By Roberta Jasina

Are you feeling depressed, burned out, or kicked around by the economy? Do you feel like you need to re-invent yourself and your life? How do you do that and where do you start?

It’s not impossible.  And it doesn’t matter how old you are.

A University of Michigan business expert, Dr. Jeff DeGraff says in his new book, “Innovation You,” that there are four basic steps to becoming new and improved.

Hear my interview with Dr. DeGraff:

1. DeGraff says “ride the horse that’s moving” in your life.  He gives the example of Social Media.  He says that is  a “horse” that is moving.  And growing.  He says figure out how you or your business can find an opportunity in that.  And then start experimenting.

2. Don’t surround yourself with friends. (People who look like you and think like you.)  DeGraff believes diversity creates constructive conflict. He says if you want to grow, and generate  new business,   products or ideas, “get out of your little community.”

3. He says you have to be like the Red Wings and take multiple shots on goal.  He says in planning your future, you don’t know what will work.  Try different things.  Apply for a job that’s out of your comfort zone.  Apply without a resume.  Volunteer. Network. Be creative.  Take chances. Break out of the box.  Accelerate the failure cycle.

4. Learn from your experiments and experiences.  Look back at your career (or relationships) and figure out what worked and what didn’t, and then make adjustments to your game plan.

Finally, DeGraff says don’t get trapped into thinking you’ve got to have a really good plan before you go out fishing for a new future. Don’t be afraid to fail.  He believes movement creates movement, action creates action. He also believes in optimism and positive “self talk.”  DeGraff also  says you may want to decide to say “so long” to some of your old acquaintances:  people in your life who are like “black holes,”  and suck the life out of you.

One last thing, DeGraff has set up a special, free website where relevant “personal rebirth” stories will be posted every day.  The site is



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