This is part one of our two-part Pivot to Success series.
The last two weeks of the year is unofficially designated as a time for reflection.
When you look back on this year how does it make you feel?
Did you accomplish the goals you set out to achieve?
If you did, kudos to you. Dare I say that the majority of us mere mortals still have quite a few items on our list that we didn’t tackle.
You probably have a ton of reasons why you weren’t able to cross those goals off of your list. I get it. Life gets in the way.
However, when you take a closer look at your list, are there outstanding goals that make an appearance every year? If so, it’s time to do some soul searching to find out why this is the case. Clearly, it’s something that you want to do, so what’s stopping you?
You may not want to admit it, but there’s a strong possibility that fear may be the culprit. You may not feel like you have enough knowledge, confidence, etc. to go after your goal. So instead, you settle for seeing that goal on your list year after year because it makes you feel hopeful that this may be your year.
I hate to burst your bubble, but you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Speaking from experience, I know this is the case. In order to be successful in life, you have to learn how to pivot. When you see yourself going down the wrong road, don’t be afraid to turn around. Being prideful will always lead to a dead end.
Starting a business has been on my bucket list for a very long time. However, earlier this year I decided it was finally time for me to *truly* take my shot. I decided to start Starengu while I was working my full time job. I know there are a lot of people who quit their jobs to start their blogs/business, but I was not one of those people. I will go into much further detail in my next blog post as to how I was able to accomplish this feat. It wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad I did it this way because after being on my job for 6 years, I ended up getting laid off.
I took being laid off as an opportunity to revisit the path that I have always felt God was trying to lead me to throughout my life…to start my own business. I was done living my life like an ATM. Regardless of the fact that I deposited, hard work, patience, etc. I had to accept the fact that oftentimes you may not be able to immediately withdraw your goals.
One of my major goals for 2018, is to master the art of pivoting (it’s one of my theme words in my goal setting formula). In case you’re in the same boat as me, here are some of the ways that you can pivot your way to success:
1. Focus on creating your ideal lifestyle
What kind of lifestyle do you desire? One with structure and stability? Flexibility? If you’re someone who enjoys a strict 9 to 5 and stability then being an entrepreneur is probably not the best avenue to pursue. Although many people idolize the entrepreneurship lifestyle, but they aren’t ready to put in the work. There’s nothing passive about creating income as an entrepreneur (especially an online endeavor). This path isn’t meant for everyone.
Don’t let anyone “shame” you into thinking that there is something wrong with being an employee. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with having a 9 to 5 and a side hustle. In my opinion, if you can’t do both then you won’t be a great entrepreneur because you have to know how to manage your time.
If you decide to completely take the leap into entrepreneurship, then you will need to kick instant gratification to the curb. There will be many times when you will need to put in numerous hours without receiving any pay, recognition, etc. When you start your business, you will to need to put in a lot of hours to get your endeavor off the ground. However, if you remain consistent in putting in the work, you will eventually reap the benefits.
2. Know Your Lane with SWOT
The main obstacle many entrepreneurs will encounter is doubt. Can I really accomplish (insert xyz)? The degree of success you can expect to experience is contingent on your answer. I’m a faith it ‘till you make it kind of girl, so my answer is always going to be ‘yes.’
What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you’re starting your business on a shoestring budget, many of the tasks that need to be completed will require a DIY approach. One of my favorite ways to approach a project (especially a new one) is to conduct a SWOT analysis (you can download your free SWOT analysis right here). If you’re not familiar with the approach, the main goal of a SWOT analysis is to assess your current situation.
A SWOT analysis allows you to uncover your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you need to take into consideration before you start your project. If you can easily identify the aforementioned, then this will reduce the time it takes for you to experience success. Based on your answers, you will be able to create a goal setting formula and routine that will help you achieve your goals.
For example, if I know that if I’m lacking in a particular skill then I go above and beyond to get the answer to my question by taking workshops, online courses, etc. This will keep costs down while allowing you the ability to gain a general idea of how the task should be completed. This will help prevent you from being taking advantage of as well as identifying tasks that you wish to outsource in the future. Making continuing education a priority, because it will allow you to quickly identify trends that you otherwise may not have noticed.
Technology is evolving everyday. Therefore, your current job may not necessarily be there tomorrow. The cannibalization of jobs is more evident in some industries than others. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have a back up plan in place.
For example, I’m a techie with a marketing degree. I have worked for very prestigious companies on some amazing accounts. Therefore, the transition into my “second act” will not be hard for me. Gain whatever concepts and skills you need to learn to ensure that your transition is just as smooth.
3. Make SMART Goals
Based on the information that you gain from your SWOT analysis, you can create SMART goals. Emphasis on SMART. The reason many people fail in achieving their dreams is because they aren’t able to effectively track their progress. SMART goals define the actions that you are going to take along with the ability to effectively measure those actions.
It’s important to have a benchmark so you can identify your progress, create forecasts, etc. You can learn how to create your own SMART goals by clicking here.
4. Prioritize your time
There are a lot of different tasks that you need to consider when you decide to start your business. Many of them will need to be completed by you if you can’t afford to outsource them. If you don’t have money then you will need to invest your time. If you don’t have time then you will need to invest your money. Only you can determine which one of those scenarios fit your current situation.
Regardless of your choice, you have to master the ability to prioritize your time. We all have the same 24 hours. Those who experience the most success understand how important it is to reclaim your time and invest in yourself. This is a lot easier to achieve when your squad supports your dream of starting your own business. They can help you stay motivated during the ups and downs of your journey.
Even if you don’t have this type of support in your life, this doesn’t mean that you are doomed. You have the power to encourage yourself by changing the channel on negative thinking. Don’t allow yourself to be your own worst enemy. Your willingness to work hard towards your goals can serve as a reminder to the naysayers of all the dreams that they failed to pursue. Don’t allow the naysayers to get to you. Stay focused on achieving your goals so you can serve as an inspiration to others.
5. Roll with the punches
You will encounter a lot of ups and downs during your journey. You may even discover you chose the wrong route. Everyone’s journey is going to be different, but the destination is the same…success. There are so many paths that you can take to get there. Yet, some routes are better than others.
Just because you took the route as a writer doesn’t mean that you can’t take a detour and become a website designer. The quicker you identify which route brings you the most joy, feel free to go through the aforementioned steps again to identify any obstacles that you may come across.
Time to make it happen
Regardless of whether you are just starting your journey or a seasoned entrepreneur, a successful pivot begins with changing your mindset. These are the steps that have helped me in my endeavor to pivot to success. If you’re curious to see what type of entrepreneur you are then be sure to take the below quiz. Don’t forget to download the SWOT analysis that pushed helped me make to create Starengu. It’s time for YOUR year to start now!
In the next post, I will discuss how I created Starengu while working a 9 to 5. It wasn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth the investment.
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