Retooling is when a factory adapts or replaces its machinery in order to gain new production capabilities or capacity. Money is spent when procuring new or changed equipment, and money is lost when ceasing current production. I think this is a useful metaphor for self improvement, because when you retool, you are working on the factory and not the product.

Often self improvement also takes both time and money, and you don’t want to start unless you think the investment is worth it. In the business world, the tradeoffs can be measured. Projections can determine risk and predict how long it will take to make back the investment made in retooling. How do you evaluate risk and return of investment when you are working on yourself? How do you know you aren’t just better off as is?

When retooling yourself you are forced to take more on faith, but at least it’s faith in yourself. We can also focus on our as-is state. Are you happy with your production capability? How about your production capacity? Can you stand just carrying on as before? Before shutting down the production line, you need to be be sure.

I’m shut down. I’m retooling. I want something different.