Are you panicking and pivoting in business?

The pivot panic and are you doing this in your business?  Pivot can be substituted for any word. If you don’t like the word you can define it as a decision, evolution, changing my mind, whatever you want. What happens when you made a decision, pivoted or changed. There can be this panic that sets in. It can be your decision or it can be someone else’s decision.

My story

I had experienced this two months before my wedding. I was made redundant from my role. Didn’t see it coming. My boss at the time was even coming to the wedding. So this was something that was not at all on my radar.

So 2 months before my wedding day I managed to keep my head up, walk out of that office, drove for a while and cried my eyes out. I called my husband, fiancé at the time, who was on his stag-do and told him I was made redundant. He was supportive and said it was all going to be fine. (he was going to be home later anyway so it was all good). It was decided, 2 months before the wedding day and so much to do.

This is not a pivot that I was planning for, but you know what? It’s fine. Just leave it be and when I get back from my honeymoon, then I’ll start to look for a job. So it was a pivot, it was a change that wasn’t my choice.

One month later, my fiancé walked back in the house 3 hours early. I was like, ‘’what are you doing here’’. It was a strange time for him to come home because it was during the day. The company that he worked for went into administration. There we are, one month out from the wedding now.

Owned a house, had cars, a lifestyle to pay for. We didn’t have a job between the two of us. Not only did we not have a job but we had no side hustle or any form of income generation at all. AT ALL. We were having a large abbey wedding of 150 people. Went ahead and put it to the back of our minds. Fully aware that we had a life that nobody was paying for right now. We had all the outward things of success.

We went ahead with the wedding and went ahead with the honeymoon. The honeymoon we had planned was an amazing one to the U.S. But we planned it as two professionals who were earning a lot of money. Obviously, those are not the same people who landed on their honeymoon. We were two out of work professionals not earning any money.

We had booked and were staying in very nice hotels but we couldn’t afford to eat and drink in them. There was one hotel we were staying at in Key West and we went to a store to buy some wine and some beer. We had to brown bag it in our holiday bag. It’s making me smile remembering because we were walking through the lobby of a very posh hotel with bottles clinking inside the beach bag that we had. We went up to our room and were watching the sunset at Sunset Key in Key West.

I remember making the big decision on that balcony. It hadn’t been my decision to be made redundant, it wasn’t my husband’s decision for the company he worked for to go into administration. It wasn’t our decision to pivot. But I remember sitting there on the balcony and saying ‘’No, I don’t want to go back to corporate life. I want to set up a business.’’

Panic after the decision

It is one thing making the decision and there is another thing that happens next. Which is what this post is all about. What happens after you make a decision? Making a decision in essence can be the easy part. The harder part is the follow-through. What happens next? Well: Panic! Hence the title of this post. We can panic because when we made the decision, how the hell can we transform it into reality.

One of the first things we do is to look for evidence why your decision is really great. In my case, I was looking for evidence that actually quitting a corporate role and setting up a business is a great thing to do. You might be doing that too with your decision, your pivot. What is going on in your mind right now? For me all those years ago I didn’t have any evidence. I do not come from an entrepreneurial family. We didn’t have any friends at the time that ran their own business. I went to my nearest and dearest and found no evidence for this decision at all. Not a single person who had a business, let alone a successful business. Big cross on that box.

I was still panicking, and the level of panic had only increased because I could find no evidence. Another thing that we do is use our head brain. We have 3 brains: head, heart and stomach. Our head brain is often the one we use to make decisions. I tried to logic my way out of this. I had these lists with lines going down the middle of pros and cons why it was a good or a bad decision. That is what we do and what you may do too. Trying to logic your way through a decision.

Why could that be the wrong thing to do? Our big old head brains are great, they process information a certain way. When we come to our heart and our stomach brain. Specifically, our stomach brain because it has more neurons than a cat. That means that sometimes we have that gut feeling it’s actually one of your brains trying to talk to you but you don’t know how to listen to it or how to interpret it. So we can then panic when we don’t listen to that brain.

My head brain was telling me it was an atrocious decision to make. I did my list and there were not a lot of good things on the pro side. But my stomach brain was telling me intuitively, that this was a great move for me. That is the next thing you need to do after making the decision, is to connect to your intuition. Your intuition knows things that you can’t even articulate. It often knows things before you can process them in your big old head brain.

We can drown out our intuition because of the panic. It’s very hard to say the word panic slowly and calmly. Try it. There is probably a part of you that clenches when you say it. That word is not just telling you that something is not ok in the world but there is a reason to get into fight, flight or freeze mode. Something is going wrong, you are not safe. How often is the decision that you are making or the pivot you are thinking of based on panic? Are you thinking about it in terms of not being safe rather than it feeling like an adventure? Your body will react differently.

So whilst this post is about pivot panic, choose a different word. Choose something for you that makes this decision to pivot feel like an option so that we are not engaging our reptilian response system. It does not just act differently when adrenaline enters the body, you also think differently. Because it’s thinking about how to keep you safe. Safety, by the way, is a very short term requirement. Your brain is not trying to keep you safe for the next 20 years, maybe the next 5 minutes. So it’s important to think about these things calmly.

