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25 Lessons in Life and Career Reinvention

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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

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

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    Last Updated on November 22, 2021

    Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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    Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

    Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

    During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

    But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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    Simplify

    I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

    Absolutely.

    And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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    If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

    • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
    • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
    • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

    Be Mindful

    You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

    Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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    Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

    Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

    Reflect

    As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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    Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

    But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

    So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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    Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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