You CAN Reinvent Yourself

The biggest problem I hear from my friends over 50 is: “What next?”

Let me reassure you that you are not alone. In fact, there comes a time in one’s career and life that the passion we had at the beginning shifts. The shift can be in any direction; however it seems that there is a growing sense of fear, desperation and a sense of limitations when the shift feels stalled.

I know, having experienced the shift (a few times), and I have finally figured it out for myself. In my life, I was a “Hamptons to Hollywood Gift Bag Guru” (go to Madison & Mulholland:, a successful Beauty/Internet Public Relations executive with my own firm in Manhattan, a former producer at Good Morning America, Dow Jones, Regis Philbin and Entertainment Tonight, and have recently gone for my fourth act: A partner in a new company, OpenEDUTalk, which connects celebrities, athletes, author and speakers to classrooms worldwide via Skype  ( In addition, I’m on the faculty at NYU’s Fashion Institute of Technology and recently wrote and released the e-book 52 Things U Want to Know So U Don’t End Up On Your Parent’s Couch (check out my website: and an expert in creating online passive income (Phew!).

Here, my seven ideas to fast track yourself onto the “What next?” stage of your life.

1. Positioning Yourself + Mindset

Make a decision that you are excited about this next phase (hint: pretend if you have to). Start saying to yourself (and the universe and anyone else who might be listening)

“Show me what to do next” or “I am completely open to new ideas and if anyone (or the universe) is listening bring it on…. and let me be wise enough to recognize what my next step should be.” Or you can say, “I’m open to receiving what is best for me.” Certainly the words are your own, but you get the idea.

You can start changing your feelings by changing your mindset. You want to transition from feeling desperate about where you’re at now…. to being excited. This process actually raises your internal and external energy level.

2. Reality Check

Make a list of five to ten things that put you into the “Zone.” I’m a painter, so when I’m painting or teaching, I get into a place I love and time ceases to exist. This is when I know I’m in complete alignment with what I should be doing.

3. Check your list to see if any patterns emerge. Be creative. Patterns are just repetitive “themes.” For example, if “travel” or “talking or teaching” keeps coming up for you…take note.

4. When you hit that sweet-spot, where something feels intuitively “right” or in alignment, start researching that idea or that area of interest. Make a detailed list of your skills and expertise.

5. Connect the dots. Sit down and look at your strengths and how they can fit into the kind of industry that you want to work in with the expert abilities you already possess. If you’re thinking, “What skills do I possess?” ask others as they might be able to enlighten you to the things that you are great at.

There is a way for you to begin a new life — and make money by offering your expertise to others. The question is: Can you “spin or tweak” your skill set to fit your area of interest?

6. Network like hell. Ask everyone you know in that area how they feel your skill set could be an asset. What comes easy to you can be extremely difficult and painful for others. Your skill set can solve other people’s problems.

7. Do not listen to negative people, or those mini negative little voices in your head or to anyone else who wants to sabotage your dreams.  You must create boundaries and say to yourself, “I will not allow anyone into my life that does not love me or respect me.” (Put on “Torch Song Trilogy” by Harvey Fierstein if you need some motivation.)

Final Thought: If you don’t do it today, you’ll be sorry in the morning, or the next day, or the day after that. Time is the one thing you cannot get back.

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You CAN Reinvent Yourself was last modified: by

Jane Ubell-Meyer

Jane Ubell-Meyer

Jane Ubell-Meyer is a partner and Executive VP of, an organization (non-profit status pending) which connects speakers, authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, etc., with students throughout the world (elementary school through college) to discuss relevant issues, via live Skype calls. Since its launch in October 2011, the organization has reached more than 800 classrooms and 25,000 students.

She is an author, speaker and educator who recently released, 52 Things U Want to Know, So U Don’t End Up ON Your Parents’ Couch (go to


  21 comments for “You CAN Reinvent Yourself

  1. emily horowitz
    January 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I am currently on the cusp of being able to dare to dream into a reality. I will try these 7 ideas to help hone my wishes, dreams and desires into something I can make into a tangible actuality. Thank you and stay tuned.

    With conviction,

    • January 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      An important step is to pay attention to how yr body feels when thinking about a new direction.
      Your higher self will definitely tell your body or mind if you are on the right path.

  2. Suzanne LeMay
    January 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

    In the year of 2011, I endured many crises, mother diagnosed with terminal cancer, son (he is 17) had major surgery and in the hospital for a week, divorce, bankruptcy, and recently was forced to quit a job that was the only income I had/have , I solely support 2 children. I am at a spot, that I have virtually, handled, come to terms, and accepted the baggage I was carrying around and now have dropped off at the door.

    I am starting off with a clean slate in the year of 2012, and have walked a path that I know the universe has intended for me. I now need to find and create that passion that I once had as a child and I think I am on the road to discovering that.

