In this episode, I talk about the difference between Shifts and Pivots. There’s a distinct difference between the two words, and as entrepreneurs, we are often required to change direction and Pivot. I believe though Shifts are a much better alternative.
In fact, a Pivot is “a fixed point supporting something that turns or balances“. How can you possibly implement real change simply by rotating on the same fixed point?
A Shift is what’s required. Change direction and continue moving forward!
Full transcript below.
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pivot, shifts, moving, voluntary, word, thought, planted, ownership, fake, involuntary, entrepreneur, entrepreneurial path, owner, definition, person, direction, lesson, necessity, weirdly, achieving
Mike Malatesta 00:04
Hey, everybody, welcome back to the How’d It Happen podcast. So happy to have you here with me today. And today I want to talk about why I believe shifts always beat pivots. Probably something you haven’t thought about, but I’m gonna help you think about it today.
One of the things that you hear about lately are pivots, all the time, Pivots is like a new like success-celebrated word for entrepreneurs. You know, if you haven’t pivoted your business, you are, you’re somehow not doing what an entrepreneur is supposed to do. First of all, the implication is that by pivoting, you’ve changed your idea, or your go-to-market strategy, or whatever number of things, from something that wasn’t working to something that is going to work. And I always think to myself, well, if, your original idea didn’t work the way you thought it was, why would you think a pivot would work? And I can get into, you know, a whole discussion about that. But the that I want to share with you today is that — I’m a words person, and the word ‘pivot’ in that sort of context doesn’t make sense to me, because pivot is really moving around a fixed point. So when you’re pivoting, you’re not really changing direction, you’re, you know, either going in a circle, like in the industrial definition, like a machinery definition of a pivot, or, like in a sports definition of a pivot, you’ve got one foot planted, and the other one is moving. And it’s really trying to fake out the other person; it’s not really sending you in a different direction. It’s really a misdirection-type thing. So if I pivot fake left, and then go right, I’m hoping that you take the fake, and I go the other way. And in business, I don’t think we’re doing that; we’re not pivoting when we change, we’re shifting.
And so, that’s why I chose ‘shift’ in the title of my book ‘Owner Shift,’ because it’s kind of a play on ownership; ‘ownership’ is having responsibility for the company, owning it, and ‘owner shift’ because as you go along the entrepreneurial path, there are all these things that are going to come at you that you’re going to learn from or get burned by, that are going to require you to shift and keep moving forward. And the thing I like to think about and remind people of is, oftentimes, those shifts aren’t voluntary shifts, they’re not intentional shifts on the part of the person. I, for one, can say that I’ve shifted many, many, many times over my career, but I haven’t always shifted because I wanted to shift. And I haven’t always shifted because I thought that shifting was the best thing. I’ve shifted for all kinds of reasons. But completely voluntary, like I realized I needed to do something different. So I shifted.
And then there’s the involuntary ones, the ones where I thought what I was doing was the right thing to be doing. And I got counsel, or I got a lesson or, you know, maybe I was flat out hit over the head with a baseball bat to realize that whatever I was thinking was not the right thinking. And so I kind of think of shifts as being not just way different than pivots and a way more appropriate word, but also, like in the book cover, I’ve got shifts sort of italicized and there’s like a movement to it because there’s definitely movement which shifts, and that it’s not always, as I said, voluntary. It’s almost like sometimes someone has to hook a chain to you and drag you a little bit out of a shift ditch. And so I just love the word shift. And I dislike the word pivot.
So I just wanted to give that out today as something for you all to think about. Because really, to me, if you’re moving forward or moving sideways, or sometimes maybe you’re even moving backward, it’s because of circumstances or because of lessons or because of necessity or whatever it might be. You’re always, by actually moving, you’re always making progress, more progress towards where you want to end up, what you want your life to be. And so I teach all my Ownership Coaching clients, that pivoting gets them nowhere. So let’s think about that. Let’s remove the word pivot from our vocabulary for now, unless you’re on the basketball court and you’re actually pivoting, let’s just think about shifting; let’s think about where shifting will get us, because I believe that shifts always beat pivots. And I believe that shifts are a natural, normal, and necessary progression toward achieving your goals and toward getting what you want out of life, making your future your property. Thanks for listening and until next time, be good.