Category Archives for "Personal Reinvention"


Ideal Day, Ideal Lifestyle

One of the most powerful exercises I have ever done personally and with clients is the Ideal Day in the Ideal Lifestyle exercise.

Imagine an ideal day in your ideal lifestyle

Stop what you are doing…  close your eyes, relax, put your feet up or meditate and ask yourself to picture yourself one day in the future.  This is what you would consider to be a perfect day.  It can be a day when you are retired or a day when you are still working.  It doesn’t matter.

  • Where are you?
  • What time you get up?
  • Who is in bed beside you when you wake?  (or what… e.g. your pet)
  • What does your room look like?
  • What does your house look like?
  • What do you have for breakfast, lunch, dinner?
  • Then what do you do?
  • Who do you talk to throughout the day?
  • What are you planning?
  • What are you working on?
  • What are you doing?
  • Who do you see?
  • What activities do you do?
  • What’s happening with your family and friends?

How does this day compare with other days this week, this month, this year?

Imagine the smells, the sounds, what you feel when you touch things.

Get very clear in your mind — even take some time to create a vision board if you’d like.

Now write out your day with such detail that an actor and director could re-enact it perfectly.  How does it feel while you are writing this?

Keep tweaking until it feels right.

For example, I thought that my ideal lifestyle would include living on a Caribbean Island — open the door in the morning, get fresh juice and fruit, sit outside and read, go to the gym or a bike ride or a boat trip, come in when it’s too hot to create, make a great dinner, relax and enjoy the sunset.

And then I realized that I’d be bored stiff in about 2 weeks and I’d be claustrophobic within a month or so.  My hubby was even going to apply for a job he’d been previously offered a job on a Caribbean Island but we knew we’d go stir crazy.

So I changed my day.  It now takes place in Italy and I’m still working.

Once you have revised your day and it feels right, read it outloud.  Watch for places your body twitches or otherwise indicates to you that it’s not right.  Watch for places where you may be saying to yourself “I don’t deserve this” or other negative thoughts.

Explore the negative thoughts — what do you need to do so that you tell yourself you do deserve this and can achieve it?

Keep tweaking with the day until you can read it outloud and you believe what you have written.

Now turn on your webcam or your phone camera or some other video recording device, look into the camera and, without looking at what you’ve written, explain your ideal day.  This exercise is for your eyes only so don’t worry about how you look or sound.    Remember to share the details so that if a director and actor saw the video they’d know how to re-enact your day perfectly.

When you are playing back the video look for a few things:  What did you change in your story?  Where did you stumble?  Did you look like you believed yourself that this ideal day is possible?  How do you feel while sharing this day?

The power of this exercise is to get clear on what you want and what makes you happy.    It’s also what you should be working towards, so that when you are making your day-to-day decisions now you can move towards this day.

Again, my ideal day takes place in Italy.  I’ll spare you the details but I will tell you that what I’m building with my brands, what I’m sharing with my message, how I’ve structured my life and the decisions that hubby and I are making will get us living in Italy one day.    At the time I did this exercise, I imagined me being on stage, being interviewed on TV, writing books and checking in with the CEOs of my brands on a regular basis.  I had no idea what the message I was delivering…

… but now I do…

It’s the Enlightened Capitalist message… and I know for sure that one day my day will look a whole lot like what I imagined years ago.

When Purpose and Passion Collide

I’m bursting with excitement!

I’ve been on quite a long drawn-out journey to reinvent myself and my business, doing bits of this and bits of that in a personal sense and a business sense.

A few years ago, I had some unexplainable urges to do things I had never done before.

Carol Wain and Jay Conrad LevinsonThe first was to write a book with Jay Conrad Levinson. The offer was made on a webinar and about 2 weeks later I had cashed in retirement funds and airline points to attend a Guerrilla Marketing Intensive in his home. I spent the next 9 months painstakingly writing the Guerrilla Tourism Marketing book which I published on 12-12-12…. and it changed my life.

