4 Ways to Re-Invent YOU in the New Norm

This article has been adapted from my Access4Success conversation with Kari-Stout Smith GM/COO Cache Creek Casino. Prefer to watch the video? Click here

As companies, organizations and casinos re-invent the way they operate in this “new norm”, so too it’s imperative for you to do the same. Here are 4 ways to reinvent yourself for success in today’s reality.

 1. Reboot Our Mindset.

Haydee – Can you think of a career-changing moment in your life where you needed to reboot your mindset to reinvent yourself? 


It was a time in my life when I first made the transition from a director to a vice president role, it was a big move. I quickly learned that what got me to the director level before were not the same skills  I needed to have to be successful as a VP. One of the hardest transitions people make is going from a management role to a director or VP level role. The strategies change at that point. It becomes more about how you enable your team as opposed to the work that you do yourself. I’ve always been a hard worker, I’ve always been a straight-A student, a people pleaser. I found myself working harder and longer than I had ever worked before, and not getting the same results. I was really frustrated. It was a difficult time for the property  I was at and we agreed upon a mutual separation. I felt deeply remorseful, I felt like I had failed my family, my husband, my friends. I just felt like everyone believed in me so much. I lost that belief in myself. It took me a long time to overcome that.
My life kind came to a hard stop when I was no longer employed. I went from living with my phone in my hand to sleeping in. I decided to take a pause and that’s what we’ve all had to do during this time.

Haydee – How did you overcome the “Imposter syndrome and limiting self-talk?


When I took that job, that imposter syndrome was strong with me. I was the youngest person at the table. I programmed myself to think,” I’m the youngest person here, I have the least amount of experience. Are they going to listen to me? Will people trust my leadership?”

What I know now is that It’s important to surround yourself with people you trust. People who will help you when you are enforcing those limiting self-beliefs and who will give you constructive feedback. Learn to recognize you have different skills and capabilities that you bring to the table.


Below, insert the name of the person who is limiting your full potential the most right now_________________(Name)

Most people write down their own names! I encourage you from here on to Be LIMITLESS – limit yourself less and get out of your own way. How do you do this?
Your mind works in the same way as a computer. You can buy the most expensive, powerful computer but if you haven’t loaded an antivirus program or the right software it’s not going to work to its full potential. In this new norm, we have created a new “inner script” to stand in the way of our success. What’s your inner self-critic saying right now? “I’m not good enough for this job”, “I’m going to fail at this.”
Each time you have this limiting self-talk running through your mind. STOP! Press the reboot button. If you don’t, you will begin to convince those around you the same negative beliefs about yourself.Instead, replace these thoughts by powerful affirmations (no more than 3) which you want to re-program in your subconscious.


➤ I have financial abundance.
➤ The perfect opportunities come into my life.
➤ I am successful.

Jot them down on small pieces of paper. Place these on the dashboard of your car, your fridge, your computer, bathroom mirror. Anywhere you can see them often. Repeat them out loud at least 3 times a day for 21 days. You will soon start to experience a mindset shift.

Remember, only when you accept what you need to let go of, can you expect to get closer to what your destiny is leading you to.

We need to learn how to work with fear. How do you do this Kari?


If I let my fears roll around in my thoughts, they become bigger and uglier, so I put the fear down on paper. I quantify and acknowledge it. I talk through what’s the worst thing that could happen. What would I do to prevent that? Once I’ve worked that all out on paper, it usually ends up being much smaller, and much less overwhelming than I thought it was going to be.

Learn how to reframe your failures into opportunities. This time is a daily exercise in reframing.  Each day, I am overwhelmed by a number of anxiety-inducing discussions and decisions. I know the worst decision I can make is no decision.  That doesn’t mean I rush to judgment, but I trust myself to consider my intuition, experience, and my network of resources to make the best possible decision and keep moving forward.


Right now more than ever, don’t take things personally. You may really want that job and you don’t get it. It’s happened for a reason. Connect with your gut feeling. Ask, is it worth you putting the energy into it?
Taking things personally is going to deplete you of energy that you really need for better things to come.
The second way to reinvent yourself for success in this fiercely competitive market place is to:

2. Rethink Your Value 

This way you can “create new value” and raise the bar.

How would you raise your value if you needed to be rehired?


I go back to that period of time in my life when I was unemployed, and I felt like everything had fallen apart. Now I know that sometimes things fall apart so they can come back together even better than what they were before. And for me, my value is my “values”. I value people, passion, and progress.

For anyone contemplating a career change or getting back into the job market – make sure you know what your values are. What is important to you? So when you are “interviewing” prospective companies (and that’s the way you should think about it) you quantify who you are, you are confident in your self worth and you know what you bring to the table. Be self-aware, take inventory of yourself as you’re re-branding and re-emerging.


Be crystal clear of the value you bring to the table. Know what your value and worth are. What are you “selling”? In what ways have you brought value in your previous positions? When you know your worth you will rock your confidence. You need to wear it like an accessory-when you wear it people notice it – it’s an energy you exude.

You need to quantify your value, especially on a resume. For example “In my last position, I reduced operational costs by 20% in 3 months.

If you don’t know your value, create a focus group, and ask previous managers, colleagues, what they believe your value is.

