Reinvention is something with which successful people are familiar. Whether in business or in personal life, in challenging times, or in times of relative calm, if you don’t evolve or change, you find yourself wondering what happened. Let’s explore the topic of reinvention in our lives…

Here are the six imperatives to reinvention:

  1. Know Thyself. Or “nosce te ipsum” in Latin. It’s one of the key tenants of all philosophical teachings and systems. The key to getting perspective on where you’re going is to know where you are now, along with why and how you got here. In addition to allowing us to be who we really are, our identity is notorious for holding us back… Why were we born into the parents that we got? What did they teach us? Often, dysfunction is learned and habituated from the loving beings who are / were responsible for our upbringing. Even though they always do the best they can (ALWAYS, based on circumstances and “gravity,” which we will discuss more in point #2). Our imperative in this life is to know why we are who we are. Otherwise, we may never know whywe  are here, at this point in time.

Psychotherapy and counseling (especially in groups) has helped me greatly; I started at the age of 14, and have been going deeper into my identity ever since. Thanks to AA, the 12 Steps, Alateen, Alanon, ACOA, and surrounding myself with wonderful, caring, powerful people, I have come to know my identity relatively well (there are always new depths to explore…).

We need to be grateful for the trials that make us (and have made us) who we are. The true test of character doesn’t happen until the trials occur. War is what makes Generals. Without grist, the mill has nothing to do. Know your capabilities to tolerate and welcome the trials and strife that accompany any worthy endeavor (i.e. creating and running a business, committing to a marriage, raising kids). In the ongoing times of change and transformation, it is imperative that you know who and why you are, so you can re-tool and adapt to the reinvention that is occurring all around you.

  1. Think Unconventionally. If you’re thinking like everyone else, you’re not significant in the marketplace. In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, “convention” is passé… Consider the metaphor of “conventional warfare,” versus “un-conventional,” or “guerilla warfare.” It’s imperative that your efforts to develop, operate, and reinvent your business be “guerilla” style. Take massive action in unique ways; be perceived as the “different” business. Otherwise, you’re condemning yourself and your business to mediocrity.
  2. Confront and Overcome Fear. What’s going to happen? Does anyone ever REALLY know? (if so, look me up, and I’ll promote you as a prophet, and the next Nostradamus). We all know that fear is defined as its acronym “false evidence appearing real.” So is fear really “false?” It sure feels real to me… What’s “false” about it is that it forces us to focus on the gravity that is keeping us down; the darkness, versus the “lightness;” the constraints versus the possibilities; positive versus negative energy; the evil versus the good. We need both poles / extremes / arguments in order for our whole to be created. These “yangs” associated with each “yin” affords each of us the opportunity – the choice – to focus on what which aspect / energy that makes up the whole think will work for us.

But these yang forces can seem so intense… they often carry us away; down rabbit holes of thought, analysis, worry, and despair, which our human minds seem so prone to doing. Addressing the condition of our communities, there’s a despair in the air; a fear of the “unknown.” Since reinvention is all about the “unknown,” it’s imperative that we address this “fear” head on. For starters, who can predict the future? “The best way to “predict” the future is to invent it.” (Alan Kay said that). So how do we invent something that we’re afraid of?  First, we must stop being afraid of it. Bravery is unfortunately rare in our societal ranks. But since “fortune favors the brave,” it’s time for your to prepares, accept, stand up, face the storm, and be strong enough to endure it. When the rainbows appear (and they will), our character will be stronger, and our capabilities will be more powerful.

  1. Battle Planning. The metaphor of “battle” often conjures unfavorable images. The “battle” of which I refer is the battle of the mind, the spirit, the soul. I know that I am a warrior, as it relates to the metaphor of my life. I strive for peace, and am therefore a “Peaceful Warrior” (as Dan Millman calls it).

As you continue to refine your strategies and tactics of gaining higher ground, it needs to be a planned, deliberate effort. Regardless, you will see that your “campaign” will deviate from your plan to some extent. Don’t worry; stay resolute, and continue to respect and follow that plan that YOU created and believe in. Leverage your strengths, and those of others, and plan to properly deploy and employ that capability in the marketplace.

  1. Collaborate. Aside from the internal inspiration and motivation to achieve, there’s no such thing as a “self-made” man. Every successful person leveraged other people to succeed. Once your ego comes to terms that you CAN’T do it alone, and that you are going to HAVE to collaborate, compensate, and share the credit with others, you’ll see you capabilities soar. Especially in today’s fast-paced world, if you don’t delegate, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed with all that you have to do to develop and operate your business as effectively as your vision requires.

A business associate recently said that business is all about changing with the economy, and leverage through the power of people.  He believes it is all about leveraging relationships, and I agree!

  1. Act Now. Nobody ever achieved an objective without going for it. Action is the catalyst that launches results. Remember: as a human being, you would much rather do what you’d rather do; often times, procrastination and putting off the tasks that are mandatory takes the air out of a business’ possibilities. So be an activist; a crusader. Otherwise, you’re merely on the sidelines. Get in the game! The team needs you…

It’s time to re-commit to reinvention. Be an expansive thinker like DaVinci, Edison, Einstein – tap into your brilliance, your genius. Geniuses, too, reinvent themselves.

Chris Steely is a business and personal effectiveness coach, with global experience in numerous industries. He is a veteran professional speaker, facilitator, and Business Alchemist, integrating “encompassing sustainability.” Chris has facilitated teams of hundreds around the world in areas of business success, cross-pollinating ideas and ideals, and generating results; he trained the world’s largest business coaching franchise owners, who coached and trained 15,000 business owners per week, throughout 26 countries. He is a collegiate national rowing champion, a U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Officer, and holds an MBA from Boston University. Chris’ capability to distill key principles into usable tools, coupled with his entertaining, passionate style, has made him one of the world’s most coveted facilitators and resultants.