The Money Pivot: Your Drastic Financial Make-Over Begins Now

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—We have been hearing a lot about "The Pivot" for a while now. Silicon Valley lexicon has entered the mainstream once again. Popular use is defining it as a sudden change in strategy for a business, a politician – even a media mogul. Oprah Winfrey says that her fledgling television network is in the midst of a turnaround: "Let me just say, we have made the pivot," she proclaimed on "Good Morning America" last September.

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Businesses make strategic course corrections. They "pivot." Forbes even did an article on it last year: Dizzying Use of the Word "Pivot" Explained.

You've probably heard Albert Einstein's oft-quoted definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Aren't we all a bit guilty of that in some way, especially in matters of money? We finally pay off a credit card, only to repeat the same mistake by maxing it out again in short order. Times get tough, money gets tight – we stop saving for retirement. We swear we'll never go "all-in" on one stock ever again – but bought E-Trade (ETFC) five years ago at $250. It's scraping near $10 a share now. That talking baby doesn't look quite so cute now, does he?

Frankly, you are probably thinking that your personal finances could use a quick pivot right now. An abrupt course correction. A departure from habitual bad financial behavior. So let us begin. Let's start The Money Pivot.

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Where to begin? Marc Lynn is a psychotherapist and organizational consultant with a private practice in Los Angeles. He says: start with taking a breath.

"First, the individual needs to slow down their process so they can begin to make more mindful choices," Lynn says. "Delay gratification. It's no different than a toddler wanting something and the anxiety causing an inability to wait and make a more thought-out decision. Asking the right questions is critical."