips throughout."

DAVID ROUSEThe American Library Association's (ALA) Booklist

"In Headhunters Revealed! professional recruiter Darrell Gurney shares a wealth of witty and practical advice on how to reap the enormous benefits of being a "hunted head" in today's employment market; how to stay cool in the wrong job until the right one shows up; assessing and interviewing headhunters to find the best ones of you; how to manage your career like an entrepreneur for all it's worth; how to establish "career partnerships" for a lifetime payoff; commanding the most from your "employable assets"; and how to position yourself strategically in a recruiter's database. Highly recommended reading for all career minded men and women, Headhunters Revealed! demystifies what recruiters do and how best to take advantage of the recruitment system for the best job or corporate career you can get."


"Headhunters Revealed! unlocks the secrets of finding a professional recruiter. Save yourself all the hassle of getting stuck with the wrong representation. Even if you aren't in the midst of making a career change, it's never too early to read this book."

MARK VICTOR HANSENCo-creator, #1 New York Times Best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, including Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

"Executive Recruiters hold the key to the hidden job market. This straight-forward book shows you how to make this resource work for you."

WAYNE COOPERCEO, Kennedy Information, publisher of The Directory of Executive Recruiters

"Darrell's expansive knowledge of the job search arena enables him to reach both the novice and experienced job seeker. The examples and illustrations are 'on target' with accepted career strategies. This book is a must read for unhappily employed and unemployed professionals at all levels."

HOWARD PARDUEFortune 500 HR Director, and former Vice President/Managing Director of Right Management Consultants

"In the increasingly maddening labyrinth of searching for the right career — a maze of job banks, web postings, and e-cruiters — the best source may still be the headhunter. Gurney explains the perspective, as well as the process, of the headhunter, lending some humanity to a much misunderstood profession."

DANNY CAHILLTop Search Industry Recruiter and Trainer, career management guru, and President of Hobson Associates

"This breezy little book is for you! Arm yourself with the answers to questions the recruiter may ask. Never again will you have to go naked into a face-to-face or telephone interview."

JAMES KENNEDYFounder, Kennedy Information, Inc., publisher of The Directory of Executive Recruiters

About The Author

Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), has been a professional recruiter for over 14 years. In addition to running his own firm, he writes articles for trade publications and speaks regularly at national industry events. Affiliated with over 600 executive recruiters worldwide, Darrel has won awards and praise from colleagues, clients and candidates alike.

ISBN: 978-0-9674229-0-9
Pub Date: 3/2000
Price: $14.95

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