Why It's a Good Thing to Pivot and Redirect In Your Business
Do you remember the good fairies from Disney’s animated film Sleeping Beauty when they’re fighting over the color of Aurora’s dress? “Make it pink! No, make it blue! “
It pretty much the (most relatable) running joke of the film, because seriously… pink or blue, which to choose?! Choices! Ahh!!
Because it happens. Sometimes we wish we could be so sure about things, but it’s not always clear.
And you know what? We’re all human. We’re allowed to try things on, move around, attempt different styles and see how we like them.
At times, we’re going to need to try a lot of different things before settling on what we truly want.
In terms of a business idea, sometimes this is called pivoting and redirecting. And I believe it’s a healthy, good thing. Because every step, even if it seems like a step back or a side step (there really are no steps back), is made with the intention that it will bring us closer to what we truly want, and what the fullest realization of our work could look like.
How to Know When It’s Time to Pivot
I’ve heard all kinds of advice on this topic such as “No, stick it out, don’t give up on something too soon!” Or “As soon as you realize it’s not for you, change it up!” It may seem like a back and forth, and it might become conflicting.
Ultimately, realizing when it’s time to pivot is up to you, and it’s going to be different and unique for each individual. This is where a little bit of soul searching and asking “What is it I really want?” is going to come in handy.
Get in tune with what you truly want.
And this doesn’t mean specifics, like listing out all these set in stone things or having items planned out to the nines. This means just being in tune with that vibe, the overall vision and the excitement that you have for yourself and your work, your future, and the general impact that you want to make.
Then, let the chips fall where they may. Sit with it for a while, and pretty soon it will become a lot more obvious whether or not it is time to redirect. And pretty much every time, decisions or choices that are made from a place of obligation or a place of “need/should/have-to,” will probably lead to a pivot at some point. #Truth.
Inspiration vs. Obligation
Which leads me to the entire topic of inspiration vs. obligation. Obligation is heavy, there’s a sense of drudgery, perhaps even nobility about it, or a sense of being tied to something in order to achieve a certain result.
I have to publish posts 5x per week because then I will become a leading expert in xyz. I have to show up live every day even though I hate it. I have to have a social media presence because all the media gurus say so.
While these aren’t bad things at all, they’re built upon a foundation of obligation instead of inspiration. It’s not about the tasks themselves, which could be great! It’s about the underlying reasoning. If you hate something, it’ll probably lead to a pivot at some point. Because if you hate blogging, blogging 5x/wk probably ain’t gonna do it for ya.
But inspiration is much different. It’s a lighter, brighter, and also a more sustainable place to be (because it’s more fun, duh.). Maybe doing live streams scare the pants off of you but you feel drawn to it somehow. Or your writing is kinda rusty but you can feel so strongly how amazing it would be to connect with others through your story. Inspiration isn’t just airy fairy rainbows and butterflies. Hard work can flow from inspiration, and when that happens it’s a lighter, more sustainable, and productive place to be.
And let’s be real, if our whole reason for starting a business is to actually enjoy what we’re doing at some point, and when taken into consideration that pivots usually always flow in the direction of inspiration, then pivoting is a good thing.
What If People Think I’m Flaky?
I totally get it. Won’t other people think you can’t get your act together?
What if people think I’m wishy washy and can’t make up my mind? Who’s going to want to work with someone who seems like they have no idea what they’re doing or what they really want?
First of all, change happens. Think of bands, artists, or actors who suddenly change directions, genres, or roles. Usually they’re applauded for such a daring change or such an interesting choice. Usually afterward, it’s less of about the change, and more of a “Oh, that’s who they always were all along anyway.” kinda thing.
Your business has a life of its own. In this way, it’s going to morph and change over time. If it’s not allowed to change, it’s going to start getting harder to hold onto, kinda like when a full-grown dog has way more strength to pull the leash than a puppy.
Also as your energy changes, and even as the energy of the people who are wanting your business changes. All of these things are factors that will influence the level of redirections that need to take place.
Don’t let the fears of what people may think influence you from not making the changes that you know you need to make.
Follow The Trail
Ultimately, big projects like starting a new business, writing a book, creating a podcast, launching a blog, or creating anything that gets your gears going is going to require a bit of finesse and detachment from the outcome while allowing yourself to follow the breadcrumb trail.
Those breadcrumbs are different pieces and also stepping stones toward the bigger picture. But some of these pieces might require redirection to get there, or they might even seem like they’re not pieces at all.
Just like when hopping across stones on a stream it’s not always in a linear line. It’s more like a dance, which means it can be an enjoyable experience, and it’s a journey that requires a level of patience, trust, and understanding that you will eventually get where you want to go.
Making Changes is Not a Bad Thing
I can’t believe I’m changing this up again! Why can’t I just settle on this one thing, I’m so tired of this, I just want to get going already!
Ughhh, I have soooo been there, and it’s darn near impossible to understand what’s going on until we’re on the other side of it, but all that this means is that you’re figuring it out. Just like trying on different clothes, or deciding your major in college, or choosing a new car. Give yourself the grace you deserve to test the waters.
This can be frustrating, I totally get it. But give yourself time. The more you can just let go and relax into your own journey, the easier it will be to make decisions. Because the road to your business, project, or goals is always through you and your big vision. It will not be the same as someone else’s. So don’t be afraid when and if the time comes to pivot.
I mean of course I can’t go through this post without dropping a Friend’s reference, so just remember when worrying about redirections or pivoting in your projects or business - Ross and the cast of friends would not have been able to lift the couch up the staircase without pivoting. Just sayin’.
And for the record, I think Sleeping Beauty’s dress looked so much better in blue. #slaygirlslay
I’d Love to Hear From You
Have you ever felt stuck and knew that a pivot and redirect was so needed? Did you change directions and suddenly find the clarity you needed? Or are you feeling stuck right now and know a change is on the horizon? Please share below!