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You might remember what it felt like when you just got started: the rush of adrenaline when you launched, the feeling of your first order, the plans you laid out for your first years of business.

But now it seems like it’s stagnated, and what you used to be happy to wake up for is difficult to get excited about. It’s a tough place to be.

Stagnation is the enemy of progress, and if you’re feeling like your business, passion, or goals have slowed to a crawl, it’s time to do some evaluation.

In this episode we talk about strain, burnout, and evaluating what has caused you to lose the momentum you started out with.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • Momentum is not about where you are now, it’s about where you are about to be.
  • Avoid burnout through balance and saying no to things.
  • The momentum of your brand is your enthusiasm to make things regardless of what’s going on outside of that.
  • When you stop being excited about your brand, your customers are going to stop being excited about it too.
  • Identify the things you need to cut out to achieve your goals.
  • Age isn’t a limiting factor when it comes to achieving your goals.
  • If you keep saying yes to everything, you’re going to do a lot of things poorly.
  • It’s going to take hard work and time, but it’s never too late to regain momentum.
  • Remember where you come from, but don’t focus on it.
Show Notes
  • 01:56 Kyle: A few weeks ago, I was sitting here in my office feeling like my brand was stagnating. I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. From the outside, everything seemed like normal, so this wasn’t affecting what was happening outwardly, but I felt like it was. I felt like everything was caving in and the momentum I had was gone. That’s a tough thing to cope with. Two weeks ago, I started working at seanwes as the Visual Identity Director. You would assume that starting a full time job like that would kill the momentum completely. If I already feel like I don’t know where this is going, I need to do these things, and the brand needs to move in this direction but I can’t move it there overnight, adding on a full time job probably seems like it would completely kill the momentum for my own brand.
  • 03:17 Actually, it revived it completely. This past week, I released a free thing I’m giving away with my newsletter called The Icon Designer’s Handbook, and it’s essentially a resource to help people starting with icon design. It helps them learn and grow in creating high quality icons. I released that, and a lot of great things happened with that. I also released a blog post this week and a case study for a new brand mark I worked on. All these things happened this week. I’ve had over 850 downloads for the guide already. I’ve had my newsletter list for a year and a half, but it grew over 30% in the last three days. I had this huge momentum gain.
  • 04:11 That’s what I’m excited about for this episode today. Sometimes, there are all these things that might seem to be killing your momentum, but what’s really killing your momentum is what we’re going to talk about today. I’m excited to get into that, because I feel like I’m seeing the other side of regaining your momentum.
  • 04:45 Cory: That story is really encouraging. I know that there are a lot of people out there who got started, wanted to build their own thing, are working on their brand, and sorting things out. You get to the top of the hill with your skis or your snowboard, neither of which I’ve ever done, and you start down and you’re picking up speed. It’s excellent, until all of a sudden you don’t have that speed or that drive anymore. It’s important to look into that. Today, we’re going to be looking at the reasons why we lose momentum and what we can do to bring that back. Kyle, how would you define momentum in your brand?

What is Brand Momentum?

  • 05:49 Kyle: Momentum is very much an internal thing within the brand. It’s much less about the audience you have and what they’re doing, and it’s more about the excitement and passion you have for the brand you’re building.

The momentum of your brand is your enthusiasm to make things regardless of what’s going on outside of that.

  • 06:16 This is very powerful for people that have had a brand for a long time, and it’s empowering in a different way for people who are just starting a brand. A brand starts with momentum. You don’t have an audience. When you first start your brand, you have zero audience. Just because audience numbers drop or things seem to be stagnating, you can always bring back that momentum. Even if you hit zero, you’re just back to where you started in the beginning anyway.
  • 06:53 Cory: So is momentum only personal? Is momentum only how I feel about it? Is it my excitement, my passion, and my drive, or is it also external? As we start to build an audience, grow, and gain traction, is that also momentum? How do you pair those two? Is it only how I’m pushing myself forward, or is it mixed in with the external?
  • 07:30 Kyle: External plays a big role. It depends on where your focus is. Your focus might be on the audience or the people interested, and you take a lot of stock in those things. we talked about how the numbers don’t matter and your focus on numbers can be paralyzing (Related: e014 The Numbers Don’t Matter). You’re focusing on the wrong thing. That is definitely a momentum killer. If my focus this week was, “I need to grow my newsletter by 30%,” instead of my focus being on, “I want to release a really awesome resource for people to learn about icon design,” that was the momentum for me. It was excitement and enthusiasm, and those things bleed over to either the people working for you or the external people receiving what you’re putting out there.
  • 08:58 But, if you’re focused on the external and all these numbers, if things fluctuate, you get less comments on things, or less people share what they normally share, it can feel like you’re losing momentum. That’s kind of a weird way to frame that question, but I think momentum is a phycological thing for you and people who work inside of the brand.

