Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!

Paul Segreto
3 min readJul 27, 2022

During COVID, marketers veered away from inventing buzz words to bastardizing perfectly good everyday words and phrases. So, among the many challenges and uncertainties of the time, we heard these words and phrases again and again and again. They were being used to identify and stress what was being described within the New Normal. Truth be told, I did ride the bandwagon and actually wrote an article for the restaurant industry of the same title. If you’re interested, you can still find it HERE.

There were a number of these words and phrases on the list of the most hated buzz words and buzz phrases of the COVID era including the ‘new normal’ itself. The list included bandwidth, end-user, granular, hack, ‘I did a thing’, ‘it is what it is’, influencer, jab, ‘take it offline’, ‘thought leader’, ‘we remain cautious’, WFH, zooming, and pivot. Although, I believe ‘pivot’ may have been the most appropriate word for the time. Albeit it was overused and, in many cases, misunderstood.

Defining ‘Pivot’

Friends Term: Pivot! Definition: Something Ross screams when trying to move a couch up some stairs. Today’s Term: It’s the same, but it’s something you scream when trying to find the right angle with your selfie stick.

If you’re one of the few people alive that doesn’t know about the Friends scene referred to above, or like me, you want to view it again and again, take a minute to check it out on YouTube. Actually, it’s a great way to start the day with a laugh, especially as this video is one with bloopers.

But make no joke about it. We can laugh about the word being overused. We can fret about it being used incorrectly. We can even snicker about it being used within a string of similar words (change, shift, spin, re-direct, etc.) resulting in a long run-on sentence as if doing so makes more of an impact or appears to make the person saying it, a thought leader or influencer.

What does pivoting mean in business?

When a business pivots, it means that it’s changing some aspect of its core products or services. Businesses might pivot to better meet customer demand, to shift their target audience to boost sales or some combination of both. Businesses may also pivot if the business model is not adaptable for the current environment, ergo within a pandemic.

However, the ability to pivot does not necessarily mean a commitment to pivot. And that’s exactly what I’ve realized long after writing and speaking about The New Normal. I’ve witnessed a number of restaurants quickly adapt to several new ways of doing business only to revert back to the old at the first glimmer of things returning to the way they were before.

Instead of staying the course and remaining committed to the plan and despite having been successful during this new normal, they abruptly reversed course having never been committed to the changes.

Now, as we’re again in the midst of challenging times and again with a great deal of uncertainty, I’m seeing these business owners frantically attempting to force square pegs into round holes by still trying to keep things the way they had been instead of evolving, and yes, pivoting.

Over the past two days, I’ve written two articles, Take Action to Overcome Fear and Proactively Addressing Business Fears. The basis of both was about taking a proactive approach to surviving through challenging times. My focus, as always was on playing to win as opposed to playing not to lose.

Making the decision to pivot, to truly pivot is a proactive decision. However, it must have commitment, firm commitment to follow through without any wavering and certainly, without looking back.

Tomorrow, as I continue to present ways to fight recession as a business owner and entrepreneur, I look forward to sharing a true story of what I believe is one of the most successful pivots of our time, of these challenging times. I cannot think of a better word than ‘commitment’ to describe this story. Be sure to check in tomorrow.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

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Paul Segreto

Proven Small Business, Restaurant & Franchise Growth Strategist; Fueling the entrepreneurial spirit is my passion!