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The Art of Re-inventing

With my birthday coming up yet again, the standard questions arise. I always ask myself, how is my life going, could I be more successful, make more money? Could I be a better husband and father, a better friend? Could I do more in my work life? When my birthday rolls around I question everything. Dr. Phil says, "is it working for you?" Good question. I ask myself, can I do more? What more could I do for everyone in my life? What more is there? Maybe it's an opportune time to slow everything down and take a good hard look. Maybe it's not how can I do more, maybe it's what I can do differently?

My business is an incredibly important part of my life. I spend more time at the office than anywhere else, but it's a passion for what I do that keeps me there. This article is about my work, so I ask the question, could I re-invent myself so that I can maximize the impact of my life's experiences and all my business experiences? Can I use this information to work smarter and be more effective?

With the passing of Super Bowl week, I'm reminded of how athletes are forced to reinvent themselves. The two teams that made it to the Super Bowl put in all they had to make it to this year's event. How do these teams re-invent themselves each year, starting with a clean slate and working towards the end game like it was the first time. It always starts with spring training, a time for growth and renewal. With my birthday coming, it's starting to feel like spring again, and I think I need to re-invent myself too.

The Bankcard industry is the industry I've chosen to make my business mark in life. It gives me the freedom I want to make choices for my family and myself. It provides me the standard of living I've come to enjoy: a safe neighborhood, a nice car, the little stuff that makes you comfortable. All things considered, it's a great life. But it's just when we become too complacent, a little too comfortable, that our talents and our effectiveness begin to slip. Could I have a more productive life from a business standpoint? Could I make more money so I could do more for my family? Could I someday arrive at my own personal Super Bowl? The answer is yes, yes and yes.

For me, the Super Bowl of business means having no financial worries for my family or myself for the years ahead. It means having the respect of my business peers, and it means enjoying the many fruits of one's labor. The Super Bowl of business is different for everyone. Personal rewards and goals are unique to the individual. If I'm going to achieve this goal, then I must make some changes and I must be willing to try new things, venture out of my comfort zone. I must understand that rewards carry a price of commitment, and there may be a little sweat involved with this re-inventing.

Where do I start? Well, first I take a step back and observe the leaders in my industry. What are the leaders doing to get to the top? I'll review the things that I'm doing differently, and consider how they might make me less effective in my daily life. I'll examine the little things that truly waste my time and are unproductive. I'll shake things up and look under every rock to make sure that my personal audit is done with all the facts. I want to look at relationships, family, friends and business associates: what ideas can the people close to me share that will help me be a better family man, friend, and manager. I figure, if I'm going to audit myself then I better do my homework. What don't I know that I should know? I'll have to be brutally honest here. Is there something I've avoided learning or attempting for fear of failure? What are the real fears holding me back?

Once I've done all my research and gathered all the facts, I'll be ready to chart a course for progress. I'll be ready to reinvent myself, a little stronger, a little smarter, and a little closer to my Super Bowl. Who knows, maybe this is the year I make it to the big game...