The joy we feel when we accomplish something new is a pure and natural human experience. Most of us have witnessed the glow of joy and pride on a child's face when they're applauded for completing a milestone or a task. It's in our human nature to enjoy the rewards that come from success.
When it comes to going from failure to success, there's a lot we can learn from children.
We often don't look too deeply at how much effort a child has to go through before they can meet a milestone. Take learning to walk, for example; if you watch a child learn to walk, you'll see how much time and effort they invest in it.
They practice every day. They fail. They stumble and fall. They bruise themselves and get frustrated until one day they're successfully wobbling around on their feet as if it's the most natural thing.
The frustration of failure appears to be as natural as the joy of success, and they seem to go hand in hand.
Before the child could walk they had to build muscle, learn to balance and build momentum. Then they had to keep that momentum going to maintain the muscle they've developed so that they can continue walking.
It sounds like quite a challenge, doesn' it? Yet it's one that almost every person on the planet has endured successfully.
Business is like this too.
In the early days of a new business, it can be difficult to gain momentum. Momentum takes time and energy to build. Rash action and poor planning can cause you to feel as though your business will never stand on its feet.
The beginning of anything is always hard. It requires extra grit, patience, focus, attention, energy, nurturing and tweaking until it transforms into the perfect foundation for building and gaining momentum.
The good news is that once you get that momentum going, it's difficult to bring it to a halt. It becomes virtually unstoppable. Just like the child who will never forget how to walk.
Here are 4 things to keep in mind about building momentum for your business:
(1) Do you have the right mindset?
Be prepared for a slow and challenging start in the beginning. Know this is part of the deal, and that it won't be this way forever. Most business owners go through this phase. The successful ones are the ones that do not give up because they know it's all part of the process.
Things won't always work out
Some things you try won't work out right away. In fact, some of them may never work out at all. That's okay. It's all part of learning and growth. You might need to tweak an offer, product or service a few times before it begins to bring in results.
Don't stop taking action if you experience a few failures, obstacles and delays here and there. They're an inevitable part of running a business, and you're going to need to be able to bounce back and learn from them.
Behind every successful person there are past failures. Most successful people have experienced a few failures along the way. What makes them successful is the fact that they didn't give up.
- Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin empire, has many failed business ventures, including Virgin Flowers, Virgin Cars, Virgin Cola, Virgin Megastore, Virgin Brides and Virgin Vie.
- Steven Spielberg was denied entrance by a prestigious film school not once, but multiple times.
- Dr. Seuss' first children's book was refused by 27 publishers.
- Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas."
- Henry Ford ruined his reputation with a couple of failed automobile businesses.
Failure is not the opposite of success. And remember, failure is temporary. Only giving up makes it permanent.
(2) Do you have a plan?
Having a plan gives you a bird's-eye view of where you are and where you want to go. It helps you focus your attention, move forward in the right direction and keep the momentum going. It shows you what steps you need to take, even on the days when you're unsure about what you should be doing.
Set milestones and micro goals
Setting milestones, along with smaller 'micro' goals to help you complete your milestones, should help you glide through the hard times without losing your way.
Have an end goal and know where you're starting from
To create and execute a plan well, you'll need to know where you are versus where you're going. You need some solid goal-posts to help define your project.
Take small actionable steps towards your goal. Every. Single. Day.
Develop the discipline to work on something every day. Taking action and moving toward is what will help you build momentum for your business. Even if you just work on a small task that takes minutes to complete, you'll still be heading in the right direction.
Create atomic tasks
Atomic tasks are tasks that you can complete in one single action. Like making a phone call, sending an email, checking some facts or purchasing an item.
It's important to have a list of atomic tasks to hand so that you can pick it up and take action any time you want to - even on a bad day.
(3) Can you stay focused?
I go on about focus a lot because, in my experience, staying focused is one of the most important factors to business success.
So, what I'm going to say next shouldn't come as a surprise: Do not multi-task.
Multi-tasking often leads to wasted energy, delayed projects and spinning wheels.
When you focus on one thing, you'll complete each task quickly and effortlessly.
Don't forget to reward yourself
Running a business is challenging. It can take some time before you get to see any results for your efforts. One way to make this journey more fun and enjoyable is to give yourself a reward for completing a milestone. Plan this ahead of time so you'll have something to look forward to as you work towards your goals.
To become unstoppable you must first create and build momentum in your business. Unfortunately there's no shortcut. You have to be prepared for some hard work. But having a plan and taking action every day will get you there, slowly but surely.