Momentum is defined as the capacity for progressive development. It is the power to increase or develop at an ever-growing pace. Often, we describe momentum as forward movement — the speed or force of forward movement of an object.
“Momentum creates motivation. Motivation creates opportunity and opportunity creates results. That is how it works and that is why every entrepreneur needs to learn to create momentum in their business.”
Making it as an entrepreneur is tough. Building the right momentum to get your business off the ground takes hard work.
In a post on the blog, Self Made Success, Benard Mokua wrote, “Momentum creates motivation. Motivation creates opportunity and opportunity creates results. That is how it works and that is why every entrepreneur needs to learn to create momentum in their business.”
Below are nine steps to give you a framework for building the momentum needed to successfully chart a course for your business:
1. DETERMINE WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU WANT TO LEAD
Many people feel as if they’re adrift in the world. They work hard, but they don’t seem to get anywhere worthwhile. A key reason that they feel this way is that they haven’t spent enough time thinking about what they want from life, and haven’t set themselves formal goals. I should know.
Once I got to a certain point in my career I stopped setting goals. To this day — I consider it one of my biggest professional mistakes. As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen.
You’ll start attracting the people, resources and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Last year I signed up for my first marathon.
At first I was terrified. Four months later — I crossed the finish line.
2. DETERMINE WHAT VALUE YOUR BUSINESS WILL OFFER
Every entrepreneur must be able to answer one very basic question, “Why should a prospective customer or client buy my product or service rather than a competitor’s product or service?” If you cannot answer this question, you should probably cut your losses.
3. RESEARCH AND SPEAK WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN
Before I jumped onto the entrepreneurial bandwagon, I met with, spoke to and interviewed a lot of different people.
Various men and women in different industries. I went to a lot of different conferences, panel sessions and networking events. I wanted to hear different sides to what being an entrepreneur would really take.
In the end I got some great advice, I was forced to confront some hard hitting questions of my own and in the process became very inspired and motivated to really make things happen for myself.
Getting a lot of feedback made me realize that entrepreneurship was as good as option as any. In fact, it was probably the best option for me to move forward.
4. CREATE A SUPPORT GROUP
Identify a handful of people in your life who can help you move your life forward. Consider pulling from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, experience and opinions.
Sometimes those who are most critical provide the best insights. In meeting various different business people during my research phase, I was able to create a support group of young, female entrepreneurs. This circle proves invaluable to my momentum every day.
Creating your own support group is a crucial step that shouldn’t be overlooked. You can call on them together or individually to help you move past any roadblocks and keep your momentum going.
5. REMOVE YOUR FEARS
If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen.
This was a major obstacle for me to get over. I just couldn’t get over the fear of failure, and also the fear of other people thinking that I was some kind of joke for trying to be an entrepreneur.
I am still not completely over it, but instead of letting it continue to hinder my efforts, I decided to use it as fuel. I’ve taken the approach to just be humble and transparent in my journey. Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to believe that you create all your experiences.
You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you.
Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that — little hills to hop over.
6. WRITE DOWN YOUR LONG TERM GOALS
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. Top-level athletes and successful entrepreneurs in all fields set goals.
By setting sharp, clearly defined long-term goals, you can measure and take pride once you reach them. It will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you’ve set.
7. BREAK YOUR LONG TERM GOALS INTO BITE-SIZE CHUNKS
It’s important to remember that any big success is always a result of many small successes. Both long and short-term goals can help you build momentum in your business. While long term goals are big picture, short term goals serve as stepping stones to that larger, long-term dream.
Short term goals help you think about what you can do right away so you can manage your time. Short term goals might seem small, but completing them can lead to big accomplishments in your business.
8. PULL THE TRIGGER
Pulling the trigger on decisions is another step that I struggle with on a daily basis as an entrepreneur. I remember when I launched the website for my freelance marketing business.
It took me a week to finally send that email to officially put it out there in the world. I remember my colleague, Pauleanna Reid saying to me, “Girl, it’ll never be perfect. Just do it!”
I’ve been in marketing for many years and have been blogging as a hobby for many years, but I knew once I sent that email to all my networks — including some former work colleagues — that would be it! There would be no turning back. I’d have to follow through.
The funny thing is, once I sent the website launch email, I felt such relief. Especially when former colleagues congratulated me on my new endeavor and were happy to hear that I had started my own business.
Making decisions and being able to pull the trigger is one of the benefits of being your own boss, but like me, some entrepreneurs can be gun shy. But take it from me, stop seeking perfection, trust your intuition and if you make a mistake — you’re the boss, fix it!
9. BE PATIENT AND LET THINGS EVOLVE
When the flywheel of momentum starts to turn, pay attention to clues, connections and opportunities that are presented to you. Allow your future to unfold and change in ways you might not have been able to imagine when you started dreaming.
In the early stages of a startup, building and maintaining momentum is critical. It’s one of the main activities that you should be focusing on as a business leader.
The key to building, and subsequently maintaining, forward-moving momentum is by keeping focus on the overall plan.