    I hope to find some innovative ways here in this forum to create the next leg of my journey as well as maybe making a few friends along the way.


    • LBF
      May 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Suzanne, I am reading your post almost a year and a half after you posted it. I felt compelled to write and check in and see how you are doing. Did you find that new path? Are things better for you? I sincerely hope so. I hope you are at peace with your new situation and that 2012 was a good one.


    • DJ
      July 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      I’m read this today, and it reflects nearly everything I have endured the last 12 months or so. My beloved mother passed away in April after a year long battle with terminal cancer. I’m working two jobs just to make ends meet, after my husband of 25 years left me for another. It has been so hard. I came to this site looking for inspiration on how find me again and go forward. How has your road to recovery been so far? Did you find your passion? I hope things are looking up for you.

  3. January 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    What amazing careers you’ve had Jane and as a person who likes to be Gutsy and believes life is too short to play it safe, I think your 7 steps to reinventing yourself are just what all women need to jumpstart their passion. I do like #7 about pushing away those mini- or sometimes loud, inner or outer voices that can sabotage our plans.

    • February 3, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Thanks for the note. Yes, developing internal radar takes time. To develop radar I had to imagine a little “Janie” snapping at my heels, or tugging on my shirt nagging me to do something that was “inappropriate”. Once you recognize that your inner child is imposing their will on you, you literally have to say to the voice ” stay away, we will “play” another day.” it takes to e to recognize sabotaging voices. The more you do it the easier it gets.

  4. February 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Ready to reinvent? Join our upcoming group in westchester!

  5. Amy Joyce Chang
    May 2, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Aloha! Yes! Love this article and your attitude! I am so very 51 and creating and re creating, in the deep shifting of female body changes, and generational hand offs….My parents both gone now…Mom only left 5 months ago. Gratefully I have been a dancer most my life and continue to dance….I googled Re-invent and found you…Hooray! Look forward to onward together…Change is happening anyway…,might as well steer it towards as much happiness and fulfillment as possible. Purposeful living.

  6. Lucy
    July 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I have no direction and live in a very small depressing town.

    • julia
      July 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

      I feel the same way. Any change or ideas? Found any motivation?

    • Mary
      July 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      I see opportunity in “small” and “depressing.”

      In becoming the change you wish to see you will not only find beauty, grace and purpose, but others will become infused with the new life that you begin bringing to the mix!!!

      Not to go all ‘religious’ on you but there is tremendous truth in the scripture that says: “without a vision, the people perish.” In other words, without knowing their ultimate purpose in life people lose hope…they stop trying…they lose sight of the big picture and become jaded and pitiful.

      You have a wide open opportunity to change all of that!

      Maybe you, personally are not in a place where you can administer the shot in the arm your town needs, but maybe you can be instrumental in finding the doctor who can! What I’m saying is maybe you can make yourself a committee of one (or find someone(s) willing to join you), and invite a motivational speaker who would be willing to come in and motivate the townspeople about “How To Tap Into Their Divine Assignment.” Or “How To Find Your Purpose.” Or “How to Find Your Inner Navigational System.” Better still, put together a night at the town hall or the library or some other common, meeting place and tune in together to an online session that deals with finding your purpose!!! (There are some pretty great speakers out there and some pretty incredible free content, right on YouTube. And probably a few other sites if you’re willing to search for them)! Then, have people stand up and share what they’ve learned…..maybe as a group, create some action steps from the take away of each attendee. And then DO IT!!!

      Recession is good for one thing: entrepreneurs…..the people who decide that their lives, family and future are far too valuable to commit solely to the trust, of someone or something else, other than themselves! Entrepreneurship is a way to “fire your boss” and step into a realm of limitless possibilities, thru creating your own business, your own dreams, your own income and your own future, independent of a boss, scheduled breaks and a long, rush-hour commute!!!

      The SBA is a treasure-trove of information for entrepreneurs and for people looking to reinvent themselves. Free courses, business opportunities, mentoring relationships with retired executives (SCORE) who can teach you how to succeed in the field that you choose – it’s really a wonderful web-site! And that’s just one resource….Christian Work at Home Moms is another, Entrepreneur website is another, and the list goes on.

      Think how great it would be for you to initiate something that caught on like wildfire, in your town!!! Think how unbelievably awesome it would be if several home-based businesses and self-made millionaires were created, as a result of an effort that you initiated!!!

      These are not just kind words from someone on the outside looking in, they’re “Missions Possible” if only you or someone in your town would take on the Disney(?) motto and “imagine the possibilities!” Then, write down a plan, believe and GO FOR IT!!!

      Who knows? As the frontrunner of this thing not only could you stand to make some people very, very happy, but if you do it right you could make a pretty good bit of money. too!!!

