You just launched a business. It’s exciting, exhilarating, and nerve-racking all-at-once. I would even go so far as to say that it’s one of the most exceptional experiences in your life. Can you maintain those feeling day-in-and-out? Well, no, but here’s how the smartest entrepreneurs keep from losing momentum.
Entrepreneurs Keep From Losing Momentum
Between setbacks and doing the same tasks over-and-over again, you can eventually lose that momentum. The good news? It’s not gone forever if you do the following to keep that momentum going.
Your alarm goes off at 5:15 am. Maybe the weather isn’t pleasant. You’re not feeling 100 percent. Your startup has had better weeks. What’s driving you to get-out-of-bed and tackle the day head-on? If you answered “money,” then it may be time to reevaluate whether or not you have it in you to continue the entrepreneurial journey.
There are many reasons why we start our own businesses, like being your own boss. Yes, money does a play role. However, successful entrepreneurs should always ask “why?” Try to be clear on your why — it helps.
Why did you start your business? Why do you wake up before everyone else every morning? Why do you keep forging ahead when everything seems to be going wrong? The answer? You know your purpose.
Take a moment and discover your own “why” whenever you feel like you’ve gone off track. If you need help getting back on track, ask the following questions:
- What makes you feel alive?
- What are your natural strengths?
- Where can you add the most value?
- What are your core values?
The answers help entrepreneurs keep from losing momentum.
In the words of the German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, “He who has a why can endure any, ‘how.’”
Some say, “set the bar low.”
Think about all of the advice you’ve been given or have read. I bet one of the most common has been that you dream big and shoot for the stars. While there’s some truth to that, sometimes you have to set the bar lower, or at least think in different terms. The goal is to get there — not demoralize yourself.
If you say that you’re going to lose 50 pounds, there’s an excellent chance that you won’t achieve that goal because the ambition is stated in those terms. Instead, you’ll follow-through if you commit to doing five minutes of cardio and five pushups a day.
According to Stanford University researcher B.J. Fogg, that’s because if you want to develop a lifelong habit, it’s more effective to start with small and simple adjustments. As we begin successfully making progress, we’re more driven and confident of keeping going.
As Steve Jobs once said, “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
At the same time, making progress in small ways don’t always make it appear like we’ve established that much of a difference. It may not seem entrepreneurs keep from losing momentum by using this technique. There are times when it looks like we’ve hardly made a dent. But research from Harvard University shows that recognizing these small wins is the key to productivity and happiness.
To get started, first identify the wins you want to celebrate. Typically, this is by identifying measurable “wins” that are aligned by your core values — for example, earning a specific amount of five-star reviews on Yelp because of your outstanding customer service. If so, then reward your team with a pizza party or night-out-on-the-town.
I like to review positive customer feedback and share it with my team. It’s a simple but powerful way to show that our hard work is recognized and appreciated.
Keep the body going.
You’ve probably heard this a million times. You need to make your health a priority. But, there are several excellent reasons why you should exercise every morning:
- Gives you more energy, stamina, and endurance to power through the day.
- Boosts your immune system.
- Puts you in a better mood.
- Relieves stress.
- Sharpens your cognition.
Besides exercising, don’t forget to eat a well-balanced diet. It’s pretty challenging to be productive when you’ve just consumed a triple-bacon cheeseburger with fries and shake for lunch. Instead, eat foods that boost your energy and focus, such as almonds, salmon, kale, and eggs.
And, make sure that you get six to eight hours of quality of sleep each night. You can’t keep the momentum going when you’re yawning all day.
Keep a “did it list.”
Calendaring you to-do-lists come in-handy. But, research has found that seeing your progress and how much you’ve accomplished will inspire you to keep pushing forward. That’s why you should start creating a “did it list,” or at least have a place you can check tasks off.
With a “did list” you’re not only able to view your accomplishments, but they can also be used to review and reflect on your year when you are establishing your new goals.
Build a great team.
Paul Allen wrote in an article titled Microsoft’s Odd Couple that, “Bill never wanted to lose talented people. ‘If this guy leaves,’ he’d say to me, ‘we’ll lose all our momentum.’”
Put your ego aside for a moment and realize that you can not succeed alone — no matter how intelligent or talents you are. You need to surround yourself with others who can help enhance your skills and compensate for your weaknesses.
Don’t forget to have fun.
“Fun is one of the most important — and underrated — ingredients in any successful venture,” Richard Branson wrote in “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership.” “If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.”
Final Thoughts on How Entrepreneurs Keep From Losing Momentum
Of course, there are days when that doesn’t seem like the case. But, instead of harping on these setbacks, make being an entrepreneur as enjoyable as possible by trying out the following:
- Make the activities used to achieve your goals more fun, like using gamification, writing an “eff yeah” list, or creating a vision board.
- Change how you think by thinking more positively and developing a growth mindset. Gratification, reflection, and being in the present are great places to start.
- Give yourself a small reward after you’ve achieved a small goal.
- Delegate tasks that you either don’t enjoy or are not skilled at.
By doing so, you’ll be able to illustrate how entpreneurs keep from losing momentum.