A recent conversation with my good friend Kyle Kersterson of Freak’n Genius brought forth – amongst many other things – one interesting observation.
“Startups are all about momentum” Kyle said during our meeting.
And he’s right, momentum is key to getting over the hump and experiencing startup success. But it ain’t just startups where momentum applies, I think it applies to life in general.
We went back and forth on the subject for a good 10-15 minutes. One of my key takeaways was that momentum is a 2-way street and you have to spend energy to “manipulate” the big mo’ in your life, knowing how to create it and how to direct it appropriately to maximize the upsides.
This requires need a keen observation of what’s happening in your life, the strange but interesting conversations you find yourself in, people you seem to spending more time with and the inevitable opportunities that can result from those conversations.
And then sharpening the ability to identify when momentum is on your side so you can then use it to parlay into circumstances and opportunities otherwise not available to you.
The thing to know is momentum is 100% manufactured, and it starts in your head, your words and your actions. You have the Big Mo’ when you find yourself saying things like:
“Oh, you didn’t know (well known investor X) is participating in our round? We might have room for one more…”
“I’m booked up for the next month or so…. but let me see if I can squeeze you in”
Momentum is an entrepreneurs best friend.
But also know there’s a dark side of momentum, which is the another way of describing the downward spiral. Entrepreneurship, for all it’s glory and celebration, can negatively impact people if they don’t fully understand the dark side of momentum and how to curb it.
This is where emotional and phycological issues take their toll on someone to the point of full on depression. No one is immune to these thoughts and feelings, but the best medicine I have found is to fully understand how to manipulate momentum in your life – taking the wheel and directing it so to minimizing negative emotions and maximizing positive outcomes.
What also sprung from the conversation is the concept of luck, or “lucky people.” I added that I think “the lucky ones” are simply people who are actually paying close attention, and keen of what is happening around them at any moment in time. In another word, lucky people are the one’s who know momentum is on their side and are in control of where it’s going.
Think about how many people go through life unaware of what and who is around them. They hang their head and mope around all the while complaining “nothing ever happens to me” and “why can’t I just catch a break?”
What they don’t realize is luck is simply being prepared when opportunity strikes, such as when you find yourself in line next to a predominant investor, entrepreneur, or attractive person with nothing else to do but say hi and “waste a couple minutes” talking with you. Only then, if you have prepared for this chance meeting, will you actually be able to maximize the opportunity.
Ha, and some call that luck!