Re-Inventing Yourself

Every one of us, when starting our businesses made mistakes. Just as a child learning to walk will sometimes stumble and fall, so will most of us make mistakes and learn from them. However most important part of falling down, is the getting up again. Once we are up again, we often take a look at what caused us to fall in the first place. In some cases when we continue to fall, we may begin re-evaluate what we are doing in our businesses. It is not uncommon for many people to find that they may have to re-vise how they do things. And sometimes they may have to go back to the drawing board, and reinvent themselves.

My first and most serious mistake when starting my business, was failing to do market research. I had a great idea, and decided that everyone would feel as I did. So I registered my business name, prepared a business plan and headed straight to the bank. I was able to convince my friendly bank manager that my idea was just the service that everyone needed! Unfortunately for me, my bank was really just interested in whether I was a good credit risk, not whether my business plan would work or not! And so this was lesson number one. Six months later with some minor successes, but not nearly enough business to put food on the table, I found myself problem solving, strategizing and then finally, reinventing what it was that I did. In fact, over the course of my lifetime, I have re-invented myself several times.

I remember my father telling me “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” He must have told me that many times, because the word ‘quit’ is not in my dictionary. Many businesses close because of the same mistake that I made. Market research is first and most important part of creating a business plan. If your business does not first solve a problem, and secondly solve a problem that many want a solution for, then you will spend a lot of time and effort convincing people that they need your product or service. And so it is for this reason that many businesses find that they must close due to lack of business within two years of opening.

If this is where you are at-be comforted in knowing that many others reading this same article are feeling much the same way. Don’t quit, instead, re-invent! How? Here are some ideas:

Do more market research. Create surveys, collect information or hire someone to do market research for you. It may be that you have the right product at the wrong price. It may be that you have not fully identified that there is really a need for your product or service

Do not be afraid to re-evaluate. Ask someone to help you identify if there is something you can change to make your product or service more desirable. Perhaps your idea needs just a little bit of tweaking.

Identify what has worked and build on that part of your business. Or consider adding something to your current line of products or services.

Get some coaching, or professional advice, or find a mentor. Make sure to find someone who will tell you the truth about what they see the problem is

Do not give up. Be inventive. Be creative. Remember that every problem is also an opportunity. Take a day off, and get away from everything. This often helps you to get perspective, shake off the blues, and leave the stress of having to achieve behind.

Finally be patient with yourself. You can make it work! You may have to re-invent yourself or your business, many times over, but each time it gets a little easier. You already have experience and know some of the things you should not do. Many people who have become ‘BIG’ in the world often suffered many setbacks before they finally became successful. In fact, Colonel Sanders of KFC was 65 years old and living out of his car on his $101 a month old age pension, trying to peddle his chicken everywhere he could before he hit the jackpot.

"One of the keys to effective communication and dispute resolution is understanding ourselves and how we think and also understanding how others are wired as well. Each of us has personality styles that are unique to ourselves - however there are also patterns as well. When you understand the differing personality styles and their blends - you begin to see people as they are with more understanding! For more information on understanding personality styles please contact Mandie at"

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Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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