Changing Your Mind Isn't Just OK—It Might Be the Best Business Decision You Could Make
As a business leader, the idea of pivoting or altering your trajectory might seem daunting. After all, we're often conditioned to view changing our minds as a sign of indecision or failure. But the most successful leaders understand the power of adaptability. They know that being receptive to new information, market shifts, and even personal growth can lead to remarkable opportunities.
In the following collection of inspiring stories, you'll get a glimpse into the journeys of 30 extraordinary women from the Dreamers & Doers collective who dared to change course. Whether it was a shift in an idea, an evolution of their target audience, or a complete career or business model transformation, their openness to change became the catalyst for immense success.
So, if you find yourself at a crossroads, don't be afraid to rethink, readjust, and reimagine your path forward. The experiences of these leaders prove that embracing change doesn't equate to failure. Rather, it could be the very stepping stone needed to achieve success beyond even your wildest dreams.
Co-Founder and CEO of So Syncd, a dating app that matches compatible personality types.
My story: When we first launched So Syncd, we planned to grow our user base and monetize much later on. From what we had gathered, this was how successful dating apps scaled. However, one of our advisors suggested we start monetizing soon after launching. At first, we were hesitant to make such a drastic change to our strategy. But I can confidently say that we wouldn't be where we are today without this adjustment.
My advice: A major part of being an entrepreneur is making mistakes and learning from them. Reasonable stakeholders understand that taking risks, experimenting, and adjusting your strategy are all part of the process.
Founder and CEO of Chapter tOO, LLC, a business and talent optimization consultancy leveraging data-backed people insights to advance strategy development processes.
My story: In a pivotal moment when cash flow would have been welcomed, I prioritized the alignment of my personal and business values over short-term gains by trusting my instincts and turning down a project with a potential client that my gut said no to. This bold decision opened up new opportunities, and shortly after, a larger and more lucrative opportunity emerged that perfectly aligned with my purpose. By staying true to myself, I achieved a positive business outcome and reinforced the power of embracing authenticity.
My advice: Life's journey is rarely a straight path, often requiring us to double back and adapt. Embrace every experience as an opportunity to grow, even if it means facing failure and overcoming fear. Changing course based on new information is a strength, leading to innovative solutions and better outcomes.
Founder of The Goldenbrand, a digital haven specializing in photography, editorial content creation, and partnership for growing brands.
My story: When a colleague suggested I turn a very private, very personal 30-day self-portrait photography challenge into a course and membership for other women I immediately froze, fearful of being judged harshly by others. If I had given into that fear I wouldn't have a thriving business and community of women all learning self-kindness through the camera lens. I would have missed the opportunity to be a part of something much larger than my own experience.
My advice: Throw everything at it. Your dreams and your bigger impact are too important to leave to chance.
Founder of Student Organ Donation Advocates, a national nonprofit that helps students save lives through organ donation advocacy.
My story: We have the chance to work with more than 25 local nonprofits to support students who are interested in advocating for organ donation. When we first started forming these partnerships, we would ask these nonprofit partners for money at the beginning of our relationship. However, we learned that when money is introduced to the conversation at the beginning of a partnership, it can cause confusion and frustration. So today, instead of asking for money when we first start working together, we ask for money after a few months of providing value. This shift toward providing value and then asking for compensation has changed everything for these relationships.
My advice: When going into a conversation where you have a pre-set opinion, don't share that opinion. Instead, go in with a list of three to five questions and ask those questions before saying a word about your opinion. It's amazing how often you'll get access to new information that changes your mind.
CEO of People First Finance, a 100 percent woman-owned and -operated financial services agency that supports women agency owners and service providers.
My story: I quickly outgrew finance coaching, and wanted an offer that would enable me to support more people. So I launched an annual membership, which was super successful but not sustainable. Six months in, I decided to pivot to a done-for-you service model so I could hire a team and provide more value. That was in 2021. We'll cross the $500,000 annual revenue mark in 2023.
