I had a conversation with a student recently about the difference between the words pivot and change.
Both those words essentially result in the same thing, but they feel different to me. They feel like they are weighted very differently.
Change to me feels heavier. It feels like it encompasses a lot, with more things involved.
It also feels like it has a slightly negative connotation based on its perceived massiveness. Change feels like it would take a lot of effort and a lot of time.
Pivot, though, feels a lot different.
Change vs. Pivot
Pivoting, to me, feels like smaller, tinier adjustments. It’s incremental, like habit stacking or change stacking. Smaller adjustments that move the needle and over time, add up to a lot. By choosing to pivot instead of making major changes, you give yourself time to find your new groove… to figure things out based on where you’re at right now.
Pivoting is not about making massive changes but small, incremental shifts. It doesn’t mean a 180 from what you’re doing right now (although it can lead to that). It can be as little as a 10% shift.
Recently, in a conversation with my business coach, she said that she felt that the word “pivot” was being overused right now, but I disagree. It so well encompasses what we’re experiencing in the world right now.
We don’t have a clear picture of what the next month is going to look like, so massive change in our businesses could be wasted energy (depending on the situation). A pivot, however, is a smaller course-correction and much easier to navigate. And less overwhelming to tackle.
Like finding your way to the bathroom the first night in a new hotel room… You know the general direction you need to go, but in the dark you’re wary of obstacles that you may trip over.
Same goes with business. If something was working before, small pivots may be all that’s needed rather than a total rethink to stay the course. That way, you can judge if that small pivot has your intended results and readjust as necessary.
What does it look like for you and your business right now? Do you feel pressured to do something different but you’re so overwhelmed you don’t know which decision to make first?
Rather than force yourself into making a decision that might not be the right option for you, try this instead…
The J.S.T Practice
Just. Sit. There.
It’s my favorite thing to get clarity and I’ve been talking about it inside The Empowered Hustle Community (my private Facebook group) a lot lately. It’s also something I’m encouraging my students to do daily.
When the world feels like it’s going crazy and taking you with it, you need a time-out for JST. You can’t make smart decisions unless your mind is calm. So do whatever you need to do to get yourself to a place of calm.
Start with JST.
Find a spot that’s quiet where you’ll be uninterrupted for around 30 minutes. If necessary, get creative and lock yourself in the bathroom (or inside a closet where the kids won’t find you!).
Allow your mind to settle down and find a rhythm to your breath. You are safe, and for the next 30 minutes allow yourself to just be. You’re a human being not a human doing.
The first 10 minutes can feel challenging. A lot of random thoughts will likely come up, some worries too. If you need to journal them out of your head, do it. Find your center.
After sitting for a while, ideas will percolate to the surface. Write those down! Those are going to be pure gold.
I’ve done a lot of JST since the COVID-19 outbreak and I’ve come to some realizations.
The first is that I love to help people. We’re all in this together and if I can help people with their online business using the knowledge I have, that’s what I want to do.
The second thing I’ve come to realize is that I need to get comfortable with not being able to 100% control my life. We were supposed to be moving to Australia in the next few weeks and now it looks like we won’t be going anywhere for months. We had business plans that have now completely changed too.
I’ve had to make multiple pivots in my business and life over the past five years. As a creative entrepreneur, I’m doing it all the time. It can happen on the fly, like at the beginning of March…
I had mapped out my sales plan and this included launching two 30-day programs… when COVID-19 hit worldwide pandemic level… that completely changed. I pivoted to smaller offers instead. A 7-day bootcamp and multiple live workshops are what I opted to do instead.
Or a pivot can come from analyzing my business at the end of a quarter and changing direction where needed.
Pivoting Into a 30-Day Plan
One of the things I’ve had to pivot to in my business recently is the need to change from a 90-day plan to a 30-day plan. And I reassess every week on a Friday.
This feels easier to me. I don’t feel locked-in to doing something that may not be working and I get to feel my way into doing meaningful business and providing value for what my audience needs right now.
How much do you need to pivot?
To me, a 360 change would be something like changing your entire business niche. For example, going from an in-person business to an online business in a completely different niche. If you’re a massage therapist that cannot accept patients at this time, you may want to look into starting something service-based online, like freelance writing… you could write for a health-related blog where you’re using your skillset, but in a different way.
A 180 change would be going from a brick and mortar store to a fully digital e-commerce business, but still offering the same product. Let’s say you run a restaurant or local cafe. You can now create meal plans, healthy meal recipe books, meals based on specific dietary needs etc.
Different but complementary
If what you offer right now is not what your customer WANTS to buy, then probably a 180 is needed. BUT, you still decide what that looks like. Offer something completely different that is complementary but maybe not completely in alignment with what you were doing before. Let’s say you’re a freelance writer who mainly works with dental practices. Those businesses are not open right now, so instead, offer to create content and resources for dental practices to send to their patients to keep their oral health maintained during this time.
A 20% pivot might look like offering a digital product that is aligned with your biz, that your audience wants, and is based on what you already do. This might look like offering online yoga classes instead of in-studio. Or running online training sessions instead of in-person training. It’s really about offering what your audience wants right now.
That’s what my recent Pivot to Profits Workshop was about. It was about coming up with an idea for a digital product, learning how you could sell it to your audience, and learning the tech setup to make sure you get paid. It was a step-by-step process that included product and pricing ideas, and coming up with a sales plan. If you’re interested, you can learn more about it here.
Mindset is one of the biggest things that makes you successful in business. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the number one thing. The right mindset is different for each person, but it comes down to having a clearly defined vision of what you’re working towards in terms of what you want your business to look and feel like.
If you aren’t clear on what you want your biz to look like, this will impact your mindset in a big way.
Recently, another student came to me feeling overwhelmed and confused. Everything felt hard for this person because there was so much going on. It’s hard to be successful when you’re feeling like that.
So here’s what you need to do to pivot your mindset: do whatever you can to get to a place of calm. Don’t try to solve all the problems right now. Just get to a place of calm. Then you can get perspective. Only then can you make decisions.
I’ve made a ton of resources free to my community during this crisis. This feels really good for me to do this.
Check out the Side Hustle Toolkit if you don’t have the funds right now to purchase any of my programs. Inside, I’m linking to some valuable resources that will get your online business set up and earning an income.
The Side Hustle Blueprint Masterclass is the signature course that I used to start my own freelance writing business. Freelancing is one of the easiest things to get going right now since it is service-based and doesn’t require start up capital.
My whole entire planning process is detailed in the 90 Day Productivity Plan and I’ve shared that for free as well.
Inside the toolkit, you’ll also find access to my bestselling ebooks Side Hustle Blueprint and Mind The Chatter. So if you feel monetarily crunched yet need a hand up, go check it out the toolkit here.
Your Pivot Action Plan
If you’re not in a place of calm right now, don’t make any decisions. Don’t do anything. Practice JST. Get your mind off things, as that’s often when actionable insights will become obvious.
Give yourself permission to sit as long as you need, take as much time as you need to get to a place where you can make sound decisions. Make decisions from a state of calm and not a state of desperation.
Don’t try to solve all the problems right now. Just get to a place of calm. Get perspective. Then you can make decisions. Then you can pivot.
Start small. Write down what the next 7 days look like for your business and what action steps you need to take.
And if you need more specific help, check out my mini-courses here. Everything is $47 and under.