To Pivot or Not to Pivot? That Is the Question

By Jordyn DiOrio

In a time when business owners are being bombarded by messages to pivot their businesses and innovate in the midst of a global pandemic and mandatory quarantines, many are finding digital communities to lean on for the support and resources they need.

The Coven is a co-working space in Minnesota that supports women and non-binary folks with physical office spaces and events. When the pandemic hit, The Coven took its existing online platform to connect with current members and launched new pay-what-you-can digital memberships to grow this part of the business.

Last week, The Coven hosted a virtual event called “F*ck the Pivot,” which covered whether or not pivoting is the answer for everyone right now. Nora McInerny of Still Kickin, Seena Hodges of The Woke Coach, and Erinn Farrell and Alex West Steinman of The Coven hosted the discussion and Q&A about changes in times of uncertainty.

Here are the four biggest takeaways:

  1. The first pivot may not be the right solution, but that is OK. There may be changes you’ve made to your business that felt right in the moment but ultimately haven’t been beneficial to the business or valuable to your customers. It’s OK if the first adjustment doesn’t work. Assess what worked and what didn’t, then get smarter about your next move.
  2. If you’re struggling to pivot, it means there might be something more there. Erinn Farrell turned to the physical notion of pivoting. “In order to physically pivot your body, you need to have a stable point in order to move.” There are businesses that were already built on digital platforms and can more easily expand those offerings. For others, building a whole new platform would not be as seamless. Before you reposition to pivot, make sure it won’t be a shaky move.
  3. Comparison is a thief of joy. Stop setting the bar for your business success by the achievements of other businesses that have the ability to change quickly. What works for some will not work for everyone. Now more than ever, it’s important to be easy on yourself and celebrate whatever small wins you may have.
  4. Cs get degrees. This may not be a habit you keep forever, but in a time of stress, what would happen if we did just enough to move forward? Get the work done, stay sane and go for progress over perfection? This may be a challenge for high achievers, but it’s OK not to be an “A” student all the time.

What about your business? Have you decided to pivot?

About the author: Jordyn DiOrio is a designer with a passion for business who believes in empowering those around her. She founded her successful company, MEND Jewelry, in 2017. Her natural abilities to connect and collaborate led her to My Founder Story, where she focuses on elevating the organization’s community of female founders.

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