Learn To Pivot

JKLTip Learn to embrace learning and change instead of the “plan”
Learn To Pivot, Ocean Liner, Jet Ski

We can all agree that the concept of a linear path to success is rare. More rare and confusing today than ever. Throughout life we zig, and we zag, sometimes we jump, duck, or maybe even take a step back. But we can do all of this with a purpose if we learn to pivot.

There is a Winston Churchill quote that rings true at this moment. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”. I have no way of knowing the exact context in which he was speaking, but what I do know is that it’s true for all of us. The most critical decision for anyone is to know when to stay the course, or when it might be time to change direction. 

The Art of The Pivot

I learned the term pivot first from basketball as a kid. And, I think the skill of a pivot in the sport actually acts as a tremendous metaphor in terms of learning to pivot in business, and goal setting. In basketball, you pivot by maintaining one foot planted in place, as though there is a permanent stake drilling it to the floor. Meanwhile, the rest of your body is free to move around, back and forth, as you decide on the next step.

I have heard somewhere a number of times the saying “adapt, or die”. Trying to learn to pivot is challenging because we must balance change with the importance of consistency and patience. That’s why I truly believe the pivot is both an art and a science. Sometimes we change slowly and sometimes we change rapidly. 

Jet Ski Vs Cargo Ship

There are times we must pivot quickly, on the fly and rely on instinct. In the micro, you may have planned to do a coaching call, but the internet service provider informed you there will be a twenty-minute delay. Perhaps at this moment, you could do the banking that was scheduled for the next block instead. Or maybe your schedule involves engaging with your Instagram community, but you see that a topic in your field is trending worldwide. Perhaps hopping on to Twitter to engage in conversation will be the best use of the morning. Every example here is a pivot that could come up at the moment.

Other times it requires a slower, calculated decision based more on data. In the macro, we may be facing a challenge with the location of a brick and mortar business, where moving to another side of the street might help. Perhaps we want to add a physical location after having built up an e-commerce store. Or maybe it’s redesigning a logo, or hiring our first employee. All of these are potential solutions to problems that may require a pivot.

What Does This Have To Do With JKL200?

JKL200 is a project so near and dear to my heart that I believe I’ll work on it for the rest of my life. Learning something for 200 hours and sharing the results with you is what I love to do. So, I never expected to pivot within this project. Two hundred hours can go quickly enough and I believe strongly in “done is better than perfect”. 

But, then the pandemic happened and I had to learn to pivot. I had to make a decision, to continue to learn filmmaking in isolation, or find something else? Two factors came into play that led to this pivot.

One, there were so many collaborations planned with awesome filmmakers. And, I feel it’s well worth the wait to revisit them in the future. And, two, many of my students, friends, family, and colleagues are recognizing the importance of remote work. I have received more questions than ever on the topics of online business that could help people. So, a pivot was born.

For the current JKL200, I am going to focus on learning “online business for 200 hours”. I’m not sure exactly what that will become, but that’s the beauty of the project. What do you think of when you hear the term “online business”?

What I do know is that online business is a very important topic right now. It’s also something that I can learn while in quarantine. In the case of this pivot, it wasn’t quick but wasn’t slow. I suppose it was more like a pontoon boat. Either way, we’re headed in a new direction.

Read: About “Why We Started Just Keep Learning”
Write: A Guest Post – 8 Billion People Blog
Buy: Best Mental Health Book: Eckhart Tolle Power Of Now


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