Re-Inventing What You Have

“People who cannot invent and re-invent themselves  must be content with borrowed postures, second-hand ideas,  fitting in, instead of standing out.” 


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“People who cannot invent and re-invent themselves

must be content with borrowed postures, second-hand ideas,

fitting in, instead of standing out.”

– Warren Bennis

I was in the beautiful county of Waterford over the weekend (South Eastern Part of Ireland) and had the opportunity to cycle on the beautiful Greenway with my family.

The Greenway is a project that has revolutionised the area between Waterford and Dungarvan. The project is a converted railway line that is now a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail.

It’s a beautiful journey that includes crossing three tall viaducts, a long tunnel and incredible scenery every step of the way. We were cycling on it on Saturday and half-way along the route a rest area emerged, right beside a very old pub outside which we parked our bikes.

When I say old pub, it’s like it never left the 1970s – Dark decor, small tv in the corner and when you walk in everyone turns to look at you. One of those…

The pub didn’t have any draft beer and it only sells bottles. The home of the owner is attached to the pub, and if someone asked for tea or coffee the owner walked into the house kitchen to turn on the kettle.

There was also a very small shop where most things are €1. (keeps it simple…)

A local was telling me that the greenway has been a life-saver to this pub which used to be frequented solely by locals. Now there is a daily influx of tourists and families.

In fact the owner has been made several offers from investors who see the potential of the location but he flatly refuses them all. This business like many others along the Greenway has been given a new lease of life.

A change in the existing surrounds has increased the value of his business probably by a factor of at least 5. Something that existed and was seen as out of date (The railway line) was re-invented and has become a source of new business and activity for many other companies.

Bike hiring companies have set up, clever entrepreneurs have set up associated businesses like cafes, restaurants and even corporate away days.

A fresh perspective can change everything.

Your job, business or life can be re-invented by taking what you already have and looking to create something new.

I meet many people who are looking for change and more purpose – they usually assume that they need to change everything.

But usually there is more opportunity in re-inventing what you already have.

Often, just like the Waterford Greenway, you can take what is there and put a fresh twist on it to change everything for the better – to create more value.

It all starts with asking questions:

  • What can we do with this same area/asset?
  • What can we re-create that people would use/pay for?
  • What skills do I/we have that can be used in a different field or way?
  • How can we use what exists to create value in line with trends (health, family, cafe culture)?

What in your life or business can you ‘Greenway’ this week?


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