The following year, I had an even stronger urge to go to the World Domination Summit — I didn’t even really know what it was all about — I saw a post on Facebook about tickets being sold by those who couldn’t attend and I knew I had to go.

It was at this event where I had the weirdest experience of my life — the presenter was talking about something — no idea what anymore — and then he switched gears. His wife joined him onstage and together they directed us to clear our laps, to close our eyes, to say a validation to ourselves then put down our baby finger on our left hand. We were to say this validation 10x, ending up with the baby finger on our right hand.

I was thrown by this — my lap was full of stuff and it took me a while to get my act together. By the time I could join in we were all the way to our middle finger right hand. I said something and put down that finger. Nope, that wasn’t it.

I then said to myself “I’ve been chosen to reinvent lives globally” and said “Yes, that feels right.”

I then said it one last time emphasizing “chosen“.

I don’t know what hit me but something very powerful hit me like a tsunami.

I immediately burst into tears. I couldn’t explain what happened but fortunately the many strangers I randomly shared with were kind enough to listen so I could calm down.

Carol Wain with Tess Vigeland

Carol Wain with Tess Vigeland

After the break I chose to sit up front, on the aisle, and the presenter bee-lined off the stage, walked up to me and asked me who I was and what I did.

The funny thing is that she had been talking about how she’d quit her job at the NPR without a safety net.

She didn’t know why she had to do it but she did and now everyone — including herself — thought she was nuts! When I replied “I’m Carol Wain, Queen of Reinvention and I help people just like you to reinvent your life” she was gob-smacked. (well, many people were, myself included!)

This long story is the set-up to my excitement.

It’s been a few years since then and I have taken many steps forward and many steps backward.

I was spinning my wheels doing things but not making the kind of difference I am capable of.

Late last year I was speaking to a friend about why I felt I wasn’t as successful as I had been in the past and the answer was simple. Discipline and Accountability — nothing more, nothing less. I had heaps more of both when I was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year for 2003 — and at the time I had an 8 year old and a 12 year old.

We decided to become Accountability partners.

Well, since then my world has changed.

I asked the Universe to help me come up with something that was bigger than me and bigger than my existing brands. I asked for something that would reinvent lives globally.

I’d been playing in the Reinvention space for quite a while. In fact, I’ve interviewed a few of you, my readers, for my Reinvention Show and/or my Women’s Reinvention Summit. I knew that I didn’t want to be in life coaching and that business was where I needed to play.

When I woke up one morning with 2 words in my head, I knew it was what I have to do.

Glowing green globeI’m starting a movement which teaches and shows business leaders how to create organizations which positively impact the people who support their business, their communities and the planet. This organization will take the best parts of all I’ve experienced to create a global community of leaders who reinvent their businesses to transform lives.

The website and business concept are being finalized now. I’m so excited about this that I’m barely sleeping these days…




Lessons learned:

1. I am enough. I have whatever I need inside me already.
2. Surround yourself with great people who collaborate and co-create, support and encourage you.
3. Be giving — my accountability partners received from me before I asked of them.
4. Spend time getting in touch with yourself, your dreams, your vision, core values, strengths and weaknesses, passion and purpose. Then build upon it.
5. Add value, always
6. Be profitable and use some of that profit to enrich the lives of others while protecting our planet.
7. The best currency is great relationships.

This was a long post… hope it inspires you.

Living Your Dreams

Well, we’ve done it — we’ve sold our rental property and our house.  For the first time since 1992, I haven’t owned any real estate (and at one point we had 3 homes).  We decided to go all-in with our location independent lifestyle.  As I type this, I’m sitting on the patio of a condo I rented in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

We sold 99% of our belongings for pennies on the dollar.  All those treasures I’d found over our 20+ years together are gone.  The high-end stuff that we bought when business was booming is gone.  The masks I bought as we travelled the world are gone.  Photo albums are gone (I kept a few of them but basically no photos of our lives before we met.)

My walk-in closet has been reduced to a 4′ wide closet which I share with Steve and the stuff that was in the hall closet in the house.

