How to Pivot Your Business

Episode 1004: How to Pivot Your Business, with Waldo Waldman

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How to Pivot Your Business — Discover actionable strategies for business pivots and adaptability in our guide on how to pivot your business.

How to pivot your business Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, CSP, CPAE, MBA – The Wingman is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, Waldo is a decorated combat fighter pilot and an expert in helping leaders and organizations accelerate performance in changing environments.

A highly experienced veteran with over 2,650 flight hours, Waldo flew 65 combat missions in Iraq and in Kosovo during Operation Allied Force. Some of his military honors include five Air Medals, two Aerial Achievement Medals, four Air Force Commendation Medals, and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Waldo overcame massive claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a fighter pilot, and he believes that the key to building a culture of trust lies with your wingmen, the men and women in your life who help you to overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and achieve success. In business and life, you should never fly solo!

In addition to his speaking business, Waldo is also founder and President of The Wingman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to build funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans and their families in need.

Waldo is an inductee into the prestigious professional Speakers Hall of Fame and his clients include Marriott, Hewlett-Packard, UPS and Verizon. He’s been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, Inc. Magazine and The Harvard Business Review.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about how to pivot your business

  • How the outbreak of the global pandemic has impacted our business outlook, mindset, and priorities, and why learning how to pivot your business is crucial
  • Why business owners have had to learn to adapt to today’s many challenges, and why new tactics and tools are needed to propel your business forward after a pivot
  • How Waldo has successfully pivoted his business to a virtual environment by shifting systems and technologies rather than trying to create a new business out of the existing one
  • Why especially during the difficult times, it’s crucial to research, network, and reinvest in your business even at the cost of revenue
  • Why vulnerability and being willing to say the three most important words you can say you need help is vital especially during challenges
  • Why it’s important to continue learning and growing, but it is just as or more important to execute on what you’re learning
  • Why Waldo believes your business needs to be “a mint chocolate chip brand in a vanilla chocolate world”
  • Why breaking out of your area of expertise is possible but takes careful research and asking the right questions, and why expressing vulnerability here is important
  • Why learning how to pivot your business means not just expressing vulnerability but equally means offering to be helpful and focusing on serving others
  • Why lifting others up when they are at their lowest can be a powerful way to create real joy in your life, especially when you are at your lowest


Additional Resources:



How to Pivot Your Business: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner.


Good morning. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation where I interviewed today’s top business owners. So we can learn their recipe for success. How did they build and how they scale their business? Thanks for coming back for this week’s discussion. I suspect that we could all agree that the word pivot was one of the most commonly used words over the last 14 months. It seems like whenever I was having a conversation with Onward Nation with a fellow owner and checking in on how they were navigating a pandemic, they start off with, well, Stephen repivoting and then we talk about how their team was pivoting and or how they saw the market pivoting or their clients were pivoting or how are they were doubling down on R and D so they could reinvent in order to help the Business pivot in the examples. We could go on that said, whether you are sick of the world of pivot or not, the reality is businesses that successfully navigated the last 14 months and put themselves in the best position possible come roaring out. 


The other side of this recession was indeed the ones who pivoted or to say that is another way they doubled down and made progressive decisions in areas they thought would lead to executing there Mission. They didn’t change their mission. They may have changed their flight plan or how to reach the target, or they may have rethought re-imagined, or maybe even reinvented the plane. They were flying in order to achieve their mission because of the environmental circumstances, the obstacles they saw on the ground below, or a myriad of other factors, but they remained focused in unwavering in their determination to accomplish the mission here’s the thing, as I shared the research with you back when the pandemic hit doubling down and making progressive decisions and how to pivot the business, wasn’t just the recipe for success. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Waldo Waldman’s Introduction


During this pandemic in this recession, it was exactly the same recipe for success that businesses use to navigate their way through the last six recessions and then come roaring out the other side. So for today’s discussion, I asked someone to join me who has logged in many hours in the air. He’s made many quick decisions. He has changed course. And of course, he’s pivoted after evaluating data and then pushing forward as quickly as possible without ever losing sight of the Mission. So my co-pilot and guest expert for today’s episode is a retired Lieutenant Colonel Rob Waldman of the United States Air Force call sign Waldo. Waldo is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Never Fly Solo and Onward Nation. 


