On Wednesday evenings from 8 to 8:30pm ET, I host #MakerBizChat, an Instagram event to help Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs build a solid business foundation, increase your income, and use your business to create the life you love. Our topic tonight was HOW TO REGAIN MOMENTUM AFTER YOU'VE LOST IT.
I chose this topic because I have run out of steam countless times in my 15+ years of business. I take specific steps to reverse the downside and get back on track. I will share some of my best coaching with you in this regard in this post.
You can read the full transcript on Instagram, including questions, tips and resources from the Maker community, at this link. Because Instagram is designed for mobile viewing, the entire chat on Instagram, which has dozens of comments and some great questions and discussion, is best viewed on a mobile device. Here is a summary of last night's #MakerBizChat.
Q1. HOW DO I GAIN MOMENTUM IN THE FIRST PLACE?
A1(a) Routines. Routines. Routines. The best way to gain momentum is to create a routine in your business, and stick with it. Whether it's publishing a regular newsletter, blogging, making sales calls, etc., if you can turn the task into a regular routine, you will automatically build momentum a little at at time.
Donna Maria, Indie Business Network
A1(b) Insert habit into your mornings and evenings. I am at my most productive when my morning and evening routines are the same — day after day, week after week. I feel better physically too. This is an extraordinary challenge for me as a wife and mother of tweens. There is always some urgent and/or important situation I have to deal with that threatens my routine. I also travel quite a bit, which infringes on my routines. Whether it's reading, exercise, listening to music, or playing Solitaire, I guard my routines as much as possible. This helps build momentum over time.
Q2. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KEEP MOMENTUM GOING?
A2(a) Momentum is important because once you lose it, it is so so hard to get back. It's not impossible of course, but it's super hard. This is because so much of what we do in business is routine and habit. Once those habits are disturbed for whatever reason, we will lose some momentum. The key is to take steps to make sure that we don't lose so much of it that we end up falling off the wagon, so to speak.
A2(b) Here is a passage from The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy that illustrates this point.
“It's like the wheels of a steam locomotive. At a standstill, it takes very little to keep it from moving forward – a one-inch block of wood placed under the front wheel will do the job. It takes an incredible amount of steam to get the pistons to move and cause a series of connections that get the wheels to budge. … But once the train starts rolling the wheels get into a rhythm. If the pressure remains consistent, the train gains momentum and watch out! At 55 miles an hour, that train can crash through a five-foot, steel-reinforced concrete wall and keep on going.”
A2(c) Your entrepreneurial journey is like that train. Once a system is developed, it works for you. If there is a break in the system, momentum is lost and must be regained so progress can continue.
Q3. HOW DO I MAKE SURE THAT LOSS OF MOMENTUM DOES NOT CATCH ME OFF GUARD?
A3(a) Write your systems, routines and processes down. Keep your standard operating procedures organized and close to you at all times. For example, when you go on vacation and you skip some of your systems because you are away, get right back on track immediately when you return and you'll stop the loss of momentum cold. You'll be on track in no time.
A3(b) Expect that, sometimes, you will lose momentum, and don't let the prospect of doing so scare you. Life happens. You will become ill. A family member will have trouble, causing you to have to take some time off. You will get tired and/or bored. You will go on vacation. As long as you remember to get back on track immediately after the “break” ends, you will be fine. Don't be surprised when the ebbs and flows of life and business cause you to have a temporary loss of momentum. Don't beat yourself up. Pick up where you are and keep going.
Q4. HOW DO I STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP MY MOMENTUM GOING?
A4(a) Review your “why” as many times as you need to review it to motivate you to keep going. When you don't feel like publishing a blog post, review your “why” where blogging is concerned and remember how important it is to the achievement of your goals. Reminding Your why, and being emotionally connected to it, is a very effective way to regain momentum after you've lost it.
A4(b) Track your progress. There are lots of apps to help you put a check mark beside every day you engage in a particular positive routine or habit. When you are tempted to lose skip something that might cause you to lose momentum, check back over your success streak and pat yourself on the back. Get in tune with the progress you have made and you'll see in black and white what is at stake if you get off track. This is a great motivator to help you keep going strong.
Q5. HOW DO I AVOID BOREDOM WHEN IT COMES TO ROUTINES AND MOMENTUM?
A5(a) As creative entrepreneurs, it's so easy for us to become bored. The first thing to remember is that boredom is often good in a business. Once when I complained to a mentor that I was bored in my business, he asked me if I was making a god profit. When I told him I was, he said: “This kind of boredom is good. It means your business is working!” This was a new way of looking at things, and I have never forgotten it.
A5(b) Just because you are making a profit and have momentum does not mean you shouldn't shake things up now and then. As creative entrepreneurs, we all become terribly bored now and then. Keep your core routine, but shake things up now and then. Add a new program or a new product line. Learn something new and add it to your marketing system. Collaborate on a new project with another entrepreneur.
When Is The Next #MakerBizChat?
The next #MakerBizChat will be Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 8pm ET.
Our guest and topic will be HOW TO BUILD A STRONG COMMUNITY AROUND YOUR BRAND.
#MakerBizChat takes place Wednesday evenings at 8pm ET on Instagram. Be sure to follow so you can catch all of the questions and participate in the live and lively discussion.
What do you think of these tips and ideas? Do you work to gain and maintain momentum in your business? What are your tips for doing so? Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, or share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.