Did I just refer to myself as the Master of Pivoting? Sure did! It turns out you can deem yourself anything you want when you’re the one writing the blog post.
Queen of Eating Shredded Cheese From the Bag While Standing in Her Kitchen
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CEO of Writing To-Do Lists as a Form of Procrastination
So anyway pivoting is weird, right? You spend hours and months and YEARS learning how to be an expert on a thing. You’re on your path, nose to the grindstone day in and day out. And then suddenly one day you reach your destination and realize, “oh shit, this isn’t actually what I want anymore…”
And then instead of just accepting the pull of change and allowing our businesses to evolve naturally (because oh yeah, we’re bosses and we have the freedom to do that), we force ourselves to stay on the path because we think that’s what we “should” be doing.
But that is pure silliness. Changing directions doesn’t make you flaky. Switching to a different industry doesn’t mean all the work you’ve put in has gone to waste. Creating a new and totally different offer doesn’t mean you’re throwing away the progress you’ve made. The knowledge you’ve gained doesn’t disappear, and your past experience only adds to your current expertise.
Pivoting in business is powerful because it means you’re re-positioning yourself to help people in the absolute best, authentic, most effective way you have capacity for. Pivoting is a sign you’re evolving as a business owner (and probably as a human being – yay you!).
Today I’ve deemed myself the Master of Pivoting because I’ve done it four times in my six years of business and each time has been successful. Why? Because instead of just selling a service, I sell an ideal. Instead of marketing my occupation, I market my personality. Instead of focusing on who my target audience is, I focus on who they want to be. Instead of just building a business, I built a brand.
In my six years of business I’ve learned a strong brand is the most powerful tool in your arsenal because it’s what gives you freedom in your business. Freedom to work how you want, live how you want, and evolve when you want.
So from the self-proclaimed Master of Pivoting to you, here are 3 hacks to make your next pivot a smashing success:
1. SET A DEADLINE AND MAKE A PLAN
I used to spend a lot of time procrastinating client work by staring out the window and daydreaming about what my business would be like if only it were [insert Big Pivot Goal here]. I fell into the same trap everyone else does – talking myself out of the shift because what about the business I already created?! I’m just supposed to ABANDON it?! What if I try this new thing and fail?!
But it’s not enough to want change. At some point you have to make a decision and take action. So start by figuring out what you specifically don’t like about your current situation. Decide what you actually want. Write down what your ideal workday would look like. Think about the type of people you want to be working with and how you want to help them. Then stop dicking around, set a date for your official pivot, make a step-by-step plan for everything that needs to happen to get there, and get your cute buns in gear!
2. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Not only will telling people exactly what’s going on help avoid confusion (wait I thought she was a photographer, why is she designing websites now??), it’s a way to invite your people to get involved in the process. People LOVE being involved in the process! They love to be reminded you’re a human, not a corporation. They love feeling like they’re part of your creation. So involve them in the journey by asking for their opinions or recommendations (you’ll be amazed at the engagement you get when you do this!). Tease them with sneak peeks. Make an announcement when the pivot is official. If you’re excited about it, I swear on my fuzzy fleece robe with pockets that your community will be too!
3. TRUST THE PROCESS
Ugggggghhhhhhh. I know, I know. The process is messy and complicated and ugly and omg are you really Googling questions like “what does a consultant actually do” and what do you change your title to in your Instagram bio if you’re offering two different services at once and when people ask what you do during small talk are you supposed to tell them what you’re already doing or what you’re going to be doing soon and should you keep selling your pre-pivot products or just focus on your new ones and do you need two separate websites or should you put everything on one?! It’s called the Messy Middle for a reason, but the sooner you embrace it the sooner you can get back to your action plan and be pivotED instead of pivotING.
Pivoting to a high-end brand is one of the most strategic moves you can make in business. A high-end brand gives you the freedom to specialize within your industry, work with clients who truly appreciate your value, and work less while earning more.