I have to remind myself “it’s just stuff”.  It’s stuff that we actually don’t need.  It’s stuff that weighs us down.  It’s stuff that we have to let go so we can follow our dreams.
DreamI’ve been longing for this type of lifestyle for years.  My first mentor had me write out a list of what I wanted for my life and one of the items on it is “living where I want to live”.  I wrote that because Steve was in the military at that time and we’d just received a posting that neither of us wanted.  We knew that we would be posted one day, and that’s why I created a flexible, portable business right from the start — we just felt like we were being punished when we were posted to this particular base — so Steve quit and we decided we’d figure out the pension side of things later.

When the effects of the 2008 / 2009 economy nearly destroyed my business, I moved my office back home after all my employees quit one by one.   I was in a really dark place for a while.  My pity party went on far too long.  I was lost, confused and lacked confidence for quite a while.

When I started to pull myself back together and figure out what I wanted, the dream of living where I want to live while I continue to make money resurfaced.   I took myself through an exercise that I ask my clients to do — imagine your ideal lifestyle and your ideal day.

Document with such clarity that an actor and director could reenact this day — from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed.  Where are you?  Who are you with?  What does your bedroom look like?  What type of accommodation are you living in?  What do you smell? See? Feel? Taste?  What do you do in the day?  Who do you talk to?  … and so on…

My ideal day takes place in a villa in Tuscany.  I am living a jet-setting lifestyle and I’m making money as an entrepreneur, author, speaker and consultant. I have a few brands and they are managed by an excellent leadership team.   I am a subject matter expert on reinvention — both personal and business — and I get paid well to help others do the same.  (There’s more to it than this but this is the simplified version.)

With our eldest daughter settled in her job and talking of plans to buy a house with her boyfriend and our youngest daughter starting her second year of university, Steve and I started talking about bringing this dream to life.  I wanted to sell everything and travel the world with nothing more than a backpack.  While this is not unusual if you are in your 20’s or 30’s, we are 50.    We are “supposed” to be using this time in our lives to pay off our mortgage and build up our retirement fund.   We decided we’d rather enjoy being together and travelling the world while we still have our health.  We’ll figure the rest out later.

2014-09-11 16.13.15Steve wasn’t quite ready to have nothing though.  He needed an in-between.  A place for his stuff, a place to call “home”.

Last summer we bought the “Bellagio” a 2012, Montana Big Sky 3585sa from a couple we met at our eldest daughter’s horse show.  We had never been inside a RV before and we were blown away at how spacious they are — 2 TVs, fridge, convection/microwave and a shower… we were so green… haha!

We moved into the rig (I still don’t know why they are called rigs and now it’s a bit embarrassing to ask) at the end of August with the intention of travelling North America for 2 years before selling it and moving overseas until we get bored and want to come home.  It didn’t quite work though as our tenant was a problem and we ended up breaking the lease and moving back into the house in December.   We put the house on the market back then too.

When we accepted the offer on the house in early February, we decided to bite the bullet and renovate the rig.  There was nothing wrong with it, except it wasn’t to our taste.  It was 50 shades of brown and I’m more of a 50 shades of grey kind of person (no, not in “that” way).

2014-09-11 16.41.10We figured, it’s only about 400 square feet, so how much time would it take to install a washer/dryer combo unit, rip out the carpet, paint all the walls and cabinets, install vinyl laminate and replace the bathroom vanity?

I can honestly say we have never underestimated the scope of a project as badly as we did this one.  It’s been 2 months of many hours each day on work days and full days on days off.

We got as much as we could get done together, done before I left but there was so much more to do.  We couldn’t move the rig from our friend’s driveway because it was still torn apart.  We obviously couldn’t move into it when we moved out of the house.  So since March 26th, Steve has been living in a hotel and busting his butt trying to get the rig back together before joining me here.  I hope he is able to leave it knowing that he’ll be able to move it and move into it when he goes back home — I’m here for a month and he’s here for 18 days.

