The Rules Of Reinvention

In April 2004, Joy Harris and DaWayne Brashear became co-owners of Edit Interiors, a Bloomfield, New Jersey, company specializing in interior architecture and design. Determined to make the business a success, the pair enrolled in an intense four-session seminar to help clarify their business goals. In the process, they found out a lot about themselves, too.

Offered by the Miami-based Reinvention Institute (www.rein, led by CEO and Chief Vision Officer Pamela Mitchell, the Reinvention BootCamp: Career seminar helps individuals zone in on their career transformation. “In working with and coaching people, you’re shepherding them from having [their wants] be a dream to making them a reality,” says Mitchell.

The seminar came at the right time for Harris: “I was more resolute in what I did want, because I was surrounded by so much of what I didn’t want.” Harris, 44, a former hairstylist and salon owner from New Jersey, says the impetus to take on interior design came from several factors, including her father’s death and her impending divorce.

At the same time, Brashear was starting to recognize his own need for change. Prior to co-founding Edit Interiors, Brashear worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines. He barely missed being on one of the planes used in the 9-11 attacks. Later laid off, Brashear struggled for two years to survive financially, mentally, and physically. “I was 30 pounds overweight and didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do or who I was,” he recalls.

By the time the two started working with Mitchell, both were “very, very committed to making change happen and very open about what they needed to work through in order to get there,” Mitchell recalls.

Exercises such as creating a scrapbook of their ideal life; brainstorming a list of the 10 best jobs for them; and defining whether money represents happiness, power, or security helped the duo pinpoint objectives and eliminate barriers. Now, with more than 30 completed projects to date and fiscal year 2006 revenues at $400,000, the two have successfully forged ahead. Harris and the now-slimmer Brashear are two individuals who recognized the need to reinvent themselves and sought out the means to do so.

There is a lot of value in taking stock of your life. If you know you need a change but you’re stuck, then it’s probably time for reinvention. Such a transformation could be mental, spiritual, physical, or all of the above. For some, it’s working at jobs they hate but staying because the jobs fit their lifestyle or others’ expectations. For others, it’s feeling trapped in a loveless, or worse yet, abusive relationship without a clue about how to escape. Then there’s the weighty issue that plagues many of us: figuring out how to lose the last 20, 30, or 40 pounds.

Your ideal life doesn’t come conveniently packaged in a bottle. “To step out of your comfort zone and trust that you’re going to build something is an enormous feat,” says Mitchell. The only way to get where you want