The Power of Reinventing Yourself

A few years ago I met a man in his early 60’s named Bob Crowther, who inspired me to think about the power we all have to reinvent and transforms our lives and businesses.

You’ve probably hear that we develop a new layer of skin approximately every 7 years. We know that this new layer doesn’t magically appear on your body one day. It happens over time, slowly and without really being noticed. The same can be said about our satisfaction with our careers and businesses.They take on new appearances and transform over time. Sometimes that’s great, especially if you’ve been in control of steering the direction of your business. But have you ever awoken and realized that the new skin your company has assumed just doesn’t fit who you are now?

How many of you are pondering if the business you’re working in or running is the one you want to be enveloped in for the next 5, 10 or 20 years? Have you considered reinventing yourself but are not sure where to begin? While this can be a problem for individuals in every generation, I have definitely noticed a trend amongst Baby Boomers who are looking for their next career or company… perhaps the one they consider to be their last before they retire.  According to the US Department of Labor the number of people 45+ who have been jobless for more than a year has quadrupled since 2007, accounting for nearly half of the 3.5 million Americans out of work for more than a year. Are you or is a friend or loved on in that situation? Regardless of your age or the circumstances surrounding your need to make a change, to reinvent yourself for the 1st, 3rd or perhaps 20th  time, the power is within you but the first step is always the hardest.

Do we have to have a big ‘aha’ moment that propels us into taking the first step or, like the transformation of our skin, does this feeling happen slowly over time? Either way, unlike our skin, change only happens when we make it happen.

Back to Bob’s story. We met at a seminar I was running at the Small Business Development Center at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Before the seminar began, we had the opportunity to chat and he shared his transformational story. Having spent his life in biological research, he found himself, in his early 60′s, unemployed for an extended period of time.  Having dealt with chronic back pain due to lumbar arthritis he had begun to attend hatha yoga classes after several friends had suggested this might help him strengthen his core muscles and alleviate his pain. Bob told me that, “Despite my inexperience and obvious lack of abilities during this initial yoga class, I had fun. I recognized yoga as a means of dealing with decades of back pain as well as a way to recover from major thoracic surgery.”

Bob had tried traditional methods such as physical training sessions and weight lifting but yoga appeared to be the one elixir that truly worked.

As yoga became a daily ritual, it informed his lifestyle choices and Bob found himself taking four classes a week, becoming leaner, stronger and more flexible. He realized that he wanted to share his remarkable recovery with others to, not only help them but to inspire individuals of all ages that they could master this, just like he did. It was time to reinvent himself and turn his passion into a business. He recently launched Yoga Fitness and Nutrition LLC to address the short and long term goals of Baby Boomers with aches and pains. While his business will be open to individuals of every age, he is focused on people living with the consequences of various medical conditions including a heart attack, diabetes, arthritis and weight issues, offering physical evaluations, one-on-one instruction and nutritional advice. He has found a unique niche and is the poster child for his business.

Bob is in the process of reinventing his career just as he reinvented his body. For me, and perhaps for you as well, he serves as an incredible inspiration of the pure strength not only of body but soul and spirit at any age.  If you want to learn more about Bob, you can connect with him via LinkedIn and watch as he continues his transformation. I certainly will be!
So ask yourself, “Is it time?” Is the old skin feeling itchy? Are you ready to make that change? If you answer “yes” or even “maybe,” here are 5 simple steps you can take to begin your own transformation:

  • Imagine yourself in 3 years. You’re in a great place in terms of your career and business aspirations. With words (unless you’re artistically gifted) draw a picture of what you’re doing that makes you so happy. Describe your business and your life as if you were telling a friend you hadn’t seen in a few years what your life is like now.
  • Write down 5 thing that you love about this new life.
  • Next, write down what is so different about your futuristic life compared to your present one.
  • Write down what’s stopping you from taking steps to get to this new life – then cross out those negative thoughts.
  • Finally, write down 3 things you can do in the next 30 days that will help you start down the road of achieving your dream job or business.