He knows a thing or two about making pivots in extreme course corrections to accomplish the mission. He is a decorated combat fighter pilot. And now as a successful business owner, whose expertise lies in helping leaders in their teams, accelerate performance and changing environments, just like what we all experienced over the last 14 months. And I’m looking forward to Waldo sharing his insights around how no matter the obstacles, no matter the challenges or the turbulence along the way, the mission doesn’t change, but it is how you adapt to change, how you double down and how being helpful to your community may open doors to new revenue, streams, and opportunities you never saw before because you’re up in the clouds. 


So sometimes Onward Nation, the challenges we experience may force us to adjust our altitude, maybe our airspeed, but in doing so, we might also get a chance to see the silver linings that lead to a completely new way to accomplish your mission or a brand new perspective if you remain open to the possibilities. So without further ado, my friend, welcome back to Onward Nation Waldo. Great to be here, Stephen, and awesome customized introduction, very professional, which is your middle name, right? Well done. Well done. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate it first before we dive in. Thank you very much for your service and I’m grateful for you saying yes, and again, thank you, Waldo. 


And welcome. So it’s been almost four and a half years since we had a chance to do this and have this conversation in front of Onward Nation and learn your insights. 


And expertise before we dive in, take us behind the curtain and bring us up to speed. Give us a renewed flight plan. Or if you will tell us what’s new in the business and then we’ll dive in. So you know what a difference a year makes times a week sometimes or a decade, but this particular year, since the pandemic has obviously shifted not only our businesses but our mindsets and our skill sets. And also I recently coined the term heart-set your passion is a joy. What brings you joy and life? What you do, you know that return on investment in life, right? Not just on your business. Many folks have been struggling to pivot their business, to deal with change, to struggle with health care issues, and parents and the hospital and people are passing away with COVID. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Navigating Business Pivots in Changing Times


How to pivot your business and where to start? So it’s been enlightening and also in some way, refreshing to double down on what really is important in life. So for me, I’ve got a ten-year-old at home, fortunately, going to school. We just got a puppy, a great day in a puppy out. We got an old, 12-year-old black lab, but we got this great Dane puppy bringing more joy into our lives. But back to what you said before, my jet has enough, 16, just like the people that you coach and that are listening to this, to this podcast, your business is your jet. You are the flight lead of that jet. You are the pilot in command. And so what’s happened in particular? In this last year, we went from flying at 30,000 feet in daytime conditions over a rack-dropping ordinance on bridges and fuel depots, but now, or at 500 feet, 550 knots over mountainous terrain flying at night and taking out brand new targets, the same jet, same pilot. 


Example of how to pivot your business – But now we need to retool our airframe, new weapons systems and new tactics, new tools in which we need to execute this complex precarious, challenging mission. And so at the same thing, what’s in, in business, we have this new business. So we needed to bolt on new weapons systems. We need that to change tactics from flying a daytime conditions, in-person meetings over a cup of coffee or a steak to virtual meetings, leveraging the power of video and audio in social media to figure out how to Sell virtually how to connect and engage and collaborate with our teams through this new platform. 


How to pivot your business? So for me as an executive coach for entrepreneurs and leaders, and also as a speaker in national sales meetings and leadership meetings, I’ve had to pivot my business, but also propel. And what I mean by that is pivoting is one day you turn from the left to the right. That’s one thing, but you need to propel. You need to take action. You can, by the new equipment, learn the new philosophies, but unless you’re getting out there taking risks, executing these new plans, you just fly by the seat of your pants and you’re not going to build up the skills and experiences necessary to Excel. So I have flown many missions in this new virtual office. I’ve got my lighting Kitts. 


My son has a mic. I got my 55-inch screen. I build it out. My office. I fell flat on my face several times. I asked for help. I messed up, but now I’m coming out of it. The last six months have been great. I’ve been doing six to eight virtual programs a month walking into a Lockheed Martin, Comcast business, and some big companies. I’ve been able to pivot my business and propel forward and this virtual platform, but that hasn’t been easy. And I had to eat my own dog food. As we say, we’ve had to really ask for help, take some risks, invest in new technologies, and humble ourselves with this new mission. This is the way this is going to be such a great conversation. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Navigating Change with Depth and Adaptability


Thanks for the internal context. When you have just brought your F16 out to illustrate the point that you were making. Let me ask you this. I don’t think that you and I have talked about this in our previous couple of interviews. So, I know that the F16 was where you were a combat pallet. You logged a lot of hours. Probably use the T 38 for training. They stepped in F16, but you mastered the F16, but let me, I think that you mastered the F16, but, but the F16 and not the 10 and several other planes, right? You or your mastery was the Essex team on purpose and intentionality, right? 


