Let us check in. At this point, you have started a business (maybe) and we have covered how the first two important characteristics to possess in entrepreneurship are commitment and resilience. Dope. You are mentally focused with commitment. You are standing strong with resilience. Your beach house is sturdy.
But now what? What the heck do you do next?
Commitment and resilience are great but they are isolated to moments of preparation and reaction. What is missing is the action in between that moves your business forward in some way.
This is why characteristic #3 is ADAPTABILITY.
Adaptability creates movement. Commitment and resilience are the bookends.
Tomorrow you will send an email. You will make a landing page. Test a prototype. Whatever is on your to-do list. Because you have committed to scaling your business, you will succeed in achieving the most important items on your to-do list, moving yourself that little bit forward. But that success does not remain. You will get tired. You will procrastinate. Your prototype will break. A client refuses to pay you. You committed, though, so how can you handle adversity that comes on a daily basis?
You adapt. The two types of adaptability are to pivot and to evolve.
1. Pivot = changing direction for a period of time in order to maintain movement.
This could look like temporarily switching to a different task or changing the entire focus of the company and starting in a totally new direction.
A few years ago, I became stuck with my business because I realized that my business' obstacle was marketing. I did not yet know what kind of marketing would be most effective for my business, but I did know that I had ZERO knowledge or training in marketing and ZERO interest in learning about marketing. That was the choice point. I could either pivot and temporarily focus on something else or I could evolve and learn about marketing.
I chose to pivot because I did not desire to learn marketing enough at that moment to pursue it, even though I knew that I desired to learn it at some point.
2. Evolve = advancing your skills and knowledge in the moment in order to overtake the adversity.
Examples of this include developing self-talk rituals in order to push through procrastination or enrolling in a graduate degree program to learn all new things that will serve your business.
I have evolved in many more ways than I have pivoted throughout the life of my business. For example, I recently took an online class on a personal development coaching method that is similar to what I already offer but fills in the blanks that I noticed in my current service. When I recognized a client's need that I could not meet, I chose to learn how to meet that need instead of pivot and change the direction of the client's goals at that time or adjusting my service offering.
Disclaimer 1. Let me be clear: pivoting does not mean ignoring.
Because you are changing direction does not mean that you are turning a blind eye to an obstacle that would benefit you to overcome. In my example, I knew that marketing was important and that I would have to learn it at some point. At that time, however, I did not have the desire to learn the skills or the resources to hire someone else for the task.
Over the few years that followed, I learned not only what kind of marketing is appropriate for my business but I was also ready to devote time to learning how to enact it. I pivoted three years ago knowing full well that I would have to face marketing some day.
Disclaimer 2. The form that evolution takes is specifically different to every person.
For one entrepreneur, it may look like mental fortitude to get off the couch or pick up the phone. For another, it will look like formally enrolling in a class or hiring some kind of coach. Another still may sit down on their couch and teach themselves the new skill. If you read my post way back about learning styles, ask yourself how best you like to learn. Knowing that will help you plan for how to react when an obstacle comes your way.
If you can learn to implement both, you are golden forever because you will always have new opportunities to practice. For now, start with what feels healthy for you.
What obstacles have you faced so far?
How did you respond to them?
What obstacles are you currently facing?
How will you adapt to them?