Why Reinvention is a Virtual Necessity.


I recently wrote a blog called Out of the Game which outlined the importance of staying current and connected on your career path and personal development.

There used to be an expression I would hear quite often.  “They are a dinosaur.”  It was really a description of a person or a company who was not current on emerging trends.  For instance, agencies that were slow to adopt digital solutions versus traditional advertising.

The iPhone is about five years old and more than 75 million have been sold.  Kodak is going into bankruptcy protection.  The Olympics are coming up soon and not too many people will be capturing magic moments using Kodachrome.  A decade ago, Kodak may have been sponsoring the Olympics.

I know a friend who was recently in transition.  They shared with me that the last job they found was in the newspaper ten years ago.  If you told somebody today that you were job hunting in the newspaper they would think that you were pretty much out of touch.

I started blogging two years ago after I heard Tony Heish from Zappos speak at a combined Harvard/USC event in May.  During his presentation he said “Follow Your Dream and the Money Will Come.” That May wasn’t a particularly robust time and I thought to myself that is easy for you to say because you made $100 million on your first deal.

After two years of blogging I have had thousands of people read my blog.  In fact more people read my blog some days than visit my site in a month.

Things change and we need to reinvent and change.  Today your Linkedin profile is more important than your resume.  Your first impression is not created by your Elevator Speech but by your Google presence.

There are two catalysts for reinvention based on my personal experience.  Networking and Youth.

Today’s youth surrounds technology.  You want to be immersed in technology.  Surround yourself with youth.  Ten years ago I started using college students or recent graduates as paid interns to help me with tasks.  They can’t write a blog but they can certainly find places to repurpose it in discussion groups.

I love it when some approach me and ask,” Have you ever thought of doing it this way?”  We generally start doing it that way.

Currently the look of my Word Press blog is being updated by Dalip Jaggi who is 22 year old. He recently developed a couple of mobile apps.  My YouTube videos are shot by SparkHouse in Costa Mesa.  Their CEO, Torrey Tayenaka is 25.  I make a call on my iPhone with a local 949 number.  One of my creative partners Dante Fiorini answers it.  He is in Argentina.

How did I meet Dalip and Torrey?  By networking.  Your network is your engine of reinvention.  The more diverse it is, the more opportunities for growth it can provide.  A constant pattern of networking regenerates you and puts you on new roads of discovery.

The dinosaurs that emerged from the Ice Age weren’t the ones that were the biggest or the strongest.  They were the ones that were the quickest to adapt.  Nothing’s changed.


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Watch: How to Rise Above the Crowd.



8 thoughts on “Why Reinvention is a Virtual Necessity.

  1. I like your optimism, Hank, but I don’t know if it’s really reinvention if you:

    1. Hire a 22 year old to do your WordPress blog instead of learning the WordPress platform yourself.
    2. Hire a 25 year old to shoot video for you instead of learning how to do it yourself.

    Both of these skills are obvious points on the continuum of lifelong learning in which your post implies we should be engaged. But it’s not engagement if you hire someone else to do it for you.

    I’m speaking from a long career of learning first hand how to leverage new technologies in the PR space — by doing it myself. If you rely on others to do it for you, you may not get the full perspective on exactly what the technology can do, because your view is limited by what the people you hire know about it or how best to use it.

    I carried a luggable Teleram P-1800 terminal on the helicopter that ferried me and another reporter to a 1977 Grateful Dead concert to file a music review for the Asbury Park (NJ) Press.

    In 1985 I wrestled an IBM 8100 system and its DISOSS file host into submission as a contact management system for a grassroots lobbying campaign that culminated in the 1987 initial public stock offering for Conrail – at the time the largest IPO in US history. No one at IBM had ever seen it used that way.

    In 1988 I first added an email address (76616,123 – CompuServe) to my business card. Most people didn’t even know what email was in 1988.

    In 1994 I wrote Standard & Poor’s first website in an HTML notepad program after seeing a presentation by a firm that had charged our parent company $5000 to do the same thing.

    In 2004 I learned how to do digital audio editing — and then video — when I established my award-winning podcasting consultancy.

    I did all this by learning how to use the tools, not hiring people to use them for me. I’d encourage you and your readers to think about reinvention as lifelong learning — but it’s not enough to just recognize that change is happening and let other people handle it for you.

    It only really works when you demand learning from yourself too!

    • Hello Steve:
      I can relate to ‘learning’ and as such, discovering new insights and tools, which is part of awareness & growth. Taking it a step further, my Passion is connected with helping and providing Universal Tools & Techniques for Discovering One’s Individual Skills, Techniques & Tools: Result: Empowerment! However, there is another side to this enlightenment and that is: ‘Networking.’ First, one cannot be an expertise in ‘everything and or do everything.’ The Power of Partnership: Partner with Other Creative Individuals. Pay attention to Your Own Creative Expertise and Be Open and Smart using the Expertise of Others. – Reinvent Yourself!

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