Like you became a master of that cockpit that controls the weapons systems and all that. So your area of expertise was very, very deep within that weapon system. Am I understanding correctly? Yes. Okay. So my, my, my question with that is because I just want to make sure that I understood that correctly, that then made you super proficient, that depth of expertise, so that when you did receive these curve balls to change in your environments, the, the defense systems that were trying to inhibit you from accomplishing your Mission, you are more adept to being able to pivot because you knew you can react and an instant because you have that depth of expertise or would that be fair? And I think that’s the same business. 


How to pivot your business? You know, even if you look at me and I want folks listening to just correlate it to your own business as well I’m a coach in a keynote speaker, you have to find the diamond of which are good at it. As a fighter pilot, we had on the ground, that the F16 was our weapon system. We knew it inside out. And so I didn’t create a new business out of my current business. I just shifted the systems and the technologies to deliver it in such a way. Now that’s not to say every one of the people watching this, or some of us, or maybe our clientele has got, has gone away in the, you on the bottom. There are certain things sort of businesses. You simply cannot Fly because, in a virtual environment, you can excel, but in financial services. 


Another example of how to pivot your business – So software sales, even in pharmaceuticals, all of these different spaces, there is an opportunity for you to sell. So it may have been time for me to learn the new weapons system or a whole new jet, but you know what? I still had my business, my keynote, and so, and speaking business, and my coaching Business. So I shifted the weapons and the tactics in which I was able to deliver that. But that’s not to say that there is a time when you need to say, I need to absolutely reinvent myself. I’m a pilot, I’m a businessman or a woman, but now I need to go into a new vertical, a franchise, a home-based business. So whatever that is, and if you wanted to invest, get your jet in the hangar and retool this Afrin, here’s what I mean by that. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Investing in Your Business’s Future Amid Change


You can change the weapon systems on an F16. Why are you flying? You’ve got to put the jet in the hangar and remove or update weapon systems, which means you can take out Targets. The problem with many business owners, I think in the pandemic was that they did not invest the time and putting their business in the hangar and research, invest in network with experts so that they can say, what can I do to re tool my airframe so that after a month or six months, I can get back and we wanted to take it out targets and people mess it up, and you’ve got to be willing to not to take out targets. 


How to pivot your business at the start? You just say I’m going invest in building my business. I’m not worried about revenue right now. And I’m worried about results in my business. So, so that’s part of what I did to become more successful in this industry, shore, my income, I took a drop off, but now I’ve come back and it’s doing very, very well. And I’m actually doing some live events down. I’m doing more executive coaching and coaching for entrepreneurs and small business owners as well. So that is very important. Yeah. Many people are afraid to just not make any revenue and invest in their Business this time we have to do that. And, I still think there were times even now when things are going well, where you need to say, hold on, let me put my chat and a hanger. 


I’m not that worried about revenue today. And I’m going to retool nothing about my business, update, a new software. We talked about stream deck, different things that you can use to demonstrate a photo, which I’m showing, or more of my Wingman on the screen, right? These things help reinforce the learning to return on investment. That my clients are paying me to deliver a message of accountability, trust and excellence. Yeah. S,o these are great lessons and we’re going to dig even deeper into Onward Nation. I love the metaphor about putting the plane back on the hanger, which again, syncs up with the data that 


We were talking about back in May of 2020, when we went through those hundreds of data points, Onward Nation, and talked about how the companies that had succeeded, that they navigated successfully, the last six recessions and came roaring out. The other side is because they had the operational courage to do exactly what Waldo had just talked about. They have the operational courage to say, wait a minute, hold on. The conditions are different. We’re going to put them and the hangar. We’re not scrapping the plane, but we’re going to retool it. We’re going to reinvent. We’re going to be, how can we be more helpful then to our community by accomplishing our mission, realizing that we need to adjust the airframe. So that is awesome. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Holistic Retooling for Success


Okay. So, my guest is Waldo that during the coaching sessions that you’ve been having with leaders, business owners, executives, and so forth, then their teams, my guests is, is that this has been a very popular conversation, but I’m just going to use your words, Waldo, Holy bananas, what do we do? How do we retool the airframe? Right. 


