Wisdom//

How I Discovered the Power of Unexpected Turns

In a moment of crisis in my career, I learned how to pivot.

Gwoeii/ Shutterstock
Gwoeii/ Shutterstock

Several years ago, I hit a major road bump in my life. My business was on the brink of collapsing, I was faced with a health scare, and it seemed like everything around me was falling apart. It was one of the most difficult times in my life, but the lessons that I learned during that time were invaluable.

Those lessons have empowered me to walk others through seasons of transition and turbulence in their own lives. I want to share a few insights with you about how to master moments of pivot in your life and career. These insights helped me get through my difficult time, and I believe they can help you navigate moments of crisis and challenges in your own life.

No person is exempt from pressure. When I was struggling to keep my business afloat, every detail felt stressful. Money was drying up, and the board that I had set in place to help guide and govern the organization was falling apart. In fact, things were so bad that I had to shut down the business for a while because things were just not working at the time. One thing I know is that pressure will always reveal who you really are. It is easy to be positive and inspirational when everything is going okay in your life. However, pressure reveals your heart and it will expose your commitment to greatness. I also had a health scare during that time, likely because of my stress levels. A friend of mine had just told me that I needed to slow down and make some changes in my life. However, I was so focused on saving the business and making progress that I ignored the warning. After that health scare, I realized that my work ethic was not healthy, and that I needed to make some major changes or my entire life was going to collapse. I learned that pressure is often the catalyst for change and transition in our lives, and can signal the changes we need to make to live better, and work smarter.

You have to acknowledge what is not working in your life. So many of us try to deny when things aren’t working, and that ends up backfiring in the long run. At some point, you have to wake up and be willing to acknowledge what is not working in order for things to change. Personally, when I discovered that my business plan was not going to work, I had to look at other areas of my life first. Everything was out of balance, and I have learned over the years that without balance, our lives will break down. It is not enough for you to be aware that things are not working in your life. Awareness without acknowledgment will never produce adjustments in your life. On the other hand, awareness coupled with acknowledgement will cause an awakening to happen in your life. Acknowledge what is not working so you can be empowered to make adjustments and accelerate your life. And remember, when something is not working, that doesn’t mean you have failed.

You must master the art of pivoting. My greatest failures have come from trying to compare and compete with other people. I realized that I had to learn how to stay in my own zone of specialty. I started seeing that when I stayed focused on my strengths, that is when I had the greatest edge. My business and life were not working because I was not staying true to myself. When I made the decision to pivot, it propelled my entire life forward. A pivot is simply making a turn that ultimately shifts the trajectory of your life. Pivots are powerful but they require perception to be well executed. I stopped doing what everyone else was doing and I stopped doing what other people wanted me to do. At that moment, I made a non-negotiable decision that I was going to live true to my vision and my values. It was the best decision I ever made and it ushered me into a realm of success. I learned that not only will pivoting preserve you, but it will also empower you to make lasting change.

Be OK with reinventing yourself. Thankfully, my business is still standing and still empowering people all over. It has not been an easy journey. I have faced criticism, opposition, and immense challenges. However, everything that I have faced I have used as fuel to usher me into greatness. One of the things that I believe has helped me over the years is learning how to reinvent myself. While my message will never change, I have discovered new methods of communicating my message to people all around the world. In fact, my decision to reinvent myself is what has earned me the reputation of a respected thought leader. As a twenty-first-century leader, you need to be OK with starting over, and accepting that you might need to reinvent yourself. Every year, take a moment to study your business model, evaluate your brand and position yourself for greater success. Your skills may make you relevant; however, your ability to effectively brand yourself will make you timeless.

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