Momentum doesn’t come out of thin air. It’s the byproduct of force. In other words, whatever you put in now makes your life easier later.
And whether an idea has just sprung into your mind, you’ve been running a successful company for years or you sit somewhere in-between, momentum is key to long-term success.
7 tips for building unstoppable momentum in business
1. Find what drives you
Few of us are passionate about making money alone. We need something more to spur us on, on those days we want to give up (and there will be good, bad and boring days).
If you’re not intensely focused on your goal and willing to put in the hard work, it will be hard to move the needle let alone stay motivated when you do. Working on something you’re naturally gifted at or passionate about will keep you going, even on crumby days.
If you’ve already started a business but find yourself losing the passion you once had or struggling to build momentum, see if you can delegate tasks you’re no longer interested in, shift your priorities or simply take a break and find a new way to love what you do.
2. Plan, but be open to changing direction
Before you get started on a new business idea, you’ll want to make sure it’s worth pursuing. There’s no point spending days (and sleepless nights) on something that was never going to pick up in the first place.
That’s why planning is so crucial—no matter how good you feel about something in the moment, you’ll want to make sure it's profitable and sustainable long-term. You only have so much time and so many resources.
At the same time, don’t procrastinate! Every business comes with risk, and at some point you have to put faith in yourself and embrace the uncertainty. If (worst case) it doesn’t work out, you’ve learned a bunch of things from the process.
3. Set SMARTER goals
If you’ve started working on a new project but feel you’re not making a mark or getting anywhere, revisit your goals.
Are they clearly defined? Do you have enough time (and the right resources) to achieve them? Are they worth pursuing, or are you focusing on the wrong things? SMARTER goals are specific, attainable and measurable.
More specifically, SMARTER stands for:
- Specific: Is your goal clear and defined? What challenges might you run into?
- Measurable: How do you know you’ve succeeded?
- Achievable: Is it realistically possible to achieve this goal?
- Relevant: What will achieving this goal mean for you/your business? Is it worthwhile?
- Time bound: Should you create a timeline? If so, how much time do you need?
- Evaluated: Are you on track? What’s working and what isn’t?
- Reviewed: Are you hitting a wall? If so, this doesn’t make your goal inherently flawed, it just means you need to re-think how you’ll achieve it.
4. Commit wholeheartedly
There will be times you want to throw your hat in and call it a day. It’s your reaction to these moments that makes or breaks long-term success.
Successful entrepreneurs and business owners are the ones who push through and persist when problems arise or motivation fades. Realise that your problems are inevitable, temporary and worth solving.
Always keep your end goal in mind and remember, nothing done well comes easy. This is why having purpose beyond just ‘making money’ or ‘working for myself’ is important.
5. Remember why you started
If the key to building momentum is to keep going (and don’t stop!), you’ll need a reminder for those 'off' days. Remember why you started doing what you’re doing, what it means for you, and what it allows you to do.
Imagine what life might look like if you were to give it all up. How might you feel immediately after pulling the plug? How will this impact your life, confidence, career and personal fulfillment? How will it affect others?
Reminding yourself of what’s at stake if you don’t continue is just as important as imagining how pleased you’ll be when things work out.
6. Change your environment
There are so many factors that contribute to creating force: your attitude, resources, planning, knowledge, skills and perhaps one of the most overlooked—your environment.
The space you create for yourself—from the desk you sit at to the friends you surround yourself with—can really change the game. There’s a reason you workout to upbeat music and take a coffee break at 3pm. There’s also a reason some interactions leave you feeling uplifted and others leave you drained.
Surround yourself with genuine people who encourage and motivate you, and be mindful of what you’re consuming day-to-day.
7. Be patient
Many of us overestimate what we can do in a small time frame, especially when caught up in something we’re passionate about. At the same time, we underestimate how much work, time and learning goes on behind the scenes before successful people even come close to reaching their goals.
You can’t expect to be perfect at what you do from the get-go, but you should be flexible enough to change direction when things aren’t working.
Have you given yourself too little time? Overcomplicated your strategy? Do you need to reevaluate where you’re focusing your time and energy?
It’s those who are okay with getting things wrong and learning from their mistakes, who gain momentum. Re-thinking a plan or re-focusing your efforts doesn’t mean you’ve failed or wasted time—ask any successful person, and they’ll tell you it’s all part of the process.
Emma is our Senior Copywriter at Valiant. Working closely with our lending experts, she enjoys educating SMEs on the latest in business finance, and empowering them to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.