Momentum is the precursor to success. Without it, great ideas become dreams. Understanding momentum can help you in every part of your life. For people starting a new business, achieving momentum is an essential ingredient in your success. Momentum requires constant and deliberate focus and when real momentum slows, you can pivot to get it back.
Forget Climbing a Mountain
Sledding is the perfect analogy for starting a business and the importance of momentum. Before you go sledding, at any age, you’re excited. You get dressed, to some degree of preparedness, and sit on your ass, freezing on the top of a mountain. That’s your starting point, whether you’re starting a blog or launching a new brand that is going to put others like it out of business.
To sled down the mountain, you put energy towards where you want to go. Once moving, your speed increases. Occasionally, some snow will fly up and hit you in the face. If you learn to brush it off, or had enough prior experience to bring goggles, you can steer clear and keep the momentum going until you reach the warm cabin at the bottom. You go inside, spike some hot chocolate and relax for a bit. This is the freedom that comes from real achievement and you reached the cabin that represented your goal on this particular ride.
Why Momentum Matters
The momentum you create determines which side of the mountain you go down, how quickly you will get there and what is waiting for you at the bottom, whether it be a warm cabin, a big cliff or something completely unknown.
Actually, there is another alternative. You can drift down the mountain and see where you wind up. This, unfortunately, is why so many entrepreneurs fail. They don’t gain momentum and instead drift down, slope-by-slope, hoping for their warm cabin to appear. In these cases though, it won’t, and the chilly ride, although often beautiful, goes on endlessly.
When Will I Know?
Let’s ditch the analogies now and recognize how important momentum is for you. Let’s say you invented a new technology and are ready to start selling the hell out of it. You are at the top of the mountain and you need momentum.
To build this momentum, you map out a plan and start executing. Let’s say you setup a website with solid SEO and then you spend three hours each day reaching out to bloggers and the media. You give away your product to some key influencers and keep doing this work every day. You do not stop to look around. You pivot occasionally based on feedback you receive and actually gain momentum in doing so. The more mass, the greater the momentum.
Too many people get a little momentum and then drift for a bit and then get some more momentum and then drift. This will not get you there. Keep hustling and pounding and you will start to feel the momentum.
This feeling is the lead character in so many success stories. What if Trent Reznor stopped writing music after Pretty Hate Machine? What if Richard Branson stopped at one record store? Momentum never stops for real achievers.
Before long, if your product doesn’t suck and you’re doing smart things, sales will start to increase consistently and spike less. People will start calling YOU to try your new products, but you need to keep pushing to keep the momentum going, because your competitors are still dominating. At this stage, the impact that your efforts will have, and the reward you get for each minute of your time, is much larger than it was before. You’re closer than ever and you can smell the hot chocolate.
Keep moving. Do not drift.
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