So I talk about being a wing man. My book Never Fly Solo is about collaboration, trust, and courage. Most importantly, with the wing, a wingman staring back at you in the mirror, right? So how do you, how do you grow, how you build trust in yourself? You know, and this was beyond just the business. You know, I got more to health and fitness drinking, green smoothies, reading, and spiritual things every morning. You know, you have to think about your self holistically. We tooling human Africa in the pilot, not just the plane and so many people you know, kind of quote-unquote got fat and lazy depressed, and in the hangar of uncertainty, instead of being able and taking risks, however, life takes over our issues, our anxieties and our fears and doubts bumble up, especially this past year. 


How to pivot your business and become an example to everyone? One of the things that were important for me and I think are important for any lever leader, high-performance individual, and any type of a business owner is to be willing to take off your mask and say the three most important words in business, which, or I need help. And so part of my success as a significant portion of my success was to seek out the F18 pilots and the Navy that the stealth fighters, the bomber pilots, what are you all doing differently? Reaching out to my peers. So I built relationships with my clients, perhaps my folks in my industry, and other speakers, and say, Hey, what’s working for you? What’s not, I’m in the deck. 


How to pivot your business — I’m in the hanger of doubt. I’m trying to refuel my jet. What do you have for me? And so humbling yourself, being vulnerable, and seeking tools, ideas, inspiration, and, technologies from people in our industry is key. So as a business owner, don’t be afraid to think outside your cockpit, think outside your F16 formation, and seek others different from you, my friends who have invested in, you because you’ve networked on social media, you coach, and mentor and give things away. You show up to the podcasts and you invest time. And so what I’m saying is if you wanna find a wingman to trust the bottom, who is going to give you their coach advice and ideas, you’ve gotta be the wingman or a wingman for others. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Embracing Conversations for Business Growth


So that’s very, very important because innovation starts with conversation. If you are looking to retool your business and don’t have an idea showing up dumb, afraid, and stupid, and being transparent and asking for our help, Hey, you know what? I’m not a bad place to start. As long as you are paying it forward. And as long as you’re taking with honor, meaning you’re paying it forward, and you’re not picking people’s brains, you’re massaging, their and their energy. And you’re politely asking and showing a deep appreciation. So many people have helped me, Stephen, and they’ve given me coaching advice and kicked my butt to create this new app frame. 


I think it’s an important thing for entrepreneurs and business owners and leaders to do as well. 


Oh my goodness. So several really big golden nuggets in there. I love how you just said innovation starts with a conversation. It’s amazing. And so when you’re talking about all the different types of aircraft, right? Like I hit those visuals because as you know, I love that kind of stuff too.  And so, but, but great example, right? When you mentioned F18 or stealth or picking aircraft, it’s like it is, can you have conversations with those successful pilots in, in this frame of reference, other successful business owners who might be able to say, you know what, when, when we hit those conditions, we have a different operating system or a different weapon system or than U Waldo. But the, the, the environment was the same as we adapted this way, that then gives you an opportunity to say wait a minute, my plane is a little bit different, but can I maneuver the same way? 


Could I make a similar adjustment? Perhaps my weapon systems could attack that same thing. So just because I don’t fly in an F-18, maybe I can apply a similar tactic and I can still then be successful in a Mission. Right. 


How to pivot your business? Don’t be tempted to try the new weapon system out and fail in doing it and say, okay, that didn’t work. How do we update? I talked about how my son has a microphone and got all of these other weapons systems here, but not everything was working out fine. And I had to say, Oh, I thought this was going to work, but it didn’t so asking, executing, failing, picking yourself back up and saying, okay, this, this didn’t work for me. And then sharing those failures with other people means you can still be an asset to them. And so, in other words, you got to stop reading and show it up to the podcast and watching videos. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Embracing Risk and Learning from Failure in Business


You got to say, okay, time for me to execute time for me to do this, this new technique, this new sales item. Talk to me to implement this software. Not I’m just going to fly by the seat of my pants. You’ve also got to put in the time and practice and train and prepare as well. So the amount of time I spent setting up my studio going on coaching sessions, learning how to do, to do my keynotes a certain way, and leveraging different coaching techniques, took a lot of time for me to practice and prepare. You know, you gotta be willing to fail instead of hanging out in the hangar of fear and doubt, waiting for the perfect weather and the perfect target is show up. That’s also something that’s important for us to realize as business owners, as entrepreneurs, and as leaders as sometimes risking and not having the perfect solution is the way to go. 


