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010: Pivot or 180 Degree Change?

pivot or 180 degree change

Listen Here and Now for How to Decide What Your Business Needs – Pivot or 180?

Of course there are a couple more options than pivot or 180.  We’ll break down for you 2 checks to help you decide for your business.  Plus, there’s a bonus tip!

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Quotable of the Week

“You can’t rush clarity.” -Marie Forleo

As you hear in Brandon’s story, it took him over a decade of 180 degree changes before landing in a business where we’ve been able to make pivots over the last 7 years.  From the Marines to the music industry to IT to coffee, Marie’s quotation rings true.  When deciding what’s best for you and your business, “You can’t rush clarity.”

Highlights from the Episode

  • If you’re like me you’re tired of hearing the word “pivot.”  Thanks to Lean Startup, pivot has become a buzzword that gets used way too often in some circles.  
  • But I do have to admit that there’s value to the truth behind the idea of pivot.  
  • Pivoting isn’t the full story though.  Sometimes a small change isn’t what you or your business needs.  Sometimes you need a to do a complete 180.  
  • So, how do you know which path is the best way forward for you and your business?  Should you pivot slightly? Do you need a 180 degree change?  Is there a middle ground answer? Should you simply persevere with what you’re currently doing?
  • The short answer: It depends.  It depends on your industry.  It depends on your stage in the business.  But most importantly it depends on you and your customers.
  • Today, we have 2 checks and balances to determine if you should pivot or make a 180.

Check #1: Check Yourself.

  • Go off on your own for however long you need.  Bring your head and your heart.  List all the logical and emotional reasons to make a pivot, do a 180 change, and to stay the same.  Push yourself to think deeply.  Don’t rush yourself.  Get all the reasons out.  Then, read them through to yourself a few times.  Mull them over.
  • Find the time and reserve it in your calendar.  Don’t delay.  Do it before the end of the year.
  • Remember to do this without any distractions.

Check #2: Check Your Customers

  • Many people forget the roots of Lean Startup, which are nothing new, just packaged differently.  At its roots, the Lean Startup model is all about talking to your current and potential customers.
  • Sit over coffee.  Send out a survey.  Talk with them on the phone.  Do whatever it takes to get their perspective.
  • Some Dos and Don’ts
    • Don’t ask them for their opinion about your product.
    • Do ask them about their hopes, dreams, pains, and struggles.
    • Do get to know them and how your service or product fits into their lives.
    • Don’t sit there at your computer planning who to ask and what to ask.
    • Do get out from behind your computer screen and talk with your customers.
    • Don’t wait.
    • Do try to have 1 conversation today.   
    • Don’t just talk to 1 person.
    • Do get info from at least 10 but as many as practical.
    • Do compile all the information you receive.  Take notes.  Write a summary after the conversation.
    • Don’t rush it.  *See quote of the week.*
    • Do read through the results a few times.  Mull it over.

One bonus tip:

  • Sometimes (actually more often than not) we’re so close to our businesses that we can’t think objectively about them.  This is why coaching can be so helpful.  
  • Do these exercises on your own or with your team.  Then, consider if having a third-party objective voice (aka a coach) would be helpful.  
  • If you decide the answer is yes, sign up a strategy session with us.  We’ll talk about your pivot or 180 decision and, if applicable, what kind of coaching package would fit your situation best.   If you think there’s a 10% chance coaching could be beneficial for you, we suggest taking the chance.  It’ll only cost you a twenty minutes of your time but it could be life-changing.

Concluding Remark about Pivot or 180?

We all do pivots and 180s in our lives throughout our lives and businesses.  The goal is to build on what you’ve done in the past.  Use your past to amplify your future.  You’re on the right track.  There will be changes coming.  Get ready!


Sign up for a complimentary 20-minute strategy session with one of us here.
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    Hello again. Great podcast. Good advice and practical for where I am at the close of this year. I have attended the online boot camp and that also was full of practical steps for getting started or refining Big Vision. Starting Small. Your check in points about when to use the coaching services resonated with me. What are the steps to receiving the coaching from Overflow? Price ranges? Etc. My “enterprise” is a non-profit with no product, so to speak. We are totally donor-driven and service based since 2004. We are at a “pivot” point or shut down. Our main purpose is about as accomplished as we can get. But we do have two programs going too well to quit on now. Main issues – diminished donor support and family needs overtaking the professional level of time it takes to do this non-profit well. Something has to be determined in 2018. Would like to hear from you re: coaching options.

    Dale! So great to hear from you! You’re not the only one we heard back from on how timely this episode is. Glad we’re striking a cord. Let’s chat on the phone about coaching options. You can set up a 20-minute call here: Looking forward to exploring options and hearing more about your pivot ideas.

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