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Unleashed E68: Erica Ehm - The Art of Re-Invention

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With so much emphasis placed on finding your career and sticking to it, a pivot or reinvention can feel challenging. However, having to switch directions is incredibly common – and it can be a fantastic opportunity if we embrace the change rather than resist it. With persistence and an openness to innovation, we can find success in any endeavor. In the ever-evolving landscape of business, staying on the path often means not just forging ahead but also being ready to adapt and pivot when necessary. 

Actions You Can Take Right Now

  1. Build relationships wherever possible. Your network is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal. Even if a potential client turns you down, establish a relationship – because their ‘no’ now may become a ‘yes’ later, and every connection has something valuable to offer.  

  2. Be willing to break out of the typical career path. You may need to get an interim job so that you are financially supported while you pivot to something new. Be open to jobs that aren’t necessarily at your level of seniority. Find something that aligns with the direction you are heading.  

  3. Invest in innovation and creativity. Encourage your team to bring new ideas to the table, and when they do, actually implement those ideas to demonstrate your commitment to innovation.  
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Episode Highlights and Excerpts

  • In your journey to success, many situations will cross your path that you fear or feel anxious about. Focus on the opportunity and allow it to outweigh the fear. Adopt the mindset of, “I just have to do it because the opportunity is too great.”

  • Don’t stay in a workplace where you are unappreciated. It is far better to take the leap and find something new than stay where you are not valued. 

  • You may need to pivot at times throughout your career. An opportunity ending is not a death sentence for your career; it is a chance to reinvent yourself and embrace new challenges. 

  • Avoid romanticizing the idea of reinvention. You will likely need to get a job while you are figuring everything out – and that is okay. It’s important to be financially secure as you search for your next pivot. 
    • Getting an interim job will allow you to feel productive and restore a bit of lost confidence. 
    • The level of seniority does not matter. You may be accustomed to seeing certain jobs as below you, especially if you have worked in more senior roles – but ladder climbing is not the priority here. 

  • Spend some time searching for companies that align with your values or contribute to a cause you want to support. Find an organization within the industry you want to enter, then start from the bottom to get your foot in the door. 

  • Think about what lights you up. What do you love to do? Who do you love to do it alongside? From there, you can look for industries, roles, and niches where you would be able to embrace what lights you up. 

  • One of the biggest determining factors that separates success from everybody else is what you're unwilling to do – not what you’re willing to do. 

  • Reach out to people in your network and simply ask for what you want or need. Suggest your ideas to people who may find them appealing. The more you ask, the greater chance you have of getting a ‘yes.’

  • If you are a leader, invest in a culture of innovation and creativity. Find ways to inspire, require your team to come up with novel ideas – and then, within those ideas that are presented, do some of them.
  • Leverage micro innovation. Instead of pressuring yourself to make drastic, groundbreaking changes, make small improvements that accumulate into impressive results. 

  • Inspire creativity in your team. Don’t just entertain new ideas for the sake of it; actually implement some of the suggestions your team makes and demonstrate your commitment to innovation.

  • Entrust your team with the vision for your company. Keep people in the loop. Be open about what’s working and what isn’t, as well as your goals for the organization and how they are progressing. 

  • Never make assumptions about why certain strategies aren’t working. Assumptions shut down good ideas prematurely. 
    • For instance, you may assume that a subscription is selling poorly because no one is interested – but it may be that people are looking for a couple more inclusions to justify the cost, which you could easily add. 
    • Instead, be bold enough to ask for feedback. Send a survey to find out exactly why people aren’t buying. Surveying your customers is helpful, but asking your non-customers can be even more insightful in many ways. 

  • Allow your company to evolve without clinging onto anything to strongly. If something needs to change, let it. If someone introduces a novel idea, entertain it. A business that does not evolve with the changing world around it will die. 

  • Businesses are either youthful or aged, and they usually go from youthful to aging when they bring in too many administrators and too many bureaucrats. Maintain a sense of purpose within your organization at all costs. 

  • Since people acquire power through their own personal achievements, we naturally begin to measure success this way as well – but this should not be a leader’s focal point. 
    • The mark of a good leader is not what they've personally achieved, but how they've led people to achieve and be their best. 
    • Focus less on your own achievements and more on equipping your team members to succeed. 

  • There is no shame in failure. We naturally overestimate how much people are scrutinizing our actions, but usually, people are just looking at themselves. The only shame is in not acknowledging what you're learning from the failure.
  • Everyone encounters resistance throughout their career. You cannot control circumstances; however, you can control your response to things that happen. Work hard, be persistent, and continue to do what you love. 

  • Focus on building relationships. If someone says ‘no,’ this does not have to exclude them from your network. Build rapport with everyone regardless of whether they become a client or not. A ‘no’ may become a ‘yes’ later down the track. 

Take Your Business to the Next Level

At Results we care about your success, we understand how overwhelming it can feel to run a business, and we’re here to help. Reach out to Nicole through our contact form for ways to unleash the potential of your business. 

Visit the Unleashed Podcast Library where you’ll find exclusive conversations with world-class thought leaders, authors, and leadership experts. 

Each episode of Unleashed is hosted by Results’ CEO Jeff Tetz who spends most of his day exploring what makes high performers tick and helping build a community of leaders who want to learn and grow together. Follow Jeff (Twitter; LinkedIn; Instagram) for more great leadership insights.

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Erica Ehm


Erica Ehm is a keynote speaker, writer, entrepreneur, journalist, musician, and innovator. She has spent three decades in the public eye – as one of the first VJs on MuchMusic, then as a record label owner, published author and TV host, and then moving into TV writing with her show Yummy Mummy. Erica went on to found the Yummy Mummy Club and later Ehm & Co. She now speaks to entrepreneurs about what it means to be innovators and disruptors.

You can learn more at Erica's website