Because you still learned from those mistakes and hae, you can also take out some targets in the process as opposed to be missing an action. Right. Okay. 


Really loved this momentum year that you are giving us Waldo. So you mentioned a few minutes ago, the hanger of uncertainty. I love it. What a great visual. So let’s, let’s think about that from the perspective of, let’s say some of our Onward Nation business owners many are feeling like, okay, we’re kind of starting to feel like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re going to be cautiously optimistic, but we were feeling a little bit of change in momentum, right? So if there is a hanger of uncertainty, is there also a hanger of the year? 


How to pivot your business – Well, I think they go hand in hand. One feeds the other in combat are a member flying. And by the way, I’ve been in sales and business, et cetera, I’ve won and lost a multi-million dollar deal with a commission only in most of my career. And I understand complacency impacts us as fighter pilots are also in the business. And sometimes when you are doing well and forget to be proactive and make sure that you’re relevant in the marketplace and, or not take for granted, that customers are saying yes to you, not failing to show appreciation, Hey, it’s a slow, insidious descent irrelevance. So you can’t be complacent when things are going bad, as well as when things are going well. And by the way, there are folks that are listening to this right now who have multiplied their business. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Adapting to Business Growth in Changing Times


How to pivot your business? Not everybody has suffered through the pandemic. There are many folks in particular that I’ve coached or really their biggest problem is adapting to the influx of business, Comcast business. For example, you know, virtual data video, webcasting, et cetera huge, huge, and in in in the data space and security, et cetera, they’re doing so well. They need to augment their sales force and be prepared for the influx of Business that we’ll be coming out here in the summer. As people go back to their businesses, start investing in new tools for optimizing, optimizing their speed and technologies. 


So if things are going well and you start slacking off or don’t prepare to augment your business to the influx, that’s when things get back together 


And just think things are just going to get better as long as I’m flying that 30,000 feet and 500 knots right now, it must be proactive complacency kills, the fight of politics, kills businesses, and you have to push it up and stay focused and relevant every day. Once again, in particular to your current customers who are saying yes to you, doubled down on building that loyalty, that referral network that was brand ambassadors, you were saying yesterday yes. Because you don’t want to forget about them when things aren’t going well and there, and they forget, Hey, I was there for Stephen and Waldo. When, when things were going bad, where am I? Now Business has two good. You forget about the guy or gal who dug you well in your business. 


How to pivot your business – So I think that goes for anyone in particular today though, and at any time of the year, but particularly today. So let’s see if I can maybe draw a parallel here and see if you agree or disagree. You know, one of the things that we talk about often Waldo on the show is the importance of a business owner, planting their flag, or having authority in a particular niche. So for example deciding that this is the market that we’re going to serve and selecting their niche, whether it’s an audience and industry or whatever, maybe it’s a round, a superpower that they have on their team. And then mixing that with their point of view, what makes them unique and special and differentiated within the market and why it is that they do. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Establishing Authority in Your Market


How to pivot your business and then deciding to create content on a consistent basis. All of the things that you do with expertise or excellence, excuse me, over many years, but you put all three of those together, and that gives them this defensible position, if you will, right within a market. And as I’m hearing you talk about the retooling and all of that, I’m thinking, okay, that’s a great illustration of how important it is to plant your flag of Authority. If you’re a business owner and claim your territory, because once something comes in is going to try to rock your Foundation, you’re set like you’ve trained, you know where to go what the coordinates are, or do you know what the mission is? 


