Initially, pivoting is what I feared most about entrepreneurship. The thought of shifting my focus from one direction to another scared me. It became a nightmare for me to accept change in my entrepreneurial pursuit, but it happened. I pivoted and here is why.
In March 2016, I introduced the world to Envint Management Group, a grant consultancy and fundraising conglomerate that specialized in creating funding opportunities for startup nonprofits and religious organizations. My efforts were birthed out of my desire to help others by providing real solutions to real problems via funding. I wanted to give resources to organizations that catered to the needs of the less fortunate. At the time, the morale behind my business idea felt strong enough to be able to support an actual business. Well, it wasn’t. The problem began when I started wearing a consultant hat without any consulting experience.
Consulting has big shoes to fill and it entails more than what it seems. It’s a lifestyle – one that’s heavily regimented. Grant consulting, with my exclusivity, required far more of my services than what I could provide. Some clients needed business consulting, strategic planning, and program building before I could begin to assess their funding opportunities. And those were just the simpler clients. It was then that I realized how far from prepared I was for the workload and the insistent demands of the clientele. Not to mention, my wage was not cutting it either. I was overworking and extremely underpaid, which only made me abrasive and terse with my clients. Eventually, I stopped caring altogether about the purpose of Envint Management Group.
I hit rock bottom both externally and internally. My faith collapsed and my health was compromised from all fronts. I became depressed and needed a break. I ran into a brick wall of hopelessness.
I once heard that great creativity comes from depression. Whether or not this is entirely true, it became my reality. I remember lying in bed contemplating the “how-tos” and “what-ifs” to changing Envint Management Group’s direction. Past conversations with mentors and colleagues about diversifying my services frequented my brain more than ever. I thought excessively but did nothing. At this point, my depression became a toxic concoction amalgamated with fear.
One day I decided to make a rash move. I contacted one of Domi Station’s mentors for guidance. At first, I was not prepared for the mentor’s openness and integrity. I expected him to be far removed and obtuse to my dealings. It did not take long to discover how far from the truth my expectations actually were. I initiated a conversation and we began sharing business interests and commonalities almost immediately. I strategically selected this mentor after learning that we both have a rigorous background in grant writing. We talked for an hour but its effect will last infinitely. I vividly remember griping about my experiences with Envint Management Group and seeing the mentor nod and smile in agreement. That meant a lot because I was no longer isolated with my feelings. I shared them with this stranger who I trusted. It was surreal.
As soon as the trust kicked in, I became all ears. The mentor dissected my grief and shared his views on my prior approach to Envint Management Group. Instead of insulting or picking at my mistakes, he suggested different paths to resolve my clients’ problems while minimizing my physical involvement. Amidst of his suggestions, it hit me that I had to pivot. Of the many offered suggestions, one aligned with my “what-ifs” and “how-tos” that I contemplated in my depressed state. It was verbatim, and couldn’t have been more serendipitous. Rather than doing any consulting myself, I transitioned my business into a web-based platform that facilitates all grant seekers to meet and connect with grant writers.
It suddenly all became worth it. From the shortcomings with my clients to the depression, my pivotal point was finally here. If I could, I wouldn’t change a thing because I learned to face my pivoting fears. It was uncomfortable and a lot of time was sacrificed. However, my time was not wasted. I learned to tolerate and grow through the struggle in order to make my business reach its full potential. Today, I am excited for what pivoting will do for Envint Management Group.