Having a growth mindset enables you to do a business pivot
I launched my business 4 years ago with the view that I would be focusing on coaching with some consultancy projects. When Covid struck, I wasn't long into my new business so I played it safe and stuck to long-term contract and consultancy projects. Whilst this was great from a financial security perspective, I realised that I wasn't being true to my calling and doing the type of work that really fires me up, and where I perform at my best. I wasn't doing as much coaching as I had planned neither. In this blog, I look at lessons learned and how I'm pivoting my business.
North Star or Blind Spot?
Entrepreneurs are hugely passionate about their business ideas, products and/or services. They have a clear compelling vision and mission, driven by their passion to bring it to life. On the one hand this is really powerful and becomes their guiding North Star for success but on the other hand, it can also become a blindspot.
A blindspot is when others around you are aware of something but you're not. An example of this is when I started my business and decided to focus on working with SMEs as the smaller ones don't have access to internal Human Resources (HR) and Learning & Development (L&D) resources and I knew that I could add so much value. I attended lots of SME networking events but soon found that the conversations were based on managing recruitment, performance, conduct and absence - very operational and at the opposite end of my services spectrum. It wasn't until I had a mentoring session with a Chamber mentor and he pointed out the obvious (blindspot). He asked me why I was trying to break into a completely different market with no prior experience or network contacts when my market already existed - corporate, this is where I had spent most of my career. It was so obvious when he said it!
Getting too comfortable in your comfort zone
Once I realised the error of my ways, I pivoted to what I knew best (working with larger, complex organisations) and took on several successive and successful HR and L&D projects but before I knew it 3.5 years had lapsed. I'd become too comfortable in my comfort zone with regular work and a regular income. Towards the end of last year, I spent some time reflecting on the last 3.5 years, acknowledging that the projects had been a blessing during Covid but no longer served a purpose as they didn't align to my original business model. I had to admit to myself that I'd allowed the project work to go on for too long and needed to make a clean break and get back on track.
Pushing through the stretch zone
Towards the end of last year, I had several conversations with a friend and ex-colleague about developing a joint venture. We've worked together before, we're both hugely passionate about people development, being creative and having fun along the way. When we realised the breadth and depth of our experience, knowledge and skills across HR, L&D and Talent Management, it was an obvious step for us both and Leading Edge Partnership was born. However, it meant me leaving my comfort zone and moving into my stretch zone, moving from working full-time to a few consultancy days a month whilst we build the business up and having to fight the odd moments of panic! This would be another pivot for me as I didn't want to wind down Talenta and I would be co-founding another business which would mean relinquishing some autonomy.
Getting to the learning zone
Luckily, I have been able to retain some ongoing part-time consultancy work focusing on L&D which is a win/win for me - some financial security and doing work that I love. I'm able to divide the rest of my time and focus between my 2 businesses - Talenta and Leading Edge Partnership. I've gone back to the drawing board with Talenta and decided to focus on career coaching (including business coaching) as this is the type of coaching I have predominately been involved in over the last 4 years. When I thought back to the wise words of the Chamber mentor, I realised that through my own career journey and having 20 years experience of recruitment, I have a real appreciation of the challenges of career development. I've investing more time into understanding marketing and loving having the time to learn business management fundamentals properly this time round.
What I've learned
Things usually work out the way they're meant to in the end
Adopt a regular and consistent practice to move your business forward
Use your values to check for alignment and congruence
It's tough trying to do everything on your own - work with others, create a virtual team
Don't be afraid to admit when things aren't working
Don't be afraid to pivot your business (or career)
Adopt a growth mindset - be open to new ways of thinking and working
Have fun, life's too short
Some questions for you...
How satisfied are you with your career?
What are you really passionate about
What's your IKIGAI (reason for being)?
If you could do anything, what would it be?
What's stopping you from having the career you want?
If you're thinking of a career or business pivot, or struggling with a career transition, and in need of some support, get in touch with me on 07791 863092 or at email@example.com.