Fearless reinvention is a topic near to my heart. People often ask me about how I could leave my secure, comfortable job as a sports agent to pursue my dream of speaking and writing about reaching your greatest potential and achievement. What I think resonates with people is that I went all in. I wasn’t miserable or forced out of my old job. I was clear on what my dream was and the risk involved. When I left the agency where I had been for almost two decades, I had three keynote speeches booked that added up to about 5% of my base salary—yikes.
Did I know I would make it? No, but I was comfortable betting on myself and embracing the unknown. I had created choices for myself, but it was up to me to pull the trigger. Maybe you are doubting your ability to do the same, so I want to share what I’ve learned with you: Here’s why it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.
The clue to your reinvention is right here; pinpoint it.
We all gravitate to what we are good at, and in your current work you are doing something that springs from your passion. This thing is going to launch you to success in your reinvention. Here’s what I mean.
As a sports agent, I thrived building relationships. I love taking a raw relationship and building it into an unbreakable bond. The higher the stakes, the more I wanted to succeed, and the more I did. As I repeated this daily for multiple years, relationship building became second nature to me. When I considered leaving my career, this foundational skill gave me the confidence to believe I could get on a stage and establish an awesome connection with an audience of hundreds or thousands of people. It may have been a completely different career, but the premise was the same. To thrive, I would have to turn these raw connections into authentic relationships.
Your ability to authentically and authoritatively do what you are most passionate about is growing inside you right now. That gift is going to really blossom in your reinvention. I firmly believe and love the idea that when we follow our passions, the career follows us.
Don’t wait for it to happen to you; you make it happen.
One of the biggest barriers to reinvention is the idea that something or someone is going to come along and make it happen. Reinvention remains a fantasy because with that kind of thinking, a person doesn’t have to look inside himself or herself to find the guts to pull that trigger.
One way to reframe this challenge is to look at your new identity as a gift to yourself. Your next “self” is going to do more of what you want and what you uniquely can give the world, and less of what you don’t want. That’s not just the 80-20 principle. Reinvention boils down to one powerful word: freedom.
Relentlessness is critical.
Pushing to a new level of achievement creates a new set of challenges, and you have to be ready to constantly reposition yourself. This means suffocating fear for ambition and cultivating an insatiable appetite for learning. Here’s a sample of self-talk that is necessary for anyone who is going all in to reinvent: “I want to break new ground and go beyond what others see as my best to discover my ultimate potential. To do that, I know I must be relentless.” If you strive to be a pioneering achiever in the niche that suits you best, you need to be relentless too.
Find and stay in the company of reinventors and their mentors.
The most creative minds are constantly reinventing to get the most out of life. The best get better because they want more, do more, and inevitably get more. It is so easy to be a sleeper, feeling like you have done enough and the rest will take care of itself. But the reinventors are doers, not sleepers. They are always looking for the next opportunity or the next great idea. Think of people like Arthur Blank, Mark Cuban, and Steve Jobs. The trailblazers of our time are constantly reinventing, reassessing, and reorganizing their businesses. The second you think they have no more tricks up their sleeves, they wow you with a success of enormous proportions.
Steal this important secret from them: Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you in various areas, people who complement your skill set and enhance what you can deliver. This is how dynamic lives and careers are built and maintained. It’s exciting to find and be a dedicated and intelligent mentor and trusted advisor. Seek out people who understand that maintaining greatness is just as difficult, if not more, than reaching greatness, and who are willing to be on your team. It takes more than one person to do the hard work day in and day out to summit the mountain and handle the unexpected terrain that comes with reinventing. As you navigate your journey and fearlessly reinvent yourself, share your story because that courage is contagious and may inspire someone else.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Reinventing yourself is a perfect example of getting back what you put into something, and so much more. By setting aside fear, finding relentlessness and the company of other reinventors, you will build off the success that is incubating inside you right now. You are not at the mercy of life events as you move to the place where you can do the best work that only you can do. Stop making excuses and start making that life you’ve always wanted! It’s never too late.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.