December 15, 2020

3 Strategies to Help You Pivot Gracefully

Article by Simon T. Bailey

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every industry in the world. As many of us seek to realign ourselves and our businesses, we’ll need to utilize a crucial skill: being able to pivot with grace.

What do you value? What do you prioritize? What is the biggest dream you have for your life? Answering these questions — and then taking note of what your answers have in common — is a great place to start when it comes to pivoting gracefully.

If you want to get even more focused on your values and goals, I recommend using the following three techniques. 

1. Conduct a ‘Why’ Assessment

According to New York Times best-selling author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Have you ever stopped and considered the why behind what you do professionally? At my own career crossroads, I asked myself these three questions:

  1. What would I do if no one paid me to do it? 
  2. What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? 
  3. What makes me come alive? 

None of my answers aligned with my current company or job title, so I decided to reimagine what my life might look like if they did. I then quit my job, turned down a handful of outside offers, and started my own speaking business. Seventeen years later, I still feel extremely in touch and aligned with my why.

2. Build Your Skills

Next, I’d suggest looking into leveling yourself up through skill building. What strengths could you easily add or expand upon? What skill set would help you stand out in your field? Improving your existing skills and learning new ones can prime you for countless opportunities that might come your way.

3. Assert Your Value

The last step is to recognize and assert your value. Small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers are uniquely disadvantaged when it comes to charging in accordance with their true worth.

Let me share an example to illustrate what I mean: A few years into my speaking career, I was chatting with a colleague when the topic of value came up. Based on his reaction to some of the things I said, I began to sense I might be undercharging for my services. I gave him a scenario and asked what he would invoice for similar work. His response? Five times what I was charging. When I asked what made him feel comfortable billing at that rate, he looked me square in the eye and said: “It’s all between your ears. What do you think you’re worth?”

You owe it to yourself to evaluate your personal and professional alignment. After all, we spend one-third of our lives at work. How would you spend that time if given the choice?

Versions of this article first appeared on SUCCESS.com and in the November/December 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Simon T. Bailey is an international speaker, writer, and personal transformation strategist. He is the author of Shift Your Brilliance: Harness the Power of You, Inc., and Be the SPARK: Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating Customers for Life. When he’s not working, he enjoys rooting for the Buffalo Bills (his hometown team).

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