Not too long ago someone said to me that when running a business you need momentum. Once your momentum stops, you're dead in the water.
I have finally come to realize that this is very true. It took me a while to believe this person because I could think of many other things that you need to start a business and get it off the ground. How could momentum be so important?
Once you hit pause, it's like starting all over again.
With my business, Your Circle, I have hit the pause button 2 or 3 times in the past 3 years I have been running it. I have taken short 3 week breaks and long 6 month breaks. As a solo bootstrapping founder struggling to find a repeatable business model with bills to pay, I have struggled to keep momentum with this business.
Once I began freelancing full-time, for example, I decided to hit the pause button for ~6 months on Your Circle to pay the bills. When I got married, I hit pause again for a few weeks to work on other projects that had an immediate paycheck to them rather than the long-term play of Your Circle.
Each and every time I have taken a short or long break from starting something, it's like I have started over again from scratch.
Once you lose momentum, you have to start your business from scratch again.
Momentum is very fragile. Once it slows down, you're in danger of losing all of your progress and run the potential of having to start from scratch again.
When I began Your Circle full-time in January 2015, my team and I had momentum. We may not have been moving quickly or in the right direction (we were beginners at this whole startup thing) but we were being pushed in a direction by momentum.
We were having conversations with potential customers a few times a week. We had a network of people watching our progress more excited about the product launch then we were. We were moving each and every day. The day that I went full-time freelancing, everything hit a halt. People stopped paying attention to us. We lost contact with potential customers. The product went stale.
You could say we lost it all...
...because once I began working on Your Circle again part-time months later, I had to create a new network from scratch. I designed the product again from scratch. Honestly, I am still struggling to get people to pay attention to what I am working on and get them excited about it. It is much harder keeping the momentum going now then it was in 2015 when I began.
Time to keep the momentum going.
I haven't lost a ton of my momentum with Your Circle but I have felt a slow down the past month as I have been working hard on freelancing projects. Have you noticed I have not tweeted about Your Circle lately? It's time to keep more of a focus on Your Circle before I really lose it.
For real. It doesn't matter if you spend 10 minutes a day on your project. You have to keep the momentum going if you want it to take off. Keep going until the business fails or it will fail for you when the momentum stops.