Written by Jenny BlakeMomentum is not a destination, it is a mindset. Punctuated successes—new titles, raises, business milestones, big clients, book deals—are absolutely worth celebrating. But what we are really after is a sense of inertia, velocity, and flow. A feeling of wind in our hair and forward movement in our work. Generating momentum requires a new way of being, working and creating. It also requires a special type of problem-solving.
Momentum is about taking the pressure off of any one big “goal” and holding a mindset of:
- Curiosity & Creative Problem-Solving
- Experimentation, and
- Collaboration & Community
Momentum Key #1: Creative, Right-Brain Problem-Solving
We went from linear thinking in the Industrial Age to networked thinking in the Information Age. Now we’re reaching peak data.
We are full to the brim and overwhelmed, frazzled by overflowing inboxes and 24/7 communications. We are in the Too Much Information Age, and something has to change.
Believe it or not, that something is a return to joy, simplicity, focus, purpose and to right-brain, creative, non-linear thinking. The coming years will demand that we get more creative, and more intuitive. In short, more adaptable to (and accepting of) constant change.
Here's how you can practice this skill today:
Write down the biggest challenge you are currently facing.
Now re-write it as an open-ended question.
Instead of trying to find ONE answer, get a piece of paper and make a mind-map:put your desired outcome (not the challenge) in the center. Throughout the next week, add as many “spokes” as you can for potential solutions, resources, and people you could talk to.
Important: note what is already working. Where on this list do you already have connections or experience? Momentum comes from building on your strengths and existing assets, not starting from scratch.
Bonus: close your eyes and get quiet. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Frame up your question and ask: What does my head say? What does my heart say? What does my gut say? You have a brain-center in all three of those areas, and it is all-too-easy to silence the latter two with an overactive or anxious mind.
Momentum Key #2: Run Small Experiments
I hate the question, “So, where do you see yourself in five years?” Truth be told, it’s irrelevant! The world is changing so quickly that it is silly to expect ourselves to know.
If you do have a specific idea or goal, that’s fantastic! Or maybe you just know how you want to feel. Many of my coaching clients want to feel a sense of freedom, adventure, impact and connection with loved ones and a broader community.
As the saying goes, if you want different results, ask different questions. It is time to take the pressure off of knowing everything, especially your NEXT BIG MOVE.
See yourself as a scientist and set-up a variety of small experiments to test your ideas about what might be next. Look for experiments that author Nassim Taleb would describe as asymmetric: low potential downside with high potential upside.
Write down a hypothesis: what project or next move feels edgy in a good way, scary-but-exciting? What gives you a surge of adrenaline to think about?
Next describe the vision, or end-state: if you were to be smashingly successful in one year, what would be happening?
Now break the idea down into smaller parts. Identify 2-3 small experiments: how could you gather some initial feedback? A strong experiment will help you answer the following:
- Am I good at this?
- Do I enjoy it?
- Is there more opportunity where that came from?
Identify one person who has already done what you want to do. What advice would s/he give you about next steps? You can do this exercise even if you do not know him or her personally. If you do know the person, reach out and ask!
Momentum Key #3: Collaboration and Community
Going it alone is tough. It’s lonely, and most of all, it’s frustrating. Ultimately, it doesn’t work.
There are many shortcuts waiting for you. Do not make life harder on yourself than it needs to be. Stop doing everything the long (and hard) way.
If you can shave four years off of building your business or career by learning from someone else’s successes and failures, do. Why wouldn’t you?
Momentum comes from cycles of giving and receiving, connecting and retreating, learning and sharing.
What would you love help with this month, but are a bit afraid to ask? What would happen if you did anyway?
How would you describe “your people”? What common characteristics do they share?
Who do you admire? List 3 people, and a few sentences or key phrases about why.
What can you learn from each of the people you listed above? If you don’t know them personally, see if they have a book or course that you can study from. After all, it is a distilled digest of years of their wisdom and hard work!
Make a list of 3 peers you would like to connect with this month, people who are in a similar stage as you are.
Reach out to at least one of them after you read this post :)
Become a Founding Member of the Private Momentum Community!
It’s here, it’s here! Doors are open on the private Momentum Community that I’ve been telling you about, and I would love for you to be a Founding Member, where you will be grandfathered in at a special rate for life as a thank you for helping me build the plane while flying it.
Private coaching with me is currently $1,500/month. With Momentum, you’ll get access to all my best tools, templates and resources, as well as the ability to ask me anything and collaborate with others, for just $1/day. That’s $30/month . . . but if you sign-up this week as a Founding Member, it’s just $25/month, billed quarterly, with a full money-back guarantee if you look around and don’t like what you see.
Here's a brief overview video:
Join our live Q&A call tomorrow
I will share how to dismantle the 3 biggest barriers to momentum, and answer any questions you have about the community at the end of the call.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 14 at 12pm ET WHERE: YouTube Live Event — click here to add the event to your calendar
I look forward to seeing you there!
Ready for your next adventure?
Jenny Blake is the author of Life After College and the forthcoming book The Pivot Method. She is a career and business strategist and an international speaker who helps smart people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, and build sustainable, dynamic careers they love. Jenny combines her love of technology with her superpower of simplifying complexity to help clients through big transitions — often to pivot in their career or launch a book, blog or business.