the key to success

Make a Living From Your Passion: Pivoting – The Key to Success

Recently I heard an interview of Lewis Howes on the Glenn Beck Program. For one, it’s awesome that he was able to be on the show. It gives the online marketing world a bit of credibility when one of our own goes mainstream like that – even though Glenn really isn’t that mainstream.

But secondly, he talked about many things in the interview that I didn’t know. Things that started filling up some holes in his story that I didn’t know.

One of the biggest things he talked about in the chat was a word called “pivoting”.

This word is something I want to discuss in this week’s post and why it’s important that you know how to do it.


The Importance of Pivoting

Sometimes, in doing work we believe is our passion, we find out that the work we’re doing isn’t sustainable.

Perhaps it’s not bringing in as much revenue as we would have expected, or maybe we just grow tired of the work itself.

Whatever the reason, it seems like it’s just not working for us anymore.

The question then comes up, should we simply persevere, quit, or pivot.

For many, the solution would be to either persevere or quit. You either keep going through the bad times because something good is eventually going to happen… right?

Or, on the other hand, you choose to just stop.

Here’s the thing, though. The perseverance thing is borderline insanity. And nothing ever happens if you just “quit”. Nothing.

What I learned from Lewis in his conversation with Glenn is that his life is full of pivoting.

He chose to get off his sister’s couch as opposed to being mad at the universe and staying there.

He chose to win.


How to Pivot:

Now you might be wondering – how exactly do I pivot.

Well, pivoting simply means to figure out what IS working and then adjust.


Let’s say you have a niche product that you designed with the help of your potential clients in the hospitality industry.

You ended up with a site that would allow your users to book tables online. However, you realized that they simply were using it to check menus.

How could you pivot from that?

Since the menus are all they want, maybe focus on getting as many menus as possible and giving away a few with a free account – if they want more. Or you could make the service free for a certain amount of time and then charge a certain amount from there.


Here’s an example using niche marketing.

In the movie “The Founder”, we saw that Ray Kroc felt that he was getting screwed out of what should have been owed to him by the McDonald’s brothers.

So, instead of simply selling the idea of the restaurant to the potential franchisees, he started the actual real estate side of what would eventually be the McDonald’s Corporation. The company would do the work to find the best locations for the store, and then turn around and lease that land to the franchisee when they started their own restaurant.


Additional Sources:

If it sounds like it might be time for you to pivot in your life or business, I have a few other sources just for you.

I want to make sure you hear the conversation between Glenn and Lewis from this past Friday. It’s great stuff that I think anyone who’s trying to build their own passion based business should hear.

When the NFL didn’t work out for Lewis – he could have quit right then, but he chose not to:

Another source is from Success Magazine. In this post, they say to keep from failing completely,  you need to ask “What’s next?”. As you’ll find out, being to answer that question is vital to being successful.


And finally, our friends over at Fizzle discussed this question early on about businesses. They answer the question of knowing When is it time to quit, pivot, or persevere?

Action Steps:

Here’s the thing, pivoting is a huge part of being an entrepreneur. If something isn’t working, you simply can’t give up and quit.

When things are definitely not working, you can’t just hope for the best.


There was a book I read in college called “Who Moved My Cheese?” about two mice that found themselves in a maze on a daily basis. The goal was to get to the cheese the quickest. After a while, the cheese wasn’t there anymore. One mouse decided that they would keep going to the same place, day after day, hoping that the cheese would come back.

The other mouse, set out into the deeper parts of the maze to see if had been moved.

Low and behold, it was.

A good entrepreneur always has plan A’s, B’s, and C’s so that if one of those plans looks like it’s actually failing, they can move on to the next one.

If you’ve had to pivot in your life or business, I’d love to hear about it!

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