Reinvent Yourself

Nose Above Water and Not About to Drown

This horoscope appeared in the paper the very week my life was upended in April 2009:

Wednesday, April 15th 2009: Life is full of situations that support or challenge you, Scorpio. However, one thing seems to be true for everyone: Your attitude can dictate the way you feel. Even when things feel stagnant in your life, stay positive. A surprise piece of news is headed your way, and whatever it is, it'll give you a lift.

You Can Reinvent Yourself

Case 1: The Lawyer

Flashback to 1969, It’s early in my career as a media and entertainment analyst. The Times Mirror Company had recently gone public and I had decided to write a report about the company. since nobody on Wall Street was following it as yet. I spent three months and a few visits to California in writing the biggest institutional report on the company published to that date. In the process, I met Martin Levin who ran the $200 million Times Mirror book group including a collection of a dozen book publishers with names you may remember such as New American Library, New English Library, Harry Abrams Art books and Southwestern Publishing which sold bibles door to door. Adjusted for forty years of inflation, just add another zero and that would be equivalent to managing a $2 billion business today. In the process, Levin and I became fast friends.

When Less Is Truly More

We’re Americans. We were raised to shop ‘til we drop. Remember when we would buy a new car every year. We got over that idea a long time ago. We see things, we want them, we buy them. Or we used to. Recent circumstances in the economy have shown us, however, that a revised point of view is needed. Americans have shut their wallets and left their credit cards home for the last year. November 2009 was the 14th straight drop in credit card borrowings, the worst decline since 1943. So collectively we are getting the message and taking action.

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