Perhaps you’re a late bloomer or simply stuck in a rut. You may even have gotten caught up in a career or job for family or financial reasons. Maybe you’re one of the thousands of Americans who lost their jobs. The good news is there’s nowhere to go but up. You have nothing to lose by exploring your options. It’s time to create your own opportunities. It’s time to reinvent yourself.

Lots of people have successfully reinvented themselves by making career changes, even late in life. Take Julia Child. When she enrolled in Smith College in 1930 she wanted to be a writer. She went to work for a government intelligence agency which led her to France where she attended the renowned Cordon Bleu cooking school. The rest, as they say, is history. Phyliss Diller didn’t become a comedian until she was well into her 30’s. And that was after being told that she was too old to become successful. Joy Behar is a television regular. She started as an English teacher in Long Island, NY and eventually went on to do stand-up comedy and to host a radio talk-show, but she is best known for her work on The View. Let’s not forget that Martha Stewart didn’t always set the standard for all things cute, perfect and crafty. She was a stockbroker turned prison inmate turned style icon. But perhaps the greatest of all is Madonna. She sure has come a long way from her “Like a Virgin” days to be a children’s book author and prim English country estate mistress.

If you want to reinvent yourself, it won’t happen overnight but you have to start somewhere.

Look Within

If you’re down on your luck or out of work or just stuck in a rut, now is the time to be introspective. Ask yourself the following questions. What do you really enjoy doing? What makes you tick? What lifelong dream haven’t you had the time or courage to pursue?

Make a Plan

Sometimes we look at successful people and wish we could be like them but don’t know how. Write down your goals and do your research. Talk to people who have achieved success in the field you want to pursue. Find out what you need to do to get from point A to point B.

Work Your Plan

Whether it is going back to school or starting a business, the hardest part is usually the beginning. Take the leap of faith and go for it!

Stay Focused and Motivated

Nobody said it was going to be easy. Remember the goal you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t be afraid to put in long hours in pursuit of your dream’ just look on the bright side – if you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work.

You may never become rich or famous but hopefully you will be doing what you love and living a richer more meaningful life.