My advice: If changing your mind means following your intuition, you simply can't go wrong!
Founder of The Rosewood Agency, helping heart-centered entrepreneurs increase their impact by creating life-changing transformational courses and programs.
My story: For years I built an online photography business, poured thousands of hours and dollars into building it up to six figures, creating a course, and growing a community. But in 2019 I knew I wanted more, so I closed the doors to the business that was paying my bills and started my coaching business. I was able to earn over six figures that first year and have doubled my revenue year-over-year since then. But more importantly, I’ve been able to impact more lives, and in a much deeper, more aligned way.
My advice: You have permission to change your mind. You’re not starting over—everything you’ve learned and achieved has gotten you to this point where you can now move forward with clarity you didn’t have before. Trust it and take action.
Monica M Rivera
Business and Marketing Coach at YOU WANNA DO WHAT?!, coaching and consulting multi-passionate women to build profitable personal brands and businesses.
My story: After dedicating 15 years to my corporate marketing career at various Fortune 500 companies, I decided it was time to make a change. In 2017, I made the bold decision to launch a personal development podcast, despite the possibility of facing criticism and judgment. I stepped out of my comfort zone, attended conferences, and networked with individuals in a completely different industry. Through this experience, I discovered that there was more to me than just my job title. Little did I know that this podcast would eventually lead to the creation of my flourishing coaching and consulting practice.
My advice: In my experience, there's no harsher criticism than our own. But I've never been more critical of myself than when I delayed or hesitated on taking decisive action. The ability to make decisions is the hallmark of a true leader.
Founder of Emilie Consulting, a niche consulting agency specializing in fragrance and beauty product strategy and development, helping companies in bringing their vision to life.
My story: When I started my business, I initially believed that newsletter sponsoring and SEO would be the key to gaining new customers. However, I quickly realized that the majority of my clients were actually coming from LinkedIn and my personal network. As a result, I shifted my business development strategy, which has yielded better results.
My advice: I would recommend leveraging data to make decisions, being agile, and not hesitating to ask for help and advice.
Founder and CEO of Casa Amarosa, bringing consciously-designed goods that spark color, joy, and global inspiration to homes around the world.
My story: Reflecting on my journey as the founder of Casa Amarosa, I believe embracing change and new ideas is vital for success. One significant moment stands out: when I shifted my focus from solely traditional Indian textiles to a more diverse and inclusive approach. This change attracted a broader customer base, increased sales, and opened doors to exciting collaborations. It taught me the power of adaptation and growth.
My advice: Embracing change was essential for our growth and success as a brand. I have learned that trusting our instincts, fostering an innovative culture, and communicating openly about the need for change are key. So, let us be courageous, resilient, and willing to step outside our comfort zone.
CEO of Rachel Rofe Enterprises, showing people how to create extra income using easy print-on-demand strategies.
My story: I used to work as a freelance copywriter and I had a client who hired me for a significant amount of money to write a sales letter. I put in a lot of effort and completed the letter, but something didn't sit right with me. I had a feeling that my client might not be able to deliver on what he promised. Despite needing the money at the time and having already done the work, I made the last-minute decision to cancel the job and refund his payment. Even years later, I still feel good about that choice because it felt like the right thing to do.
My advice: I've learned that setting clear expectations with employees about the possibility of course corrections from the start helps create a collaborative environment where everyone is prepared to embrace adjustments when needed, reducing resistance and promoting a flexible mindset. It's also important to embrace criticism because in many cases, there isn't a single "right” choice. We learn and evolve by taking action, gathering data, and making improvements along the way.
Owner of Pampas Picnics and Rentals, specializing in intimate events, niche rentals, and luxe picnics.
My story: During the pandemic, all events were shut down. Then as the world started to reopen, some of us event planners still couldn't do what we did best. That is when I had to let go of the idea of what we consider "normal," and adapt to our new normal with intimate events and gatherings that helped people celebrate life's moments in ways that were still special and very much true to them. This opened doors for us in the micro and macro event space that completely transitioned and transformed our business within months, where we were hitting our margins even more so than ever did before, and gave us new life as a business. We never imagined that even beyond traditional events, picnics could be a lucrative business of their own, and even withstand the pandemic!
