Pivotup! explores being Reactive vs Proactive


Many times people want to know what the first steps to a positive pivot look like. How do you pivot up to the next level? It’s important to know where you want to go. Just pivoting over and over again leads to moving in a circle but pivoting up is planned and purposeful.

Being proactive, or Pivoting with intent, means stating your intentions and creating some type of plan, in your head or in a business plan, and working towards a goal. In this mode, you are aware of opportunities and take them and evaluate whether they are a good fit for your larger plan. If they aren’t, move on and if they are, step into the opportunity and explore more!

Being reactive is waiting for life to offer you up opportunities and decide if you will engage with those opportunities or not. Indecision is often the biggest decision in reactive mode. Thus you may work for a company for 10 years with no raise, or commute hours to a job that is slowly sucking your soul. Perhaps it’s time to try a proactive approach.

Designing your Professional and Personal Life Pivot

For some, your pivot is more personal. You may be just starting your career out of college or you may have been laid off. You may need to leave the industry your in and its unclear where to go next. This is a perfect time to build and plan for a pivot. Identifying where you want to go, even loosely is a great way to start.

Usually, my pivotup clients are designing life from the inside out- they don't want to commute, they want more time with family, they want more flexibility, they need to learn how to do something like sales and haven't practiced that skill in a long time. They want to start a business. In fact, the advice is very close to the same.

Entrepreneurial Circle

Pushing through to some planning is hard for some. I get it, I was resistant to it at first as well. My life has been a ton of planning and then as the saying goes, “You plan and God laughs”.

My path has never been straight. But that’s ok. Because understanding the line is crooked and not a straight path is key. Keeping your eye on that goal is key. Adjusting and even creating new or different dreams are part of the journey in life. Just watch that you aren’t stuck in the same issue and facing the same problem again and again. You’ll get stuck in a circle vs moving forward. So, how do you make the best of it?

Designing a Business Pivot

My father, a CEO, used to open a retail store- building it as if there were going to be lines out the door before anyone even knew the store was there. With no customer in sight, my father would make some bread, open the doors and offer free samples and then kill ‘em with kindness. This process was set in place over 20 times in my childhood- building for success.

I watched him do this over and over through the years and it never failed. His planning saved us as the holidays came through like a hurricane of people and products. Even though this wasn’t a written plan with strategic objectives, his team learned how he wanted to set up the next operation pretty easily.

As a CEO, we are tasked with two main objectives:

•    building a strong company culture through the people we hire

•    building and maintaining a vision for the organization as a whole.

Oh yes and be profitable as well.

Many of us have a busy task list that concentrates on the day to day- making life and work run efficiently and enjoying the time in the trenches. But when it’s time to grow or make a strategic decision, if there hasn't been an annual planning mechanism or a regular check in with your greater goal, well then, most of the decisions made are reactive not proactive. Most times, those 2 main objectives get lost in the fog of smaller fires put out everyday.

Visioning Activity

Take time to write your internal desire stating your intention is hard. You may need a Gut Check to help you hone in on what you want out of life currently.

Try this:

Where you are vs Where you want be

Whether this is for you or for your business: Take some time to define in a paragraph where you are currently and then in another paragraph define where you want to be. Make it as focused or as big as you want. Take time to explain it in detail. Explore more than one option. It’s Ok to have a Plan B or even a Plan C.

Now read it out loud. How does it feel? Break out the first 3 steps you need to take.

Voila! This defines your path in a quick manner. You now have the main goal at the end. You have developed your vision and it can be expressed in many ways. Some people tape their paragraph near their work station. Some people create a visual representation. Some people say it out loud to others to make it real. What ever you have to do to get yourself moving in the right direction- Begin it!

You’ve done it before, you may just be out of practice. If so, try this activity to get you in the right mindset.

Be Proactive! Pivotup!

Kim Kleeman