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How to Pivot When Things Go Wrong 


Pivoting is a skill that lets people quickly evaluate what happened, and what they need to get up and running again. Let’s say for example, you just built a new product that everyone should use, but when you started selling it, no one wanted to buy it. So in order to pivot, you looked at what was happening and realised that your product wasn’t marketed effectively. One you fixed it, your product was selling like Chick-fil-A cookies. But how exactly should someone go about pivoting? Well that’s where this post comes in handy.


In order to correctly and effectively pivot, you need to keep a couple things in mind.

First, you need to identify what exactly happened, and what went wrong. Recognise the issue. Also keep in mind the things that went right. Depending on the situation, you should remember what you did correctly, and repeat those actions. Another example could be that your grades are failing, and you need to pivot. The issue is that you aren’t studying or doing homework. You know previously that scheduling time at night for schoolwork helped you get assignments done. Keep that idea, and use it to help pivot!


After identifying the rights and wrongs of what happened, you should figure out what needs to happen for your pivot to be successful. Using the aforementioned “bad grades” example, the change that needs to happen is putting effort into studying and homework. Now that we know what we need to do to pivot, we move to the final step.


You pivot! Be sure to watch closely to see if your pivot works. If you fail again, just run through the pivot steps again. Just like the scientific method, it’s a constant cycle until you get the correct results. In the previous example, we could have 2 potential outcomes: better grades, or worse grades. In the case of failure, we would reevaluate what happened, and formulate a new plan of action. It’s foolproof, good luck!

Mason McGehee  

Oklahoma BPA State Secretary

2020-2021 State Executive Council

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