The ten steps to a successful personal reinvention
For Immediate Release, Delray Beach Florida Peter Fogel, a Florida based reinvention expert and author of the book If Not Now, Then When? says that most mid-life crisis’s he sees in the over 40-ish plus crowd stems from fear.
But more and more people are coming to the realization that it simply doesn’t have to be that way. You can reinvent your life and enjoy new heights of personal, professional and social achievement if you just focus on what you want and what you need to do.
“You can defy the myths that you hear about being over the hill after 40, 50, 60, or whatever.” Peter said. “It doesn’t matter if you are retiring, or are simply have reached a plateau in your job, or want to branch out from your company and go private. Reinvention will serve you well. It’s not hard and the benefits can be significant to you.”
Peter says that you can start anytime by believing that you can bring your own magical ingredients to the stew of life to create and bake a wonderful new recipe in your life. The destination is not necessarily the goal at all. Getting there is the adventure. Success these days demands experience, talent and authenticity. You can get recognized for the wealth of experience and talent you bring to the table in the area you choose to focus on.
“You don’t wake up and simply become something new,” he said. “You pick and choose what you want to do and then do your damndest to make it happen.”
Here are Peter’s ten steps to a successful personal reinvention.
1. HAVE PASSION. When entering a new field it all begins with the burning desire you have in your heart that propels you forward to make a change. Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to reinvent yourself into an Internet marketer and sell ant farms on-line. Problem is you don’t give a rat’s “you-know-what” about ant farms. You’re just doing it for fast buck because they’re a hot item now. There’s a strong chance you will fail because you have no emotional connection to ants and the joy (clears throat) they give to people. As apposed to the ant farmer who really feels its his life’s work. (Sure, he might have some “issues” about bonding with ants— but at least he will move the farms quicker.)
2. KNOW THYSELF Take a piece of paper and make a list of your strengths and your weakness — then go to a close friend of co-worker and request they be brutally honest and have them list your strengths and especially your weaknesses. Compare notes if the same weaknesses come up on both your lists… then guess what? You have some work to do on yourself.
3. HAVE A MASTER PLAN – Unless your health is at stake — don’t just quit your job. Instead, if you’re serious about moving onto a new career — just like going on a safari – you must have a map with directions (or a good guide) to get you to your new destination. Do your due diligence and investigate what this new career will give you. Is it going to give you financial stability…? Is it a saturated market? What obstacles will I encounter? If I am going to start my own business -what are the costs? Important: If you do go cold turkey and quit your present position, remember: It’s important you have enough funds (around 6 months of salary in the bank) to sustain yourself during this transition period.
4. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE A body in motion; stays in motion… and body at rest, well… zzz. You get the picture. People tend to be “happy” in their miserable zone and will do everything they can to NOT to take action for fear of the unknown (or failure. To successfully reinvent yourself – you have to shake up your own perception of your reality and say to yourself, “What is the worse that can happen?” and still put yourself in a stressful if you need to. Tom Hanks said in a the movie, A League of their Own” to one of the other characters, “It’s baseball… it’s supposed to be hard… if it wasn’t then everyone would be doing it.”
5. CAST YOUR FEARS A SIDE There’s no getting around it… as you get older – fear rears its ugly head when you want to make a drastic change. When you’re younger you can “go for it.” When you get older, “Sometimes you want it delivered.” And that’s when self-doubt seeps in like syrup on pancakes. But know your limitations: If you have arthritis perhaps becoming a helicopter pilot in war torn Darfur is NOT your best vocational move. You have permission to be scared of the unknown — but still find the gumption to move forward towards your dream job/career. Because the only thing worse than fear… is years later and having major regrets.
6. FIND YOUR DEFINING MOMENT A defining moment is that particular time in your life that gives you a strong indication that you have to make a change in your work and, or, in your career. It can come from internal or external forces. This defining moment could be “a sign” from above (i.e. see Moses and burning bush) Or perhaps serious health issues which leaves you no choice and insists you make a change. Another defining moment could be an unexpected opportunity that comes to you… you rises to the occasion – grab the brass ring and oila — you hit pay dirt and realize that THIS is the career direction you should be heading into. Either way — you are taking action.
7. GET YOUR FAMILY ON BOARD. In the remake of the movie. “The Heart Break Kid” one of Ben Stiller’s buddies says, “Happy Wife…means a Happy Wife”.” Well, for a successful reinvention you not only need a “happy” spouse BUT a “happy” family on board as well. It’s important that your immediate dependents know there is going to be a sacrifice as either mommy or daddy ventures into uncharted territory with their new career. Patience and understanding are what’s needed during this transition time. If they don’t “get your dream” then you could end up feeling like a salmon swimming up stream.
8. BE REALISTIC – Don’t dismiss any “big idea” dreams you have about changing careers. Do your homework and really investigate if this career change is viable and can sustain a lively hood. HINT: If you are an entrepreneur and you want to start a business… see if other people are doing it and it and are successful at it. But you always have to realistic about chasing your dream of reinvention: If you are a six figure stock broker who is burnt like toast from chasing the almighty buck… and your dream is to relocate to Belize get a tan and tend bar at a tourist trap — don’t complain if your tips are not making your monthly nut.
9. GET A MASTERMIND GROUP If you have your heart set on being an entrepreneur then get yourself into a mastermind group. These are like minded people that all want to help each other. They are a support group who work together as a “sounding board” for your ideas. You don’t a group of people who are “wannabees.” You want to be in a group of people who are already successful and are doing what YOU want to do. Napoleon Hill from the book, “Think and Grow Rich” was a huge proponent of mastermind groups.
Tony Robbins is in one. Yes, TONY ROBBINS… and his contains folks that are wealthier than him. Remember: surround yourself with positive people that are at the level YOU want to reach. Don’t surround yourself with people that have the “grab the low hanging fruit” mentality.
10. FIND YOURSELF A MENTOR According to one of my mentors it takes a bout 1000 hours to learn a new skill and become proficient at it. It you can find yourself a mentor you can cut that time to about 500 hours. A mentor is someone who has been there… and done it. They are at expert guru status. These are people who can guide you in your quest – regardless of your age… to help you achieve your goals. No, you can’t go to the yellow pages and google in “Mentors in San Diego” you have to find these people… cajole them… praise them… and then work out an arrangement that serves both of you.
If Not Now, Then When, by Peter Fogel is available online and at bookstores nationwide.