The Ultimate Pivot

I am a big proponent of the Lean Startup approach to building a business. The concept of the pivot as a way of rapidly responding to changing business dynamics is an integral part of the approach. This is a story about a pivot that I just made in my business.

As I’ve written about before, a pivot in business strategy doesn’t necessarily mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The concept of the pivot is central to the Lean Startup approach. Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startup book and the guy who really put it all together, says this about pivots:

My goal in advocating a scientific approach to the creation of startups is to channel human creativity into its most productive form, and there is no bigger destroyer of creative potential than the misguided decision to persevere. Companies that cannot bring themselves to pivot to a new direction on the basis of feedback from the marketplace can get stuck in the land of the living dead, neither growing enough nor dying, consuming resources and commitment from employees and other stakeholders but not moving ahead.

From the Frying Pan Into the Fire

I actually started my company, BLHill Inc. in the beginning of 2011 although it did not become my primary source of income until I was laid off in July 2013. When I made that transition from full-time employee (and shareholder) to full-time entrepreneur, from a business standpoint, my company was not in good shape as it was extremely undercapitalized.

With no personal savings or lines of credit to fall back on, and a wife and three kids to support, the past nine months have been a constant struggle for survival. Essentially, I left one company that had been failing for years to join a company with little hope for success.

The biggest frustration that I have experienced throughout this dark time, is not being able to develop the business I had sought out to establish.

Note: I don’t want to make things sound like it was all bad, as I did get to work with a lot of really great clients on some really cool projects…

My Pivot

Long-story short, several years ago I got to know some people working for an amazing boutique construction consulting startup. The company: Xpera Group. After numerous discussions back and forth, and after some small consulting engagements, the company made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: full-time employment.

What this means for me is that I don’t have to worry about whether or not I can adequately provide for my family. I can focus on innovating, growing the company, building new business relationships, developing new product and service offerings, and working with a stellar team of some of the world’s leading experts across multiple domains.

What’s the Point?

The point is that now I can deliver even More From Less by leveraging the awesome power that comes from a healthy, well-funded and extremely entrepreneurial company.

That’s all for now. With a huge sigh of relief and a mountain of gratitude, thanks for taking the time to read this, and stay tuned for much, much more to come.


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Image courtesy Wikimedia

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