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25 Lessons in Life and Career Reinvention

25 Lessons in Life and Career Reinvention

25 Lessons in Life and Career Reinvention

    Some New Year’s resolutions sound familiar: Lose weight, exercise more, quit a bad habit, prioritize family. But, whether you are unhappy with your current situation or you realize that’s finally time to pursue a lifelong dream, starting it can be daunting.

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    Reinvention is a Process, Not a Destination

    As founder of ReinventionWorks, a digital learning platform that provides tools, networking, and education for those going through reinvention, I’m no stranger to the career reinvention process.

    Not only am I on my third career reinvention, but I have conducted close to 50 interviews with people who have successfully transitioned from one career to another. Their stories are diverse, inspiring and instructive.

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    Some of the transitions include a book publisher who went on to run a conference for pet lovers, an attorney who became a digital analyst, a marketer who’s now creating an interactive system to teach young girls how to be entrepreneurs, and many others.

    They may come to their reinvention from different starting points, but they share common lessons learned that anyone today could find useful.

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    Career Reinvention: 25 Lessons in Life and Your Career

    If a career reinvention is in your future in 2016, get ready for a big dose of motivation in the following lessons learned from the experiences of these fellow Reinventionists:

    “Stop being intimidated by the word Reinvention. It’s all just about learning, and that’s something we should be doing every day.” Saul Kaplan, Founder, Business Innovation Factory.

    “This may sound simple, but start with something you love to do, that makes you happy…and for the right reasons.” Rob Graham

    “Take chances. Try something new. Push beyond your comfort zone.” (multiple interviewees)

    “Experiment – If you’re not sure what you want to reinvent to, dabble for a while.” Yvonne Divita

    Constantly be looking for the next phase of your life. Every few years or so, write a business plan for yourself, your life. Work it out on paper — it’s a lot easier to put into action that way.” Rob Spider Graham, Principal, Certified Sales Training, who went on to quote Mark Twain: The only person who likes change is a wet baby.

    “To help think about confidence and overcoming your discomfort, read The Confidence Code by Katty Kay, particularly if you’re a woman trying to reinvent.” Holly Lichtenfeld, Founder, Bright Girls Company.

    “Once you make a decision, go at it relentlessly.” Richard Duval

    “You have to have a persistent vision of your goals and your desires. You need to believe in what you’re doing because if you don’t, no one will believe in you either and you’ll always give yourself an escape clause to not really try at reinventing.” Rob Graham

    “You have to have a certain amount of ego, particularly in a creative field, but present it in a balanced way.” Richard Duval, VineLines and Duval Images.

    “Make a point of meeting new people…all the time. Schedule it and quantify it.” (all interviewees)

    “If you plan on raising funds for your business venture, don’t rely solely on social media. It’s great for awareness, but not so much for conversions. Instead, directly email people you know or reach out to your LinkedIn contacts.” Holly Lichtenfeld

    “Participate in activities, even if you don’t necessarily think you belong there because you never know when an opportunity could present itself. If you plan to go into business for yourself, always be selling yourself.” Richard Duval

    “Don’t be a focus group of one. Everyone needs a sounding board.” Rob Graham

    “Surround yourself with people who believe in you or who push you to believe in yourself even more than you do.” Holly Lichtenfeld

    “Seek out other people on the reinvention journey with you.” Richard Duval

    “Seek out a mentor or advisor.” Yvonne Divita, Co-Creator, Blog Paws; Founder, The Lipsticking Society

    “Surround yourself with people smarter than you.” Richard Duval

    “Overcome your fear to ask for help.” Holly Lichtenfeld

    “Help other people. It can help you, too.” Yvonne Divita, Holly Lichtenfeld and Rob Graham– who emphasizes, “Don’t be the person who’s always taking and not giving.”

    “There’s nothing wrong with keeping your day job and working nights and weekends on something that you really love to do, so you can find a way to segue to it…or test your level of commitment to reinvent.” Rob Graham

    “Learn from your failures, large and small. Ask for input when things didn’t work out as you expected.” Richard Duval & Rob Graham– who added, “Failure is the best teacher you will ever have.”

    “Create a tool you find useful to help you goal set or forge a new direction.” Holly Lichtenfeld has a white board where she posts her near-term goals; Saul Kaplan uses a brown paper bag!

    “Study your new market/path” (Richard Duval), and “Conduct research and read…a lot!” Yvonne Divita, who recommends the book, The Art of Work by Jeff Goins.

    “Reinventing into an entrepreneur isn’t necessarily for everyone, and it’s not necessarily fulfilling for everyone…but having a fulfilling career is about constantly updating your skills.” Holly Lichtenfeld

    “Take those small steps. You have to start somewhere.” Saul Kaplan

    Don’t let another year slip by wishing you were doing something different. More than half of all employed Americans—roughly 60 million people–are dissatisfied with their jobs. Although change is hard, frightening, and overwhelming, millions of people have been through it, and no one has to reinvent alone.

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    Let the advice of these wise Reinventionists motivate you to make 2016 your year of exciting and positive transformational change. Do what you love!

    Image Source: Pixabay

    Featured photo credit: Reinvention/Gerhard Bögner via pixabay.com

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    25 Lessons in Life and Career Reinvention

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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