Reinvention after twenty + years. How?
I went to pick my daughter up from after school karate one day. After parking and braving the coldest day of the year to get inside, I was met by one of the young staff. We sparked up a light conversation while I waited for my daughter to switch out of her uniform. As we started talking, I asked him if he was going to college. He said he was and he was pursuing music. He said he always wanted to be a musician. He asked if I went to college and I said I did as I subsequently listed all the education I pursued. The second I ended my list I had an epiphany and blurted out “I want to be a journalist next.” I like writing; let me restate…I love writing. A second career as a writer or journalist intrigued me and I wanted something different for once in over twenty years.
My brand since 1993 has been a servant to the nation; whether as a soldier or in law enforcement. My education supported my career of protecting the homeland and enforcing its laws. It seemed like every training class I took, every book I read, everyone I talked to revolved around the military or law enforcement. Not a bad thing, but what was I giving back to my military and law enforcement brothers and sisters?
The moment I blurted out in “real life” to someone that I wanted to write, specifically write as a journalist, or investigative journalist as I eluded to, something changed inside. From that moment forward I started reevaluating my brand. A brand is your image, the way others perceive you, how you market yourself, etc. My brand to this point was the farthest from journalist that you could imagine. I was just a spoke in the wheel of a big conglomerate called the United States government. It’s time to rebuild my brand to something that more aligns with my post-forty thinking.
So we are reinventing ourselves, coming up with a new brand, moving to the next phase of our lives. How do we do that? That is the question. What do you plan to do next? Do you stay on your safe path?
Me (below) at the beginning. 1993, Fort Carson, Colorado, 4th Infantry Division.