You’re the captain of your entrepreneurial ship, sailing across the open water looking for your next destination. Maybe you embarked on this entrepreneurial journey thinking that you’d strike land easily, but as it turns out the water is a little rougher than expected and you’re not sure you’re going in the right direction anymore.
How can you turn your ship around and head in a new direction when your captain’s instincts are telling you to go?
When you’re manning the ship you’ve got a lot of people to take care of between your crew, and your passengers. If you have any employees you need to get them in on the plan to change course. Your audience and tribe will also need to be on board to understand why you’re making course corrections.
Here’s the thing: when you’re an entrepreneur, it’s easy to change directions. It’s not like you have to go back to school, graduate, and apply for a job in an entirely new field. You can tweak your mission statement, start up a new web site, and be on your way to a business that’s 180 degrees away from your previous one.
It happens all the time! In fact, being nimble and willing to change when the winds change is part of what makes entrepreneurs who they are, and successful at what they do.
Here are some examples of entrepreneurs who have adapted to new ideas, changing winds, and taking on different passengers.
1. Heather Allard has sailed to many different destinations as a copywriter, the creator of the first wearable baby blanket for active sleepers, and now The Mogul Mom. She did it all with a small crew, including two toddlers.
2. Carley Knobloch went from mothercraft coaching to starting a digital revolution for women with her new weekly video series Digitwirl. What I especially love is that Carley brings her best self to everything she does.
3. Pace & Kyeli Smith have gone through several wind changes, from their first book The Usual Error, to starting The Freak Revolution… and now leading the much anticipated Connection Revolution. They share their insights about finding their direction in their latest course called Profitable Idealism.
4. Natalie Sisson has spent time in the start up scene, traveling up a storm, and looking good while doing it. She started off as WomanzWorld and now calls herself The Suitcase Entrepreneur, where she helps your business take off.
5. Annika Ek ran a successful coaching business, and helped many entrepreneurs figure out their life purpose, myself included. Now she’s sharing her Swedish roots and runs Truly Swedish Designs, your place for Scandinavian interior decor.
How to Change Business Directions
So what should you do if you want to change the direction of your business? Here’s your step by step guide, that ensures you won’t capsize in the process.
1. Figure out your motivation for changing directions. This might mean checking in with your values, your life goals, and what you want to contribute to the world.
2. Once you’ve got your new direction translated into understandable coordinates (your values and vision), it’s time to explain it to your crew. Tell your VAs, your designers, and your CPAs your new vision.
3. Then it’s time to bring your colleagues on board, if not literally at least figuratively. The other ships on the water won’t know to give you space to turn around, so put it out there and let them know your plans.
4. Make sure to let your passengers know that there are going to be different stops along the way. If they’d rather get off at the next stop to catch another boat, no problem. When you change course you might lose a few passengers, but if it’s in line with what your heart desires you’ll also take on new ones!
5. There’s no time like the present! If you want to make a switch, move the rudder and set the sails for your new business direction!
My own business changes
Of course I wouldn’t be writing about this topic if it weren’t something I had experienced before. I’ve gone through many business direction changes, and two of them are worth sharing with you.
The Witch Switch
Back in 2009 only a few months after I started my raw food business, I noticed my brand was not connecting with my audience.
So I went from “Raw Food Switch” to “Raw Foods Witch”, got a new logo, and started to add a little sparkle to everything I did. Not only did the business take off, but I was having a lot more fun going in this new direction!
The Techy Trade
More recently I’ve fallen in love again with my technology, software, and online business building side. That’s why I’m writing here more often, and will continue to do so in the future.
With the techy switch I’m going back to my roots and doing what comes most naturally to me: building online presence, design, social media, and online businesses.
It feels great to be able to help others do what I’ve done with my raw food business online!
Ahoy matey, what say you?
I’d love to hear about any changes you’ve made in your business. Have you ever made a 180 degrees turn around, or just adjusted course once you understood the waters better?
Let me know in the comments below!