How to pivot your business — Yes, you might need to retool, but the mission of who you are here to serve doesn’t change, would you agree or disagree? I think it is. It’s absolutely spot on. And very insightful. Stephen, I have a saying, okay, so you have to be a mint chocolate chip brand and a vanilla chocolate world, right? You go to the supermarket, there are all these brands of ice cream, right? And they wouldn’t be there unless somebody was buying them. By the way before, it was a vanilla chocolate, strawberry, a Napoleon Napoleon, or whatever. Now we have all these brands on the mint chocolate chip speaker, folks that are listening or watching this. 


I have a certain energy I’m passionate about. I’ve got that New York accent, but that execution relationship. 


I think people need to be hugged and kicked in the butt these days more than ever, right? It’s not just about positivity. It’s about pushing and driving forward. That does not work for everyone. And so I want to be that mentor for a chip. Meaning if you like mint chocolate chip, you are gonna love me, which means save some people’s hate and then talk about you. You have ice cream and perhaps you do it, but I don’t know what the statistic is, as I should look it up that maybe 22.8% of the world absolutely despised chocolate chips. This means you have to have some people looking at your brand, your value proposition, your personality, your deliverable, whatever your value is in say, absolutely not for me or absolutely for me. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Planting Your Flag with Authority


This is like, I think that’s good. I know that’s pretty good. That’s not going to cut it. So you have to plant your flag with the Authority. And I talk about this in my speech as about honor, and integrity are your core values. Plant that flag of who you want, the people cross it, you need to be vocal and, and, and passionate about that. And meaning you’ve got to be selective. Also whether your clients, as they are selective with you, build your brand, have that niche, that small slice of the pie, that small little radar sweep that you own and double down on that value proposition, because you can’t own it. It’s when people start to go broader and vanilla and chocolate, they like that. 


Unless you are a non-GMO, gluten-free vanilla. You’re not going to make it. And so this is very important. 


But this is so great. Waldo. I’m sorry when you’re sharing this idea, I was just getting so excited about another maybe illustration of what you’re saying, because, okay. The F16, that’s your weapon system. Now I have no doubt. Let’s say that you and I were on some sort of emergency situation, but we were on a seven 47 together and you were the only other pilot on board and there was an emergency and you had to get to the cockpit in order to land the plane. I have no doubt you could land the plane. Now, would it feel super comfortable for you to land the plane? Probably not because it’s not your system. You can do it, but your comfortable, your expertise, and your PFLAG of Authority is in the F16. And this is a good comparison, a good metaphor. 


Well, you know how to fly planes and you know, the fundamentals of landing, you can literally kill yourself in that 74 seven because the, the heightened a cockpit the wheels, it’s a very, very different. So once again, it goes back to what I’m saying. You may say, okay, all right, I know my limitations. I know how to run my business. I know where my margins need to be. I know where my market is. I know how to invest in marketing, social media about Bob, whatever. And so if you see a gap of a blind spot here, I’m going to show you a photo here that you’ve got a blind spot. As you’re a fighter pilot, you’re stopped by that FAA team, right? 


You can’t see behind you or however, your wing man, if they look over their shoulder, you always six o’clock. They can see if a weapons being shot at you. If you’re leaking, fuel are on fire. So he goes back to the collaboration piece. If I’m in that cockpit, I know how to fly the plane. I know how to run my business, but I’m talking to the air traffic controller. I’m saying, okay, what do I need to know? I’m used to fly in the small F16, a single seat at 40 feet off the ground now, and a couple hundred feet high or whatever, what altitude do I need to start slowing down? What are the throttle settings? You know, when do I need to start the flair in the overall on, right? 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Asking Questions, Seeking Help, and Staying True


Example of how to pivot your business: And so I’m asking questions because I know how to fly. If I didn’t ask those questions, if I didn’t have an understanding of aviation and our dynamics and overall flight fundamentals, I could kill myself. So you’ve just got to once again to say, okay, I know how to fly, but I’m not stupid enough to think that I’m going to be able to just wing it. I’ve got to ask questions. I’ve got a Sikh. Some Intel apply it to the weapon system and I’ll land the plane at the wheels may fall off. We may crack a wing, but we’re going to land safely and get home to hug are our spouses and children. Right. 