The transition hasn’t been as smooth as we hoped but it is what it is.  We’re now living our dreams.  We’ve started our new chapter.

I can’t think of a better way to spend our 20th wedding anniversary than back in the place where we got married and started creating dreams together.

Are you living your dreams?  Share below in the comments…

If Time and Money Were No Consideration

Antique clock and coins on wooden table on dark color



My friend Lynne Sagen posted a question on Facebook “If money or time were no consideration I would…”

I didn’t have to think about it at all because I learned long ago that time and money are two of the most common excuses for not doing or committing to something.

“I don’t have the money” is the most common excuse.  Oh yes, you do have the money — it’s somewhere and you will find it or earn it if you are committed to whatever it is that requires that money.

If you have the opportunity to change your life and you are committed to changing your life, you will find a way.  That’s what commitment is all about.

I found a way myself when the opportunity to write a book with Jay Conrad Levinson arose.  Becoming an author was never in my bucket list but when the opportunity arose, a part of me said “You’ve got to do this.  You have to find the money to become certified and to take time off to write the book.”  I was still reeling from the downturn in my business and the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars from three failed software attempts.  However, I made it work — I cashed retirement funds and I used frequent flier points and I was at his home about 2 weeks later.  Becoming an author changed my life.

Now don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not advocating for reckless spending.  If you say “I don’t have the money for those ridiculously expensive shoes that I’ll wear once because they will kill my feet.” that’s smart but the real reason you choose not to buy those shoes is because you don’t want or need them.  You may not have the money but don’t make it about the money.  If you change your excuse to say “These shoes aren’t for me”, then you aren’t making an excuse, you are making a statement.  Choose your words wisely.

time-to-reinventThe second excuse is “I don’t have the time”.  Again, I’ve used this one many times.  “I don’t have time to go to the gym.”  “I don’t have time to volunteer.”  “I don’t have time to head home and make a healthy lunch before my afternoon appointments.”  The reality is I have time — and you do too.  If you don’t want to do something be honest with yourself and instead say “I don’t want to go to the gym.”  “I don’t want to volunteer.”  “I prefer to have fries and a burger at the fast food restaurant.”   The decision doesn’t change but the story you are telling yourself and the message you are sending does.

The last excuse is energy.  “I don’t have the energy to do that.”  This excuse is a bit different but it’s still an excuse.  We tend to take on too much.  We don’t set strong boundaries for ourselves or for others.  We have demanding jobs which suck us dry at times.  We don’t take care of our health.  We make money and time excuses for eating properly and working out.

Instead if we made a conscious effort to understand what our ideal lifestyle looks like, what our ideal day looks like, we will start to make decisions to lead us there.  We’ll set boundaries.  We’ll turn off the TV and go to the gym or make a healthy meal or go to bed.  We’ll stop doing things which drain us.  We’ll start doing things which give us energy and fulfill us.  We’ll switch the excuse to be a statement.  “That doesn’t interest me.” or  “I’ve chosen to focus on this instead.”  are powerful statements rather than excuses.

Choose your words wisely.  Don’t make excuses.  Make empowered statements instead.

My Reinvention Process is S.U.P.E.R.

Stop doing what no longer works for youReInventYourself

Understand where you are now, how you got here, where you want to go and what you need to get you there

Plan your reinvention

Execute your plan

Readjust as necessary

Here’s How I Responded to Lynne

Never stop travelling sharing my message that we business leaders can and should change lives in a positive way —

Our lives by being in better alignment with our businesses;

Our families lives because when we’re doing what we are meant to do and loving our lives we are less stressed, wealthier, happier, healthier and we can take our love for life and deliver happiness, safety, security and fun to others too;

Our customers lives because we deliver the solution they need to positively impact their lives and we deliver it consistently according to our brand promise so that our customers know what to expect every time (which lessens their stress too);

Our employees lives because we use our strong vision, mission, purpose, values and passion to attract the right employees to help us get there AND we treat those employees with respect, admiration and appreciation.

