The Countless Ways to Describe A Reinvention

Carolyn Herfurth | Business Coach | Women Business Owners

“I don’t believe people can reinvent themselves.”

She said it casually.

But to the point of, well, making a point.

We’d known each other almost 10 years.

We’ve been colleagues.
Good friends.
And she was a long-time, wonderful client of mine.

We’ve agreed on so many, many, many things over the years.

We even shared a common enemy at one time.

And now this?!

“I don’t believe people can reinvent themselves.”

She said it at a time when I was reinventing.

My message.
My brand.

I had gotten stale.

And I’m not talking good, aromatic, tasty crouton stale.

More like hard, brittle, smelly loaf of what-had-once-been-fresh stale.

I had become too comfortable.
And bored, frankly.
With myself.

How could one of my dearest friends not support me and my new platform at this pivotal point in my entrepreneurial evolution?

Turns out it was pretty simple:

We each had a different definition of “reinvention.”

Her definition of reinvention is at the far end of the spectrum.

Akin to going into the Witness Protection Program.

Throw everything you’ve ever been or done — and anyone you’ve ever known — out the window and start over with a completely new identity.

Goodbye, Jill. Hello, Ms. Doe. (Or Bruce.)

She’s not wrong.

That is definitely one way to reinvent.

My definition of reinvention, on the other hand, is a bit more broad.

In my world, a reinvention can be big or small.

It can be at one extreme — like my college roommate Sharon who left government after 17 years and reinvented herself as an international event planner for corporate clients.

(This is us hanging out in Portugal a few weeks ago.)

Or a reinvention can be small — like changing the way you deliver your content by adding a community component to the learning. Per Seth Godin’s recommendation.

Or somewhere in between — like experimenting with a brand new solution for your audience that takes on a life of its own.

Or many shades between.

The constant, in my definition of reinvention, is that you marry the powerful, joyful parts of your vast universe of experiences — with a strategy that carries you through to your updated, upgraded vision and goals.

Breathing new life, energy and possibilities into your business.

Throughout our lives, we do this over and over.

Evolve. Reinvent. Expand.

And again.
And again.

It’s inevitable.

Even the smallest reinventions can create a radical change.

For example, that community component you add might start a groundswell of goodwill — and enrollment grows like wildfire.

Which changes your clients lives.
And their clients lives.
And so on… and so on…

A reinvention — whether it’s big or small — may start with a tiny yet meaningful ripple.

And turn into a huge, long lasting reverberation.

It doesn’t mean stripping you of your identity.

It means taking the best of you.
And dealing with the worst of you.
(Let’s be real, Lovey.)

It means leaving things behind.
Which, in my experience, can be the hardest part of change.
(But we’ll save that topic for another time.)

It can go far beyond anything you may have imagined when you thought, “hey, I want to put this, with that, and let’s see what happens.”

Like Reese’s did to create my favorite food group…


My friend and I may use different vernacular.
I say potato, she says po…
I mean… when I say reinvent, she says reengineer.

And you might label it something else…


No matter the term, there is one undeniable fact when you reinvent:

You bring you with you.

Creating something new, based on something that already exists:



Posted In: Thought Leadership