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There comes a point in nearly everyone's life when it's time to hit the reset button. There are those events that call for a total transformation, involving a big mindset shift and a change in health, career, spirituality, relationships, and/or lifestyle. Or, sometimes a partial reset or reinvention is in order, which may be one, or a combination of any of the above.
The wonderful thing about proactively reinventing yourself is that it could serve to prevent the unnecessary and very uncomfortable need for reactive measures. Now is a good time to consider whether or not there are things going on that call for a big change in your life or business.
I have four examples of reinvention, what led to it, and how it was executed in the life of these business coaching clients, as well as my own. These may serve to broaden your thought process. See if any of them hit close to home.
A Radical Change in the Market
Rebecca was a highly successful real estate attorney, until 2008 when the real estate bubble began to burst. For many years ahead, there would be more foreclosures than home purchases; the nosedive that Rebecca's business took had no foreseeable end.
Rebecca had two choices: change careers or reinvent her current business. Together, we took action on the latter. We examined the needs that the market now demanded, and Rebecca shifted gears to become the area's go-to foreclosure expert. Since the change was deliberate and well-executed, my client quickly became a sought-after expert for members of the press, both local and national. Other attorneys piled on the referrals and some financial institutions even recommended her services because they knew the process would be quick and seamless, therefore less costly for them.
If your current market is evolving or affected by change it may be wise to stop the struggle and reinvent yourself and your business now. If revenues are dropping, the need for your product or service less demanding and experts are predicting no end in sight, don't hold on--reinvent.
An Unsustainable Business Model
Charlotte hired me when her life coaching practice targeting other coaches became unsustainable. Coaches coaching coaches is a difficult model since most coaches in need of guidance aren't making much (or any) money. Charlotte was an excellent coach and knew how to market herself, so she had many clients, all low-paying. Between coaching and marketing her services, she was working 80-hour weeks to generate a reasonable income.
Our business coaching journey took a turn that Charlotte did not anticipate when I suggested she reinvent her business altogether. I wasn't fond of her model and she wasn't fond of her exhaustion and financial struggle. In the past, Charlotte had offered corporate consulting services based on a popular behavior assessment tool. She believed that she could not make a living doing this full-time but thoroughly enjoyed the process. We shifted her mindset and marketing focus, changed the content on her website, and jobs began rolling in. Within three months Charlotte was earning real money—her stress level decreased, and her happiness quota was on the rise.
If your business isn't working out for any reason, examine your other gifts, experience, and knowledge. Make a list of the things you are good at and love doing. Research other markets and demographics. There's an unexpected opportunity in there somewhere.
An Exhausting Lifestyle
Jonathon was a successful consultant who contracted with mid-to-large-sized corporations. He was never without gainful employment and enjoyed his work, but the travel and time demand led to exhaustion. He elected to struggle for several years because he didn't see a way to pull back, yet make an equal or higher income. What Jonathon wasn't considering was that his popularity in corporate America, as well as the press, had a value beyond his current offering. Jonathon could teach others how to gain national press and land corporate clients. In doing so, Jonathon took commission from the corporations by finding them the perfect consultant. He also charged small businesses and consultants handsomely for his services.
Can you solve a problem for more than one side of an industry? Don't discount your intangible assets, which was Jonathon's tendency. Every ounce of knowledge, experience, and wisdom is valuable.
A Big Aha! Moment
My husband had passed away (our girls were only eight), the corporation I worked for was acquired by an industry giant, and I had grown depressed. The only bright spot in my life was time with my kids, which was never enough.
Many people waste years looking for a magic bullet and wallowing in their misery, I guess I wasn't meant to do that. I remember as though it were yesterday, waking up one morning with absolute certainty that I would tender my resignation, change careers (although I had no idea to what), become a better person, grow spiritually, and become the best single parent possible. It was an evolution that took place over three years, and the journey continues, but I can say that I found happiness very quickly once I made the decision to change.
The mere act of committing to change is the single biggest step you can take. Are you unhappy with more than one aspect of your life? It's time for a total transformation. What's the biggest, most audacious step you can take? Don't wait for permission, just do it.