How to pivot your business? Well, and that goes back to what you said a couple of minutes ago in the, this is really demonstrating extreme vulnerability, in my opinion. Yeah. That we, we as business owners feel like we need to have all have the answers. Like our team expects us to have all the answers when the reality is that actually they don’t expect us to have all the answers. They want us to be vulnerable and just like them. We want them to say that they need help us too. Right. And you, and you mentioned hugged in kicked and sometimes are being held accountable. I mean, that, those are, those are very important ingredients. Now that we’re coming out, the other side of this right out the other side, this is the time to be asking that, Hey, I need help. Or, Hey, I need somebody that can help you with these questions, but to be able to do that with vulnerability, right? 


Yeah. And also keywords or IMS set up, I’ll find out. I don’t know. So people smell in authenticity and baloney pretty quickly these days, but you know, you’ve got to be true and honest and authentic and vulnerable once again to potentially lose the sale, but still maintain your most important asset, your reputation. Right. But also it’s not just I need help. It’s also, how can I help you? It’s also showing up prepared for the calls just as you prepared for this podcast, we prepared to do the automated systems and the emails and the followup. And I’d want people to understand, that I’d do dozens of these hundreds of a year, the way you pivoted this introduction made it relevant to the client. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Building Trust Through Selflessness and Support


How to pivot your business? The result was massive. I mean, this sincerely, I do podcasts. Some people show up the first time they’ll learn about me five minutes before the call. And that’s not being professional. That’s not honoring your partner or honoring your prospect. So ask them if we know how you can help them offering them a referral offering to say, Hey, you know what, my fees or this, but let’s work something out. I know you’re in the dungeon of this bear. I need help. What can I do to make this a win from all of us? I’m not going to get a full fee. Let’s both make When here I’ll help you will help me. And I’m telling you, I’ve done this so much to the last six to eight months. 


How to pivot your business? I’ve cut my feet for businesses that needed help. And sure enough, they would come out of the dungeon. I’m getting rehired at full fee of getting coaching clients. I put the focus on Service, especially when you’re in the dark, in the pit of despair, Get the focus off of yourself. And this is really, really important because I suffered from panic attacks and claustrophobia and is a fighter pilot folks, so people don’t know in my book, Never Fly Solo. I talk about it a lot more, that things will go be great for me. And I develop claustrophobia after a scuba diving incident. So I was strapping into my plane, leading men and women in combat having these anxiety packs kind of like a COVID combat, right? 


And how I dealt with it as a flight lead, even as a Wingman, as I thought about how I help my teammates. How can I help that young man, a woman on my wing wings take him into our Iraq? How can I help them as a student, not fail out a pilot training? The key is when you distract yourself from yourself and focus on Service, give your gift away. It gives you a diamond away. Don’t worry about revenue, just worry about results and helping people. That’s how you build that mint chocolate chip brand. That’s how you build a reputation capital and this commoditized world. That’s how you go or loyalty and trust. Not with everyone because people forget, they have short memories, but with the ones who need it the most, who are your loyal friends, who are those other mentors, chip clients and partners who, when the going gets tough, you call out Mayday they’re going to have your back because they know you had their backs. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Cultivating Trust Through Giving


This is key. This is fundamental. It’s about relationships as well as execution and preparation. But at the end of the day, where people work with people, we can not become complacent with that 


Ashley in there that is so great. Okay. Here’s why I would say that when you said, give your diamond away, pretty, pretty bold statement, right? And because there’s oftentimes when things are not great, a little bit of protectionism, I got to cover my tour, or if I got to hold on to things or whatever. And you’re saying a 180-degree opposite of that, which is really bold instead of hiding, you’re leading, you’re giving away. And that is being generous, giving away the best of what you’ve got in really that’s what leaders are comfortable doing. I will say that that’s what I thought leaders are comfortable and doing and giving their best way. Cause they want to be helpful through the process. 


And they know that when things that are better, that what you’ve done is you’ve, you’ve got this great track record now of Service, 


Right? Wingman is a trusted partner. Trust is a by-product of integrity excellence empathy and generosity, all of those things that solidify that trust. And so you have to be willing to give your wings way in order to gain those wingmen and women. And also, I think it feels good that any person watching this or listening to this knows that he feels good when you are helping other people when you’re truly providing you the results. So yes, you may not have as much revenue, but it goes back to what I mentioned about getting my dog that great Dane, that creates much more joy for me than being on a beach. 


