After many years working in large companies filled with bright and talented experts, I saw first-hand those that successfully built smart and enduring personal brands, and those that simply fell short. Those that endured became sought-after thought leaders rapidly progressing in their careers, while those that fell short remained stagnant and irrelevant.
The real shame is that those that fell short could have taken greater advantage of the resources and opportunities afforded them through these big organizations. They either never made the time, or never made the connection to its value.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” — Tom Peters in Fast Company
re·in·vent, v. — meaning, to make major changes or improvements to (something): to present (something) in a different or new way.
I’ve always loved the idea of reinvention. Examining who we are today and where we want to go tomorrow. Renewing ourselves, our careers, personal brands, businesses, private lives—whatever it may be. It’s an opportunity to edit how we define ourselves or how others perceive us, offering a clean slate, and telling a new story. It can be exhilarating, therapeutic, and provide to us renewed energy and enthusiasm.
It can also be overwhelming, scary, challenging, and met with resistance.
When we attempt to make large or drastic changes in our lives, those around us may not be ready, or may not understand what we are trying to achieve. Maybe they liked the old version better. Maybe they were comfortable with our lack of success, making them feel better where they were. Or maybe it’s simply too much for them to handle all at once.
We all get to a point in our careers where we need a break from the day-to-day. We’re running a hundred miles an hour on one project trying to finish on time, only to be immediately tapped for the next one. Often times we are running several projects at the same time with no break in between to simply catch our breath.
While the work can be exciting and engaging, we get to a point where we’re running on empty if we don’t take necessary steps to recharge so we can bring our A-game to the next project. Sometimes we simply require a day or two off, other times we may need to schedule that long overdue vacation, and every so often it might be something more.
I loved working in my last position. I was lucky enough to work with incredibly smart people from all over the world. My boss was fantastic and my colleagues were wonderful. We had great fun as we explored new territory. If we were exhausted or frustrated, we commiserated and bounced back together as a team. Creativity flowed along with great humor. For me, however, I did finally reach a point where I knew it was time to move forward. But first I needed to take a pause – to rejuvenate and reenergize before eventually try something different in a new environment.