About a month ago, I was having coffee with one of my girlfriends. I admire her for many reasons: she’s a wife, a boy mom like me (her boys are a little older than mine, so she gives me insight about what’s ahead), and a working woman. She knows what it means to juggle a million different things at once and remain fly while doing so. We were catching up like usual over double-pump lattes and low-fat muffins. As we discussed our never-ending to-do lists, my friend said something pretty profound. She talked about giving up on our desire to control everything and just roll with the punches—the importance of being able to pivot. Her statement resonated with me for many reasons, but mainly because being flexible has been an ongoing struggle for me. I tend to get disgruntled and anxious when things don’t go as planned. My friend’s words made me reflect on my own behavior, and the many times I have initially resisted change because I interpreted pivoting as failure or weakness.
I know you can relate. Something doesn’t quite go as planned and you’re left feeling flustered and overwhelmed. While pivoting looks different for all of us, here are three tried-and-true strategies to adjust to life’s unexpected twists and turns.
Acceptance is the first step to moving forward…
Whether dropping your kids off at school on time, getting the job you applied for, or praying for an engagement proposal, we all have expectations of how we’d like to see our lives play out. But when our kids are tardy, our prospective employer goes with another candidate, or we’re still single after years of dating, we grapple with very real disappointments. However, the reality is, things don’t always go our way. And because of this, the first and most important step to pivoting is acceptance.
When we first opened our small business, I imagined that we would have more control over our schedule. I thought our quality time as a family would instantly increase. I thought I would have a better work/life balance because we would be the ones calling the shots. But I was wrong! Reality hit, and I quickly learned that as a small business owner, you are working around the clock. Initially, I had a hard time accepting my new life as an entrepreneur, and I was constantly overwhelmed. Over time, I have gotten better at going with the flow by releasing unrealistic expectations. When I consistently do this, I don’t feel as emotionally drained.
Adapt to your new circumstances…
Adaptation is not easy, but it’s one of the most powerful tools we have in our quest to pivot. Things happen—life throws us curve balls, and we don’t get to do a victory lap every time. However, being able to adapt allows us to build on acceptance and ultimately adjust. Because I accepted that my work/life balance is not what I hoped it would be, my husband and I have had to adapt and figure out ways to incorporate family time where we can. Some days it looks like the boys helping us in the store after hours, and other days we play I Spy in the car while daddy makes deliveries. Either way, we choose to capitalize on the time we have with them.
So, when you don’t have time for a home cooked meal, the laundry is piling up, or you have to reschedule an important meeting to help your kid with a last-minute project, take a deep breath and whisper a prayer. Adapt: order healthy takeout, catch up on laundry when you get a chance, and enjoy this time that your child still needs your help with their schoolwork. Don’t stress. We’ve all been there—accept and adapt accordingly.
Achieve your goal(s) anyway…
Building a small business from scratch has not been easy. I have sacrificed a lot along the way and have had to pivot many times. I find hope in Romans 5:3-5: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Adversity builds character, y’all! We develop our testimony through our trials. Ultimately, He will get the glory—and if you put God first, you will still achieve your purpose. Though there may be kinks, stumbling blocks, and delays along the way, keep pushing towards your goals.
I am not a perfect mother, or the most experienced small business owner. I’m still juggling many things at once and doing my best to be successful at both. I know what it’s like to beat myself up because the boys have to skip Taekwondo due to my busy schedule. Sometimes, I, too, opt for Chick-fil-A versus a more nutritious option. But guess what? I choose to focus on the fact that my children are happy, safe, loved, and fed. They are healthy and growing into God-fearing, respectful young men. I choose to focus on the fact that The Prescription Shoppe is thriving in the midst of a pandemic. This is half the battle—being able to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. Ultimately, you get to choose: will you find power in the pivot? Will you adjust to everyday hiccups and major life disruptions? You can do this! Accept that you will not have total control over all situations, adapt when necessary, and actively seek out ways to achieve your goals. Do your best and give God the rest!
How will you embrace the power of the pivot? Drop a comment and let me know—I want to hear from you!
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