When to Pivot Your Business - and When to Just Quit (part 2)
Miles Jennings, Independent consultant and experienced CEO of several start-up companies wrote about pivoting for Entrepreneur magazine. When there is a need for change, the inevitable question comes up: should we just quit? Jennings says this:“If you’re even thinking about pivoting, it’s because you sense something isn’t quite right. You may have many metrics in your favor, and even solid revenue, but an honest assessment of the situation is such that you know you’re not quite going in the right direction. Or it could be entirely dark and stormy, with revenue dropping and customers disappearing; you wonder if it isn’t time to throw in the towel.”He suggests holding yourself steady and asking a few questions so you can know clearly where you organization stands.:
Funding: Do you have enough money to make it at least another six months?
Staff: Are your staff still engaged; are they believers in your mission?
Investors: Are the biggest funders of your firm supportive of your direction?
If your answer is yes to all these questions, then a pivot is a possibility that can take you to the next level. If the answer is no to one or two of these questions, then you should seriously consider quitting.The problem is, we live I a society that idolizes success and demonizes failure, Calling it quits quitting may seem like that could happen. But some of the most courageous leaders are applauding failure as a necessity to find out what is really going on and what actually works for individuals professionally and personally. As Seth Godin famously taught at the beginning of his book The Dip, winners quit the right things at the right time. But before quitting, you should consider the possibility of a pivot.According to various successful entrepreneurs, this is what has been proven necessary in a leader whose is able to make the right call: (Entrepreneur Magazine)Honesty disconnected from an ego: They were willing to face facts that their “great idea” wasn’t actually so great but there was a much better idea, validated by the information awaiting them if they were willing to admit they were wrong. They didn’t see this as humiliation—just facing reality.Awareness coupled with a trust of instinct: Good leaders instinctively know their businesses. The possibility of a pivot is usually the result of slow awareness of what is working and what isn’t laid against the gut instincts of the Leadership. The reality that it may be time to quit is a painful feeling, but one that should not simply be dismissed.Consultation with trusted mentors: Very often we consult mentors because we want their wisdom and objectivity that is not influenced by our emotions and struggles. But also too, seeking their advice allows us to measure how convincing we are to ourselves as we present the issues. Do we believe what we are saying? How much we actually believe ourselves tells us a lot about what direction we need to go.Entrepreneurs are very often stubborn. Sometimes it is an advantage, but it can also delude people into persevering longer than they should have. It may have taken a lot out of you getting the company to this point and you just don’t want to change things, Sometimes, people aren’t kind to themselves or those around them when they get obsessed with the dream. If they are unwilling to change when it is needed, they may ignore their own well-being and can lose the dreams they were pursuing and the realities they already possessed.One CEO says, “If you aren’t in love with what you’re doing, you need to find a way to replace yourself so that the company has the best chance of succeeding, because a pivot without your passion is a disaster in the making.”While it may not seem like it, just facing the question of pivoting vs quitting is a milestone. You have faced your fears. answer to whether you should pivot or quit isn’t easy, but it is simple if you will trust yourself and those around you, and be brutally honest about the present and your hopes for the future.