Welcome! Login | Register

Subscribe Now: Free Daily EBlast

 
 

Saul Kaplan: Reinvention As A Life Skill

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

 

Ask any group of people if they’re doing today what they thought they would be doing when they started out. I begin every speech that way. Occasional a few people in the audience raise their hand, very few. Almost everyone will readily admit that they have had to reinvent themselves multiple times over their lives and careers. And yet if you ask them how they did it or if formal education prepared them for reinvention you get mostly blank stares. You hear answers like, I just did it because I had to. Most seem unable to share useful knowledge on how they reinvented themselves. If anything is clear about the 21st century it’s that change happens faster than it used to. Reinvention isn’t something to be done only as a last resort. It’s something we need to do all the time in order to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world. We have to make personal reinvention safer and easier to manage. Reinvention has become an important life skill.


If we wait until we have no choice but to reinvent ourselves it’s too late. It’s sad beyond words to see how many people and families have been devastated by the latest economic downturn. Politicians may take credit as the unemployment rate improves but we know better. Good high wage jobs with career ladders are few and far between. People not seeking work and the underemployed aren’t counted in the unemployment rate and their numbers are growing. The gap between the skills of our workforce and the needs of a new economy are also growing. If we wait for our political and institutional leaders to act we will be waiting a long time. If we wait for things to return to the way they used to be, we will be waiting forever. Everything about our current economy screams for making personal reinvention more of a natural act.


Why aren’t we taught how to reinvent ourselves in school? Reinvention is imperative as a life skill. You would think we would at least be exposed to the fundamentals of personal exploration and reinvention while we are in school. Instead we seem increasingly focused on the skills necessary to get a specific job, a job that is highly unlikely to exist five years from now. As a society we highly prize specialty education pathways that track students toward narrow career choices instead of celebrating education pathways emphasizing a broad platform and skill set useful in doing future work that doesn’t exist today. Education and workforce development programs should emphasize foundational life skills that are transferable and enabling the personal confidence and skills to constantly reinvent ourselves.


Reinvention is a journey not a destination. It doesn’t have to be a scare word. You don’t have to know what you’re reinventing yourself to in order to work on reinventing yourself. It isn’t about stopping one thing in order to do or be something else. It’s about spending time every day, every month and every year constantly reinventing. It’s about personal R&D to explore and test new possibilities. It’s about experimenting all the time to uncover latent opportunities. It’s about continuing to strengthen our current selves while simultaneously working on our future selves by actively engaging in new ideas, environments and practices. You don’t have to stop doing what you’re currently doing you just have to allow yourself the freedom to try more stuff.


Here are 15 things you can do now to start building reinvention muscle.
1) Hang out in places where more collisions with unusual suspects are likely to happen. Stop hanging with usual suspects!
2) Create a list of new stuff you’ve always wanted to try or be able to do. Start working the list today.
3) Make something and try to sell it online. We can all be makers and entrepreneurs even if society has tried to convince us otherwise.
4) Attend events you wouldn’t normally go to and really listen and engage. Like #BIF2015 for instance!
5) Commit to learning something new every day and keep track. Reinvention requires a get better faster mindset.
6) Share your new experiences and what you learn from them on social media. Be genuine and vulnerable.
7) Have coffee with someone completely new every week. Someone who has a different point of view and experience from your own.
8) Read books and articles from genres you never read. Expand your vocabulary. Stretch your interests.
9) Try new foods. Order something on the menu you’ve never had before. Experiment with different ethnic foods you haven’t tried.
10) Go listen to talks on subjects you know nothing about. Ask naïve questions.
11) Audit a class in a surprising subject area, the more experiential the better.
12) Figure out how to sell something you don’t need anymore online. Ask any millennial, they know how to do it!
13) Travel to places you haven’t been before and really experience the community. Avoid being a tourist!
14) Volunteer on the opposite side of town from where you live. Leverage volunteering to both be helpful and to learn new skills.
15) Explore art if you’re a scientist. Explore science if you’re an artist. Explore both if you’re in business!

Stop thinking about reinvention as a scary, all-or nothing, proposition. Reinvention is a life skill. Reinvention is a life long journey we’re all embarked on whether we like it or not. There are many practical steps we can each take every day to explore our future selves. We can all develop the life skill of reinvention. What are we waiting for? Try more stuff.

 

Saul Kaplan is the Founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF). Saul shares innovation musings on his blog at It’s Saul Connected and on Twitter at @skap5.

 

Related Slideshow: RI Business Rankings in US

See how Rhode Island stacked up.

Prev Next

WalletHub

Rhode Island has 2015's eighth highest insurance premium penalties for high risk drivers, according to a WalletHub report. 

Rhode Island ranks fifth overall in the category of speeding over 20 mph annual premium increase at $482. While ranking third overall  in the category of 2 accidents annual premium increase at $2,721.

Rhode Island ranks ninth overall under the reckless driving annual premium increase at $749. 

Prev Next

WalletHub

Rhode Island has been ranked as the 8th most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub.

Rhode Island ranks third in environmental quality and 16th in Eco-Friendly Behaviors Ran landing them in 8th overall.

RI is behind Washington and New Hampshire who are in the six and seven spots respectively, and in front of Connecticut and Hawaii who come in at the nine and ten spot. 

Prev Next

WalletHub

Rhode Island is 2015's 4th Worst State to be a taxpayer, according to a recent WalletHub report. 

