Swim With the Sharks

My mother, a seasoned sales professional, is obsessed with ABC’s Shark Tank so I’ll occasionally watch the show with her. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, the sharks are self-made millionaires and billionaires, investors and entrepreneurs who came up with brilliant business ideas. When pitched new products on the show by average people, sharks can choose to invest their money in the growing business.

Shark Barbara Corcoran recently wrote on LinkedIn about how to reinvent oneself in a new career. While the application to one’s career is clear, it can also help in life in general. Knowing that someone who is so wildly successful had the thought process to write down these things that I could so easily relate to is enlightening, not to mention very reassuring.

No reinvention required, just repackaging. Re-branding. I know so many people who have completely transformed themselves over the past few years during and even after college – whether it was a new haircut, dramatic weight loss, new interests, relocation, or yes, a totally new career. You’re still the same person, but the presentation might be slightly different.

“Forgive me if I try to change.” A lyric from one of my favorite songs by my absolute favorite band Yellowcard, making a big change could very well alienate people you were once very close to. Relocating could put strains on friendships that once seemed strong. As we grow older, we develop into the adults we’re going to be and evolve from the young people we once were. In the process, we may grow apart from those with whom we used to be close. I think that’s one we can all relate to.

Success doesn’t happen overnight. Barbara mentions starting out small and growing into fulfilling her large-scale, ultimate goal when rebuilding her persona, but it’s important to realize this for any goal you set in life. I have a big-picture dream for myself and my career. But it’s never going to happen unless I set a smaller, attainable goal for myself to get me on the road to that dream destination. The idea of setting a lot of smaller goals in order to achieve a bigger one is a good way to inspire oneself to keep on keeping on.

As someone who is still figuring out her place in the world (cue that quarter-life existential crisis), hearing words of wisdom and insight from people who have been in a similar place is beyond helpful and inspiring. In the moment, you likely won’t be able to see what’s in front of you for what it really is, but all of that clears up when you’re glancing back.


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