8 CEOs share the stories behind their biggest pivots

Business News | 26 Nov |

From deciding to start their own company to taking that leap of faith, here are the eight answers to the question:

 “CEOs, can you share some stories of your biggest business/professional pivots so others can learn from you? “


READ ALSO: How Gila River’s Robin Villareal went from food service to CIO


  • Decided to Start My Own Company
  • Never Let Fear Hold Me Back 
  • Start All Over Again With a New Product
  • Expressed My Ideas Fearlessly
  • Left a Lucrative Finance Career for Dropshipping
  • Risked It All by Leaving Consulting 
  • Created an E-Learning Business Model from Experiences
  • Took a Leap of Faith

 

8 CEOs Share The Stories Behind Their Biggest Pivots

8 CEOs Share The Stories Behind Their Biggest Pivots

 

Decided to Start My Own Company

The biggest business/professional pivot I have ever made was when I started my company. I had been working in the corporate world for several years and was looking for a change. I had always been interested in starting a business, so I took the plunge and went for it. It was definitely a risk, but it ended up being the best decision I ever made.

I think it’s important to take risks and to be flexible with your career. Things are always going to change, and you need to be prepared to adapt. If you’re not happy with your current situation, don’t be afraid to make a change. The key is to always stay focused on your goals and stay true to yourself.

Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO

 

Never Let Fear Hold Me Back

I pursued an artistic career after studying premed in college and was gaining recognition as an artist while enjoying the creativity it provided. 

However, I felt isolated and like something was missing. I had always loved beauty products, and I saw a gap in the beauty market for high-quality magnetic lashes that worked and looked great.

So I sought to create my own. 

Within a year, I taught myself everything from product development to marketing, and Glamnetic was born in July 2019. Glamnetic did $50m in revenue receiving no outside capital in the first year in business. 

We secured impactful retail partnerships with Ulta, entering 1000 stores across the US, Sephora, and Nordstrom online. I was recently placed on the Inc 100 Female founders list. I’ve learned never to hold myself back or be afraid to change.

Ann McFerran, CEO, Glamnetic

 

Started All Over Again With a New Product

As the CEO of a technology startup, I made a major pivot in my business strategy recently. We had spent two years developing a product that we were sure would be the next big thing in our industry. However, during market testing, we realized while people liked the idea behind it; they weren’t willing to pay for it. 

The pivot that I took was to focus on a whole new product. We pivoted away from our original idea and instead focused on developing software that would help businesses in our industry automate some of their processes. 

The result was an incredibly successful product, and it allowed us to expand into a much larger market. The lesson that I learned from this pivot was that sometimes you have to take risks and go in a different direction, even if it means leaving behind something that you’ve worked hard on. 

You never know what the outcome may be, but taking the chance might just pay off in the end. That’s certainly what happened to me.

Amira Irfan, Founder & CEO, A Self Guru

 

Expressed My Ideas Fearlessly

No one can become a CEO overnight, but it is rare to become a C-suite leader without risking the bold step to share an idea.

I started working at the bank in 1992 after graduating from university, and rose through the ranks, becoming CEO in 2001. This short timeline was due to frank honesty in the face of authority, and a deliberate decision to love my job. 

Having the confidence to disagree with your superiors and having the ability to effectively (and collaboratively) express alternative solutions is key here. If you are timid around authority, this will be a crucial pivot for you; the first time you disagree with your boss WILL be scary, but it’ll become easier and you’ll become more confident. This is how you become leadership material, not just “employee” material.

Even after becoming CEO, I had to have this attitude, which eventually led to the formation of altLine at The Southern Bank. So never stop expressing your ideas and your willingness to provide a different point of view!

Gates Little, President & CEO, altLINE Sobanco

 

Left a Lucrative Finance Career for Dropshipping

My biggest professional pivot was leaving a lucrative career in trading and finance and opening a dropshipping business.

I enjoyed my job but felt stagnant. I was attracted to an online business’s flexibility and location independence, so I researched and learned all I could about online businesses, enrolled in a high-ticket dropshipping course, and got a coach.

After six months with my dropshipping store, I quit my job as the numbers were good. I was 25. Now, I’m mobile, able to travel, visit friends and family, and gain varied life experiences.

The excellent earnings and flexible lifestyle from running a remote company are worth the hard work and long hours I put in at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. I learned valuable lessons from mistakes I’ve made along the way that enabled me to lead and manage a fully remote team and business successfully.

Kevin Huang, Founder & CEO, Ambient Home US

 

Risked It All by Leaving Consulting 

Just a few years ago, I was a very successful consultant for a tech company in Germany. According to society, I had it all; a very well-paid career, a home, a family, and my whole life planned out. Then I left it all behind and risked it all for an idea. 

My wife and I found an opportunity in the language market at the time, which was to offer lesser-spoken languages. We started by coding and developing an app ourselves; the first language app to teach Thai. We tested the market and saw the potential was huge.

 

Using the money we had been saving towards retirement, we took a leap and quit our jobs to create our dream. 

Having that private and personal capital to fall back on meant less pressure to succeed for someone else’s needs and increased pressure to achieve success for ourselves. Ling now has over 10 million downloads and a language blog with over 800,000 views a month.

Simon Bacher, CEO & Co-Founder, Ling App

 

Created an E-Learning Business Model from Experiences

The biggest professional pivot and decision I made was to turn all my knowledge and experiences about land investing into an educational program that our company is offering now. 

Finding individual success in land flipping is one thing, but creating a successful e-learning business model out of personal boots-on-the-ground experiences is another.

I needed to pull ideas from memories and project these into a step-by-step land-flipping educational program. During this time, I felt the most creative, and I like the idea of imparting financial skills to other aspiring real estate investors through our boot camp course.

Daniel Apke, CEO, Land Investing Online

 

Took a Leap of Faith

After graduating from college, I joined a wellness tech startup as their skincare expert. I then pivoted to starting skincare companies of my own. This allowed me to carry on my family legacy as the founder of natural brands with international recognition. 

This pivot changed my career because it eventually led me to co-found Furtuna Skin. My advice is to not be afraid to take a leap of faith. Learn as much as you can where you’re at, network with leaders within your industry, and don’t let others say you can’t start something of your own.

Kim Walls, CEO & Co-Founder, Furtuna Skin

 

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