Our community because we share our insight and success with other leaders and employees to help lift them too and exponentially enrich the lives of others.

I could go on forever because I’m soooo passionate about this but I’ll stop now and spare you all

I said to hubby that even if I win the lottery I’d still do what I do, I’d just be able to do it in a bigger way right now. I have 2 passports good for the next 10 years, so this is what I’m working towards regardless of time and money considerations.

What would you do if time and money were no consideration?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Travel — One of the Best Reinvention Tools

Travel-Package-TypesWhat is it about traveling to far off destinations that is so ingrained in our humanity?  From the beginning of time, our species has traveled to populate the planet.  Later, explorers set off to discover “new worlds” and today travelling from one continent to another can be achieved in less than a day.  But why do we travel?  Many of us travel for business and although it may seem glamorous to be in Monterrey, Montreal and Montreux in the same month, this isn’t the type of travel I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the type of travel where you come back a “new person”.  Travel where you’ve rejuvenated your mind, your body and your soul.  Travel where you experienced new cultures, new foods and new ways of doing things.  Travel where you leave your comfort zone and stretch yourself and travel where you witness innovation and ingenuity, which inspires you to change elements in your life and/or business.

Travel takes us out of our box — literally!  The box that is our life, home, our office, our community.  It is one of the best and most fun reinvention tools I know of.  If you are stuck in a rut, get out of it by travelling somewhere you’ve never been before.  The more it unsettles you, the better it will be for your reinvention!

But, don’t just jump on a plane and go half-way around the world and expect the comforts of home.  This type of travel is a change of scenery but it doesn’t give you the total experience you could have by immersing yourself in your new surroundings.    If you cannot bring yourself to jump in with both feet and live with the locals, at least spend some time during your stay getting to see what life is like for them.  Gain an appreciation for those who live in your chosen community.  How is their life similar to yours?  How does it differ?  What can you learn?

I’ll never forget walking through a favela in Rio de Janeiro, seeing the gorgeous little white dresses hung to dry across the streets.   I saw pride in those little dresses — I imagined the Mom getting her little girl ready in her Sunday-Best to go to church.  The families who live in this favela are very poor.  It’s dusty and smelly and there are signs of violence everywhere, yet these families are proud.

As an aside, while we were walking down the street our tour guide paid no attention to the car that passed us.  Inside, the passenger in the front seat had a machine gun on his lap.  We were a bit freaked out and we wanted to get out of there quickly but she kept on walking!  It turned out he was a policeman and as we were enjoying the hospitality of one of the families — in an impeccably clean home — an arrest was made without incident.

Our hosts — the Brazilian tourism department — really didn’t want us to go to the favela for safety reasons and I can understand why.  Anything could have happened while we were there — we could have been caught in a cross-fire, we could have been kidnapped, we could have been robbed (not unlike other parts of the world, including in our own back yards!).  Nothing bad happened though and the impression I was left with still stays with me nearly 10 years later.   We took a calculated risk by going to the favela as a group with a tour guide, who paid for our safety, and we were all glad we did.

It’s for this reason, I travel as often as I can.  I do things that are out of my comfort zone — not always this brave — but I still do things that give me the “tingles”.

If you feel you need to reinvent yourself or your business, get out of your house and travel somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be half-way around the world, it can be a short drive away.  Just make sure you experience something new — it could be a new food; it could be a new recreational activity; it could be a volunteering experience.  It doesn’t matter — what does matter is that you come away from your travel experience with something which gives you a different perspective, a different experience and a new memory that will remind you to keep taking steps toward your dream life.

This time next week, I will be on my way to Playa del Carmen where we’re doing something “new”.  It’s not as far removed from our comfort zone as my favela example yet it is a step toward our location independent lifestyle goal.  We’re staying in a condo, rather than an all-inclusive resort, which isn’t a first for us because we have done the same in Italy, France, Canada and the US – but for some reason it’s not as comfortable for us to take this step in Mexico (I know we’ll laugh about this perception as soon as we get there).   We’ll be taking taxis and shopping knowing only a few words of Spanish.  We’ll be ziplining and snorkeling in cenotes.   We’ll even be going to Coco Bongo for our daughter’s birthday — that’s an experience that words can’t quite describe!

