The decision to retire starts with knowing you can retire comfortably.
And you want a great retirement, right?
You can think of retirement as another pivot — a term familiar to entrepreneurs and business leaders.
What do I mean?
Let’s look at some definitions.
- Pivot, a central point where you can turn and step in any direction.
- You could also think of a pivot as a set of decisions that, over time, amount to a change in direction. Those decisions are as much about deciding what NOT to do (saying no) as they are about what to do.
Sometimes you make decisions that amount to a pivot, even though you weren’t thinking of them in that way.
And then there are those extraordinary times that involve intentionally making a major choice or set of choices and perhaps also making changes in belief.
How I Pivoted Into Retirement
Several years ago, I was at a point where I was deciding whether and how to pivot from my business at the time. I’d already pivoted twice already.
The first time was when I left the corporate world and started my first business helping aspiring entrepreneurs find a business they loved that was right for them.
The second was after I started also helping entrepreneurs who’d been successful but were miserable because something was missing or not a great fit for them over the long term.
As I was feeling ready to shift again, several things came together.
First, I shared my situations with my two sons and my younger, who’s got a great head for numbers, suggested I was in better shape than I thought. I took a look and he was right.
Second, I asked a fellow entrepreneur (who I’d helped pivot earlier) to be a second set of ears for me and help guide me though my thinking process. To prepare, I did my own work again and reconnected with one of my primary goals: to put myself in a position to retire.
Third, I discovered a new way to look at my retirement financial situation that showed me I could retire modestly, but comfortably – so I did!
As I talked with others, some were really confused and worried. They said figuring out if and how they could retire comfortably turned out to be not so simple. A few even felt really stressed and afraid, seeing no options and feeling no hope.
In time, I’ve turned some of my energies toward helping others find a way that worked for them and their situation. (As I’ve also been enjoying my own retirement.)
Courage and Faith
It takes courage and faith to pursue a new opportunity…
…even if your experience has shown that you can keep adjusting over time and find a way to be successful.
The emotional side is another animal entirely (know what I mean?).
A Tried-and-True Approach
If you’re an entrepreneur or independent professional, you’re probably used to having to find ways to make it work.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably pivoted – and maybe pivoted again and again – before you found what was successful.
Many use something like this simple tried-and-true experimental approach:
- Start from exactly where you are.
- Get really clear about your goals.
- Search for possible strategies that look workable for you and your situation.
- Evaluate how the best alternatives might play out over your planning horizon.
- Pick a strategy that works for you and that will make the biggest difference.
- Put a plan together and move toward your goal with a clear purpose.
- If it works, great!
- If not, make adjustments or, if you must, keep repeating the process until you find something that does work.
There’s a lot of power and potential in pivots.
Let’s look a little deeper.
A pivot occurs when you decide to shift your strategy
In this context and using business terms, it’s about changing your business model, about how you make money.
Once you’ve decided to pivot, prepare well and then get started as soon as possible.
- Get clear about your current situation and your goals from that vantage point.
- Identify what you can reuse from your existing situation and build from there.
- Then pivot in a direction that offers you the most favorable opportunities.
One big reason to pivot is because what you’re doing is not financially viable
This involves exploring lots of things until you find something that works. Focus on finding a strategy will produce the results you want and that works for you and your situation
Pivoting in the startup world means to shift to a new strategy. Sometimes it could just be changing one or a couple things. Other times it can be going in an entirely new direction.
When to pivot?
Pivot when what you’ve been doing isn’t achieving your goals and it’s absolutely necessary to make a change.
What entrepreneurs do typically involves uncertainty. You move in a direction, creating something new and adapting as you feel your way, based on a set of assumptions.
Over time, you inevitably need to adjust based on real-world experience to achieve your goals.
That involves being open to new information that may contradict your beliefs or assumptions.
You can use those same entrepreneurial skills to find a way to retire comfortably.
Mark Your Calendar
Ready to make your own systematic investigation and decide what’s next?
Discover a way to evaluate different strategic alternatives by comparing how you envision they will play out over the expected duration of your retirement.
With this insight, you can make an informed pivot and move intentionally toward your goals.
And stay tuned for more articles about finding a way to retire that works for you.
Keep having fun,
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