IN THE UNITED States, there are 32.5 million small businesses, which employ 46.8 percent of the private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2020, the five-year survival rate of new businesses was 48.8 percent.
Even if you are full of integrity, optimism, drive and transparency, success often takes longer than one thinks. Why? Many reasons! Others don’t come through on their word, products fail and processes break down. Life throws illnesses, deaths, family disputes, wars, recessions and more our way.
Bohdi Sanders is often credited with saying, “During times of persistent hardship is when the warrior learns the most about his fortitude.” The way of the entrepreneurial warrior is one in which we learn to move with the changing tides and walk through the battlefield, pivoting nimbly and powerfully into success.
Pivoting Nimbly and Powerfully Into Success: The Way of the Entrepreneurial Warrior
Even if we know what we want and communicate without any BS, life and business can be very challenging. Sometimes, we even sabotage ourselves by thinking it should be the other way around. Things don’t work out, money is wasted, partners and colleagues disappoint, the competition wins, the money runs out and so on. Enter the way of the entrepreneurial warrior: It is all about pivoting, staying nimble and becoming stronger. Even when we are extremely clear on our mission, even if we are outstanding at execution and communication, the path to success is very rarely, if ever, a straight line.
We hear the term “pivot” quite often in the entrepreneurial world. Pivoting is a shift in strategy, a change of direction. It can be focusing on a new target market, gaining new insight, altering the original paradigm or developing new product features. But pivoting nimbly and powerfully often means much more — it is problem-solving for consistent business flow and chasing after new opportunities, all the while aligning with the mission and working toward success.
Pivoting requires us to do our homework and analyze from every angle, constantly learning and growing as we develop new insights regardless of whether the change is drastic or evolving. It requires research, strategic decision-making, developing a plan and committing to the end goal. The strong and nimble pivot allows us to forge a new path toward successful growth, personally and professionally. Pivoting requires guts, clear and simple, along with a healthy dose of confidence that we are making the best choices for our future.
The Challenge of Speaking Truth in Life and Work
Following the very twisted, sometimes tortuous path of speaking our truth in life and work as we follow the way of the entrepreneurial warrior can be truly challenging. Speaking truth in business often means telling others what needs to be done differently or what is being done wrong. Everyone has opinions on what is good or bad, how situations can be improved, and what is important — and all those opinions are true for each individual. The point is speaking our truth can sometimes be challenging someone else’s truth.
Entrepreneurs are in unique positions of power as the leaders of their organizations. Speaking our truth isn’t so much about challenging directors or managers in a traditional workplace but rather challenging industry leaders with whom we are in competition or inspiring our customers to clearly see the truth we are offering. When we speak our truth, we are questioning the status quo and seeking to make the world a better place.
So, just how do we do it? Speaking the truth begins with understanding the other side’s perspective. Next, we must realize the worth and value of our truth. Our focus must remain on the positive change we believe we can make as well as the benefits that change will bring. From our position of truth, we can help others hear the truth we are speaking as we walk our talk, no matter how contorted the path.
Avoiding Self-Sabotage When Expectations Fall Short or Failures Come
Pivoting, while speaking our truth, can result in expectations that fall short and failures that arise along the way. We set goals for ourselves and begin forging our path only to self-sabotage when disappointment comes. We need to remember, in every pivot, there is the chance for a setback. With every setback comes a choice — we can attack, berate and judge our failures or give ourselves another chance, garner support and keep moving forward. The key is not giving up in light of our shortcomings but treating ourselves with compassion and grace so we can recover more quickly and move toward our goals. Think of each setback as an opportunity for improvement, a chance to learn something new about ourselves, while becoming stronger and more resilient.
Success and failure walk hand in hand. The way of the entrepreneurial warrior guides us to move forward, nimbly pivoting and growing stronger. Walking our talk is never a straight line. Our path will have twists and turns, but success is in our grasp as long as the way climbs upward.