We’ll each be getting out of our comfort zones and proving to ourselves that we can indeed live our dream of traveling the world while I continue to write, speak, train, consult and coach.

What are YOU doing this month, this week and today to achieve your dream life goals?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Transform Your Business Starting With Personal Alignment

balanceYOU have been a person a lot longer than you’ve been a business leader and as a result, you have beliefs (some of which could be self-limiting) and you have dreams, whether you’ve explored them or not.  The reason why we start business transformation with an internal focus is because your decisions as a business leader are a direct result of what you belief, what your core values are and the vision you have for your life.

While it’s not necessary to do inner work to know what makes you tick to be a successful entrepreneur, it sure is a whole lot easier to make appropriate decisions when you have a sense of you. It is also a lot easier to see when you are falling into a trap set by your subconscious.

Core Values

When your core values are in alignment with the values of the business then the first hurdle has been crossed.  However, if your core values differ from the core values of the business, an internal conflict arises.  The same holds true with your employees — if the core values of the business are not in alignment with the core values of the employees there will be a disconnect, an imbalance and ultimately conflict.  Therefore, start your business transformation by listing your core values.  Click here to download a PDF with a list of Core Values, if you need help coming up with adjectives that describe them.  If you have a huge list, cut the list down to your top 10 values. Then to take those top 10 and decide either / or to get them down to 5. For example Freedom is one of my values as is Dependability … but if push came to shove, I’d take Freedom over being Dependable (fair warning!), which means that if something came up where I had to decide between being dependable and being free I would choose freedom.

Your core values will not change – from the time you first identified with them until the day you die and it’s the same with your business.  Strategies, tactics and plans change but the core values never change.

I want to drive home the point that these values are something you live each day – they aren’t a convenience item to create the illusion of being something you are not. For example, if one of your core values is integrity – you’d better do every single thing you say you are going to do. If honesty is a core value – you are honest always – always! If you say that family time is a core value – nothing stops you from having that family time – nothing.

Business Core Values

After you’ve done this exercise for yourself, do it again for your business. This time though, ask your employees, your customers and your vendors what they believe the values of your company are because they are the people who experience the decisions you make and it’s those decisions which reflect the core values of the company.

How are your business practices and the experiences you have with your people being translated into values? What are the common denominators for values, as seen through the eyes of those you serve? Are the results consistent with your own perception of what the core values are? Are there disconnects? How do you close the gap?

Is there a disconnect between what your core values are personally and the core values of the company? If so, you will experience some internal conflict at some point.

A prime example that happened not too long ago in the corporate world is Brendan Eich.  Mr. Eich, the creator of JavaScript, was appointed CEO of Mozilla only to be forced to resign few days later after an outcry from employees over a $1,000 donation he made to California’s Proposition 8 campaign in 2008 — a ballot that defined marriage between a man and a woman.  He argued that he leaves his personal beliefs, values and views at home. However, it didn’t matter to those who felt his beliefs were out of alignment with the company beliefs of inclusion and acceptance and they refused to accept him as their leader.

After you have completed this exercise you’ll be ready to move on to the next step in ensuring you are in alignment with your business — understanding what you what and do not want for your life.

If you’d like to know more about how to reinvent your business, contact Carol or check out how to work with Carol

What do you think of this exercise?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Lesson In Tenacity

Honey_badgerHere’s what happens when you don’t give up… gotta love his ingenuity and tenacity!

Would you try as hard to get what you wanted?  Sadly most people quit right before their breakthrough.

If you truly want to reinvent your life or transform your business you must be as tenacious as this honey badger.  If your why is big enough you will find a way to achieve what you want.

