Anyone who’s been around here for awhile knows one thing about me: I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve started five businesses in 12-years (two have been complete flops!), my companies do business with partners in 12 countries on 4 continents, and I’ve been to 12 cities this year alone for various engagements and events.
Some would say I like to move around a bit.
When I share numbers like that, it’s not to impress you, believe me. It took me a long time to learn what works and what doesn’t in my business, and I’m still learning! So any context at the outset here is just that: context. And numbers like that often lead to a lot of questions. People want to know the details. What marketing works best for me? Why did I decide to build a personal brand? How do I structure my work day? What do I do to stay so productive?
I enjoy answering these kinds of questions at conferences, networking events, and online from the members of my Youpreneur community. I LOVE sharing what I know so that we can all learn from each other and build businesses that we’re proud of.
But let’s pretend we’re meeting for the first time. If you really want to make me think, and if you really want some insight that is going to be immediately applicable to YOUR business, you’re not going to ask me any of the above questions. Those “juicy” details might be hard to resist, I know, but let’s get real here. You have a business to run.
You need value bombs!
So, instead, you’re going to ask just one obscure question the first time you meet me (or any serial entrepreneur).
I want you to ask me this question:
How Do You Keep the Momentum Going?
And here’s my answer: Middle school science class.
What, not helpful?! Fine. I knew you were going to make me think. Let’s dive a bit deeper.
Seventh-grade science class (also known as kindergarten these days) taught us all Newton’s law of inertia: an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
This law applies to science experiments in the lab, to giant boulders rolling toward Indiana Jones (that whip action, tho!), and to all serial entrepreneurs in the real world. I’m an entrepreneur because I woke up one morning and decided I didn’t want to answer to a boss anymore. But I’m a serial entrepreneur because once I took the first terrifying step, it just made sense (financially and otherwise) to keep going.
If we follow Newton’s law to its logical conclusion, I’m probably going to keep moving on this entrepreneurial path now. Who knows where it will lead, but it would take what Newton called “an unbalanced force” to change my course now.
And the same is true for you.
Once you get started, physics is on your side to keep you moving!
I don’t know what the first step will be for you. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it’s something.
Maybe it’s submitting your resignation. Maybe it’s launching your first course. Maybe it’s hiring your first virtual assistant so you can reclaim some valuable hours in the day. (Who says you can’t buy time?!) Seriously, the actual step itself doesn’t matter. What matters is that you take it.
The Flip Side of Momentum
Back to Newton for just a sec. His rule of inertia has a dark side, too: an object (or entrepreneur) at rest tends to stay at rest. I learned this one the hard way back in 2012 when, after almost 7 years of sitting still at a desk for 16 hours straight every day on average, I woke up one morning and literally could not get out of bed. I’d been so “at rest” for so long that I needed hugely invasive medical intervention to get back in motion.
Back surgery was my only option—it was the “unbalanced force” that finally kicked me out of my office chair, into a stand-up desk arrangement, and finally, happily, into a healthier work-life balance.
I do not recommend that particular path, kids.
Whether you’re sitting too long, working too many hours, or not working at all, Newton sees no difference: you’re an object at rest. And unless an unbalanced force shows up to shake things up a bit, chances are damn good that nothing is going to change.
What will that unbalanced force look like for you? Again, I don’t know. You probably don’t, either. Money problems, family problems, health problems? I sure hope it doesn’t look like a blown L5-S1 disc in your lower back.
Today, if there are no boulders on your immediate horizon, you might think you’re doing okay. You’re content. Doing “well enough.” You’re keeping calm and carrying on. Things could be better, but you’re not sure how.
From that perspective, there are two ways of looking at the future: you could wait here, “at rest,” until a boulder shows up … or you could do a little shapeshifting exercise.
Avert your Isaac, Newton! If anyone can bend the laws of physics, it’s an entrepreneur.
Become Your Own Unbalanced Force
If you’d rather not sit around waiting for an unbalanced force to act upon you, I have good news for you: you don’t have to! You can be the boulder that rolls over your own limitations and chooses a new path for yourself.
You can decide today—right now, even!—that you’ve had enough of…
- The rat race
- Poor health
- Entrepreneurial burnout
You can decide that instead of being the object that is acted upon, you’re the object doing the acting. You’re the one in control of where you end up in life and business.
YOU get to decide.
Be Bold. Be Bolder. Be a Boulder.
Newton’s law tells you everything you need to know about why you’re stalled and what you need to do to get moving again. We’ve bent the rules a bit to let you be both object and unbalanced force at different times, but again, breaking a few rules is what makes you an entrepreneur in the first place.
Now, the big question to ask yourself is…how am I going to keep the momentum going?