How do you know if the pivot is led by fear or intuition

A question I get frequently asked by my clients, especially when they are looking through a pivot that in their big old head brain doesn't make sense. But they feel that is a really good move for them. How do you know if the pivot is led by fear or by intuition? FEAR is a great acronym by the way: False Evidence Appearing Real. Have you ever made a decision before solely based on fear? What did that feel like to you? What was your body doing at the time? Have you made a decision based on intuition? And what did that feel like?

Think of a time when you did not follow your intuition on something. Is there a time when your intuition told you something, this can be taking on a client and feeling that this person is not in alignment with you, not being on the same page or being a nightmare client, was there a time you approached that with your head brain? Intuitively you knew that the client would be bad but your head brain said ‘’take the money’’. You went over and above your intuition. How did that work out for you? Or any of those social dates you said yes to and your intuition was screaming at you ‘’no don’t go to that’’. How was it for you?

Something else that is really important to know about decisions and pivots lead by fear and intuition: it’s quite easy to articulate fear. ‘’I’m scared, terrified, fearful’’. There is a whole variety of language to keep yourself stuck where you are. Now try to articulate intuition. Imagine being at school right now and saying that your intuition said this was a great thing to do or a great subject to take by your intuition. Imagine having that conversation with a teacher. I can imagine that in my time that would not have gone well.

I had this very experience and it didn’t go well. When I was doing my GCSE, I intuitively wanted to do something else and actually got pulled into the head of years office with my parents to tell me why this was such a bad idea and didn’t make any sense for me to do it. That was a real-life experience, and many people have similar experiences when you have tried to express your intuition and it being overridden because we don’t know how to articulate it. If we often say ‘’it just feels like it is the best thing to do for me’’. That can be really awkward for someone to listen to because they don’t know what to do with that information. Sko know when you are pivoting or making a decision, it’s okay to just know and listen to your intuition.

 Pivot or a Pause

Another concept I want to address is the question of the need to pivot or do you need to pause. So instead of stopping something completely and making a decision to start something new, is there an option to pause? Are you doing something in your business right now like a revenue stream or a service or a price point that actually you are sure you don’t want to completely pivot away from? Can you just pause it for a little while? Try how it feels for you.

That’s something I did. While I was on my honeymoon I decided that I wanted to go into entrepreneurship. When I got back home, I was 28, had a very successful life that needed paying for. I had to put a pause on going full time in setting up a business because I needed the money. So I took work and grew my first business organically which started off as a side hustle. I could have decided to completely pivot away and get another corporate job but my pause was that I was going to do it at a different rate than other people might have thought.

When I started to take on work, I got up at five in the morning to do a cleaning job, to then got to my second job, to then come home and work on my business. I had the money for life, no capital investment because I didn’t plan on being made redundant at all and there were a lot of expenses with the wedding. That was my blend for a while for me to be able to go full time but still do a pivot. So your decision that you are making right now, do you need to pivot 100% away from whatever you are considering or can you put it on pause for a short time? 

Why you may hear people saying it’s a phase

Is there someone you can talk to about pivoting or pausing? I want to tackle something that I know is going to come up because I know it always does when we talk about pausing or pivoting. Why you may be hearing when you decided to pivot or pause or whatever it might be, you may find someone is giving you unsolicited advice and opinions on why to pause, pivot or keep going.

Especially getting unsolicited opinions is very different from saying to someone you love and admire ‘’What do you think about doing this?’’. When someone gives you their opinion without you inviting them, it says more about them than you. Because actually that pivot you are considering, they are wondering/trying on if that person does that what does that say about my life? That is what they are considering. Never forget that we can always set boundaries. So you can say: ''I love and respect you, but I’m not asking for your opinion right now.'' That is your choice of setting a boundary.

I know I had this when I closed and pivoted away from one of my successful membership clubs ‘Elevate You’. I had people saying to me, peers and colleagues that I respect, you are completely crazy to stop this when it’s successful, people like it, it’s making an impact on people and it’s making money.

But my intuition felt it was time for the next chapter and it should be closed.

Now if you haven’t learned the lessons from pivoting and panicking, I’m going to give you a list. If there is a pivot or decision you are considering right now:

  • Is it a decision based on intuition or fear?
  • Have you actually looked at if you want to pause or pivot?
  • Are you panicking right now from the decision you made?
  • If so are you completely withdrawing from the decision because it’s too big?
  • Really get centred. Do the regular practices: Journal, meditation, guided meditation, go on a walk, cycle, swim, square breathing.

I'm finishing this post with a truth bomb. There is always someone there waiting for you to make the wrong decision, because it makes them feel safe when you stop changing and growing. It’s a heavy truth, and it’s one to be aware of.  You can’t control others, and you can’t convince someone your pivot or decision is great for you, if they don’t want to see that.

All you can do is to pivot, evolve, and change through life – it's what we are meant to do.

If you're looking for support to move your business and life forward, you can work with me in the following ways:

Firstly a 90 minute on demand session, for a super boost of top-line strategy for how to kick off your 2022 for success.

Secondly a private accelerator day in person or on Zoom and 30 days of support, including 2 121 sessions. 

And if you are ready to work together 121, then why not come and listen to the podcast over on Apple Podcasts called Wielding Legacy


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