Your original idea might not work and that’s fine.  None of us bats anywhere close to 100.  We try things and they work, we try things and they flop, we try things and they don’t work as well as we hoped.

We try things and then people react and it screws up our plan.

We use our wise judgment and we make the right decisions with input from those who we can trust.

But don’t just quit because it’s hard.  Be a honey badger and stick to your vision and your goals.


Be sure to comment below and to share this with your friends!

If you’d like to know more about how to transform your business or reinvent your life, contact Carol or check out how to work with Carol

What are some of the ways you keep going when others would have given up?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Career Reinvention

Is a Career Reinvention in Your Future?

hate-jobAs a consultant who helps businesses become more profitable by leveraging the relationships they have with their employees — and as a previously miserable employee — I know how challenging it is to have employees in the wrong role, at the wrong company and managed by the wrong supervisor.

From your perspective as an employee, being in the wrong company, the wrong role and/or managed by the wrong supervisor is no fun at all and from the employer’s perspective it’s expensive and potentially disastrous.   A misalignment between employee and employer is also the cause of unnecessary stress and health issues on behalf of the employee while also being a cause of lower productivity and profitability for the employer and nobody wants that!

Wearing my miserable employee hat for a moment, the reason I was miserable was that I was “stuck” in that job.  There were no other comparable jobs that paid as well in my community and as a single Mom I needed a well paying job that also had regular hours.

Feedback and recognition — two elements needed for employee engagement were lacking.  I did not have one performance evaluation in the 9 years I worked for the company — although I was suspended on my birthday once — I won’t forget that day!

I did not have any opportunities for advancement (perhaps it was my attitude 😉 — another driver of employee engagement (ugh)..

… and I had no idea what the mission or the vision was for the company and I certainly didn’t know how my role fit in — and I had a few roles within the company over those 9 years.

My managers didn’t manage — I really don’t know what they did — and my supervisors ranged from being great to downright horrible.

My trust in the abilities of senior executives was lacking (trust is another driver of employee engagement!) because the executives gave absolutely no indication that they cared about anything other than wheeling and dealing — which resulted in huge bonuses on top of their salaries.   I never saw an executive — ever — in my 9 years there, so they had no clue what was really going on “in the field”…

… And then there was the “plan” — the strategy for efficiency which changed like the wind — first we centralized, then we decentralized then the focus was back to centralization — which was my fortunate “out” including a severance package.

I suspect many people who read this Career Reinvention blog post can find themselves nodding their heads in agreement to what is happening in their world.

If you are one of those people who are miserable at work too and you are ready for a career reinvention — which is in the best interest of both you and your employer — allow me to offer you a suggestion or two:

