Ask yourself a better question and expand your capacity to pivot and grow, by redefining what pivot means to you.

I love buzzwords, and even more than I love the buzzwords themselves, I love redefining the words for you. Because we get in these business ruts, where we hear things so often that we tune them out or they lose meaning to us, or even worse, we stop applying those words to our own growth. The word of the day today is pivot.

Pivot, to me, does not mean what it means in the business buzzword market today. And Adam Markel, founder of the Pivot Incubator, agrees with me. So let’s get to redefining.

What Does It Mean To Pivot?

To pivot is to utilize disruption and welcome change. To have the capacity to pivot is the opposite of stagnation. Pivoting does not necessarily represent sudden and crazy over-the-top change and direction shifts. Pivoting is actually a process. And what is a process? A system that is repeatable, that creates a similar sustainable result every time – a system that is profitable. Knowing this, it makes sense that for your business to grow, be successful, and remain relevant, you must have a process in place that represents how you pivot.

Proactive vs. Reactive, Defense Without Offense

No sports team would approach a game by only playing defense. Sure, defense matters, but offense is also necessary to see continuous growth, energy, and success.

  • Your default settings represent this reactive, defensive side of your business, where you maintain your status quo.
  • Pivoting represents the proactive and innovative side of your business.

Here’s How You Can (Redefine) Pivot Right Now

Let’s first talk about the one powerful question you need to be asking yourself regularly:

“What business am I going to be running in 3-5 years?”

You might not know the answer to this question, and that’s great. Join the humble ranks of our world’s greatest innovators who found themselves asking questions that nobody knew the answer to. But you need to be asking this question because when you ask, this begins the process of pivoting. This act of asking creates space for an answer, and this is the beginning of your pivot process.

It is so important for you to recognize that there is a successful (read repeatable) process for pivoting and re-inventing you, your company or brand, looking for “clear space” opportunity, and chances to be ‘me-only’.

Here Are Adam’s 3 Major Steps (which I totally love):

  1. Get Clarity. For my partner and I, this is the telltale sign of a potentially successful path for any brand we work with – when they know who they are, who they want to impact and speak to, where to find them, and are willing to pivot to make that connection between all three clearer. Then there is a higher likelihood for success.
  2. Build Momentum. Having a big goal is great but sometimes we need small goals too, to prove to ourselves we are building momentum and that our actions are creating new change and opportunities. Plus, it gives us a much-needed chance to celebrate our successes along the way.
  3. Remove Obstacles. There are always going to be obstacles, but when it is clear that the success path needs to have an obstacle removed, then it’s an innovation challenge. The ability to recognize obstacles before they become disasters only comes from clarity, and the ability to remove obstacles before they become disasters only happens when you have enough momentum to make it happen.

You have a responsibility as an entrepreneur to achieve harmony, success, and serve the greater good for your brand, your company and your self. Your contributions, your processes, your pivot points… these are your responsibilities as the founder and CEO. You find your path, and now you consciously pave it.


Read the original INC article published on October 3, 2017.

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