There is no doubt that reinvention expert, Marquesa Pettway is in the right line of work. When you mention the word reinvention to her, you can feel her energy and enthusiasm. It is electrifying, not to mention contagious. So often, I hear women say that they feel stuck, they want to change career paths, or try something new to invigorate their lives but they don’t know how to get started. Basically, they want to reinvent themselves. So I was excited to have a conversation with Pettway about just that.
RDD: What is reinvention, what does it encompass?
Marquesa: Reinvention is a part of your growth. It takes you from one level to another. It’s a transition. The question is how am I growing from one level to another?
RDD: How do you help people in this process? What is your role?
Marquesa: People call me in and I help them identify what steps they need to take.
RDD: So is there a process to reinvention?
Marquesa: Basically, there are 6 steps to the reinvention process. I teach them in my program, The You Factor. They are the 6 R’s.
- Reflection. This is the step where you identify your VIP-vision, identity and purpose, by asking yourself questions. What are your strengths? What do people compliment you on?What am I good at? What is a constant block? She explains what she means by “block”. For example, do you love your work but hate the paperwork involved. Do you allow the dread of paper work keep you from moving forward with what you’re naturally good at doing. If so, that is a block. Weak spots can become barriers.
- Redefine. What is your GPS for your life. You need to know where you are going.
- Re-focus. Literally write out timeline and priorities. For example, if you want to go back to school for your MBA, you need to address the following before hand: How much will it cost? How will you get the money needed for tuition? How long will it take? Does your family support your decision?How will this choice impact your life? How will it fit in with your priorities. People should only have 3 priorities at a maximum and those should be ordered. Which priority will come first?
- Re-commit. Many people start the process but don’t finish. You must be committed. Make a personal contract and ask people (not family) who will be supportive to co-sign it. Ask them to hold you accountable.
- Re-energize. You may get exhausted or overwhelmed. It is very important to have fans, cheerleaders and mentors, she calls them “energizer bunnies” to keep you going. Also, people who are already doing what you would like to do are good. She’s also very candid about the fact that sometimes you may need to take a break. Don’t let your business or professional endeavors to take over your life.
- Reinventing. After you have completed the preceding 5 steps, you’re there. You’ve reinvented. Now you start the process over.
RDD: So should you ever stop?
Marquesa: [laughs] Only when you die.
RDD: On this site, I often mention not losing yourself to your circumstances. How does one reinvent themselves when basically their circumstances will not change.
Marquesa: The first thing is to acknowledge the circumstances. ”I’m in debt. I’m in trouble, etc.” Then, you must eat your pride and ask for help. Take some time to figure out how you got there, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes. You need to develop the mindset that you will not be defeated. A lot of us don’t reinvent because of fear. Look at yourself and make a decision. Your mom or your boyfriend can’t do it for you. They can’t believe it for you. You also need to re-examine your relationships. Look at who really has a front row seat in your life and play musical chairs. Put the right folks in those chairs. Your inner circle has the most influence. Take personal responsibility. If you’ve failed, turn around and get back up.