Rhode Island ranks 48th of 51 with an average state and local tax price of $7,159 which is good for a 27% difference from the national average. 

The states that are directly behind Rhode Island are Wisconsin at $7,159, Nebraska at $7,298 and Illinois at $7,719 for a 37% difference from the national average.

Prev Next

WalletHub

Rhode Island has the highest vehicle property taxes in the country, paying an average of $1,133 according to a report from WalletHub.

Virginia and Kansas are the two states just ahead of Rhode Island in the 49 and 50 spots, paying $962 and $905 respectively. 

RI also ranks 42nd in average real estate tax, paying an average of $2,779, according to the WalletHub report.

Prev Next

WalletHub

WalletHub has ranked Rhode Island as the 7th worst state to be rich in in a recent in depth analysis of 2015's Best States to be Rich or Poor From a Tax Perspective

On a scale with 1 being the best, and 25 being average, Rhode Island ranks 37th in low income earners, 42 in middle income earners and 45th in high income earners. 

To see the full report, click here. 

Prev Next

Gallup

Providence-metro ranks at the bottom for job creation in 2014  

Rhode Island has been ranked amongst the worst in job creation, according to a recent survey done by Gallup. 

Gallup gives the Prov-metro area an index score of 23, the lowest score is the New York- New Jersey area with 20. 

Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin-round Rock, Texas rank the highest with a score of 37. 

See the rest of the rankings here. 

Prev Next

Forbes

The 2014 state rankings by Forbes has just been released and Rhode Island moved up two spots from #48 in 2013 to #46 in 2014.

What does Forbes say about RI's business environment"

After Michigan and Illinois, Rhode Island has experienced the third worst net migration out of its state in the country over the past five years. With a recent unemployment rate of 7.6%—lower than only Georgia and Mississippi—residents are leaving the state in search of jobs. Rhode Island has been stuck in the bottom five overall for six straight years. One plus: labor costs are 5% below the national average, which stands out in the expensive Northeast.

Prev Next

Tax Foundation

Findings from The State Business Tax Climate Index were released this morning by Tax Foundation which found Rhode Island to have the 45th best tax climate for businesses for 2015. The state's rank has not changed since last year after The Index analyzed 100 different tax variables in multiple categories. 

Read more about the report here

Prev Next

WalletHub

After conducting an online suvery consisting of 1,050 individuals from both parties across the nation, WalletHub ranked Rhode Island as having America's 33rd fairest tax system.

Click here to view the poll's entire findings

Prev Next

Thumbtack/Kauffman

Providence is the second worst city in America for small business, according to a new survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation.

More than 12,000 small businesses in 82 cities across the country participate in the survey. Providence received an overall "F" grade for small business friendliness.

Full Survey Results Here.

Prev Next

The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: F

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate.  Rhode Island is one of just 6 states to earn an "F" grade.

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

Prev Next

CNBC

CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Rhode Island's unemployment rate as of May 2014 was 8.2 percent. This is RI's lowest unemployment rate since August 2008.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

Prev Next

Forbes

Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects. RI is third worst in 2013.

The most damning in the commentary:

After Michigan, Rhode Island has experienced the second worst net migration in the country over the past five years.

Read More About Forbes Ranking Here

Prev Next

ChiefExecutive.net

#39 ChiefExecutive.net

ChiefExecutive.net ranks each state in taxations and regulations, workforce quality, and living environment.

The most damning in the commentary:

Sky-high unemployment rate bespeaks continuing terrible business climate.

Read More About ChiefExecutive.net Ranking Here

Prev Next

Tax Foundation

#46 Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation ranks each state in corporate tax rank, sales tax rank, and unemployment insurance tax rank.

Rhode Island and the other states in the bottom ten suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.

Read More About Tax Foundation Ranking Here

Prev Next

Wallet Hub

#24 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Rhode Island ranked #50 for worst roads and bridges, but ranked #4 in safety.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

Prev Next

ALEC

#47 ALEC

ALEC ranks each state in economic performance and outlook.

Although Rhode Island ranked low in economic performance, a forward-looking forecast is based on the state’s standing in 15 important state policy variables. Some of these variables include top marginal personal income tax rate and sales tax burden.

Read More About ALEC Ranking Here

Prev Next

Kauffman Foundation

#50 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states
and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Ranking Here

Prev Next

Free Enterprise

#47 Free Enterprise

Free Enterprise ranks each state in performance, exports, innovation + entrepreneurship, business climate, talent pipeline, infrastructure.

Rhode Island has continued to feel the direct impact and ripples from the recent recession—it ranks 47th overall in economic performance. However, positive rankings of 15th in talent pipeline and 16th in innovation and entrepreneurship suggest the existence of a foundation on which to build the future.

Read More About Free Enterprise Ranking Here

Prev Next

The Pew Charitable Trusts

#40 The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts ranks each state in job growth and job creation.

Rhode Island added 6,223 jobs in 2014.

Read More About The Pew Charitable Trusts Ranking Here

Prev Next

Gallup

10th Worst in Gallup's Annual Ranking of State Job Markets 2014

Rhode Island has been ranked 10th worst for job creation in Gallup's annual ranking of state job markets in 2014 with a job creation index number of 21

Rhode Island is one of two (Connecticut) states to rank in the bottom ten each year since 2008.

The 2014 State level findings have were drawn from 201,254 interviews with employed adults across the nation. 

See the full list of rankings here. 

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox
 
:!