Building Momentum for Success

Yesterday, we talked about goals and how they are so important when you’re starting out and as you start hitting previously set goals.

The problem is, it’s very easy to start with a bang. You’re excited. You’re ready to go.

It’s a lot harder to keep going, especially when you’re tired, not feeling well, having a bad day, or not getting any clients.

Fortunately, there is a way to get past these rough spots and build momentum.

Unfortunately, the solution might not make you very happy.

The solution is you keep going, no matter what. I once heard someone say, “Don’t stop unless your rear end falls off. And if it does fall off, put it in a paper bag and take it with you.” Stopping is what kills momentum.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m at a plateau in my career and life right now. I’ve hit a lot of goals very quickly, and I didn’t take time to set new goals along the way. And now, I’m feeling frustrated.

But as I set new goals, I know that I have to keep moving forward.

Here are three things that will help you maintain your forward motion.

  1. Become a professional and act like one. I imagine there are days when the pros don't want to put on the uniforms and go sit in a hot dugout for yet another baseball game. But they do it. And there are days when I don't feel like suiting up and taking client phone calls or prospecting or researching, but I do it. Because that’s what professionals do.

    If you haven’t read my article on apprenticeship yet, check that out for tips on getting into the professional mindset. Professionals keep going, no matter what.

  2. Write every day. I’ve often been surprised to find out that some novice copywriters, even some old hands who should know better, very seldom write. What I mean by that is they only write for clients. They write if they have a project but don’t write every day if they’re not working.

    Writing is like exercise: you need to do it daily – something. Even if it’s a walk around the block. A journal is probably the best solution I’ve found to always have something to write. But it could also be poetry … or thank-you letters … or editorials to your local paper … or to your favorite website. (Sorry, Facebook updates don’t count.)

    Not writing every day is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. The more you write, the better writer you’ll be and the faster you’ll develop the quality of writing that clients are willing to pay for.

  3. Always be learning. This is a variation of another phrase you’ve probably heard: “Always be closing.” The original idea was that sales professionals who are always in closing mode will actually close more sales.

    The corollary is that writers who are always in learning mode will always have an idea, fact, or anecdote that fits the situation and allows them to create winning copy.

    For instance, I read a lot of different magazines that have nothing to do with any client work and in some cases with anything I like. But I’ll always see an article … a turn of phrase … or something that I can use in the future.

    Basically, the writer who constantly learns becomes a better writer and thus a more successful writer.

Momentum is not as hard as it may seem.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless halted by some external force. The problem is you are often the force that halts your forward motion.

When you instead put your energy toward staying in motion, you’ll build momentum like you won’t believe.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: July 17, 2012

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