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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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    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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