It’s All About Momentum | 100 Days of Paying it Forward [Day 20]

For my 20th Day of 100 days of Paying It Forward, I want to share a point of view that I picked up in the winding path of my life that transformed things for me:

It’s all about momentum.

Life is complicated. Even if you’re the most organized, responsible, thoughtful person in the world, things are going to come up that take you off the path you thought was in front of you. As they say, “Life happens,” and when it does happen, it’s generally because things are a little more complicated than they had initially appeared. This is where momentum comes into play.

In my experience — I have been a part of dozens of projects and startups and campaigns over the years — there is no substitute for momentum. This is because as your project / company / idea, starts to come to fruition life is going to happen; momentum is going to be gained and lost on a daily basis, and like all things in this universe, the energy with which you respond to both of these scenarios will have a profound impact on success.

This is not to say that keeping momentum — growing, growing, growing — is the way to be successful; quite the contrary, actually. Instead, it’s all about understanding and managing momentum in a way that is reasonable, honest, and realistic for yourself so that you know the right time to really dive in and the right time to take a deep breath… In both cases, your job is to keep momentum on your side, it’s just that in one case you pour yourself into the project and in the other you find a way to be OK that the project is moving more slowly — but in both cases, you’re keeping momentum on your side with the aim of finding that sweet spot where everything starts to click (internal and external forces) and you’re in the zone and the project comes to life.

With this in mind, I can tell you that no matter what your project is — a booth at Founders day, a new landscaping business, raising $10M in venture capital — you’re going to have moments where you start to gain momentum and moments when you start to lose momentum. In both cases, take advantage of the situation by keeping things going but turning your effort and involvement up and down to align with momentum… This will make certain that you don’t bail on the project because you’re pushing a boulder uphill with no end in sight, while also ensuring that you take full advantage of pushing your boulder down the hill to gain even more speed… Two predictable occurrences that every project has, that you just need to be ready to respond to accordingly.

This POV has helped me get lots of projects over the finish line (and saved many from abandonment) and I hope it helps you!

Robert is the Founder of Nice Tattoo Parlor. Robert has worked in startups, advertising and brand-building in senior roles for nearly 10 years. Most recently, Robert was VP of Operations at Vox Media where he developed their native revenue strategy and oversaw video. Prior to Vox Media, Robert re-launched Global Grind for Russell Simmons (Acquired by iOne), helped re-launch Shape Magazine for AMI (Acquired by Meredith), and before all this re-launching, started and while working as a lawyer and advertising exec (shouts to Squeaky) respectively.