Pivot, Pivot, Pivot!

An important business lesson from Ross Geller and an essential entrepreneurial skill that can be identified based on 4 character attributes.

When we listen to entrepreneurs pitching their vision and path towards success, we ask ourselves if they will be able to pivot to get there.

The world is shaping businesses increasingly unpredictable and fast. The likelihood that any of us will have an unwavering path to entrepreneurial success is less and less likely. Winners will be those who adapt and learn from their mistakes. People need to be nimble in order to increase their chances of success dramatically.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs think discussing potential pivots will limit their chances of getting an investment. They limit themselves to selling their path towards success which actually decreases their chances to land an investment.

A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision. It’s simply an alternative way to be more successful and achieve your vision. I believe pivoting is a very important skill that increases the likelihood of success.

Character attributes

We try to predict a person’s ability to pivot before the need to pivot occurs. We look for four important attributes: intelligence, self-awareness, empathy, and modesty.

Intelligence

Intelligence is the ability to perceive or infer information and retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context. You can’t adapt if you are not able to process and analyze the vast amount of information that comes your way.

Self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to look outside of oneself, and see yourself as others see you. You can’t act on new information effectively unless you can see its effect on you. Self-awareness is the core to adaptation — unless you understand why you act in a certain way, you cannot act differently.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to perceive how your actions affect those around you. It creates a feedback loop, where you measure your actions and subsequent reactions. For example, the concept of understanding your customer and making something your customer wants, relies heavily on this cycle.

Modesty

Modesty is having a limited and not overly high opinion of oneself and one’s abilities. Modest people are more likely to listen to others, value opinions, collaborate, and learn. People with big egos tend to lose sight of the bigger picture. They cannot connect with other people and a collective purpose. Without a collective purpose, businesses are not able to pivot.

Conclusion

When we encounter people with a purpose who are open, willing, and able to pivot towards success, we are more than happy to consider an investment and discuss important topics like:

  • target audience(s);
  • tweaking products and services;
  • pricing;
  • streamlining processes;
  • etc.