Experiences allow assessment of efficiency, performance and progress indicating whether anything that can be measured has been successful. Complementing my last post on warning signs in your career, how do you know if your efforts are moving in the right direction?

1. Exponential Growth

Credit: Charles Ngo

One of the greatest experiences and signs of reinvention is exponential growth. Frequency of action, experimentation and challenging the status quo allows growth to happen at rapid rates. What differentiates people on the right track is the mindset of ‘just do it anyway’. They understand that at current rates of change, they can’t afford not to. Dave Luhr, president of Wieden + Kennedy says that “Disruption and chaos bring amazing opportunity if you play your cards right.”

I honestly say that my growth and exposure over the last 10 months is vast in comparison to what I learned over the course of corporate life. Some of these learnings include: digital and influencer marketing, technical knowledge (website design, hosting, FTP server, basic coding), graphic design and a plethora of tools, networks and experiences that I would have not experienced otherwise.

2. Shifted Outlook From Short Term to Long Term

It’s easy to have a short term focus, due to our instinctive need for instant gratification. It’s why people want to be healthy, but reach for chocolate cake instead. Short term pleasure is heightened in the face of regret and what we ‘should have done’ later.  Often we know what we need to do, we just need to do it.

Successful reinventors create experiences that keep their why at the heart of everything they do. With the end in mind, their purpose is entrenched in principles that align to a long term vision.  Aatif Awan, Vice President at LinkedIn, attributes LinkedIn’s 1000x over 13 years due to a long term focus on growth. He states that growth is accelerating the realisation of your vision not just improving metrics.

How to Improve Your Long Term Focus:

  • EQ expert Daniel Goleman recommends having a teacher/mentor figure to keep accountability and prevent plateauing.
  • Regular review mechanisms – how you are tracking, what can you start-stop-do more-do less of, and what are the consequences of not focusing?
  • Question the clarity of what it is you’re trying to do and consider if it needs adjustment (see owning change below)

3. You’re Managing Heightened Emotions and Ego

Shifting action towards growth and progress brings forth a rollercoaster of emotional experiences. Reinventing yourself may require significant change that moves you riding between two extremes: a state of elated buzz and the trough of sorrow. 

Putting ourselves out there and doing more things fosters increased momentum and experimentation.  Doing more enhances learning and pinpoints  a formula for success at any given time. Suddenly everything feels more lucky, or the point where timing meets hard work. Conversely, the opposite of this increased success is increased chances of failure.  Here, everything is questioned, confusing and overwhelming. Amongst extreme positivity and the trough of sorrow, our ego also comes into play. According to Cy Wakeman, ego is the filter that corrupts our view on reality; for situations both positive and negative.  The ego is hardwired to edit events, and interpret things with ‘danger’ in mind.

How to successfully manage emotions and ego:

For success:

  • Truly celebrate wins and acknowledge accomplishments
  • Have measurements to validate success as well as how it made you feel
  • Do not allow success to instil fear with future endeavours (the failure- success paradox)

For failure:

  • See failure as a learning opportunity and overcome blocks by ploughing through
  • Do not be too hard on yourself
  • Take the personalisation out of negative thoughts – silencing the ego. It’s not what happens “to me” but viewing events from an objective view.  What has happened and what can I do about it?

4. Owning Change

Credit: Rebloggy

Successful trailblazers own change. Change follows the natural laws of the universe in which everything exists within impermanence. Too often we’re inhibiting necessary change out of fear, what ifs and comfort. Anything worth achieving, and the growth that comes, comes at the heart of uncertainty.  True success means rolling with change, and picking up our socks each and every time.

Wakeman further adds that people resist change because of a feeling of unreadiness; and overcoming this requires a constant state of readiness. An ability to be all in “hell yeah” or “no” with any decision.  A subtle mindset shift is that rather seeing it as change, seeing it as “what’s next?”. It’s not throwing the baby out with the bath water, but moving along a continuum.

What’s next in the evolution of me? I’m dabbling in areas, groups and events of interest, continuing to explore different materials, content and inspiration for this blog. I’m reviewing ways to grow Reintention readership and gaining insight in how I can continue to build financial runway. Change never stops, only we do.

5. Constant Validation (or Invalidation)

Validation often gets a bad rep, and in most cases can be unhealthy in our personal lives. Validation from a reinventor’s perspective can be vital in analysing pivot or persevere situations and where certain courses of action require adjustment.  A strong source of information can be inferred from small investments or A/B tests. If you’re considering a change into data science for example, attending a short introductory course or seminar can easily inform if it’s right for you.

Similarly, I’ve shifted focus off certain platforms because my readership mainly comes from other sources such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Constant validation of ideas, perspectives and activity brings new ways and approaches to do things.

How to obtain continual feedback:

  • Understand your north-star metric, and extend all activities and measures from there
  • Explore different ways you can try, learn or experiment – tools, mentoring, shadowing, increasing exposure at targeted networking or events.
  • Approach everything with ‘bite-sized’ units to allow real-time feedback
  • Create the ability for more feedback sources – such as customers, peers, suppliers, friends etc.
  • Don’t allow ‘irrational escalation‘ occur with your experiments. If something is not working, adjust.

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