And in Florida with my spouse and son the constant joy or the free gifts that we get every day from our relationships, the people that help us from nature and animals in music, whatever it is, creates that heartset. It makes us more joy people in life. And I really think when you look at your life as a whole and people who have not only pivoted that business, they’ve pivoted that priorities. What is more important for you today when you lose a loved one to COVID or in the hospital, like some buddies of mine, or maybe folks who are watching this I’ve had friends of mine, fellow Speakers who thought they weren’t going to be around. And I was texting them in the hospital, calling them up. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Innovation Starts With a Conversation


My manager, Ron great dude suffered. He was so close to death. He’s like, I would wish this on my worst enemy. And when people are in the dungeon of despair in their life and it, perhaps it to you, Lord, it feels so good to reach a Wingman and lift them up with that word of encouragement, with that generosity, with the referral, with whatever it is, because we truly want that to happen to us. And the paradigm of joy is so different today. And so Business has shifted. I think we’re all gonna be a lot more generous, more empathetic and compassionate to each other. Our bank accounts may or may not show accordingly, but I think our joy and our appreciation of health come back from a combat mission. 


We have to fly in eight hours at night, watching some buddies get shot down, watching missiles, get shot at me, taxing into the hangar and coming back and having it to be here with my buddies. That was joy coming back to the United States, after a combat deployment my family that was joy, had nothing to do with revenue, had everything to do with the heart of what’s important in life. And that’s the blessing in disguise, which is in the gift that COVID has given the world in that any struggle delivers to you as you build the resilience, the character, and the scars that revealed to us to grow with that. I think that makes us more human and better people at the end of the day. 


Ron, thanks very much for this conversation. And I know we covered a lot, but before we go, ah, before we close it out and say goodbye, any final advice that you’d like to share, anything that you think we might have missed maybe, and then please do tell Onward Nation, business owners, the best way to connect with you, my friend. 


How to pivot your business? That’s your priority. You know that this is great. And then you and I are philosophically aligned and in so many ways. And I just loved this conversation that they, once again, innovation starts with a conversation. That’s why this podcast, you show up that people have to invest in your show, come up, even if there’s one wing tip or two, that they can walk away and say, I’m going to take action on that today. I’m going to shift my mindset like that small nugget of content. That’s how you make measurable results in your life. But I guess at the end of the day I want you to do an assessment. The people watching or listening to this, the assessment of those people, if you – God forbid we’re in that day at that hangar or fear of a doubt and had to call up those folks, who would those people be making a list of them are really intentional about those, that top gun list of folks. 


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How to Pivot Your Business: Last Bit of Advice and Connect with Waldo


And then send them a note, a text message, a phone call, or a handwritten card, which are all my clients get. When I do a program with them, bring your humanity to the table, let them know that you appreciate them being on your wing, and try to connect with folks every single day. It’s hard to do it because we probably have dozens, but reach out every single day and nurture those relationships. Don’t become complacent on those. And I think you’ll never be at a loss for a wingman or a wingman in your life who is going to be there for you. So that’s something that I would rock. And then as a daily habit, and then as far as getting in touch. You can Google Waldo Waldman, and also find me on LinkedIn, @waldowaldman, or Twitter: Waldo Waldman, send me a note, send me your connection requests. 


Let them know that you’d heard about me on Stephen’s podcast. Uhh, and then, Oh yeah, but there’s also a video series of people who want to get a video series, my mission Ready series. I’m going to show it on the screen here, but if you go to your Wingman dot com,, that’s my website. Ready? Put your name and email address in, and you’ll get five videos from my top Leadership, a series 


And it is going to be three to five-minute videos on courage, accountability, trust being a good wingman. And if you wanted to connect more with me after that’s a good way to do it, but that’s quick and dirty. And if you also need coaching, reach out to me. I do a lot of entrepreneurial and leadership coaching, but folks in that personal and professional life.


Oh, okay. Onward Nation. And you just heard Waldo say it. The key is that to take the nuggets that he just shared with you, and there were a bunch of them take them and you have to take action upon them, take them and apply them into your business right away and accelerate your results in a while. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. 


And I am grateful my friend that you said yes for a third time, came back to Onward Nation to share your insights, your wisdom, to be our coach, our mentor, to help us move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, My friend. 


It was an honor to be here. God bless you and stuff. 


This episode is complete. So head over to for show notes and more food to fuel your ambition. Continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation. 


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