Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A new national motto?

“What were they thinking?”

It could be the new national motto, replacing E Pluribus Unum.

Brainless and stupid acts pop up on a regular and recurring basis.

• Pizza company employees videotape themselves doing despicable things to food, then upload the video to YouTube.

• The White House military office approves a photo opportunity project that sends a 747 and an Air Force jet fighter to circle around the Statue of Liberty, panicking thousands of people in New York and New Jersey.

• Bankers, hedge fund managers and financial “experts” spin up new financial “products” that are impossible to understand, sell them to people who can’t afford them, and create an avalanche of defaults that melts down the global economy.

• Tens of thousands of people and institutions entrust their savings, endowments and investments to Bernie Madoff, who runs a Ponzi scheme for 20-plus years, wipes out billions of dollars, and wrecks innumerable lives.

• Celebrities get arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, deny all charges, then enroll in anger management classes.

• Star athletes inject themselves with steroids, balloon up to twice their normal size, break records, then say, Who, me?

What are you thinking right now? If the recession has you recessed, or the depression has you depressed, what are you doing about it? Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself?

No, you’re not, because you’re reading this and you’re thinking about reinventing yourself into a new job, a new career, a new life! That’s really good!

You’re about to reboot into something new and exciting. And even more good news: Five, 10, 15 years from now, you won’t have to look back on yourself in the year 2009 and say, “What was I thinking?”

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It’s time to reboot, America!

I’m looking for people who have reinvented themselves. Or are in the process of doing so.

If you’re one of these people, I’m looking for you, because I’d like to tell your story on
www.rebootyou.com, the website for personal reinvention.

There has never been a time when so many Americans needed to reinvent themselves, pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start all over again. President Obama said it in his inaugural address, and 100 days later the situation is even worse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the recession began in December 2007, 5.1 million jobs have been lost, with almost two-thirds (3.3 million) of the decrease occurring in the last 5 months. In March, the number of unemployed persons increased by 694,000 to 13.2 million. Job losses were large and widespread across the major industry sectors.

Here are the people I’m looking for, the rebooters, men and women who have:

• Gone back to school to learn new skills and better prepare yourself for a new job and or a new career.
• Started your own business – such as a restaurant, a manufacturing company, a software company, services, consulting, art, photography, crafts, – any new enterprise that you are creating from the chaos of our current economic mess.
• Changed jobs or careers voluntarily
• Changed jobs or careers after an involuntary separation, loss of job, downsizing, “early retirement” before you were ready, or other unexpected event
• Become a volunteer at a non-profit, a church or synagogue, a community organization, a school
• Signed up to serve in an organization like the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps

Your story is worth telling because you are taking charge of your life and taking care of yourself and your loved ones. Your story might well be an inspiration to others who are stymied, on the fence or undecided about what to do.

Drop me a line at
leecallaway@rebootyou.com. I’ll get back in touch and together we’ll get your story written to your satisfaction.

It’s time to reboot, America!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I’d love to reboot, but…

RebootYou.com received the following letter from a visitor to the site. With that person’s permission, I am reprinting it here because it seems to mirror the situation of so many people:

I would love to reinvent myself.

I have teaching degrees in English and Art but only taught HS English for a few months, quit to have my first child. I then was a stay at home Mom for 12 years raising 3 children.

When I went back to work I did it in the office arena. Not much fun there.

I love computers though, self taught everything I know on them, PC and Mac. Almost a geek!!

But the problem is money. How does one reboot without money? All the computer degrees, certificates or courses cost a lot.

My husband still works and although he barely makes enough to pay our bills, I do not qualify for any type of low-income training or scholarships.

So here I sit watching my life go by very rapidly without finding out what could have been.

My gut tells me that there are a lot of people today feeling the same way and experiencing the same kind of frustration. Here’s a summary of what I wrote in reply:

You know how to write. You are a self starter. You are a self-teacher and passionate about learning. You take initiative. Perhaps the most important attribute of all, you want to reinvent yourself.

I disagree that all courses cost a lot. I bet you could find some reasonably priced instruction at community colleges or community centers. Here are a couple of ideas to explore:

1. Go back to school – somewhere, anywhere.
2. Think about going back into teaching.
3. Look for writing jobs.
4. Start a blog.
5. Take time to dig through
www.rebootyou.com more thoroughly. As I say on the home page, there's a lot of good stuff there, and something may inspire you.

Simple recommendations. Easy for me to say. Harder to do, especially in today’s real world. I hope they work for this potential rebooter. Maybe they will work for you, too.

Rebooting yourself may not be easy, but it’s not impossible, either. Wanting to do it is the first step. Doing it, though, is what counts.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Necessity – the mother of reinvention

David Brooks, writing in the New York Times the other day, said that General Motors for 30 years has been not in the car business, but in the restructuring business.

“For all these years,” Brooks wrote, “GM’s market share has endured a long, steady slide. But this has not stopped the waves of restructuring. The PowerPoints have flowed and always there has been the promise that with just one more cost-cutting push, sustainability nirvana will be at hand.”

And yet the company’s latest restructuring plan, along with that of Chrysler, was rejected this week by the Obama Administration’s auto task force. GM was given a 60-day extension and Chrysler 30 days to make one try at restructuring on their own. The restructuring saga will continue, at least for a while.

Winston Churchill said famously, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few,” speaking of the RAF’s valiant efforts in the Battle of Britain. Today, with our manifold debts – including the national debt -- rising out of sight and the government printing money like it was going out of style, one might say, “Never have so many owed so much to so many.” And never have so many had such great need to restructure, reinvent and reboot themselves. We’re all in a mess, and we need to dig our way out of the biggest hole we’ve been in for decades.

The phrase, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” means that “a need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem.” If necessity is the mother of invention, surely it is also the mother of reinvention. And we’ve got about all the necessity we need right now.