Retooling Your Mindset


(Photo: ©

Rick Siegel |

CHICAGO — Every month, I like to align my column to the magazine’s theme. But the May had me stumped. What do I know about “Retooling for Recovery?” I don’t own a plant—not even a ficus.
Then I realized that each of us does some retooling on an daily basis, by taking information and using it as hope for the future. We’re a little bit like Little Orphan Annie, thinking that tomorrow, the world will be a better place. It’s why we buy lottery tickets. It’s why we get out of bed.
As you consider ways to retool your business, remember that you are part of that business, and you need to take time to recharge your personal batteries, too. So here’s an idea: Take a vacation. Don’t have the time? Go to a museum, a ball game or a park—whatever takes your mind off the daily grind. Forget your troubles. Rekindle, relaugh, rejoice.
You may be thinking you need to take a new path. I’ve had several careers—first in ad sales, then in the agency business. I then took to the road as a professional stand-up comedian; when I wanted to stay closer to home, I created a magazine about the art form. Then, I became a personal manager, representing actors, comedians, writers and directors.
Then, I chose to become a “green” entrepreneur, dedicating myself to lessening dependence on single-use poly when reusable packaging is so much safer, better and most importantly, cheaper. (I mentioned I was in advertising, right?) I loved every move, and never was I more proud than I am of the task in front of me now.
The bottom line is that for many businesses, the last two years have been hellish for the bottom line. Emotionally, it is important to retinker your brain to not only accept that, but to get re-invigorated for the challenges ahead.
While I had more money in the past, what I’ve learned was worth the journey. Irrespective of my bank account, my love for family remains a constant. I laugh at the same things, and the same things pull at my heart. But I no longer define myself by the model year of my car, nor by the vintage of my wine.
I’ve retooled. And I recommend you do the same, if you haven’t already. After all, the sun will come out tomorrow. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take my wife spring skiing to remind her and myself of how much I love her.

About the author

Rick Siegel

The Green Garmento

Co-Creator of The Green Garmento

Rick Siegel and his wife, Jennie Nigrosh, are the creators and marketers of The Green Garmento reusable drycleaning bag. Before that, Siegel was one of Hollywood’s most influential personal managers, guiding the careers of Craig Ferguson, Ellen Degeneres, Seth Rogen and others. He is perhaps best known for producing the play My Big Fat Greek Wedding and developing its film version. He can be reached at 323-512-2600 or via e-mail at


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