PIVOT, DON'T PANIC. How to navigate in the World with no Parachute
Entrepreneurship is spelled H-A-R-D W-O-R-K. In this digital age we’re living in, working for yourself can seem so glamorous and risqué online. The reality is, entrepreneurism is more like free falling without a parachute. Entrepreneurs are the modern day Picassos in a sense….we get all creative and shit in the process of make something abstract worth some hard core cash.
Here’s a visual representation of what it looks like to be an entrepreneur:
Let’s face it, we all look like this or at least feel like this on the inside more often than not.
You might be an entrepreneur if:
you’ve created a to-do list for your to-do list
you’ve had no clients in your pipeline
you’ve been afraid to check your bank account
you’ve wanted to quit
you’ve found yourself creating discount codes / sales just to make rent
you share(d) an office with Starbucks and college students
you’ve followed up a million times on an unpaid invoice and begin to look psycho
you’ve panicked (the real reason we’re here today)
our WTF moment
Here’s the thing about being an entrepreneur: NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING 100% of the time. We’re the first to admit we don’t know it all or have it all together. Entrepreneurs have this keen way of making it seem like everything is working together seamlessly on the surface, while scrambling below deck to figure it all out… you know, the whole “fake it til you make it” saying. It’s almost like watching a two year old trying to convince you that they can read.
We like to use our STRIKE story as a point of reference for what it means to PIVOT, & NOT PANIC. As you may know, we planned a conference for 200 of our closest girlfriends, and 31 days out it all came collapsing down. We’re talking having to send cancellation letters to our sponsors, speakers, and ticket holders…a true wtf moment. In business, you have to be prepared for these moments. If you panic, you can implode, make the wrong decisions, decide to throw in the towel or do things out of fear (not the good kind of fear). Instead of panic…pivot.
What exactly does a pivot look like?
Pivot means taking a step back to assess the damages, the losses, the gains, etc. You need to pause and take a look at everything on the table. Some times pivoting can mean passing off projects, cutting costs, or even outsourcing. Pivoting looks different for everyone! This doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it simply means you’re ensuring you don’t make the same mistakes twice. In business, you have to be fluid and okay with change. We know 10 + 2 is equal to 12, but so is 6 +6 and 8 + 4. The intended outcome will be the same, but the process to get there may have to look a little different than you thought it would. Making a small pivot can keep you in the game and can actually act as a catalyst for growth!
Need another example? Let’s look at Instagram.
The famous social media platform used around the world was created with one thing in mind: the ability to share pictures online. Kevin Systrom, Instagram founder and CEO, started his journey working on an app called Burbn. Burbn was a local photo sharing app, however it failed to gain public interest. He went back to the drawing board and tweaked the code to be strictly compatible for iPhone users. He then partnered with someone else and gave it the name, Instagram. Within the first two hours of making the platform live, the system crashed multiple times and Instagram gained over 25,000 users in just 24 hours! Talk about a PIVOTAL moment. Systrom took time to look at the situation and assess how to take it from failure to success. He didn’t panic when his 10 + 2 didn’t work. He pivoted and used 2 x 6 instead.
iyanla, fix my life.
Are you at a point in business where you feel like it may not be worth it to continue? You may be at a point where you feel like your business or passion project isn’t growing anymore. Our advice? Don’t fold or throw in the towel without first pivoting!
Ask yourself these questions:
Where can I make shifts to better my brand?
Am I the best person to take this to the next level or can I outsource help?
Have I utilized all of my resources? (Friends, family, colleagues, that one person you vowed to not ask from help from, etc.)
Am I investing in my business properly? (over spending / under spending)
Have I visited my strategic plan recently? If so, restrategize where necessary. If not, then GO VISIT YOUR STRATEGY.
Is this filling/depleting my bank account/my purpose account?
Owning your own business is very fun, liberating, and challenging. We can tell you that it for sure isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is WORTH IT. To take something from your mind and cultivate it into something purposeful is one of the greatest feelings! The world needs more fearless creative humans like you. Now, go back to the drawing board and get shit done!