My advice: Stepping out on the faith and strength of your ideas is never easy, but when you stick to it, something good is bound to come out of it—whether it's success or a learned lesson. Throughout our trials, I just kept encouraging myself to just give it a year. A year later, I am glad I never backed down.
Founder and CEO of The MLG Collective, a podcast public relations agency that works with entrepreneurs, thought leaders, authors, and nonprofits to tell their stories that inspire and educate.
My story: When I launched my business, I focused on podcasting and included everything around producing a show, pitching clients to be interviewed, repurposing content, social media, and more. Then I changed my mind. I decided that I enjoyed podcast pitching the most and saw the greatest results for my clients. I reduced the services that I offered to solely focus on this one aspect and in return am booking clients on more podcasts, have written a book on it, and have seen my revenue double year-over-year.
My advice: The only time you can fail is when you don't try and don't show up. Don't be afraid to pivot.
Founder and CEO of OTITỌ Executive Leadership Coaching, helping leaders manage their energy for a direct business impact.
My story: I've changed my mind loads as a business leader and it has continuously served me well. The most recent example was in 2022. For the first seven months of the year, we were focused on majorly pushing sales with a specific customer segment and then I had an epiphany late July which felt right but would mean pausing and refocusing elsewhere. Seven months of work is a lot to suddenly put on the backburner, but I knew it was the right call.
My advice: Remember that business does not work in a straight line and failure is only failure if you tell yourself it is. As a business leader, your job is not to get every single call perfectly right. It is to create a vision, focus on it, gather data points, and make decisions that serve your greater purpose. Anyone can make the easy calls. The leaders who create the greatest, long-lasting value make the most effective and difficult calls. Enjoy the ride.
CEO of Accents Inserts, creating the true invisible sock—replaceable adhesive shoe inserts, designed to effortlessly keep slime and dirt at bay.
My story: At one point in my entrepreneurial journey, I aimed to elevate my sales by changing my digital advertising campaigns. Despite investing in classes and networking groups, the updated campaigns resulted in declining sales instead of the anticipated growth. Realizing the need to reassess, I made the decision to revert to my original, simpler approach. By doing so, my sales returned to normal and continued to flourish, reaffirming the value of staying true to what works while being open to experimentation and adaptation.
My advice: Embrace the unknown and overcome fear by taking calculated risks. Remember that you have already shown bravery in starting your own company, and it is crucial to explore creative ways to elevate your business. Conduct thorough research, start with small changes to test the waters, and be prepared to pivot if necessary. Success often emerges from stepping outside your comfort zone and adapting to new possibilities.
CEO of Fly Wines, connecting wine enthusiasts with the finest wines of independent wineries worldwide by offering exceptional wine tasting kits.
My story: In my tech career, I felt unfulfilled and contemplated a change. The idea of building Fly Wines excited me immensely, leading to a positive business outcome. I developed the vision for the company, and with the help of my team, transformed my career path. Embracing this change and following my passion brought fulfillment and the opportunity to support independent winemakers around the world.
My advice: Embracing change may be accompanied by fear of failure and criticism, but the regret of not taking action can be even greater. By overcoming these fears, you open yourself up to new possibilities and fulfillment in your professional life, which allows for more fulfillment in other parts of your life.
Founder and CEO of OSSA COLLECTIVE INC., an inclusive advertising marketplace, with more than 1,800 podcasts reaching more than 36 million monthly listeners.
My story: I founded a content platform for women called Like a Boss Girls. In 2018, as part of Like a Boss Girls' growth strategy, my team encouraged me to start a podcast. Though initially skeptical and uncomfortable about podcasting, I quickly fell in love with it. As a result of launching the Mind of a Mentor podcast, I completely rethought our business model. In response to the tremendous potential of podcasting, I decided to pivot my business and launch Ossa in 2019, a platform dedicated to elevating underrepresented voices.
