Reinvention Lessons from Taylor Swift

Okay, don’t be a hater because I have the musical tastes of a 14 year-old girl.  I have followed Taylor Swift’s career closely not just because I like her music, but because of her business acumen!

Tay Tay may not be your cup of tea, but it’s predicted this week that she will have sold more albums in 7 days than any other artist or band — including Beyonce, Katy Perry, Coldplay and Pharrell — has sold in the last 300 days.

But that’s not even my point.  She launched onto the country music scene at age 14 and has managed, almost seamlessly, to CHANGE LANES into pop music. She has reinvented brilliantly where many artists’ attempts have not gone nearly so well.

So is reinvention worth it?  And if so, how do we go about it?

My good friend and business partner Joe Calloway has reinvented himself more times than I can count; and based on his success and longevity I’d say – REINVENTION IS NOT ONLY WORTH IT, IT’S REQUIRED.

[Tweet “Reinvention is not only worth it, it ‘s required @janeatkinson”]

Benefits of Reinvention:

  1. Gets you back to your market with something new and fresh
  2. Keeps you excited about your work, continually evolving
  3. Allows you to grow as an expert who speaks

How often you reinvent is going to be up to you.  I’m guessing my business changes about every 3 years.  That means the website gets refreshed, I add new products or services, or perhaps write a new book.  Writing a book is a terrific way to reinvent.

The goal is not that we throw away everything we know, but that we take it to the next level, spin it around, turn it upside down and shake up our content.

How many years have you been in the business, and how many times have you reinvented?  We’d like to hear from you in the comments below.

See you soon Wealthy Speakers!

PS: Need help with your reinvention? Check out our Focus 40 session

  • yellohauthentic

    Noticed Taylor cleverly named the album “1989” – the year I graduated high school. Her clothes and styling are also reminiscent of that time. Super smart to target another generation.

    • speakerlauncher

      It’s ironic that our message was about reinvention since someone so young would rarely be required to reinvent! But she is a good role model for doing it seamlessly. Cheers!

  • Jane

    I have made 5 Major Big Life Career changes in my almost 4 decades of business.

    My first major change was from teaching to joining Bell Canada as a Salesperson.

    After close to 7 years at Bell I decided to become an entrepreneur. My first attempt was to found a Training and Development consulting firm. It flopped. I then started doing technical consulting for major telecom users.

    My technical consulting experience identified that telecom users needed the Power of choice. At the time Bell had a virtual monopoly in telecom That led me to specialize in regulation – I had to learn all about regulation and regulatory agencies – I was fortunate my first major client was the Ontario Hospital Association. They funded many of my regulatory projects. We were successful in convincing the CRTC to permit people top own their only telephone instruments and business telephone systems. From there I began the deregulation of long distance and local telephone service. My motto was give the Consumer the power of Choice.

    My regulatory experience led me me to focus on Strategy Consulting – again a big learning curve. It was actually one of my clients who in an off handed comment remarked that I was one of the best strategist he had worked with. So in the mid ’90s I began my Management Consulting career.

    During my regulatory years I was giving lots of speeches and presentations. One day I saw an article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that talked about how some speakers are making millions – the article mentioned NSA. I joined NSA that year and continue to be a member. For several years I spoke in order to promote my Strategy consulting.

    Joining NSA was the beginning of one more new career. It took me several years to make the plunge to what I am currently doing. I am currently migrating to being an author of business books, I have a book in progress. i am also moving my speaking to the front burner as a paid speaker. I have landed several paid gigs in the last 12 months. When people ask me how things are going I say fine I wrote 800 more words today. I tell everyone I am an author of business books – it is about stating a commitment and also about burning my bridge to the past.

    What have I learned:

    1. You need staying power – which means financially you have to have several fall back plans. I have 3 rental house that provide me with enough income to keep trucking

    2. Pay attention things will walk by your front door that you need to look at closely – the article in the Wall Street Journal is an example – or the comment from one of my client’s about my strategy skills.- be opportunistic

    3. Keep focused on your end goal but be prepared to change or alter the goal as reality changes

    4. Maintain a strong people network – my network keep me going during the lean years – remember to receive you have to give – always give more than you receive

    5. When you are contemplating making a change burn your bridges to the past – I made the mistake in 2004 of not immediately moving to becoming an author and public speaker – I lingered for almost a decade fearful that if I burned my last career I might not make it to my next career. Burning your bridges makes it mandatory that you be successful – it is part of my success

    6. Media – I am an Expert Business Author who speaks – to fulfill my goal I need market presence – the best way to get market presence is by appearing in the media. I do TV interviews, Radio (CBC Syndication), and print media – I have a target of being on National TV, Radio and or print media at least once per week. I have also begun focusing on social media. I have a Blog I post to LinkedIn and Twitter at least once per day. I will be revising my web site.


    • speakerlauncher

      Wow Eamon! That’s a LOT of information. Congratulations on your reinventions.

  • Dina Lynch Eisenberg

    I’ve reinvented myself many times throughout my 20 years as an entrepreneur. I call it ‘constellation career’ because I’ve had various starring roles as an attorney, mediator, Ombuds which all make me a better Idea to Implementation coach in the end.

    Reinvention is necessary for the reasons you mention and because it keeps us excited and engaged for what comes next- so important for midlife entrepreneurs. I help my clients repurpose their speeches into best selling products, which helps them confidently move into new markets and create revenue that supports their speaking.

    I am a recent Taylor fan, as much for her new song (Shake) as her business acumen. Who says you can’t be nice and savvy? Thanks Jane for reminding me good ideas come from everywhere.

    • speakerlauncher

      Thanks for sharing Dina!! I think we should all have “Shake it Off” as our anthem for when things don’t go exactly right.

  • David Majore

    David Majore. So very true about reinventing our self, even be for I seen this site I was telling people I know and people I was getting to know in the business of motivational speaking I my self was reinventing the wheel in my life. So neat how things come together and sites like this confirm my journey is on the right track.