Ideas are the currencies for the future. A thought, a word, a story or an idea can spark the creative mind that provides the inspiration that leads to business growth and beyond. Welcome to Business Matters with Francis Kong, a series of stories, discussions, and musings from one of the most respected business speakers in the Philippines.
A fisherman from the city was fishing in a small boat on a lake. He noticed another man in a small boat open his tackle box and take out a mirror. Curious, the man rowed over and asked, “What is the mirror for?”
“That’s my secret way to catch fish,” said the other man. “Shine the mirror on the top of the water. The fish notices the spot of sun on the water above, and they swim to the surface. Then I reach down, net them, and pull them into the boat.”
“Wow! Does that work?”
“You bet it does.”
“Would you be interested in selling that mirror? I’ll give you Php2,000.00 for it.”
“Well, okay.” After the money was transferred, the city fisherman asked, “By the way, how many fish have you caught this week?”
“You’re the sixth,” he said.
The word for this is MOMENTUM. The con artist is on a roll.
Have you ever watched a basketball team score continuously every time they go down the court, forcing the opponents to commit turnovers maybe three times in a row? What would the opposing coach do? He would call a time-out. Because he wants to break the “MOMENTUM!”
When someone tells you they’re “on a roll,” that’s momentum.
When the sales are coming in, money is pouring in; that’s momentum.
The question is — how does the entrepreneur get to the point of building momentum?
The start of any enterprise is never easy. Options to consider and decisions to be made can be overwhelming. There are new things to learn. But those on a roll continue to study, search, research, and ask for advice from those in the know. Like starters, they also need a lot of hand-holding at the initial stage of their enterprise.
Today’s business is dictated and aided by automation. As technology continues to evolve, resourceful entrepreneurs know that they require a lot of hand-holding until they learn and build up momentum and work their way to being experts.
The philosophy behind momentum is first to understand that you build momentum by accumulating small successes. Doug Firebaugh says: “You can find the secret to Momentum in life in the word Momentum… you create it Moment by Moment…” The bigger the project, the more significant the payoff will be as long as the momentum is there.
Let me offer a few suggestions:
Momentum should be part of your plan. Have everyone know that the entire team will push ahead once they know how to create momentum. Equip the team with the training and technology needed in anticipation for the good things to come.
Many business people leave things to chance. The mindset is if it begins to build and grow, then we get lucky. If not, then that is a normal part of life. But this mindset is not healthy at all. What the entrep and team need to do is to make momentum a part of their business goal. Such that each one should be excited to anticipate the phase where the momentum begins to build. And when it happens, the whole team should solidly put their collective efforts into building and growing it. This initiative is supported by two things: training and technology. Training the staff in the area of skills that nurture them to strive for excellence, and equipping the team with technological tools to facilitate the process.
Target a few small wins. These may be initiatives that do not cost much, are easy to carry out, do not meet many objections, and a few small wins give you and your team the starting push to get momentum going. Choose these small projects, and get them done because this is your way of telling the team that you are now on the move.
Let small wins lead to bigger goals. Obtaining a few small wins is crucial because you gain the energy, zeal, and optimism to tackle bigger goals. But it would help if you focus only on essential things and not too many of them. Trying to do too much at once may cause diffusion of focus and demoralization in the group. You need at least one big win to be able to tackle some more.
Celebrate your success. Praising people is one of the best non-monetary motivational tools you can use that prepare them, raring to do more and achieve even bigger goals. Once you see the successes coming in, then you celebrate publicly. Congratulate everyone on your team.
The business landscape constantly changes, and technology evolves so fast. The entrepreneur is a leader who has a grand vision to achieve great success. Peeking through a peephole is no way to stay motivated when moving toward a goal. The big picture is essential. The entrepreneur with the big dreams—big goals—big rewards—big faith—is the one who can keep their people moving through obstacles and fatigue and discouragement. Sure there are many things that the entrepreneur would not be familiar with. Still, their constant “Perpetual Student Mindset” keeps him learning and his sense of humility to ask questions, learn from the learned, and would not hesitate to ask for help and acquire a little hand-holding to advance their business transformation. And as they obtain incremental wins, they are gaining cumulative advantage, and building Momentum and others now would marvel at their expertise.
That is how you and I can be on a roll.
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