Founder’s Corner: Knowing When to Pivot in Business or Career

Have you ever held on to a relationship, a business venture or a job because it’s what you thought you were supposed to do? I mean, after all, you invested all those feelings, all that money and all that time that letting go would feel synonymous with defeat.

Unfortunately, that perspective couldn’t be further from the truth, but this is only the case when you have truly analyzed and assessed the matter.

So, how do you know when it’s time to pivot? When any of the following occur:

#1 – You no longer have an opportunity to learn. Quitting a job because it’s hard is one thing. Quitting a job because you’ve gotten all you could from it and were merely staying to pay the mortgage is another. When you are at the point in your work where the learning curve inverts, it may be time to go. 

#2 – When it no longer feels good. We all have our gut instincts on things, I mean, after all, life is a cycle of praying over personal choices.  But if you are more motivated by the need to ‘prove people wrong’ than you are by the actual work you are doing, then you are using your talents in the wrong place.  Working to show the world you are capable robs you of precious time that you can never get back. The only person you ever have to seek validation from is yourself. Are you proud?, are you happy? Your feelings are all that matter

“Wisdom is knowing what you want and what you need. Happiness is knowing what you have to keep and what you have to let go.”

3. When you have exhausted all your funds and the signs show you that the time between landing the funding you need and going further into debt would put you in a vulnerable position. What’s a vulnerable position? That’s personal; each of us has our own thresholds of risk tolerance. In general, if you are going to run the risk of losing your house, running through your children’s savings accounts, or maxing out your credit cards for the umpteenth time, it may be a sign that your strategy needs to be revisited and you should work to cut every unnecessary expense possible.  This may mean cutting the entire idea and you should be prepared to make this decision with your mind and not your heart.

#4 – With limited time, limited resources, and limited supports, your ability to pivot quickly may be challenged.  If you’ve been working on a project, with a company, or on a venture for a number of years with the same approach, you may either need to acknowledge that your pathway for growth is limited or ask yourself if you have the energy needed to pivot with enough ferocity to stay relevant.

Natalie Madeira Cofield

Natalie Madeira Cofield is the founder of Walker’s Legacy, a global women in business collective for enterprising multi-cultural women.

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Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.