June 02, 2020

As a small business family, our favorite term around the house is “Pivot!”.  Here lately it has been a term used relatively daily....

I am not sure of the last day where “Pivot!” was not used.

What does it mean to “pivot” in business?  I wanted to see what the definition was, according to dictionary.com:

noun

  1. a pin, point, or short shaft on the end of which something rests and turns, or upon and about which something rotates or oscillates.

verb (used without object)

  1. to turn on or as on a pivot.

We tend to use pivot as a verb and it makes sense in our family culture.  Everyone knows when we say we had to “Pivot”, that we needed to change something.

We started Fifty5 Rivers Cold Brew in 2018 (there is another story on pivoting with the name, but that is another day) and while the core idea of the business has not changed.  The journey of achieving our vision has certainly gone through a number of twists and turns (pivots) to get to where we are.  

In earlier businesses I was more adverse to the "pivot", meaning I resisted the pivot and charged forward.  Looking back, stubbornly charging forward never really worked out.  Of course hindsight is better than foresight.  However, looking back on past experiences has given me a better appreciation of the "pivot".  In fact today, we tend to expect a few pivots a day.  Honestly, it is less stressful knowing we will have to make some changes then always trying to resist.  Most seem to work out for the better.

Case in point, we had a plumbing issue with The Turtle.  No major big deal, but we needed some assistance.  When the plumber arrived he was able to take care of the issue with ease (always helps having the right tools for the job), during his visit he informed us that we had another issue with our plumbing.  At that point we knew the price to resolve the new issue was going to be significant, and thus we had to pivot and divert some time and money to the new issue.  Yes, it was frustrating but I am grateful that we learned of the issue.  This issue could have been quite impactful in a few years.  Now we know we are good for years to come.  The fact is, we experienced a couple pivots during the plumbing issue but in the end it will be better.

As a small business family, we know there will be pivots and we try to learn from the pivot and why we should be grateful of the pivot.  There are times that silver lining may be hard to find, but we do our best to find it.




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