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The Rona Pivot: Growth and Greater Mission in Business

The Rona Pivot. It's not the new dance craze sweeping the nation (though it probably should be).

What I'm referring to is the pivot or quick turn into a new direction that many independent creatives and entrepreneurs are having to make. The culture has changed and it's probably never going to return to what it was. In order to keep up, we're all having to rethink what being in business looks like. Moreover, we're being thrust into higher growth with a greater mission.

Opportunity to Grow

Let's face it: before the pandemic, many of us were barely making ends meet no matter how successful we were on paper. Who wants to “get back to normal” when normal was always tight? For many small business folks, this time serves as an opportunity grow into something better.

Pivoting requires us to renew our entrepreneurial vows and remember why we were in business in the first place. It's an opportunity to re-evaluate our goals and even start from a different position.

Aim High

I hear so many small business owners cut themselves off at the legs with limiting self talk. They’ll say, “I don’t want to be rich. I just want to make enough to survive and take care of my family.” This kind of talking doesn't result in the sustainability required to withstand catastrophe. Furthermore, you never know how far you can go until you pursue your passion with all your heart and in line with the highest version of your values. If getting rich isn't at the forefront of your mind, focus, instead on what you DO want.

Pivot your business with the mind to succeed and help others succeed in the process of acclimating to the new normal. By succeeding, you are engaging in the self care required to thrive and be able to help others. By helping others succeed you're establishing a system of accountability. If your work translates directly into someone else’s ability to feed their kids and pay their mortgage, it won’t be as easy to justify Netflix and Chill just because no one is telling you to go to work.

Revisit Your Mission

Life will throw curve balls right at your face. When you're knocked on your tailbone and all you can see is shapes and colors, you need to be able to return to the mission that you wrote when you were fully conscious. The mission is your reason for doing what you do. It’s not necessarily technical. It’s not necessarily fancy. Hell, it’s not even necessarily realistic! It is your true honest gut reason for doing what you do. If you've never made a mission statement before, now is the time to do so.

Your mission statement answers the following 3 questions:

1: Who do you want to help? Some refer to this as your “target market” or “target audience.” I prefer to see the "who" as one specific person whom you know you can help with your expertise and talent. In the first draft of your mission statement, use their name.* For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll call her Monica. If you want to help Monica (as opposed to yourself), you can gain the perspective necessary to disentangle your business from your personal life. You will better recognize that how you think may not be how Monica thinks and you’ll understand how to listen to Monica to help her the way she wants and needs to be helped…not the way you think she should be helped, lol.

By building a relationship with Monica, pivoting becomes much easier because you won’t have to lean to your own understanding. Just ask Monica. I guarantee that she’ll still want what you have to offer, even if she has to adjust her habits to receive it.

*In the final draft of your mission statement, don’t use a name. You don’t want Monica mad at you for telling everybody in the world that she has halitosis and psoriasis. However, if Monica sees herself in the description of who you want to help, you might have your first client.

2: How are you going to help them? You named the problem. Now tell us the solution. You’ve studied and worked your whole life. What are you offering Monica to help her solve the problem you know she has? Monica doesn’t want to hear your resume. She wants to know how you plan to solve her problem. So tell her straight.

3: Why you’re the only one who can help them. Clearly, Monica has tried other things. She’s tired of people not understanding what she’s talking about or dismissing her for a myriad of other reasons. You see Monica; you have tailored your solution specifically to her. That’s personal and that makes you essential and irreplaceable. Monica may be one person, but there are at least 7-14 million other people with that exact problem.*

*I got the number by factoring 1/10 of 1% of the world’s population. That’s 1/1000 of people. And chances are, more than 1 out of 1000 people have the problem you’re gonna solve.

The world may be in an uproar, but your clients didn't stop needing you to be on your game. By leaning into growth, aiming high, and creating or revisiting your mission you are setting yourself up to pivot your business quickly to continue caring for your people and yourself.

If you need more motivation, consider entering the Quarantine Creations Challenge for a chance to win $50 in recognition of your homespun creativity. Deadline for entries is May 31.

Dr. Cathryn D. Blue is a social psychologist, indie artist consultant, and contributor to

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