Reinventing Yourself PDF Print E-mail

November 2008 - The FoCuSeD™ Facilitator eNewsletter


Reinventing Yourself | Gary Rush Facilitation


I’ve reinvented myself three times in my career – so far. I went from a corporate employee, to an independent consultant, to becoming a chef, and back as an independent consultant. I’ve watched others do the same; and recently I’ve advised a number of friends to do the same – with great success.


Times change and the work may not be there, we may get bored with what we are doing, our choices may not work out, or the jobs may just go away – we have a choice. If something is not working, then moving in a different direction is the key. Reinventing yourself can make all the difference.


I attended a very informative session at the IAF Conference in The Netherlands last month, presented by Marcelino Sanchez of Textron. This got me thinking about how we, as individuals, make significant changes in our lives – e.g., reinventing ourselves. Marcelino described the four phases of change as:


  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Identity Crisis
  • Search for Solutions


Change happens – sometimes triggered by us and sometimes triggered by outside influences. When change happens, we generally go into Shock and disbelief, “I can’t be losing my job!” or “I’m really bored with my job!” These triggers and our reactions are important – most people don’t change themselves just because – it’s in response to a need.


Once we recognize the need, our first response is Denial, “It’s really not happening.” or “It’ll pass.” It doesn’t pass until we do something about it. That’s when reinventing comes into play.


Identity Crisis


In the change stage of Identity Crisis, we begin to worry, “Who am I?” We have self-doubts, “What can I do?” Keep one thing in mind, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” (Henry Ford). Our greatest asset in reinventing ourselves is our self. We must first believe that each one of us is valuable. Help yourself step through this stage by making an inventory of your:


  • Passions – where are your passions?
  • Strengths – what do you do really well?
  • Weaknesses – what are you not very good at?


This inventory helps you focus on what to do. Begin with your passions. Don’t list your hobbies. List what gets you excited. When you are passionate about something, you do better at it. Your strengths will give you the capabilities to pursue your passions. Look at your weaknesses to see if any will be a hindrance in pursuing your passion. Narrow down to one or two areas that you are passionate about and have sufficient strengths to support that passion and your weaknesses won’t get in the way. This passion helps you move from an Identity Crisis to Search for Solutions.


Search for Solutions


Once you’ve identified your passion, look at your potential audience. Your audience is those people who will be interested in your product. Ask yourself:


  • What are their needs?
  • What problems are they dealing with?
  • How can I help?
  • What do I have to offer that will make a difference?


Be honest with yourself about your capabilities, always remember, you can make a difference – you add value. When you find something you can do to help, identify what makes you different and unique. How is what you offer different than what someone else offers? This is important because you are competing with others.


Implementing the Solution


So you have a passion, you know who your potential customers are, you know what their needs are and how you can help, and you know what makes you unique. Now what?


  • Make a plan:

    • Set clear goals. Make them measurable. “Get more customers” is not measurable. “Sign up 20 new customers this year” is measurable. Be realistic. Set out tasks to reach the goals – and identify clear dates for completion.

      • If you are self-employed – you may want to rename your business. Sometimes changing a name makes a difference and triggers you to re-brand yourself. If you work for a company, recast your role – write a job description of the role you want and go for it.
      • Continue Learning – you will have to learn new skills to bolster your strengths. Keep up with current trends, ideas and thinking. Continuous learning is how you keep your product fresh.
      • Re-brand yourself – redo your marketing materials (including your resume if you are looking for a job in a company). Define what you want to portray to your customers and ensure that it is clear and consistent. This becomes your “brand”.
      • Get input – is your message clear?

  • Monitor your plan. Don’t be afraid to change as you move ahead. If something doesn’t work, then change it until it does.


Making it work


After you reinvent yourself, things don’t change immediately. It takes time and effort to make it work. You must:


  • Find that one thing.” – Sometimes we think that changing a name is enough. You must find that one thing that sets you apart from others. Hang on to it – it is a key element in marketing yourself.
  • Persevere – Changing your business can take two to three years. Finding the right job can take six months to a year. You need support – surround yourself with those who believe in you and won’t discourage you.
  • Maintain a positive attitude – When you have small victories – your first new customer, your first recall for an interview – celebrate the victories, and when there are setbacks, remember the victories.




We all need to reinvent ourselves periodically. Doing this three or more times in your life is not unusual – in fact, it helps us realize that we have more to offer than we know.


In the current economical instability, “change” and reinventing yourself can make the difference. logo