{the view at sunset from my apartment}

A few years back while I was still doing the corporate thing and working in house as an event planner, a friend and I applied to TechStars, a startup incubator. The way it works is that groups of people or partners apply to the program with an idea for a company or product business, and then if you’re accepted you get three months of funding and access to the founders’s network of venture capital firms, successful entrepreneurs and so forth in order to launch your business. Pretty awesome.

We didn’t  get accepted to the program, but made it fairly along in the process- part of which involved a day trip to Boston to meet other applicants and the founders of program. It was such a daunting  experience, one which really pushed me outside my comfort zone. I took a lot away from that day and the process overall, but the piece that’s stuck with me the most is something one of the founders of the program said during that day in Boston.

“You have to be willing to pivot.”

With TechStars, people come in with an idea that they’re extremely attached to (naturally), but through the program the founder made it clear that it often becomes apparent that teams need to shift, edit, and refine their original idea. In short, they need to pivot. At first glance this notion seems pretty simple. Why wouldn’t one want to change their product or business for the better (especially if you have a more experienced mentor telling you to do so)? But I think what the founder was getting at was the emotional component that comes into play on not wanting to let something go- and perhaps in some ways tending to hide behind your original idea for your business.

When I first went out on my own (and really for the last year), I positioned myself as an event planner. I had visions of myself running around and planning big swanky corporate events and maybe a few weddings (because they more business, the better, right?). And I did do that- a bit. But then that started to change. The blog grew. My corporate clients began seeking me out for marketing, social media consulting, and branding work. I began to earning more revenue through the blog. My business was growing- but that didn’t translate into planning more events, or even planning events at all. But I still wanted event planning to be part of my business, and part of my work.

So I needed to pivot. I needed to change the way in which events fit into my business services, and subsequently the way I market myself- which is nownot as an event planner. Yep, that term is way too limiting. But I was 100% emotionally attached to it because I was good at it, and it was easy for people to understand. So now what do I do? And what happend to Clara Persis Events?

  • It’s now Clara Persis, LLC – a boutique consulting firm.
  • What does that mean I do?  I consult on a ton of cool stuff- mainly branding, social media strategy, content creation, and events.
  • Yes, I still plan events but I do it within the overarching framework of my business- which is helping organizations and individuals form sincere and influential connections with their audiences! This is my jam.

I’d love to say this is final, but what I’ve come to learn from working for myself is your business (among all things in life) is forever evolving. Get ready for a whole post on dealing with that, and perhaps a bit more pivoting. And get ready for an expansion on the bullets you see above in January 2013. A hint- it directly involves you all!

  1. Amazing!!! It’s a beautiful view of sunset, very rarely we can see this kind of beautiful seen.

  2. I like the term pivot- I’m probably guilty of not being as flexible as I should- in more than just the business sense. Congrats on taking your company in a fabulous new direction :)Here’s to pivoting!

  3. Do you remember that episode of Friends where they’re moving the couch, and Ross keeps shouting “PIVOT! PIVOT!” ….good times. Good advice too!

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