The Secret to Multiple Reinventions
When I launched my first major reinvention in 2008, I remember saying that I wanted to help people grow. I had no idea how I was going to do that, but I knew that was the outcome I wanted. I’ve always called it my blurry vision. Today, I realized I had more clarity of vision than I gave myself credit for back then.
No matter how many ways or times I have reinvented myself, I am still pursuing that outcome. That outcome was my end and all of the means have been driven by reinvention.
I reinvented myself as many times as necessary to get my outcome.
In nearly 15 years, I have reinvented myself into a: national account sales manager, graduate student, tutor, math teacher, speaker, entrepreneur, education consultant, workshop facilitator, master of ceremonies, trainer, executive coach, program leader, university faculty, and writer.
No matter what role I played, I was always going after one outcome – to help people grow.
This morning I reflected on all of this while on my ritual morning coffee walk. I realized that in order to make reinvention possible, I could not be married to any one way of getting to my outcome. My focus on one outcome has always left me open to find new and interesting ways to make an impact. Along the way I learned many valuable skills and enjoyed countless memorable experiences.
Falling in love with the means slowed me down.
At times on my journey, I was slow to move from one means to another because I fell in love with the current means. When I launched The School of Reinvention, I was looking to shift from speaking only in-person to creating digital content and courses. For 8 months, I found myself going back to my the comfort of live speaking engagements.
At the end of last year, I reflected on this and reminded myself that I’m after an outcome, not a method. Going digital was going to help me get more of my outcome and it was time to reinvent myself again. Even in this reinvention to digital, I came to learn writing would play a big role in this shift. I didn’t expect that and I’m proud to say this is my 21st consecutive working day of writing for my blog. I didn’t know writing would be so instrumental, however, remaining open allowed me to welcome this new strategy and approach.
Innovators and Reinvention
Yesterday, while speaking with Craig, barista at Catalyst Coffee, I learned his desired outcome is to help people have a nice day. I believe this is what opens Craig up to innovation. He’s not as in love with the thing he does as he is with the outcome. Because of that, he’ll take or create any opportunity to deliver it. Perhaps in 5 years, we’ll find Craig doing something completely different that helps people have a nice day. Whether coffee making is part of that or not isn’t what matters. Ultimately, it’s his pursuit of his desired outcome.
Maybe this is the secret to innovation. Innovators fall in love with the end and the means are just the means. If you can find or create a better way, then your outcome wins.
Reinvention is no different. When we know what we are going after, we keep ourselves open to all of the ways we can get there. If one door closes, then we go find or create another.