Pivoting is essential if you run a business as a military spouse. I’ve owned my own business the whole time my husband has been in the Air Force. Starting as Mermaid Harmony in Hawaii, it’s traveled with me through multiple bases, and now, as The Joy Weaver, I entertain, create retreats, and lead Red Tents (gatherings for women).
My business is face to face events. March of 2020 ripped away in-person things and, along with it, my entire income. I’m used to starting from scratch with each move, but this required some new thinking.
Since that time, I have created a sustainable online income that will travel with me wherever we go. Here are three lessons I learned this year to help you pivot as well.
It costs how much?
Knowing your operating costs helps you make wise choices. These days, with every software program wanting $10 a month, even when you aren’t ‘buying’ anything, you can find yourself at a loss and rummaging the couch cushions for spare change. Using a program like Quickbooks can give you an overview of what to cut back on or where to invest.
A world of pure imagination
At each base, I hustled to get my business off the ground. I didn’t create things online because I was focused on my in-person events. In July, I remembered the women who had previously asked for an in-depth learning experience and responded to that desire by creating a three-month online program. It sold out in a week. Look for ways you can diversify your income. Ask your clients what would serve their needs. See if there is a way to bring part of your business online, so you never have to go entirely ‘offline’ again.
What do you need?
To make my online Red Tents accessible amidst a pandemic, I asked for $0, $5, or $10 per spot. What was once a few people paying online turned into keeping track and chasing down payments for 50 or so orders each month on different payment platforms. I was overwhelmed and almost burned out. To remedy this, I implemented a flat rate and charged what I was worth. It felt like a leap of faith, but doing so allowed my business to become genuinely sustainable for the first time. What do you need to shift that might feel like a leap but will help you thrive?
COVID-19 has led to clarity not just in my life, but also in my business. If you have a business you have been rescuing this year, take the time to take a step back to see what you need to implement so you can just keep swimming.