  1. Know what you want.  What do you want for your life?  What is your ideal lifestyle?   What does your ideal day look like?  Your ideal week look like?  Who are you working with?  What are you doing?  What are you feeling?  Where do you live?  What are your clothes like?  Do you have children and if so, where do they go to school, who do they hang out with, what are their goals for their life?  Become very clear on what YOU want.
  2. Figure out your gap.  The role of every consultant, marketer and salesperson is to figure out where the “ideal customer” or “prospect” is now compared to where they want to be and then they propose the bridge over the gap.  For your career, where are you now?  Where do you want to be (see question #1)? How do you close the gap?
  3. Create your plan.  Using what you’ve uncovered in the first two steps, how are you going to close your gap — realistically — how will you fit in the training, mentoring and experience you need?  Are you able to take a leap right now or do you need to be more conservative and methodical?
  4. Treat your career like a business.  Yes, a business — you are the CEO of “Brand You” — the strategist, the sales person, the service person and the cheerleader for your career.
    1. If you intend to stay with the same company but in a different role — do the same “gap analysis” you did with your career but instead do it for the company and present it to them.
    2. If you see a company you’d like to work with, connect with people inside of the organization — LinkedIn is a great place — to find out what it’s like to work at that company.  Be friendly, be transparent and be honest about why you are contacting people and ask for their opinion.  Realize that the person you contact won’t open up to a complete stranger on the first contact, so tread slowly and carefully.  See if you can connect with the person on Skype or a Google Hangout — so they can get a sense of who you are.  Have specific questions — not an interrogation — but questions to help you determine if this organization is a better fit for you.  Questions framed well are obviously better.  Questions such as “It’s really important to me that I have the freedom to _______, is this something that happens at XYZ company?”  The more people you can speak to, the better — after all, every person has his / her own “stuff” going on too.
    3. If you were a sales person, what would you sell to the company to make it better?  (BTW, you ARE a salesperson!)
    4. If you were a consultant, how would you improve the business? (BTW, you ARE a consultant — you know ways to make a business better!)
    5. Create a business case  and a sales pitch and pitch yourself as the one and only specialist who should be considered for this role.   Be memorable (in a good way!).  Note that you should have done some “sleuthing” before this pitch — find the hiring manager on social media (not the recruiting person) and make note of what he/she shares.   What is his/her name (use it!)?  Is he/she active in any charities?  Does he/she participate in sports?  The arts?
    6. When you get the interview — mix it up.  Without being obnoxious, ensure that you have the opportunity to pitch your plan.  Tell the hiring manager why you requested the meeting — remember you did request it when you created your pitch — and then have a conversation.  You will likely have to humour the “usual” hiring questions, however, it’s also important that you show the research you’ve done and also interview the hiring manager.  You want to be sure that you can work for this person, in this role at this company in  a way that gets you to that ideal life / lifestyle you imagined.
  5. Show them that you want it — in this world of computerized resume / cover letter scanners and other “non-humanized” recruiting, show the person you want to work with that you have done your homework and why they should hire you — even if there is no current job posting for what you want.  Your passion and your resourcefulness will get you places that you can never imagine.
  6. Don’t give up — in any sales role it usually takes multiple pitches in different ways to close a sale.  Don’t give up if the response is not positive on the first try.  Remember, this is what YOU want — it’s coming from your ideal lifestyle, your dream life.  If this is what you truly want — the perfect company for you and the perfect role for you — your tenacity will make you memorable and remarkable.
  7. While you are not giving up — find ways to continually improve.  Would writing an article — or better yet — a book help you?  Would appearing on an expert panel?  Would volunteering for a non-profit in a role similar to the one you want, give you more experience?  Would taking a course give you that little “oomph” you were missing?

What you focus on expands — a brilliant lesson I learned from my mentor years ago.  So focus on this ideal lifestyle, this ideal life you want.  Make decisions based on this “dream” and never, ever give up.

As you go through your career reinvention plan, remind yourself that leaving a job that makes you unhappy is in your best interest, the best interest of your loved ones (no-one wants to live with someone who is miserable!) and of course, you are doing your current employer a favour by “releasing the job” for someone better suited.  (Full disclosure — I say the same to employers — release the employee so they can find a better fit for themselves — but doesn’t it sound a whole lot better for you to “release the job for someone else”?!)

On a scale from 1 – 10, how willing are you to take these steps to get out of the job you don’t like / want and to reinvent  your career?  (btw, if you are finding deep resistance, check out the blog post on the Quadruplets of Discontent and see which one is showing up for you.)

Do you need a career reinvention?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Reinvention – Did You Let Your Inner Child Play?

Reinvention – Did You Let Your Inner Child Play?

Reinvention is all about doing things differently than the way you are doing them now — when was the last time you embraced your inner child to see where your future could be?

What lessons do you take away from this experience?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Have You Judged Someone Then Regretted it?

There are many times in our lives when we misjudge or fail to appreciate the greatness in people. As children, our parents are usually the first people we choose to judge. I did it — still do at times — and my children have done this to me to.

Watch this powerful short movie and then go hug those you love!

If it’s not too late to love and appreciate, so I encourage you to do so now.

And, if your window of opportunity has passed, send the love and appreciation to the Universe.

… and of course, leave comments about this post below!

What lessons do you take away from this video?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …