The 5 M’s of Pivoting Powerfully

I was recently invited by a colleague to speak to her audience via an Instagram LIVE video about managing change. She described me as “The Queen of Pivoting” which made me giggle. Then, it made me think. I suppose that it’s true that I’ve survived more than a few shifts.

Those of us who work in the pawn industry know all too well that things don’t always go according to plan. So I thought I’d share a few lessons I’ve learned along the way that are easily remembered as The 5 M’s of Pivoting:

MOVEMENT: An unforeseen change in your life is disorienting. I have learned to give myself the necessary time to work through those feelings instead of rushing to the next step. After you’ve taken a breath, there comes a time to shake the dust from your heels and move forward as you’re able, remembering to give yourself credit for even the smallest progressive steps. Pivoting is all about shifting and changing your course in response to new conditions, which is difficult to do if we try to move too far too fast. Focus on progressing forward but resist the temptation to rush. Even a slow start is the beginning of something fresh and new.

MARKS: Pay attention to others’ success and use their achievements as your benchmarks so that you can set your own milestones. When I launched this blog after an unexpected change in my career, I researched similar blogs from other industries and took a long look at PR firms, and Content Marketers that I admire and would like to emulate in order to distill what made them successful. I used this insight to set a vision for what I wanted to achieve. Without marks or measures, it’s impossible to know what success looks like, so take the time to define it as part of your plan to pivot.

MENTORS: There are times when going it alone can be exhilarating, but this isn’t one of them. You need the support of friends and family who have your back and you should also seek a mentor’s support. A mentor is a person who has specialized knowledge that can educate and motivate you as you rebuild. They can offer valuable insight into what it takes to get ahead, offer an outside perspective, serve as a sounding board, and help you stay focused.

MASTERY: The term ‘pivot’ is popular among entrepreneurial leaders and most of the stories we hear about successful pivots paint a picture of dramatic shifts that pop up out of nowhere like a glittery rainbow and save the day. Like the Wall Street banker who seemingly woke up one day and launched a fabulous career as a professional chef. It’s been my experience, however, that even when you throw yourself into a completely different endeavor, there are still core pieces of your past, even the painful parts of it, that you’ll rely upon as you shift. You may, in fact, find that instead of a giant swing towards something completely new and different, your pivot is actually just a refreshed version of your former self. It is, after all, possible to pivot without abandoning everything that you’ve built in the past. Leaning into your core skills, abilities, and accomplishments is the essential starting point from which you can launch your next big thing. Even if you decide to go into a completely different endeavor, tapping into your experience and expertise will serve you well as you redefine your situation and face the future.

MANTRAS: In the same way that a planted seed yields a flower, the things that we tell ourselves can take root in the fertile soil of our minds. It’s therefore important to find ways to make sure that those messages are positive, even when (especially when) times are tough. Whether it’s a reassuring phrase, quote, or sound, look for mantras that can serve as a touchstone for your future success. Like seeds planted in our garden, it’s important to nurture these messages so that, over time, they’ll bear the fruit of your intention. One of my favorites is “Everything is temporary” which helps me to rush the bad times and relish the good ones.

I’d love to hear from you — how have you found the power to pivot in your own experience? What mantras or messages help you manage change? Sound off in the comments below or get in touch!

The blog post originally appeared at The Pawnbroker Network.

I'm a storyteller and dots connector. I'm drawn to telling stories about industries that are misunderstood or stigmatized.