My advice: Moving out of your comfort zone and accepting new ideas and challenges is extremely important. Continually evaluate new trends and data, and consider how to use the information to advance your business. Embracing a growth mindset could help your business grow exponentially and open new opportunities.
Filmmaker at Amina Fire Productions, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and writer who pursues stories that explore wrongful convictions.
My story: Filmmaking can be a tough industry to break into. And in my case, I thought it would be especially difficult in my 40s. I didn’t have the option of spending months or years working as a production assistant to make connections, moving up the ladder slowly, or learning on set as I went. However, I had read uplifting success stories of many filmmakers who started their careers later in life, such as Ava DuVernay or Valerie Faris. After a 20-year career in the fashion corporate world, I decided to go in a completely different direction—documentary filmmaking—an industry that many thought would be too tough to break into and take too long to monetize. But just one year later, I had a documentary short screening at several film festivals and streaming on Amazon, a feature documentary in post-production, and a third in the planning stages. Changing my mind paid off in a major way for my career.
My advice: Pursuing your goals and not allowing fear of failure to hinder your efforts teaches you to take more risks and it builds confidence. It's critical to remember that failure is an opportunity to learn, and to use those learnings to pivot where necessary and keep moving toward your goal. Fear of failure is what holds us back from achieving our goals and dreams.
Founder and CEO of The Path, the meditation for the modern mind.
My story: I thought I would never start another company. After leading a tech company, being so stressed, and not having the confidence to be myself in the role of founder, I said I would do anything professionally except run a start up again. But when I became passionate about meditation, I had an inspiration that I was meant to share through a company called The Path. And I have, exactly in line with how I had dreamed of doing this. I am proud that I have been able to lead this company now, yes, called The Path, with integrity and not no stress, but definitely less than in the past!
My advice: Be open, always, to following your intuition.
CEO of Thigh Society, the leading direct-to-consumer brand of size-inclusive long leg undergarment solutions to sweating, chafing and modesty.
My story: Early on in the brand’s evolution, I invested in research and development for a coordinating top to match with our underwear shorts. But I changed my mind when I realized there was still a lot of opportunity to grow as a single-product brand. Many advisors told me I was making a huge mistake by not offering my customers a complete outfit. But I’ve always known there was a big market for this new product category, and when you run a small, bootstrapped business, most of your money goes toward paying for your inventory. So rather than expand into other products for the sake of it, I put all of the money I had toward building a more inclusive size range, adding new fabrics, leg lengths, and colors. We’re now an eight-figure business with one product: slip shorts.
My advice: Let go of your ego. If the fear of failure or criticism was removed from the equation, what would you do? And remember that people love stories. Imagine a few years out how you’d tell the story of changing your mind and making a mistake—you could spin that into such a positive learning experience and nobody would know any difference.
Founder and CEO of Leaves of Leisure, a luxury herbal tea and botanicals brand created to bring peace and pleasure to ordinary days without caffeine.
My story: When I started Leaves of Leisure, I had this idea that I was going to grow the company just like all the other brands and founders I was reading about; through Instagram and Facebook ads, fundraising, and following a scale-to-market pattern that has worked for so many. But as a solopreneur who still works full time , it became clear rather quickly that I couldn't do it all. I had to pivot my mindset of thinking that what other brands were doing was the right way for me. I stopped doing ads that weren’t yielding results and started to dream up other ways of finding customers. I decided to take my time, grow slowly, and tackle one thing at a time. The outcome has opened up more doors and connections than ever before. In the past six months, I have launched on three new marketplaces including Walmart.com and have tons of collaborations and opportunities aligned for Fall.
My advice: I worried so much about what everyone else was thinking or saying about me early on. That the judgment of others defined me. Reframing my mindset, taking a step back and being okay to change my workflow, goals, and trajectory was the best thing I could have ever done for me. I would recommend that you always leave room to change the narrative and pivot your path to success. There is no right or wrong way to go about things. It's about finding the right cocktail of things that works for you and your business.
Founder and CEO of JUST FRED, a vegan pet lifestyle brand for pet parents on the go.
My story: I read a quote once by the poet Rabindranath Tagore, “The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is you who must raise the sails.” This really stuck with me and I started to shift my view on my business that luck is oftentimes viewed as something that happens to you versus having optimism that luck is a wind that is blowing constantly. I nurtured this shift in mindset and started to see that I was putting myself out there more, which in turn was opening JUST FRED up to new opportunities. For example, I approached an investor and shared my brand story. The optimism inside me fueled confidence which in turn resulted in a positive result of their investment.
My advice: When you look at your days, open your vision as if you are building a sail to catch those winds of luck. See every moment as an opportunity and what you can make of it. It's amazing how motivating it can be when you open your mind to seeing all the opportunities that are actually around you. Be open to seeing and receiving these opportunities.
CEO of Vacayou Wellness Travel, an award-winning wellness travel company focused on helping consumers search, find and book well-being travel experiences.
My story: I read the book "Who Moved My Cheese" early in my career. This book is a parable and had a profound impact on me. I took some great lessons away from it and feel that these have led to many positive outcomes in my career –the most recent being very comfortable in pivoting with Vacayou from the DTC market to a B2B market.
My advice: Take chances; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Don't be afraid to take feedback; even if you don't like it, you may find that it can help significantly and stop you from backtracking. We don't know everything, so listening to others is important too.
CEO of Antonym, a white glove copywriting and brand voice strategy studio that conspires with industry-defining beauty, food, and lifestyle brands.
My story: My Brooklyn neighborhood has a shop called North 11th shoe repair. After it became famous, it moved to North 10th Street but retained its name, and now there forever lives a sandwich sign on the corner of North 10th Street directing shoe repair seekers from the shop's namesake street to its actual location. When clients engage Antonym to name a new brand, we always guide them away from the hyper-specific to a more visionary name that can grow with the company and encompass its evolution. Thinking conceptually and energetically about what your company wants to contribute to the world allows for deeper, more visionary future expansion than when dogmatically focused on a single product or service.
My advice: You cannot control the story that other people will tell themselves about the decisions you make. When at a crossroads, all you can do is act in alignment with your intuition and best intentions and communicate your decision-making with integrity and transparency. The rest is out of your hands; trying to govern the criticism of others is a devastating stop-gap to progress.
CEO of Belgian Boys, creating whole ingredient foods with a European twist so families can prep less, smile more, and indulge better.
My story: I thought strategy was overrated and took each opportunity as it came until I actually tried a system our whole team could commit to and use to pursue our goals together. We started by defining our mountain or 10-year goal, followed by base camps we'd have to reach every few years to get on track. Strategy is the climbing equipment that we use to work toward our goals, and making sure the team embeds Belgian Boys' core values means we're climbing with people who will lift you up, not trip you up. Flying by the seat of our pants may have worked when the business was small, but as we have scaled, being open to strategy and committing to a system has been a game-changer for our business.
My advice: Trust your gut. Tour instincts will tell you when it's time to double down and when it's time to be open to new ideas. Both have their place.
Marissa Joy Pick
Founder of Marissa Pick Consulting LLC, providing strategic consulting focused on digital transformation, content marketing, social media strategy, personal branding, and more.
My story: I love to network without an agenda. The amount of opportunities that have come from those conversations weeks, months, and even years later has been a pivotal reason my business has been successful. You never know who you're going to meet when you open yourself up and walk into a conversation open-minded.
My advice: I urge you to remember to accept that failure is normal—and it can be a good thing. Fail fast and move on; it's part of life. Remember that every mistake is a stepping stone toward a larger goal.
CEO of Montie & Joie, an ethical home goods and clothing brand that focuses on financially empowering women around the world.
