You realize your business is not growing and hasn’t been for some time. You know you need to really make changes, but it took 12 years for you to change your last hair style. We are living in a world that requires constant change. Adapting to change requires flexibility and openness. How are some able to change and grow so rapidly, where as others aren’t? Many are adept at change in some areas of their life, yet completely stuck in others.
Yeah, I’m talking to you.
Most business executives and owners say they want to progress or they want their business to grow or they want their marriage to evolve; yet when presented with new ideas most stand in place. Fear of change is real and it is crippling. Resistance can sap you of energy, creativity and the vision to see where you could be.
Most people have reinvented themselves at one point or another in life. I would bet 80% because they had to and 20% because they chose to. Choosing our own reinvention doesn’t rate very high for most people. We find we’re better at having to versus getting to put our energy and attention into creating what we truly want.
Holding on to what doesn’t work is a definite strategy for failure.
Personally, I have learned to see reinvention as an opportunity. Before that, one of my biggest fears was letting go of what I committed to before I saw it through. I never wanted to be the person that gave up. As Seth Godin brilliantly outlined in his simple book, The Dip, “Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations.”
Well, sometimes you don’t need to see something through to the end if it is not working now.
Ask yourself what will change here if I don’t? Nothing.
Here are some key steps to reinvention that I learned along many of my own reinventions:
- Take Inventory - The best place to start is by understanding where you are at right now. What do you have and what do you need to let go of.
- Be accountable and let go of blame and shame - It is ok to review and assess the past but dwelling and obsessing will just bring you more of what you currently have.
- Embrace the trigger- Look for that emotional pain point in you that says, “I’m fed up!” Embrace that energy to drive your change. I know women that have stayed with men who cheat, lie and steal from them (and yes guys, it goes both ways). Then some trigger mechanism falls into place and she goes crazy because he didn’t buy her an anniversary gift. Don’t analyze it, whether the trigger is the real reason or not it is the tipping point and you will need this energy to change.
- Change what you can to get change started - I am (almost) famous for changing my hairstyle or color frequently. I feel it helps me change other things when I change any aspect of my environment.
- Know your risks & trust yourself - What is great, the risk of changing or not changing?
- Assemble a team - There is no substitution for supportive advice and opinion. In different areas of my life I have different personal board of directors. For example, when I am going to change my hair color I don’t ask my friends that are color blind. In my business I have 3-4 people that I poll about changes I intend to make. One set around financial decisions, others about health. They are people I know to be change oriented and successful. I LISTEN and gain understanding, and then make my own decision.
- Protect yourself – Beware of the naysayers and the fair weather friends. Be positive and surround yourself with positive people. When you are trying to steer your ship in another direction you want believers and visionaries around you.
- Be fearless - Reinvention does not mean you have to lose the great things; they may look different in a new beginning.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
From the song Closing Time by Semisoinic
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