Let’s look at a second scenario for raising your value – if you are currently employed.


How can team members raise their value in the companies they are currently working in to be seen as valuable in this new norm?


I hope you’ll hear me all the way through because what I’m going to say is going to sound odd at first. I think we should be thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Does that mean if I do more, am I going to get a better title? A better salary? No. Rather, it’s about looking for opportunities to grow your skillset, your education, your network. To grow in any shape or form so that you’re a better versed and well-rounded team member.

Currently, I have some team members who are knocking my socks off every day. They don’t think, “I can’t do that, that’s not my job.” It’s more like, “ That has to get done and it has to be done by ____. Let’s figure it out, let’s make it happen.” Those are the people I’m going to remember and keep in mind when I have other projects and opportunities. They’re the ones that stepped up and said, “I’ll do it.” They didn’t say, “What’s in it for me?” Instead, they thought of it as an opportunity to learn, to show their contributions and make the company stronger. Believe me, I won’t forget them.


One of the top skills that anybody going back into the workplace can really practice is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Don’t complain about not having a seat at the table. You need to pull out a folding chair. Raise your hand for projects that maybe you don’t have the right expertise for, but you can learn along the way. So if you’ve been employed, for your marketing abilities but now there is an opportunity for you to learn more about operations, data analytics, etc. Raise your bar and rethink your value by raising your hand.

The third way to reinvent yourself for success in this new norm:

3. Ramp up your Connectability Factor.

In this very highly competitive marketplace, how can we reinvent the way we connect and get noticed?


The night before a tribal council meeting where I had to recommend to stay open or close, I turned to my husband in a panic and said, “ I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to handle this.” In his infinite wisdom, he replied, “Nobody knows what to do right now. But you will figure it out.” And I did.

He took me out of “myself” and into realizing what the bigger goal was. After this, I reached out to my network of resources and all the other GM’s that I knew in the area to learn more on how to navigate these times.

The relationships you have nurtured will help you get through tough times. hat’s what’s important – connectivity. To be authentic, you can’t just reach out just in times of trouble. People remember that rather reach out regularly.


The top recruiters I work with have said to me, “It’s amazing how only NOW do we hear from people who never returned our calls or emails previously.”

First be strategic about who you want to influence and impact. Then you can work out the HOW.

Think about who is your brand champion? Who is your cheerleader? It could be an ex-colleague, an association friend. Make a list of them and you will soon realize you have an entire salesforce who could be promoting “Brand YOU”.

More than ever, you need advice on your strengths and weaknesses and how to move forward. Create a “Mastermind group” with like-minded people and get together at least once a week to provide each other with fresh ideas, or potential connections.

 The 4th way to reinvent yourself for success is to…

4. Refresh Your Brand.

Haydee – For a large part of your career, you were in marketing. What lessons can you teach us from that world to keep our brand relevant in today’s times?


At all times the brand is tied to the implied promise of what your experience will be with that brand. If you go to Disneyland and it isn’t the ‘happiest place on earth’ then they haven’t fulfilled their promise.

A brand is also not what you want to be, it’s who you are. And that’s where it’s really important. When you know who you are and feel comfortable in your own skin, you come across authentically. When someone interviews and they’re trying to tell you what they think you want to hear, as opposed to really answering from a strong sense of self, that’s very transparent.

We all have this kind of delineation right now in our lives that is rare – pre-COVID and post-COVID. There’s an opportunity in that to take a great pause, to really get to know yourself before you emerge into the world.


Indeed, it’s the first time that we’ve been given global permission to reinvent ourselves. 

Do the Hashtag Test – Imagine your dream job, your dream position. What words would the recruiter for that dream job use to describe the person they want for that position? Think of these as your hashtag # words  –  the words people offering your dream job are looking for. Take 30 seconds right now and jot down as many words as you can.

Google YOU – when last did you Google yourself?
This week? Last month? Last year? No idea? Put a Google Alert on your name so every time it comes up online you will be notified. 

Visit your LinkedIn profile, look at the description under your name, your banner, your photo. Are the words you wrote down earlier seeded in your profile wording? If not put them in. Trustworthy brands are clear and consistent. 

Remember, your personal brand is a constant work in progress. Ensure you evolve for impact and revolutionize for relevance.

Haydee – Any final encouraging thoughts on how to emerge from these difficult times?


I’ve had moments of anger, moments of intense anxiety and moments of sadness because everything that we’re going through right now is very real. And emotions are connected to that. I’m not someone who thinks you can keep emotions out of the workplace. I am someone who thinks you have to acknowledge and process emotions as part of the natural human experience. I see so much opportunity in what we’re experiencing right now. When we can step away from some of that emotion and think about the amazing change that is happening in our world. All of the innovation, opportunity, and evolution that is going to come out of this unique time in our lives. Think about how you can harness the power of that and really command the situation as opposed to being a victim of the situation. It’s a choice, it takes effort. I know we’re all tired and overwhelmed right now. But if you choose to see the opportunity, you will find it.

To watch this conversation on video – click here

For practical ideas and steps for you and your team to succeed in this new norm, connect with me here.

In the meantime, stay AMAZING!