Sunday, August 24, 2014

Reinvention Challenge in Review – My Three Most Powerful Words

It has been one month since I began my reinvention challenge on my 52nd birthday - I decided it was time to make a change in my life and reinvent my career. To do so I implemented James Altucher's five year plan:

In year one you are to flail and read everything and just start to DO.
I am happy with my first month’s progress. Here are my results:

I ruled out two ideas I had been contemplating:

Food Blogging:
I am interested in food and healthy eating while my husband is the real cook in our home and a foodie. I had seriously been considering creating a food blog with my husband until I attempted to read Dianne Jacob's book Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More (Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Blogs,). I realized writing about food is hard and not for me. In addition to food writing Norine Dworkin-McDaniel informs us in my post's comments writing about music and dance are also hard which is good to know.

Moving back to the country:
My husband, an avid fly-fisherman, has tried to talk me into purchasing property in western Wisconsin; the area of my youth for several years now. Reading Melissa Coleman's book This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone about her parent’s experience with homesteading reminded me of growing up on a farm. Living in a rural area is incredibly isolating and raising your own food is hard work. At this stage of my life I prefer to live in a more urban setting and to vacation in a country setting. There will be no homesteading in my future.

The Savvy Career Interview:
I decided to make my career interviews a regular series. This month I interviewed Adrian of Adrian's Crazy Life about her corporate career. She provided a realistic inside look into what working for a large corporation is really like.

I also read a few great career reinvention posts around the Web:

Margaret Manning shares 11 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting a Business After 50. This post is packed with insight for anyone looking to start an on-line company.

Catherine Gacad realizes she wasn't born to be a mom. She was born to be a career mom.

Jennifer Ludwigsen quit her corporate job this month to become a freelancer. She has completed her first full week at home and shares 10 Surprising Facts About Working From Home.

What I didn’t accomplish:
I accepted a review copy of Katie Botten’s book The Professional Woman's Guide to Giving Feedback Since one of my reinvention goals is to improve my communication skills I am excited to read this book. Despite it being a short book, only 50 pages long, I did not find time to read this book in August and am adding it to my September to-do list.

What else is on my agenda for September?
I am happy to be co-hosting the Travel the World in Book's Readathon September 1-14, 2014 with Mom's Small Victories and Lost in Books.  I challenged myself to read 50 nonfiction books that take place in 50 different countries other than my own over the next five years when I announced the Travel the World in Books Challenge. The readathon should give me the incentive to get started on this challenge. I’ve made a tentative list of the books I plan to read during the readathon and know for sure one will be a reinvention book.

The readathon is a great chance to explore our world by reading books set in other countries or by authors from countries other than the one where you live. If you are interested in participating please head over to Tanya's site to sign up:

Keeping with the diversity in book's theme I will also be joining Aarti's a more diverse universe challenge. The rules for this one are simple.  All I have to do is read one book written by a person of color during the last two weeks of September.


Revelation of the month:
In a post on Laurie Reuttimann’s site she writes about her friend Gregory Ng who believes that your personal brand comes down to 3 words. She then asks what are the three most powerful words you could use to describe yourself?

I put a great deal of thought into mine and came up with the three words that best describe me TODAY. They are:

Accountant, exerciser and reader

I was surprised the main words I use to describe myself is accountant since I'm not sure I want to continue working in this capacity – but then I did spend most of my life studying to be or working as an accountant. Perhaps I can find a way to blend the areas of my accounting career I enjoy into my new career.

It will be interesting to repeat this exercise in a year to see how and if my three words change.

What are your three most powerful words? What are your goals for September?


  1. I tried to follow your blog but I'm not on Google Plus, so I'll just come back to your blog for updates. I like the idea of a readathon; you could read travel memoirs if they're not already on your list. I like Alice Steinbach's memoir of traveling in Europe when she was in her 50s; it's called Without Reservations.

  2. Wow, lots of introspection (is that really a word?) here.

    My 3 words would be Blogger, Encourager, and resilient.

  3. Neurotic Workaholic,
    I'm also on FB, twitter and bloglovin' if you'd like to follow me there. Alice Stenbach's book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Chasing Joy,
    Yes introspection is a word. Love your words. Happy to see you describe yourself as a blogger. I don't yet. And resilient - wonderful, powerful words.

  5. Hmmmmm. Three words to describe myself. Strong, funny, happy! This was a fabulous post, Savvy!

  6. The readathon sounds like a great challenge :)

  7. Three words is tough, there's so many different aspects of my life, acting, writing, blogging, running, personal stuff- I guess I need to think broader.

    artist, motivator, Ukrainian

  8. This is an awesome post.
    Three words strong, loved, healthy

    My goals- Blog more, study and write a monthly goal list.

  9. First of all, thank you so much for the shoutout, Savvy! I am literally dancing around my living room - I feel very honored to be mentioned on your blog!!

    I love this three word challenge. I kinda feel like I'm creating my Twitter profile blurb all over again. I think I would need to sum myself up with these three words: dreamer, steadfast, and passionate.

    I also love the around-the-world book challenge you mentioned and am heading over to the sign-up post now!

  10. I love the three words idea. I don't have a personal brand or anything but I like the idea of using this as a foundation to your personal statement.

    Mine are: Writer, Reader, Friend

  11. I really love this post. I think it's great to look at yourself and evaluate where it is at and what you want for the future.
    I would put my three words as Mother, Blogger, Helper.

  12. Esthetic Goddess,
    Your personality always shines thru in your comments. You sure know who you are.

  13. Stephanie,
    That was my process as well - to get to the 3 words that most describe me. Though, mine are more what I do rather than who I am. Yours are who you are. I'm still thinking...

  14. I love how you are working through your personal reinvention!

    Hope you are enjoying the readathon!

  15. Midnight Cowgirl,
    It is a lot of fun. I am impressed with the enthusiasm and participation we've received.

  16. Sammy Joe,
    Great words. Strong, loved and healthy - it can't get better than that. Also like that you've included your goals.