When we own our on businesses, it’s only natural that at some point (and often at many points), we pivot our business.
But how do we know when it’s time to pivot? And what if it’s not time to pivot, but it’s actually time to take a break or even time to close the business?
When you feel confused, lackluster about your work, or pulled toward something else, it can be a challenge to figure out: What should I do about this?
Pay attention to the signs
Sometimes, you might be approaching burnout and what you really need is a break.
Other times, something is “off” or out of alignment with your business.
Yet other times, your work might be fine, but you feel called toward doing something else.
After going through this cycle a few times myself, and witnessing it in my clients, I’ve realized how critical it is to understand where you’re at and how to best move forward. So I’ve put together my best coaching tips on how to know if it’s time to pivot, rest or quit.
How to know if it’s time to pivot
You’re doing all you need to do to keep it running, to serve your clients, to get new clients. But inside, you’re feeling the pull toward something else.
The “something else” could be a new skill or passion you’ve just discovered, a new way you want of serving clients, a new offering that you’d love to sell. Maybe you have a gut feeling that you want to take your business in a different direction. Maybe clients are showing up at your door wanting something different than what you have to offer.
Whatever it is, it’s something you just can’t seem to ignore it. Feeling this call or urge to do things differently is a real sign that you’ve grown — and also that it could be time for you to pivot.
Signs you might need to pivot:
- You feel called to another way of doing things in your business
- You want to serve another target market or offer a different service
- You’ve discovered a new skill or passion you want to incorporate
- You’re no longer challenged by what you’re doing
- What you’ve been doing doesn’t really bring you joy anymore
What to do when it’s time to pivot:
- Bring awareness to what’s been pulling you or calling you.
- Consider what you love in your business and those you don’t.
- Ask yourself: What changes would you make if you knew you would be successful?
- Give yourself time and space to experiment with this pivot. Is there a micro-offering or mini-package you could offer?
- Do more research. If you want to serve another client base, interview them to learn more about what they want and whether or not your idea could serve them.
You don’t need to stay stuck in a certain way of doing business just because you started with that idea or even because you’re successful with it. If it’s really time to pivot, pay attention to the signs and start experimenting with what could be next for you.
How to know if it’s time to rest
One key glaring sign that it’s time to rest is that your mind and body are craving a break.
Sounds obvious, but many times, we experience the warning signs but still don’t take any action. If you don’t take action, soon enough you’ll find yourself burned out.
Signs it’s time to rest:
- You’re tired, burned out, or approaching burnout
- You enjoy the work you do, but you’re feeling maxxed out
- You look forward to your days off simply so you can have a break
- You’re working round the clock
- You’ve gone through a particularly stressful or busy time
If any of these sound familiar, you’re being called to REST.
What to do when it’s time to rest:
- Allow yourself to take a break, even if just for a day, but hopefully longer.
- Start creating more white space and breaks into your daily life.
- Take at least 1-2 entire days off within the week.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods.
- Make time for the non-work things you enjoy.
When you are approaching burnout, the balance scale is tipped in favor of work. In order to right this balance, you often have to compensate by giving yourself generous amounts of relaxation until you feel yourself again.
How to know if it’s time to quit
Sometimes, the signs may actually be telling you it’s time to quit. I don’t mean quit and retire, I mean quit your business as it stands currently.
This could mean shutting down your business and starting a new business, starting a job, freelancing, volunteering, going back to school, or doing something else entirely.
If the thought of running your business does not excite you and motivate you (because you definitely need motivation to keep running your business!), it’s time for something new.
Signs it might be time to quit:
- You’ve made adjustments or pivots in your business, but none of them make you feel like you want to keep doing what you’re doing.
- You’re not burned out and you don’t want to tweak anything, you want something new.
- You feel called to a new career or a new line of work that is totally different from what you are doing.
- You’ve gone through some massive personal change and your current business no longer suits the person you are now.
- You get excited and/or relieved when you think of quitting your business.
If any of these sound familiar, you might be called to QUIT.
What to do when it’s time to quit:
- You don’t need to throw in the towel as soon as you realize you want to quit. Give yourself patience, time and grace in order to make the right decision.
- Create time in your schedule to explore your options outside of your current business.
- Get back to your values and understanding what really matters to you. What are your priorities and needs at this point in your life?
- Understand what your business is not offering you at this time that you would like it to offer.
- Develop a transition plan that allows you to make enough money while figuring out your next step.
Although you may feel some shame for wanting to quit, there’s no need for shame. This simply means you’ve outgrown your business and you’re ready for something else. This is actually a wonderful realization because now you can stop forcing something that’s not working.
Rest, quit, or pivot? There’s no wrong answer
There is only the right answer for you right now.
Evolution is a part of the game, which means that your business and life will continue to evolve as you do. This is a part of the process, and even though it might feel uncomfortable, it’s necessary to get to the next level.
So whatever your choice is — to rest, quit or pivot — honor yourself for getting here and know that you have the ability to evolve into the next iteration of you.
I’d love to hear from you, when did you know it was time to rest, quit or pivot? What were the signs for you?