This morning I stumbled upon an article that really challenged me. No, it was not an article on leadership or anything that pertained to self-improvement. It was an article about ten successful businesses that have had to reinvent themselves. In fact, a few of the businesses mentioned have had to reinvent themselves several times over. They were faced with the challenge of meeting the needs and desires of an ever changing culture and forced with having to make the decision to either reinvent themselves or keep things the same and risk dying.
The article mentioned the company Nintendo that was founded in 1889 as a playing card company. In 1949, the founder of Nintendo suffered a stroke and his 22 year old grandson took over. Over the next 63 years, the grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi, would lead Nintendo into becoming the most successful gaming company in the world. They became known for making toys as well as gaming consoles. In 1980, they created the first arcade version of the widely popular Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong featured a character who would be later known as Mario. In 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console arrived in the US. This console featured the game Super Mario Brothers. As we all know, Super Mario Bros. was very successful. In fact, it became the best-selling video game franchise of the next 30 years.
The article also mentioned American Express, Western Union, Nokia, National Geographic, and even Shell. However, perhaps the most notable company of our current technology era that was mentioned in this article was Apple. They not only praised Apple for reinventing itself. They have gone as far as to say that Apple has reinvented the reinvention business. Essentially, they did not invent any of the products they are known for today such as all in one PC’s, lightweight laptops, hand-held devices, and even smartphones. They have simply taken those good ideas and made them great. They added their Zen-like design and advanced touchscreen technology to revolutionize the gadget industry.
Now what do any of the reinventions of these companies have to do with me? I’m glad you’ve asked. The answer is–absolutely nothing! It’s not the information about the companies that has challenged me. It’s the concept of reinventing. These companies simply took realistic looks at where they were. They looked at where they wanted to be. Then, they did honest assessments about the gaps between where they were and where they wanted to be. After the assessments, they had to devise plans to close the gaps. They had to make big, bold moves in order to be successful. They had to be willing to work toward new identities. They threw away their brands, reputations, and in many ways, their customer bases in order to start over. Although they went through lean years and cut backs, they all eventually landed on ideas that would position them to better serve the information age. Please allow me to share a few ideas with you on how we as men can do like these companies and reinvent ourselves.
Do an Honest Assessment
The worst thing you could ever do is not be honest with yourself. If you are dishonest with yourself, you’re doomed to stay where you are. In being honest with yourself, you have to ask yourself several questions. (This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of questions)
- Why do I want to reinvent myself? In other words, what is it that I don’t like about myself?
- Where am I in comparison to where I want to be?
- What is the circumstance/mindset that has caused me to not like where I am?
- What changes do I need to make (no matter how drastic) to get to where I want to be?
Embrace the Right Kind of Fear
Making drastic changes is scary. What if nobody embraces the changes? What if I make the wrong decision? Listen, there will always be uncertainty when it comes to reinventing yourself. Humans often fear the unknown. Here’s the deal though. You already know that if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, the outcome is unfavorable. We must fear the end result associated with staying where we are MORE than we fear the changes associated with reinventing ourselves.
Sometimes you don’t know what works until you try it. These businesses tried several things before they landed on the ideas that worked for them. Explore your passions. Soberly identify your talents. As the Bible says, spend time making your calling and election sure. Step out of your box and comfort zone. You may just find a “you” that you didn’t know existed- a you who has been dying to be exposed.
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full- time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 11 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.