How to Pivot

“The factory is closing”, I heard my mom whisper into the phone. I was old enough to understand what that meant, but still too young to truly comprehend the magnitude of what the factory closing meant for us. My mom had worked at the pajama factory (town population 5k), sewing on the production line, for several years throughout the 1970s. Then around 1979, when the company sent their operations out of the country, my mom lost her job. It was at this point in her life, with only a high school diploma and a young child still at home (me) that she was forced to decide what came next. What she did decide was life changing, to say the least.

Circa 1974 Mom and me in the Philippine Islands

With nothing to lose, and all the pressure to support herself and me, mom took a chance. In her eyes she had no other options, because all she knew how to do really was sew. But, she did have a small dream of being a nurse. She received a grant from the state and applied to vocational school to become an LPN nurse in 1980. She would go on to work as a nurse for the next 20 years making a better life for us and certainly changing the direction of both her life and mine.

“Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

Pivoting in life or business is not always a voluntary option. However, for those that are thinking about going in a different direction or changing your path, there is a process.

9 Tips for Strategizing Your Life Pivot

  • Pivoting is a mindset – life is always changing, but if you fight it every single time then life will become a never ending battle. Life is all about change and change does not have to be bad. Step outside of your comfort zone and embrace change. Because wouldn’t you rather pivot on your own terms?!
  • Decide to STOP being unhappy – happiness is a much better feeling than dread every single day.
  • Set a timeline to focus on what you want – give yourself a week to sort out your indecision, fears, anger and the past. Start nailing down what you want your future to be!
  • Talk to people to get more information and feedback, but ultimately it is your decision and does it make you happy
  • Start looking for new opportunities – keep sending out new job applications, networking with more and more people in the right industries or jobs. Once your momentum builds, you’re going to get into the groove.
  • Try & fail – Each interview that doesn’t work out, each product or service design with glitches, all of these get you to your ultimate goal. And with a ton of knowledge when you get there.
  • Count your wins & honor the fails – Don’t be focused on the end result or you will lose momentum, instead celebrate your daily wins and write them down so you can see the progress and feel like Rocky Balboa! Also write down the fails and what your learned from each.
  • Be strategic – think outside of the box and focus your time on what will get you to the finish line. Don’t let others propel you off course.
  • Take chances on the unknown – embrace uncertainty and risk, but also keep in mind they are completely separate ideas. Some of the best things in life come with risk and taking chances. Remember “uncertainty is also a sense of possibilities”!

“Uncertainty is also a sense of possibilities”!