The 3 Phases of Momentum: Create, Direct, Control

September 30th, 2009 by | Print

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Chances are that while you are reading this, I am watching my two kids participate in the local YMCA gymnastics program. They have a class every Wednesday. In all honesty, my son has a natural aptitude for the sport while my daughter struggles with it. So every Wednesday, my son is amped up to get to class, while my daughter waivers on whether she wants to go. And when they get home, my son runs into my room to practice flips off of my bed, while my daughter wanders on to other interests.

 

I am partial to the sport as a previous competitor and coach – many years back. Is it any wonder that I favored an individual sport in my youth and later became a solopreneur?

 

One shared important fundamental to being a successful gymnast and solo entrepreneur is your ability to create momentum, direct it through a series of complicated steps and control it as it continues to build so you don’t crash and burn.

 

Here are synopses to the dangers of these three phases of momentum, followed by solutions. I’m not much use to you if I create anxiety and don’t give you ideas for navigating the inherent dangers. I will try to keep the sports analogies to a minimum.

 

Phase I – Creating Momentum

So you hope to have the problem of controlling momentum that you create? Getting your business off the ground or (sometimes even more difficult) building it back up after a slump typically is the most challenging of the three phases for solopreneurs. We all have our off days and sometimes off years. A lack of adding dollars to your bottom line is a big energy drainer that can divert your focus to chasing everything and anything for making a quick buck or calling it quits altogether.

 

Phase II – Directing Momentum

Now that you are fortunate enough to get some good breaks with momentum moving in your favor, now what? Are you scrambling to make the most of the opportunity or does the momentum have a planned purpose for strategically carrying you to the goal line?

 

Directing momentum is the least thought about phase, taking a spark and turning it into a controlled burn. Without focus on this phase, that spark can either extinguish or turn into a rampant wildfire.

 

Phase III – Controlling Momentum

You are either truly talented or blessed; business is booming. Actually, business is blowing up and if you don’t find a way to get it under control, you run the risk of providing shoddy service and … well, blowing up the business that you worked so hard to build. You were so focused on getting the business ramped up that you missed or ignored the warning signs figuring it is better to scramble than to pass up on an opportunity.

 

Here are 4 solutions for mitigating risk and making the most of momentum in all phases.

 

1. Have a Plan

Don’t be in such a hurry that you decide planning will only slow you down. A plan creates focus from the start. It mitigates the common mistake of dissipating your energy and wasting start-up capital across a wide variety of activities for chasing down any opportunity that can turn your hobby into a bona fide business.

 

Knowing steps 2, 3 and 4 before you make your first step will allow you to move quickly from creating momentum to controlling it. Yes, some unforeseen obstacles and opportunities can pop up. Having a plan doesn’t mean that you have to be absolutely rigid. Plans are living strategies, and should have some flexibility in them – just don’t stray too far off the core concept.

 

2. Research and Have an Ongoing Education Program

Research in the beginning will allow you to create strong strategies as part of your plan and set appropriate expectations for growth. Research will provide excellent insight as to the path to stay on so you don’t waste your time wandering off opportunistically, too. It is a checklist of strategies and tactics that you can refer back to if you find that your momentum is waning.

 

Your ongoing education program will ensure that you stay abreast of changes within your market, technology and techniques for directing and controlling your momentum as it grows.

 

3. Establish Joint Ventures

Joint ventures are an excellent opportunity to share ideas, inspire new opportunities, creating momentum. And once you get your momentum moving forward, JV partners can help share expense and some of the work load so you can exponentially grow your business while mitigating the pitfalls for having it all fall apart.

 

4. Outsource Your Obstacles

A key component to being an excellent manager is recognizing strengths and weaknesses, capitalizing on the strengths while managing around the weaknesses (true for both solopreneurs and managers in major corporations).

 

You want your time freed up to focus on making the most of your natural born potential. Don’t hamstring your drive for success by stumbling on obstacles that an outsourcing provider can manager for you. Tackling your weaknesses minimizes your opportunities for creating momentum and it certainly will frustrate you if your business is going gangbusters.

 

OK, so I did sprinkle in a few sports analogies, but hopefully you got the points. Business is a full contact sport and requires that you give 100% every month. Creating, directing and controlling your momentum are the keys to keeping you motivated and keeping the flame lit that draws your customers back to you.

 

All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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5 Responses to “The 3 Phases of Momentum: Create, Direct, Control”

  1. Thundercats T-shirts Says:

    those are great tips, i think this is a good model for success. thanks for sharing.

  2. Susan Urquhart-Brown Says:

    Great distinction of the 3 keys of momentum. thank you. Totally agree with having a plan, sticking fairly closely to it, and being prepared for the rush of customers. Nothing is worse than not serving the needs of your customers.

  3. Douglas Dolan Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Susan. I know far too many solopreneurs that either didn’t create much of a plan or threw it out the window as the economy crumbled.

    However, there are opportunities in a fluctuating market – and you can make the most of those opportunities with a strategic plan instead of hopping around trying to chase the money.

  4. Ian Says:

    Hi Douglas I agree with you on the 4 steps to keeping up momentum… especially continuing with online education like most business you do need to be current and as you know the internet changes so quickly and you need to adapt to it.. also outsourcing and Jv sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming at times and again you need others to share the burden. great article

  5. Douglas Dolan Says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Ian. I hope the post helped.

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