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Building Your Brand And Knowing When To Pivot

This is part 2 in my weekly Entrepreneurship Series. (Part 1 can be found here). It’s all about my journey from a young mom working as a Registered Nurse to a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur in less than 3 years. Today, I’m talking about how to pivot when things don’t go your way while you’re building a brand.

Building Your Brand During A Pandemic

Building a brand and reaching your audience is tough even in perfect conditions. And this could mean building your personal brand, collaborating on a marketing goal within a brand, or making the leap into entrepreneurship and starting your own brand. Part of building a brand is knowing when something is working, and knowing when you need to pivot

Building a brand during a global pandemic was certainly new for me, as it was for everyone else. But if you have a basic understanding of your customer and how to get products in front of them in a creative way, you’ll realize it’s not as impossible as you think!

Knowing When To Pivot

The word “pivot” sometimes sounds like a big scary move that comes after an epic fail but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! 

The truth is, everyone is constantly pivoting in some way, however, the Coronavirus pandemic has really put everyone to the test! So whether it’s a career change, a new way of marketing to an audience that is staying home more than ever, or even just adjusting big ideas to fit this new landscape, it’s important to remember that change is not a bad thing, it’s a sign of discipline, growth, and experience. 

One thing I had to learn very early on in my career was how to pivot in a smart way, and this has definitely helped during 2020. Pivots can be as small as changing up your marketing strategy, or as big as starting something new all together! But it doesn’t need to be a sudden move or snap decision, in fact, this is a misconception that limits many people from getting the right traction and momentum to succeed.

Risk Taking Zones

I was listening to a podcast with Jenny Blake, an amazing business coach, and she was explaining how there are 4 zones in regard to risk taking and changing. Some people are currently in their comfort zone, everything’s fine.. You’re just cruising along. When you hit a plateau, you go into a stagnation zone. You’re really bored and ready for a change. The sweet spot for pivoting, and making a strategic and impactful change is in your stretch zone, where you’re feeling challenged, engaged and excited. The goal is to begin to pivot within your stretch zone, not wait until you’re in the 4th zone, your panic zone. Because who can honestly say they make the best decisions while panicking?? 

You’ll know if you’re trying to make a move that’s too sharp if you feel like you’re in your panic zone, which is a debilitating fear that prevents you from taking action. 

If that’s the case, look for a smaller next step instead. It’s the small steps you make each day, each hour, and the constant reflection on what is helping you achieve your goals, and then applying them, that will help you succeed.

Excellence vs Perfection

This starts with setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself. One thing that I struggled with in my 20s was remembering to choose excellence over perfection. When you strive for perfection you are setting impossibly high standards that can never be met. Even when you do succeed at hitting metrics you once thought to be perfect, you will then develop new, higher, standards thus never truly feeling gratified. 

However, when you choose excellence, you set your standards high enough that they can be met with effort, practice, and persistence. You know that mistakes are normal and a way to learn. You value the process, not just the outcome, and you know that goals can be adjusted and altered when things don’t go your way.

So if you are working on building your own personal brand, starting a new company, or just trying to scale your current business, I challenge you to write a list of small, attainable things that will help you reach your goals. Is it posting on social media every single day? Is it meeting a colleague for coffee once a week to brainstorm and network? Write those things down and turn them into habits.

Habit Over Inspiration

Because sometimes you might find it hard to feel extremely inspired all of the time, but habit will sustain you whether you’re feeling inspired or not. 

Habit will help you finish and polish your goals. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice and will help you stay consistent on the path to your goals. 

So I hope that I COULD inspire you a little bit today. But always remember that a plan without action is a daydream. But action without a plan is a nightmare.

xo, Lauren

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