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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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    Last Updated on October 20, 2020

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

    More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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