I often hear people talking about pivoting in their business or wanting to try new things, like adding new revenue streams. But I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to know when that right time is. So let’s dive into pivoting: what it is, when to do it, and how to do it right.
First, let’s talk about what I mean by pivoting. If you’re like me, you hear the word “Pivot” and that scene from Friends immediately comes to mind. You know the one.
But in the entrepreneur game, what do we mean by a pivot? Well, I think of it is as changing directions. It can be a massive change or just a slight change, but it always involves trying a new path. Now there’s a reason that I say that it can be a slight change or a massive change: I don’t like that the word can carry a lot of finality to it. Sometimes, it sounds like when you make a pivot in your business you can never go back, but that just isn’t true. You can make a slight pivot and, if it doesn’t work, you can pivot back. A pivot can be an experiment. So if you’re wanting to lean into a pivot but you’re thinking “but what if it doesn’t work out!”, well maybe take some of the pressure off because you can always pivot back.
Looking back, I’ve had about 3 large pivots. The first was a biggie and happened only a few years after I finished college. I had been working in the entertainment scene in LA, I had a great job working for a high-level CEO of a major production and management company, but I found myself intrigued by the wedding industry, specifically wedding planning. So I started dabbling in the event industry and then when my then-boyfriend, now husband, decided to make a move to Nashville, I decided to start my wedding planning business there.
After planning weddings for about 5 years, I started to feel the call to offer coaching and mentorship. I definitely hesitated more this time around because I kept thinking, “Who am I to coach people? I’m not expert enough yet to mentor others.” But people asked me so I said yes. After basically dipping my toes in the water, I finally went all in in 2015 and fully embraced the pivot. I created a personal brand and launched The Pricing Workbook, and then went on to launch a lot of other things and really grow from there.
And now I’ve found myself, here in 2019, in the midst of yet another pivot over the past couple of years. I’m feeling super confident that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and helping who I’m supposed to be helping, but this pivot was less obvious to me than the others. I still coach, I still teach, I still have a personal brand, but what I’m teaching and who I’m serving now vs. 5 years ago is totally different. And once again, I was kind of thrown into it. I was at a retreat with some of my business and mastermind friends in early 2017 and a friend was looking for a project manager. My business partner at the time, Ginny Krauss, basically offered me up. The next thing I knew I was a business and project manager and I found myself leaning more and more into that work and having less time and less space for coaching.
So I made the decision about 6 months ago, in late 2018, to stop doing 1:1 coaching and instead only focus on group coaching through my Profit Accelerator program and Plan to Profit monthly membership group. These were big steps! 1:1 coaching and strategy sessions had been a huge part of my revenue for a long time, so to suddenly give that up was scary. But being scared is totally normal when you’re pivoting. You’re not going to have a crystal clear view of what’s in store. You’re not going to have all the steps or all the answers... and that’s OK.
I made a decision to lean into this new direction where, instead of doing a lot of 1:1 coaching with wedding professionals, I’d be offering business strategy, management, and integration to online entrepreneurs. But the one thing that kept holding me back a bit from fully pivoting was that my audience, at least up until a few months ago, was primary wedding pros. Because that’s who I’ve been teaching and serving for so many years. But in order for me to fully pivot, I had to do something really scary: I had to change my niche. I had to start speaking to not just anyone and everyone with a business, but instead only to the people I am now serving or want to serve, most of whom are those online business owners who have a 1:1 offer. That’s who I now serve. And that’s where I’m now heading. I’ve learned so much about creating multiple offers, scaling with various revenue streams, creating courses and a product like The Pricing Workbook, running launches, and I’ve been using what I know to work on teams as a project manager and Integrator for years now. But in order to fully complete this most recent pivot, I had to get really clear on who I serve and how I help people now, not 5 years ago.
So if you are in a season of pivoting and are maybe just now leaning into the idea of a pivot in your business, know that it’s a lot like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. There will be unknowns, it will require you to get a bit uncomfortable at times, and you’ll have to do things that are scary. But when you emerge on the other side, it will be AWESOME.
Just because you know it’s time to pivot, or that something needs to change in your business, doesn’t mean that it’s that simple. You don’t snap your fingers and have a new direction overnight. It can take time. It’s not about chasing shiny objects — it’s about getting unstuck wherever you are in your business right now.
If you’re in a season of pivoting, I’d love it if you share your story and hit me up on Instagram @kristinckaplan! And if you’re wondering if you should pivot or not, check out my other blog: When It’s NOT Time to Pivot in Your Business.