The 5-item cheat sheet for reinventing yourself

Last week, I talked about being in a state-of-change, not knowing what’s coming next, and I linked to James Altucher’s post The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Reinventing Yourself. He answers all the questions (or excuses) a person might have, but that makes the list really long. To be effective, I need a shorter list–maybe five things to remember and act on. Here are my five things:

1. You start from scratch.

Basically, any labels (or job titles) you had before are now a part of the past. In the context of reinvention, this makes sense.

(Note: Reinvention sort of sounds like dying your hair and getting a fast, new car and a new spouse and all new friends. I’m not talking about that. This reinvention refers to learning a new kind of work, a new way to contribute, a new path. That’s my take on it.)

2. Read 200+ books on the path you want to pursue.

If you get tired of reading those books, pick a different path. Two paths you want to pursue? Think about how to combine them.

3. Start reading and doing now.

You don’t have to wait until you’ve read all 200+ books. Personal caveat: I’m lucky if I can read 20 books (plus poetry) a year. If I wait until I read them all, that’s some sad math.

4. Get enough sleep and be healthy.

This past week, I’ve been fighting off a head cold, and this advice has looked like a neon sign, in magenta. It’s really hard to start something new if you don’t have the physical energy.

5. Network, find mentors, and be generous.

Learn as much as you can. Help other people when they can learn from you.

We can always refer to the full list if we need it to fill in any gaps.

What do you think? How do you start something completely new–whether it’s a career or a new way to create?