Lack of consistency is the subtle but great stealer of dreams & desires. The stop & start process is what kills progress & is probably one of the greatest reasons why many don’t achieve their goals & end up living in continuous discontent, frustration & disappointment. Many buy a new book, sign up for a new program, go like crazy for a few weeks, stop & end up right back where they started. Don’t let this be you! (Darren Hardy, New York Times Best Selling Author, and Editor of Success Magazine)
Most entrepreneurs have experienced some form of the following :
A period of “go, go, go” where we are busy, our business is moving forward, goals are being achieved, life is good. But after these short term goals are completed, and the rush starts to fade, momentum starts to dissipate, and then we find that regaining that initial rush is difficult.
I’m not referring here to a situation where a business has failed and someone has to “start over”. I’m talking about a completely different setting – one where we have pushed to the max in the short term to achieve an objective, only to later struggle to regain that momentum after the objective is over.
Here are some examples that I’ve seen in people (and myself from time to time):
- We read a book, or go to a seminar, and get really fired up because we believe that this new “method” will be the secret to massive success going forward. We go “all in” on the method that we learned for a couple weeks, but after a couple weeks we find ourselves going back to old patterns of behaviour (habits) and we end up discarding the “new method” totally within a couple of months (or less);
- We massively push to get a business plan together for a new start-up, but once the business plan is done, we find it difficult “getting going” on the actual business itself (putting thoughts into tangible existence;
- We engage in an intense struggle to get a start-up venture going, and systematized, and profitable, but once the wheels are in motion, and the dollars start to come in, we haven’t clearly defined another “short term goal” to chase, and our long term goals are somewhat unclear so we fall into a pattern of simple routine and our business starts to slow;
- We set a goal relating to our business (like a sales target), we give everything that we have to get the goal, and we achieve great results, but we don’t quite get our goal. We ease off the gas a little, and then find it hard “getting going” again.
Momentum can be an entrepreneur’s best friend, but a lack of momentum can be their worst nightmare.
Here are some tips that I have found in my life (and business) that work well to maintain any momentum that I create for myself:
- Build momentum supporting habits: Habits control everything in my life and my business. So I want to make sure that my habits support positive momentum. Here are habits that I have found that support positive momentum: consistent analysis of the business, consistent systems and efficiency building, continually reviewing short and long term goals to make sure that they haven’t changed in light of business growth, consistently doing things that take me out of my comfort zone and scare me (this forces me to maintain momentum), and consistently raising the bar on my self;
- Setting new goals, before the old ones have been completed: This is very important if we want to maintain our momentum. We need another goal(s) right ready to go, before we complete our current goal(s). That way when we don’t lose a step;
- Being in a competition of “one”: We are only in competition with ourselves. If we start to compare ourself with anyone else, it is really easy to get discouraged, and when we get discouraged our momentum is killed;
- After we have made a goal, and set a plan to achieve that goal, we need to go on an “inspiration diet”: This might seem like strange advice, but hear me out for a minute. I have experienced this one, and as a result I have built a habit around it. I have found that in my life, too much inspiration can actually turn into a momentum block. Here is why: 1) It wastes time (it is really addictive, reading new methods, inspirational stories, etc). It is exciting, but what we don’t realize is that we are often spending more time “getting inspired” than we are actually spending on “doing the work” that we need to do to build the business. I like to get inspired, then make a goal, then make a plan, and then execute the plan. I only want to look for inspiration after I’ve executed the plan and analyzed my results. 2) New inspiration can cause us to “re-think” our initial plan (which again is a massive time waster). All time wasters kill momentum, and if we have a great plan to achieve a goal, and then we read a “new method” to achieve our goal, we may now re-think our initial plan. I know this because I have fallen trap to this quite a few times in my life. It becomes a massive time waster and we don’t end up moving closer to our goal. We need to just find a method. Use the method to go after a goal, and only change our method after we have actually tested it, for a long period of time, to see if it DOESN’T get us results. If it DOES get us results, then we’re happy. But we shouldn’t re-think our methods before we’ve even tried them. This kills time and this kills momentum.