As a business strategist, one of my strengths is assessing a situation and mapping out a plan to get a desired result. But one thing that time has taught me, is that plans don’t always go … according to plan.
Take last Thursday for example …
Everything involved in our morning routine to get the Cub to preschool was moving along perfectly. He woke up on time. Ate his breakfast. Got dressed. Brushed his teeth while I fussed over his hair. Even Mama got a shower in!
While I was packing his backpack, and getting his water bottle ready my husband and the Cub headed out to the garage to get into the truck and him strapped into his car seat.
That’s when plans changed.
I had a puzzled look on my face when my husband came back into the house and asked me where my keys where. He’d already looked for them in their normal spot (I’m a creature of habit) and couldn’t find them. Still puzzled as to why he needed them, he informed me that my truck was locked.
I know that news, in and of itself probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but since I park my truck in the garage, I never lock it - and now we don’t know where my keys are.
On a hunch, I asked the Cub if he had locked Mommy’s truck, to which he responded, “YES!” Makes sense, since earlier that week I had him practicing locking the doors with the remote each time we got out of the truck to run errands – but this morning, that lesson was serving as a great example of when teaching your toddler a new skill goes wrong. LOL
Now it was time for the million dollar question, “do you know where Mommy’s keys are now?” And of course his response was, “I don’t know.”
So queue the frantic search around the house looking for a set of keys. Keys that have a specific resting spot, but now could literally be anywhere in our home. We were racing against the clock with each moment that passed and eventually passed the point of no return as far as being able to get to school on time for the day.
Not that my missing keys weren't a big enough problem - but the plan for the rest of the day was dependent on a successful preschool drop off. I had scheduled a few networking dates and needed to do a couple of domestic tasks at home (without my three foot shadow following me around). And my husband was looking forward to working in peace for a few hours with everyone else being out of the house.
We needed to pivot.
We stopped our fruitless search, and my husband and I had a quick chat to discuss everything that was going on, and come up with our new plan.
I’d call the school and let them know the Cub wasn’t coming and I’d reach out to my networking dates to let them know about my current situation. He was going to find a locksmith to come to the house and get us into my truck and was going to re-arrange his meetings so the Cub could stay with him while I did my networking thing.
And then my husband had a brilliant idea – to call our roadside assistance service instead of a locksmith!
Roadside assistance was at our house in about 20-minutes, and popped the locks to my truck in about 90-seconds. And to our surprise (and relief) both sets of keys to the truck where inside the truck. In a matter minutes we got the Cub squared away with an activity, my husband settled into his adjusted schedule and I was off to my first date.
That’s just how it is sometimes, especially in business – you have to remain committed to your vision, but flexible in and with your approach.
Have you ever found yourself frustrated trying to stick to a rigid schedule or plan? I want to remind you of a few tips to help you stay focused, yet be prepared to pivot when needed.
To start, let’s breakdown what a pivot is. A pivot in your business is simply a shift in your strategy … a new plan. It doesn’t mean you have to rewrite the entire vision for your business, it just might require a little creativity to fully bring it to fruition.
Let’s keep it real, your intuition alerts you when things are starting to go off course and you’re not making the traction toward your goals like you should be. Don’t ignore that! It might not be an easy conversation to have with yourself, but who said building and running business was always easy?
The more you learn to trust in your intuition the more comfortable you’ll get with making the tough decisions – you are essentially building trust equity with yourself as the boss of your business.
Once you realize that a pivot is needed, take action as soon as you can. Failing to do so can lead to wasting a lot of time, energy and even money.
Take our key fiasco for example. We could have spent hours searching the house for keys, but to what gain? We needed to adjust the plan as quickly as possible to move towards a solution that was best for everyone in our family.
When a pending change is at hand, a different perspective might be helpful. Sometimes the feedback, advice or ideas from a trusted resource can help shape the decision you need to make in your business – BIG emphasis on trusted.
I think Winston Churchill said it best, “there is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” Change happens. Expect it, create a great plan to navigate through it and remember to be flexible in your execution.
Let me know if you need help with the planning. I want to gift you some of my time, so click here to schedule a coffee date for us to talk through the changes you’re thinking about in your business.