Power Players

Reinventing yourself? Self-made millionaire Barbara Corcoran and 5 other founders on how to get people to see you differently

Image credit: Mary Delaney | The Oracles

Sometimes, to progress in business and in life, you need to reinvent yourself. These successful business founders and Advisors in The Oracles have been there.

Here's their advice on how to make people see you differently and respect you:

1. Do it in stages

"If your reinvention plan includes getting a different job, first make a list of everything you liked and disliked in every job you've had. Then identify the occupations with lots of what you like and little of what you don't.

After I sold my business, it took five years to reinvent myself as a TV personality. I did it in stages. I wanted to be a business expert on TV, but I started as a visiting political consultant because it was the only job offer I had. With a little TV experience, I became a regular on ABC and later NBC as a real estate expert. Because of those experiences, I got an offer to be a judge on 'Shark Tank' and was finally able to be the business expert I had set out to become.

When you leave your job, you leave behind business contacts and friends. You'll need a new support network to help you through. You also need a fresh attitude and willingness to build that network. You don't want to be the person thinking, 'I wish I'd done that.' It's never too late to turn a page and try something new if you want a different life."

Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group, podcast host of "Business Unusual," and Shark on "Shark Tank"

2. Focus on your vocabulary and the in-between

"When we find ourselves in a rut, it's usually because we aren't mindful of our in-between and the vocabulary we use to define ourselves. What nouns and verbs do you use to describe yourself and the events of your life? Let go of the negative ones. They don't define you. You can choose to reshape your vocabulary.

Most people look at where they are and where they want to be, but not the space in between. For example, if you are not good at time management, the steps to an organized schedule are in-between. We let distractions drown out reality because we are too overwhelmed or lazy to get where we want to be. Search for a fresh perspective — not perfection."

—Jessica Mead, co-founder of EpekData and BrandLync, divisions of Mead Holdings Group Inc.; follow Jessica on Instagram

3. Learn from those who've walked your path

"I entered the Military Academy at age 13 and the Marine Corps at 17. When I left the service over a decade later, I was very direct with people. I didn't know anything different — it's how I had been trained. However, this meant I upset most people I spoke to, which made the transition to civilian life even harder.

I had to adapt my people skills and communication style. I started by learning from other veterans. Over time, with trial, error, and a lot of patience, I learned how to communicate with people who weren't like me. I appreciated other people's need for me to be more empathetic. Now, I choose clients whom I naturally relate to and don't have to adapt my personality to appease."

Patch Baker, founder and CEO of Mobius Media Solutions; former U.S. Marine, with a mission to help people leave the military today and not feel abandoned tomorrow

4. Take that first step

"After 20 years of marriage, my wife declared that we were getting a divorce. I was what you would call successful — but I didn't realize I was happy to be unhappy for the rest of my life. Complacency happens when you are so comfortable that you don't see the change happening around you. You are blind to what is real. This happens in our business and personal lives.

So at 53, I am reinventing myself, which starts with the first step: Don't just talk about it. If you want to make a change, you must do something. When you do, you start to change your behavior. When you make things happen, you create opportunity, which is how you become who you want to be. It isn't easy, but we do not achieve greatness without sacrifice or effort."

James Daily, founding partner of Daily Law Group, which helps high-profile clients with fiduciary abuse litigation, including fraud, crisis management, and business and family disputes; connect with James on LinkedIn

5. Change your appearance

"We're taught that you only get one shot at first impressions, but I believe you can get a second chance. If we judge each other on first impressions, what are we judging each other by? Our appearance. How we're branding ourselves to the world. That's why in movies, whenever a character reinvents themselves, you often see them getting a new haircut, a new wardrobe, or even a new car.

Some may call it shallow. I call it accepting the realities of life and business. If you want to reset someone's impression of you, change your appearance. They'll have to reevaluate you."

—Jason Capital, White House top 100 entrepreneur under 30, best-selling author, high-income coach, online marketing expert, and founder of High Status; connect with Jason on Instagram

6. Shed traits that don't serve you

"We need to be different people to accomplish different things throughout our lives. If no one knows who you are, you won't sell anything. When I first started in business, I walked loudly. I went over the top to stand out in the crowd. I once grabbed the mic to introduce myself at a trade show and proceeded to sing and play the piano.

I thought I was being cute, but I realized later that jumping in with inappropriate statements was probably offending people. Eventually, I needed to change that persona and become a professional. It took work to understand and improve my weaknesses so that people saw me differently. I went to counseling and entered the '40 Years of Zen' program. I embraced who I was and tried to shed the things that didn't serve me.

It didn't happen overnight. But over time, I shed the 'loud kid who doesn't listen' persona and became a professional who always listens and identifies creative ways to improve businesses. We just need to believe in ourselves and our own talents, which is easier said than done."

Craig Handley, co-founder of ListenTrust and author of "Hired to Quit, Inspired to Stay"; read more about Handley: Why These Founders Train Their Employees to Quit

Want to share your insights in a future article? Join The Oracles, a mastermind group of the world's leading entrepreneurs who share their success strategies to help others grow their businesses and build better lives. Apply here. For more articles like this, follow The Oracles on Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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