    • March 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Lucy, your direction is probably buried in your own comment. You are in a very small depressing town. Your direction could be to go to another town. Relocation. That’s a change. Your direction is already in you. You have to reach within yourself and pull it out. Then have the courage to use what you find.

      Things can always be another way. You have to seek it to find it.

  7. Robin
    September 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Mary, what an inspiring answer to small and depressed. My new mantra is: I’m open to receiving what is best for me ….good starting place.

  8. September 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Hi there,after thirty plus year,s in the hospitality industry,I,m so ready for a new start on life at age fifty five,I no longer have the gas in the tank to have what it take,s. to keep up with the younger culinarian,s this article informed me that I do have other skill,s I just have to tap into them. Thank you Brian

  9. Gloria
    November 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Thank you Jane, for letting me know that im not the only one out there going through this. I now feel better interms of knowing that there is hope for making change in your life even if you are in your 50’s. I just have to do some deep thinking and fine tuning to find my true self. You and the people who left comments on your site are a great inspiration to me.

  10. Erika
    December 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Well, trying desperately to reinvent myself at 52. I have walked a path making the wrong turns, worrying about what other people think, ending up homeless with no open doors from people who profess to love and care about me. So being the strong survivor, picked myself up brushed myself off. Now recently acquired a job and roof over my head, ready to go full steam ahead. My passion has always been animals, and or children. I find both to be unconditionally loving, loyal and literally my heart. I go back and forth with working in an office setting where I can make enough to get by but not my passion or trying to figure out a path that will bring me to my passion. Unfortunately, I am so afraid of making a wrong decision this deters me from following my heart. My dream has always been to help the innocent babies 2 or 4 legged. I want so much to make a difference in this world. This accomplishment would be the opportunity to encapsulate what life should really be about.

  11. Erika
    December 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Is it too late for me!?

    • March 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      No, Erika. It is not too late.

      As long as you are alive you have an opportunity to do something. Follow Jane’s suggestions. Reinvention is doable. That’s a good starting point.

      Just suggesting that it may be too late for you is too much negative energy.

      Get you some positive energy with positive thought. How about saying: “I am so happy and grateful that I still have life; great creator give me a new, purposeful direction to go in.” Yes, that sounds religious, but it’s just how the universe works. What you say, you attract. So say something better and you will attract better.

  12. March 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Jane. Hello.

    I so like your post. It reminds me of turning 51, being a sous chef. My knees, my ankles and my back were killing me. Downsizing left me with a reduced crew. I was forced to, along with my regular duties of cheffing, to also set up banquet halls, wash dishes, the works. My body parts were screaming for relief. [If you can’t stand the heat, get out the kitchen]

    So, at age 55 (it took me that long to get the courage), I went on a faithwalk.

    Yes, right in the middle of the worst recession in 50 years, double digit unemployment, and no relief in sight, I stepped away from my job and asked God for guidance.

    Wait! The people said. You can’t do that. That’s crazy.

    I served too many people in that dining hall that were on walkers, crutches, sporting wheelchairs, and walking with a limp. That was foreboding.

    I took my faithwalk while I could walk period.

    Today, four years after I left that kitchen, I am a life coach. I teach people what I have learned myself. I am living my second 50 years. Why? Because I spent my first fifty trying to make everybody else happy. This next fifty (or whatever God gives me, I will spend doing what my passion says do)

    Reinvention does work. It’s a viable option. And many people like us, past fifty, don’t realize the power of our own acquired wisdom. That which we got through time and effort is our workable capital.

    Thanks for posting, Jane. Love your work.

    Eddie Smalls a.k.a. Manifest Man

  13. Carlos Blanco
    May 9, 2015 at 4:35 am

    I am 57 and am re-inventing myself. Again. I do not know how many more times I can do this. This is not my first re-invention. I guess that I should be a pro by now but alas I am not. I have read all of the comments here and they are very inspiring.Thank you as it makes me feel like I really am not alone in this struggle.

    It is very dis-hearteneing to go through this. Again. I am trying to finally find what the hell my purpoose in this life is or should be. Who knows? I do not know. But rest assured that I do want to know. I just have never gotten the memo from that guy or gal that we call the higher power. I started off believing but after my divorce and losing all that purpose of having a wonderful family was lost,…. so did my faith. I am sure that I am NOT the only one who has experienced that. But after almost 30 years of divorce… I really do not think that I have recovered yet. It has affected my ability to beleive in a possible loving family that I actually could believe in again. As well as in that higher power that we call God.

    Anyways, I struggle to find my purpose again…And really hope to find that someday soon. You are all an inspiration to me and I thank you.

    Life is hard right now , recouperating from brain surgey in Jan. 2010 that should have probably left me dead, but alas it did not. There must be a reason why I am still kicking it, but like I said… I have yet to get that memo.

    I wish you all the best and stay positive.

    Carlos Blanco

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