Two of the most important lessons I’ve learned, is knowing when to pivot (change direction), and how important focus is.
While developing The Cave Network (a future social enterprise that will help men improve their world by giving back with purpose), I’ve done plenty of research on start-up strategies and one thing that the experts talk about is that you need to be prepared to pivot. I’ve taken this advice and decided to action it with my day job at Pin Consult. I have pivoted away from being a consultant - who can help your business develop strategy, through to training your sales team in objection handling. I am focusing on one of my passions - helping individuals clarify their goals, discover their direction and purpose, and then teaching them a framework to achieve those goals. Which brings us to Focus.
I have been humbled by all the advice I have received since starting my business earlier this year. On more than one occasion I have been told that remaining focused is the number one challenge I will come up against as a small business owner. I am not sure that this is exactly the case. There are so many challenges and opportunities to navigate and leverage, however, I agree that focus is one of the most important things you need to consider, if you want to be successful*. I thought I was pretty good at finding focus; defining a businesses’ competitive advantage, a solution’s value, what it means to the customer and how to sell it. I still think I am, however, along my journey, I’ve learned that when you’re creating a professional services business, without a clear goal in mind, it is extremely difficult to find that focus.
Perhaps if I had that focus to start with I wouldn’t be needing to pivot?
My point is that in this increasingly fast changing world we need to be prepared to be flexible and pivot, however, if you don’t know where you are going – your goals - then how do you know when or which way to pivot to achieve them?
My advice is to start with some self-analysis - what is it that you really enjoy?
Think about your favourite job, what was it about that job which you really enjoyed? Think about the functions of the role that you were good at and got the most satisfaction from. As an example, when I started this journey, I realised that one of the functions I enjoyed the most as a sales leader was mentoring and coaching my team. I also enjoyed teaching concepts so perhaps it is no great surprise I am now a coach.
*Success is defined by the individual, not society –what you think of as success, may be different to what I think of. YOU define your own success, not society.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other person, organisation, employer or company. The author is a performance coach for individuals and businesses with a belief that we all have untapped potential which once found can improve performance. I draw on 25 years corporate experience, a Bachelor of Arts in Social & Cultural Anthropology and a Masters of Business Administration.
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