December is Reinvention month.
We reinvent ourselves whenever we want to level up. Because the thinking that got us here won’t get us there. Leveling up is when we make a change that makes our lives better.
It often involves owning an idea we have been mulling for a while. For instance, going from ‘I like to travel and I wish I could do more of it’. To ‘I am a traveler’. This may not mean more travel immediately, but it does change how we travel, where and why.
Sometimes we’ll do it when we can see the walls closing in on us. It felt that way with my bookkeeping business. It felt like a shrinking ocean with the sharks getting bigger and more aggressive.The way accounting service is delivered is changing (just like many other professions) and we are only seeing the beginning. I’ll admit that I didn’t have the heart for it anymore. Certainly not enough to take the business through a reinvention.
I, on the other hand, was not done working with small business owners and helping you succeed. So I embarked on a reinvention. In my case, I started without knowing the end goal. I still don’t have it completely figured, but I’m circling closer.
There are 2 parts to reinvention.
I’ve worked with people who reinvent their business from one kind of retail to another; one kind of consulting to another or from one type of restaurant to another. They know at the beginning what they will reinvent themselves into and the work of reinvention is managing the change.
I’ve worked with other people who know that where they are isn’t working for them anymore, but they aren’t sure what the next step is. It is a fascinating, scary, longer-than-expected journey. But oh so worth it in the end.
You know you are in this spot when you have a growing sense of panic; when the money is drying up; when you spend days upon days working hard, and feeling every day is another day wasted. Grim. I know.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Elizabeth Appell (not Anais Nin)
Eventually you realize that the tried and true isn’t cutting it anymore. It can be that your industry changed, you changed or the new ways of doing business has caught up with you.
Generally, by the time you recognize you are on the reinvention path, you have put in some of the time. I came across this post by James Altucher http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2013/12/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-reinventing-yourself-2/
He says in it:
Here’s a description of the five years:
Sometimes I get frustrated in years 1-4. I say, “why isn’t it happening yet?” and I punch the floor and hurt my hand and throw a coconut on the floor in a weird ritual. That’s okay. Just keep going. Or stop and pick a new field. It doesn’t matter. Eventually you’re dead and then it’s hard to reinvent yourself.
By year three you’ve put in 5,000-7,000 hours. That’s good enough to be in the top 200-300 in the world in anything. The top 200 in almost any field makes a living.
By year three you will know how to make money. By year four you will scale that up and make a living. Some people stop at year four.
My theory is that in year three, you are getting close to your one big idea. You can make money here. Often you are falling back on your previous work because people still see you that way and it is easy for you to do. By year 4 much of your work is in your big idea, although you haven’t recognized it, defined it or broadcast it, yet. By year 5 you recognize your big idea, and everything you do and say tells that story, easily attracting the people who need what you offer.
It’s a messy process. complicated because it is so hard to let go of the past. We drag it along with us. Because we know it works, because we chose it for a reason in the beginning, because people still see us that way.
How about you? How do you see reinvention? What was your last reinvention? How did it go?
What’s your one big idea? Without that, you know the 100 things you could be doing right now to make your life and business better, but you don’t know the 3 most important things. And your message won’t resonate with anyone. The Business Owners Success Club can help you get there. Join now.