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Op-Ed: Botox for the Mind – Now’s the Time to Reinvent Yourself from the Inside Out

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By Marylyn Schwartz

RISMEDIA, October 25, 2010—As a result of the state of the economy, many plastic surgery wannabes are opting for less invasive procedures such as fillers, Botox and laser treatments. We’ve spent millions of dollars on reinventing our outsides, and now many of us are dealing with how to reinvent the inside. That requires a change of thinking and attitude. It’s a case of giving ourselves a check up from the neck up.

While many have carved out successful careers and have enjoyed the perks we so richly deserved, the economy has forced us to put on the brakes. As a professional speaker and trainer within the sales industry, I know all too well how hard my industry has felt the pain.

One might logically deduce that in tough times, ensuring that a company’s sales team is performing at their optimum capabilities would be crucial for survival. Sadly, that it is not the case. The first cutbacks that occur are often related to education, conferences and conventions.

Three months ago, while I was recovering from knee surgery, a dear friend (well aware of the challenges within the real estate industry) asked me what I would like to do for the rest of my career. Considering the fact that my credit card companies and mortgage holder would not take kindly to the prospect of non-payment, I had been asking myself that very same question.

I am a firm believer that the more options one has, the greater are the chances for ongoing success. What do I love doing and am passionate about? That answer came easily…I cook. I cook when I’m upset, happy, bored, confused—I love to cook; and I am a very good cook. Didn’t I hear somewhere that if one does what they love, the money will follow? Could I start a new business in the midst of a tough economy? Could I do that while still maintaining my current business? How many hours are there in a day?

The fact was that six months earlier, I became a Weight Watchers leader. This has been a foray into very uncharted territory, and it turned out to be just what was needed to recharge and feel the excitement that comes from learning and changing.

So, why not start another business and let the chips fall where they may? I kept asking myself, what’s the worst that can happen? Having decided that doing something works, and doing nothing doesn’t, and my willingness to live with the consequences no matter how dire, I felt the fear and did it anyway.

From that fateful conversation in my living room to the actual launch, my little idea took two months and a couple of thousand dollars to become a reality. Enter Juste Hors D’Oeuvres.

What have I learned from jumping into the fray, so to speak? Powerful things: One is never too old to begin anew. It’s invigorating to let go of debilitating poor-me thinking. There is no certainty, so get over it and get started. And, if you can’t take the fall, don’t take the ride. With utter certainty, I tell you that taking a risk and going for something you’ve always dreamed of doing but skirted (for untold numbers of reasons) is better than any cosmetic procedure (and I speak from personal experience).

In 2008, I lost my only child, Clayton. I believed that my race had been run, and there really would be nothing worth looking forward to again. I was wrong. People told me that things would return to normal one day. That’s untrue on so many levels. Things cannot return to normal. The reality is that you get to create a new normal. What was will never be again.

Each day I would consciously choose between hope and despair. Some days the latter won out. Most days it did not. Now, thirty-two months later, I am whipping up tasty hors d’oeuvres, having joyous dinner parties with my friends, working with my clients to grow their businesses and helping them to thrive in these tough times while discovering what it is to be still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.

If these words resonate with you because you must make life-changing decisions in order to survive or have been hoping to achieve some seemingly unreachable goal, and you feel time is rapidly running out, follow the best advice that Nike ever gave us all—Just Do It.

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