Pivoting around Chickens Rabbits and Zip Lines

15 Jul


Drew Schmitz
Sales Recruiter (Blue Octopus LLC) | SalesContingent Coach (Grow Faster LLC)… See more74 articles

Since “pivot” has been a common theme of mine the past month, I thought I would share a couple stories about personal pivoting – which is obviously a key strategy in any organization trying to make a profit.

We use the verb version of the word pivot in business to describe a rotation, turn, spin, swivel, twirl or whirl in our business strategy. You might be selling to European truck drivers in 2018 and suddenly you find there is a better market for plumbing and HVAC companies in 2019. It often doesn’t make any sense until it starts to happen to us…

PART 1: HOOPS & ZIP LINES

About four weeks ago, I was putting the finishing touches on a basketball hoop for my 14-year-old son, Jonah. It had literally taken me a YEAR to complete – the pole needed to be cemented into the ground… then I had to fill it with cement which took four additional days (when it wasn’t raining). But slowly, and surely, we were building the world’s coolest basketball hoop for my future NBA All-star (hopefully he turns out taller than me)!

The last step was attaching the glass backboard, rim and net. I was beyond bored with the process and had other backyard tasks, so I hired David, a handyman, for a 1/2 day to help finish it as well as assist me with a couple of other projects.

As they were tightening the bolts on the backboard (my son holding it, David attaching it and me running back and forth with tools), the basketball hoop’s post snapped in half and almost killed my son. Jonah walked away with a bruising scrape on his back but was otherwise, entirely intact. I have no idea what happened and had an attorney come out and take pictures; I followed every bloody step of the instructions (and I hate instructions) and even re-examined the process after-the-fact.

A week later, I asked my son, “Jonah, how about we skip the stupid hoop and I finally build that zip-line off the treehouse that I’ve been promising for years?”

“That would be pretty cool…” Time to PIVOT!

PART TWO: CHICKENS

About three weeks ago, my 12-year-old daughter, Amelie, asks me “Dad, can we get chickens?”

“Huh, what?” I asked.

“Well, we are raising chickens in science class and we can buy one for $5 and bring it home at the end of the year.”

“Cool!” I stupidly respond. “Let’s do it! Get two but make sure they are hens,” All she had to do was bring a permission slip signed by a parent to class and come up with $10.

My fiancé rolled her eyes at me as soon as I excitedly shared the news. “We’ll have to build a chicken coop…” I was already running ahead to raising chickens.

“What in the world do you know about raising chickens? What are you going to do with them in the winter? Have you Googled or researched anything?” she asked me.

“Um… it will be fun. If we don’t like them, we’ll just get rid of them at the end of the summer!”

And… so it began (we’ll finish this story after Part 3)…

PART 3: RABBITS

About 2 weeks ago, I stopped by a bar that serves up my favorite burger and the bartender overheard my fiancé and I discussing our pet rabbits (we have two “free range” bunnies that have roamed the backyard for the last 2 years and we almost never lock them in their hutch).

Kevin, the bartender, starts asking us questions leading to… “Do you want my rabbit, Winchester? I’m pretty sure he’s fixed… I got him from a lady that didn’t want him any more…”

A week later, Winchester arrives at our home. He wasn’t fixed and immediately started mating with our male and female rabbits (Jonathan & Domino).

PART 4: BACK TO THE CHICKENS…

My daughter failed to turn in the permission slip (or get me the teacher’s contact info) and so the last day of school came and went and we were chicken-less.

So, Winchester is now in the half-finished chicken coop. We have a vet friend that has fixed the other two rabbits, but she’s gone for the summer. I’m going to build a better coop and am shooting for autumn chicks… that way we can actually have adult, egg-laying hens next spring.

PIVOT! I wanted a basketball hoop and chickens this spring… but I end up with a cool, new rabbit (albeit a bit randy) PLUS I will have a zip-line by the 4th of July.

Have you considered pivoting your sales strategy of late? If you don’t, life has a way of forcing you to pivot. Ideally, you are planning ahead, and you’ll experience less chaos.

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

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