My story: At Montie & Joie, we strongly believe in the power of being open to new ideas and embracing change, as it has consistently yielded great results for our business. For example, we initially planned to source our materials from a specific region. After receiving valuable feedback from our customers and conducting further research, we decided to explore alternative sources that aligned better with our commitment to sustainability and fair trade. This ultimately led to stronger partnerships, improved product quality, and increased customer satisfaction. Shortly after, the pandemic unfolded. We would have been in a really tight spot if we hadn’t pivoted. Sometimes it feels scary to change your path but if your heart, gut, and brain align with it, go for it!
My advice: I once let a business fail because I wouldn't change my mind. You will never know what path would have unfolded with the decision that you didn't make so once you make a decision stick with it and believe in yourself. You should have made the decision with a calm and collected mind and therefore it was the best option for you at the time. There is no such thing as going backward!
Founder and CEO of Em Dash Content Studio, a boutique team of expert strategists and writers who help small businesses establish themselves as thought leaders.
My story: At the beginning of Em Dash Content Studio, I offered backlinking and light PR services. It wasn't our expertise but I felt like I needed to provide it as part of a holistic content solution. After a few months, I decided to double down on what makes us special instead of overreaching. I removed the offering and instead invested more time in our web copy service line—now responsible for over 10 percent of our monthly revenue.
My advice: Changing your mind is brave. Changing your mind doesn't mean you made a mistake—it means you're learning, growing, and evolving. Rigidity kills businesses all the time. The real threat is complacency.
Founder of barre.[d] studio, building and leading successful companies.
My story: After reading through some rough reviews of my studio on Yelp, I decided to cut out the shame and defensiveness and instead ask myself, "How can I show up and be what my clients need the most?" Sometimes the best ideas come from asking yourself, "How can I be better," instead of, "What did I do wrong?"
My advice: Having a curious mindset means you're not committed to just one idea—you're free to explore exciting possibilities and maybe even find one that is a much better fit. This is such an amazing lesson once learned, and, yes, it can be scary. And that's what it means to be human—we're stronger when we build from our failures instead of letting them tear us down.
Katharine Campbell Hirst
Entrepreneurship Coach at IdeaShift, catalyzing female business owners with entrepreneurship coaching, as well as strategy and communications guidance.
My story: Coming from a family where therapy was seen as “out there,” working with a coach seemed a little nuts, and being one was a zillion steps outside my comprehension. So when I met a coach 10 years ago, I thought she was intriguing in a rare-animal-I’ve-never-heard-of way, and found myself compelled to find out more about her. When I burnt out a couple of years later and needed a reset, I figured I’d study with the coaching school she had trained under—definitely not to be a coach—but with the goal of rounding myself out as an executive. I was so bowled over by that training experience, that I took a job running a coaching business, coaching on the side while there and in my subsequent corporate role, and ultimately becoming a full-time entrepreneurship coach, combining my strategic and mindset skills into my dream job.
My advice: The cutting edge of anything will look crazy to most people, so if you want to do things that haven’t been done before, you’ve got to heal the parts of you that are worried about what other people think. Instead, make a virtue of every setback and direction change, seeing them as proof that you’re learning, trying new things, and taking bold swings toward your dream goals.
Founder of Le Chéile, where creative agencies boost profits and regain creative freedom.
My story: After being laid off from my corporate job, I initially felt like it was the end of the world. My optimistic and solutions-oriented mindset quickly kicked into gear, and I started my own business. Four years later, my company has never been more successful. The flexibility and personal satisfaction of being my boss is invaluable. Sometimes a redirection can lead to unexpected fulfillment.
My advice: It's essential to embrace change and be receptive to feedback for continual growth. Stay flexible and make timely adjustments for long-term success.
All individuals featured in this article are members of Dreamers & Doers, an award-winning community that amplifies extraordinary women entrepreneurs and leaders by securing PR, forging authentic connections, and curating high-impact resources. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and get involved here.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.