Momentum - Big Mo - The Tipping Point. Whatever you call it - we all want it.
It is that moment in time when all of our front-end work begins to pay off and pick up speed.
It makes me think of the time I rode my bicycle down the hill in front of my Aunt Marie's home. Free wheeling - legs out - hair streaming out behind me. Bliss. Utter. Pure. Joy.
Yet, achieving momentum can feel like we're looking for El Dorado, the fabled Lost Cities of Gold. We wonder if they even exist!
The question isn't IF we need Big Mo to visit our business, it's how to get Big Mo to show up in the first place, and create the all elusive Tipping Point that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book of the same name.
Momentum is the result of small things done regularly (daily-weekly-monthly-yearly) to create an intended result.
We've all heard of the seemingly overnight success. BOOM! Out of nowhere they are on all the talk shows, podcasts, news feeds. They become the golden child of every affiliate program and summit series.
I bet I'm not the only person who ever thought, "How did THEY get so lucky."
My friend...it wasn't luck...it was good old fashioned work.
Tim Ferris talks about the strategy he used to go from being an unknown author to a New York Times best selling author.
You can read his story in his signature work "The 4-Hour Workweek".
I love the statement he makes in the first paragraph of the preface:
"The 4-Hour Workweek was turned down by 26 out of 27 publishers."
I love the statement because it hides the truth that it was hard, but he didn't quit. And it's pretty much the theme of his life. And, of every successful entrepreneur you know.
NOTE: Tim uses some pretty strong language at toward the end of the talk. 🙁
Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield presented Chicken Soup for the Soul to 144 publishers before it was picked up.
These are just a couple of examples of people who didn't give up because it was hard - or because someone said no - or because their friends and family thought they were lunatics.
Momentum - Big Mo as I like to call it - is invited into the process when you make a decision every single day that you WILL do the work - even if it feels hopeless in the moment.
Big Mo's Partner - Enthusiasm
Face this truth - if you don't love what you do - you won't do it. Enthusiasm comes from a word meaning spirit-powered. When you know - that you know - that you know - you are called to do the work you're doing, it won't matter if it is hard. In fact, you will grow stronger and more dedicated every time to beat an obstacle.
If your business doesn't move you, don't expect it to move others.
It's terrific to make money, right? However, if you make money doing something that doesn't move YOU, your audience will feel it. You know what I mean. Undoubtedly, at some time or other, you've been in the presence of someone who is just going through the motions.
Realistically, we all battle this joy-killer from time to time. This can be a result of health issues, environmental stressors, or pure old burnout because you work too much.
Yet, if you experience this all the time - it's time to "check yourself before you wreck yourself."
The worst thing you can do when in the power of momentum is coast.
I get it. The voice of temptation whispers to sit back and take a deep.
By all means, CELEBRATE!
However, it is critical to be aware that Atrophy is the ugly twin of Momentum, and you'll soon find your business reaching a different kind of tipping point. When not carefully managed, momentum will decay into complacency and an attitude of "this always worked in the past."
In the glory days of Big Mo you want to carefully identify 3 things that helped you reach this exhilarating position:
Let's dig in a little, okay.
The Process to Build Momentum
Interestingly, the definition of momentum is: the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events.
Just for reference, the definition of process is: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
You have a process. And that process is either a well-tuned machine or a life-choking, business-destroying relic. If you have momentum, chances are you have hit on a formula/system/process that works well for you, your audience and your business model.
Answer these questions:
A. What is the process you used to get you to this tipping point in your business? (If you haven't hit Big Mo yet, what processes are working for you now?)
B. Have you created a checklist so you can use the same Success Process in your next project? (HINT! HINT! Invest the time to create a checklist for each typical activity you do in your business: social media, email marketing, content creation, billing, bookkeeping, etc.)
C. Do you have redundant processes? Perhaps there are a few areas you can tighten up by combining.
D. What can you outsource to experts to free your time to do what you do best?
E. Is it time to hire a Project Manager to oversee the moving pieces?
The People of Your Tipping Point
The People Who Work With You
Your process is unique to you. Yet, if you are going to grow your business, you'll need to add people to your team. As the saying goes: "When you work alone, you can go fast. When you work with a team, you can go far."
Who is part of your team? Who would you LIKE to have as part of your team? If you are still working alone, create a Wish List of people you would like to hire to help you build your dream. Remember, you can start out with a Virtual Assistant to work for you from time to time. It isn't necessary to hire employees on a full-time basis.
The People You Serve
Who are the people you have served thus far? Are these the people of your preferred audience, or just the people who respond? If they aren't your preferred audience, you need to decide if you want to continue to serve this audience or hone your message to reach the right one.
A great question to ask yourself is, "What is the most powerful message I speak through my writing, products and services?"
First of all, when you are clear on your message, you can create new ways to express it to both your audience and your potential audience.
Clarity is one of your greatest assets in continuing to grow and develop more momentum.
When you speak the language of your audience, it shows up in how they respond to you.
As a result, they talk back to you, share your information, and buy more of what you offer. In serving them, you reap benefits back into your business.
Because this is such an important element of momentum, if you aren't experiencing the growth you'd like, it may be you haven't discovered the voice of your audience - yet.
The Product(s) and Service(s) Big Mo Serves Up
So what if there are 5000 people who do what you do. That's a good thing. It means there is an audience for what you have to offer.
But consequently, you have the challenge of standing out from the noise. You can do this by creating a pattern interrupt. That is, capture the attention of your client in a unique way with a unique offering.
Smart marketers do this all the time. Then the masses copy them.
When you scan your Facebook news feed, you'll see ad after ad that looks just the same. The pattern will work for awhile, but then we become blind. Your challenge is to use what works in a unique way that speaks to your brand.
Say you're a fitness coach. When I googled the term, I got 121,000 results in 1.06 seconds. You get to decide whether you want to swim in the ocean or a pond.
I know a lot of women who battle chronic pain. If you decide to specialize in fitness answers for women who are in this particular category - you swim in a pond. If you google "fitness coach chronic pain," there are a lot of articles about chronic pain, but only one coach listed with this as their specialty. Guess who gets the most business?
When your products and services meet a real, felt need - your audience will respond.
A product or service that creates momentum doesn't have to be unique; however, the marketing must speak to a specific audience.
And don't let that make you think you can't serve other people. For instance, I am primarily a coach and educator for female entrepreneurs with a Christian world view. However, there are several men in the LAMB community, because this training speaks to the needs of their business and particular market.
The Secret of Momentum
In conclusion, you've likely guessed by now that momentum - your tipping point - or Big Mo - isn't created by one detail. It is a lot of little details that add up to a push up the steep slope of business success.
Furthermore, momentum doesn't mean you will be thrown to the top of the search in Google either. What it does mean is you are reaching your audience. You don't have to be #1 to be financially, spiritually, emotionally, or psychologically fulfilled in your business.
Remember your first goal is to create a community of 100 raving fans; people who are wild about YOU and what you do. Most of all, remember that momentum is an indication you are doing something right.
To Create Momentum, Look for Clues in Your Business
Which social media channel is giving you the best feedback; that is, where are people talking back, liking or engaging in your posts?
Which blog posts or articles get the most interaction?
What email did you send out that got the highest number of clicks or responses.
Identify the small details, and before you know it, Big Mo will be knocking down your door.
When you invest the time to find out what is going right, decide how you can do more of that, and create a process to make sure it continues to happen, you and Momentum will be friends for a long, long, long time.
Until we chat again...
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