Perspective: How to reinvent yourself at any age

StatePoint

With the technological and cultural landscape in flux, many professional fields are undergoing rapid changes. Continually challenging yourself can help you achieve success, keeping you relevant as your chosen profession moves with the times.

Long gone are the days when most Americans start a job and toil at the same workplace — or even in the same profession — until they receive that gold watch on retirement day.

More Americans are now striving to live a life like that of Warren Adler, a self-made novelist and founder of a new business at the not-so-old age of 84.

For Adler and others like him, life is about embracing what’s new and jumping into new challenges.

Back in the days following World War II, he was a reporter for the Armed Forces Press Service, covering the Truman White House. He then launched the Washington Dossier magazine with his wife and son, started a public relations firm and then, mid-career, became a successful novelist at the age of 45. Fast-forward almost 40 years to 2012, and he has 33 books under his belt and is the successful founder of a publishing company that is a leader in embracing the electronic book revolution. In 2011, his company, Stonehouse Productions, released five e-books simultaneously in an exclusive with Amazon.

No matter the profession, industry leaders are the ones who can foresee future game changers and are willing to reinvent themselves at different points in their careers.

It’s all about being able to see around corners. And those who remain rooted in tradition may struggle. New technologies have left little room for old business models — and workers who don’t embrace new ways — to succeed.

“If the publishing world did not see the move to cyberspace coming they were fools and are now paying the price,” says Adler, who wrote the classic “The War of the Roses,” among other books that have gone on to become major Hollywood movies and television programs. “I predicted when I first introduced the Sony Reader in 2007 that the number of stores selling printed books would shrink in years to come.”

Adler’s personal tale illustrates it is possible to make regular creative contributions to one’s field while helping to shape its direction. Such juggling, he says, is necessary in businesses growing ever more competitive because of the Internet.

With more than 50,000 books published weekly in America, even renowned authors are facing steep competition. “The Serpent’s Bite,” Adler’s newest thriller about family dysfunction, will need to stand out if it is to get discovered. Readers can learn more about the new book at www.WarrenAdler.com. He also has free downloads of his entire blacklist available at the site.

“It is hard to get heard and discovered amid less shelf space, short promotional spans and an avalanche of competition on the Internet,” he says. “If you want to get noticed, bang the drum as loud as you can.”

Whether you’re starting a new business or reinventing an old one, survival today means taking exponential leaps, making a splash and staying ahead of trends.

Perspectives are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the North Coast Current