What Causes You to Lose Momentum?

  • 09:41 Cory: What is it, either for a brand or personally, that causes momentum loss? Then, we can talk about what allows us to build it back in a more practical way. Kyle, what do you think causes us to lose momentum—or even that can kill momentum?
  • 10:10 Kyle: It doesn’t all boil down to a single thing, but a lot of it is about having strain on you. If I had to say an overarching thing, it’s having too much strain on yourself. That can be from taking on too many things. We talked about that in a previous episode, about not having too many things on your plate and focusing on a few things and making those things really awesome (Related: e013 Approaching the New Year With Intentionality). Because you’re doing that, your momentum is high, because you’re really invested in those few things. Doing these things for your brand is not a chore.
  • 10:57 If you’re a larger brand, maybe that means you need to hire somebody. Maybe you’ve grown to the point where you have so many things on your plate that need to happen, that are necessary to the survival of your brand, but you’ve taken too many of those things on and your momentum is being crushed. What do you think are some things, Cory?
  • 11:28 Cory: I think my answer can also be an answer to this question that Rafael asked earlier. He asked, “Is there a way to prevent, or at least notice, that your business is slowly losing momentum?” Yes, there is. I think it’s partially when you realize that you don’t have a balance. One thing that can kill momentum is realizing that you’re not balanced enough. That may be in work or life, personal or professional. Client work vs. personal projects, day job and passion work, etc. When those things aren’t balanced, it can start to become strained, like Kyle said.
  • 12:20 This is something I’ve dealt with in the last year or so. I’ve been working for seanwes and working on some side projects, and I’ve started to say yes to too many things. I began to realize this toward the end of the year. I don’t even do websites, but my past is in web design, and there was a final client project I needed to finish up that was a year-long ordeal. I also had daily stuff. I have a daughter that is almost two, and she’s a handful. I was balancing time with people, friends, my wife, plus I took on a couple of other projects that I thought I could finish quickly but that lasted a few months.
  • 13:23 Even with some of those other projects that weren’t my passion, I began to lose momentum because I wasn’t balanced. I think that’s one of the signs you can see to indicate what direction you’re going down when you’re losing momentum. If you have all of these things going on and you don’t feel like you want to do any of them, a classic term for that is burnout. You do something so much that you lose the passion or the drive for it. You can’t remember why you started doing it in the first place.

Avoiding burnout has a lot to do with balance and saying no to things.

  • 14:02 Wrap up these projects, send the final invoice, and get all of that done. The next time somebody asks me to do something that isn’t on the path to achieving my goals, I’m going to say no. Part of this is getting outside of the mindset of taking on every project you can because you need the money. That’s a huge issue that people face, especially in the design world, art, or photography. Men and women building their brands start thinking that they need to take on whatever they can get, but then they’re doing all this stuff that they don’t want to do. They aren’t balanced. They aren’t aligning what they’re doing with what will help them achieve their goals. They’re getting what they can right now to help themselves feel better in the moment.
  • 15:04 Momentum has that word “moment” in it, but momentum is not about where you are now, it’s about where you are about to be. When you focus only on the now, where you are in the moment, and not where you’re about to be, you start to lose momentum. Your eyes aren’t ahead on the road. They’re self-focused. You have to look outside of that and say, “Are the things I’m doing right now going to help me achieve my goals, become a better person, or help the people I’m trying to reach? Or, are they just going to help me feel better in the moment?” How do I find that balance again?
  • 15:50 Kyle: Imagine running a race with your head down. That’s what you’re doing when you just focus on now. When you’re not looking forward to see where the finish line is at, you’re going to lose momentum. You don’t know where the finish line is. You can’t see it, you’re not excited about it, and you’re worried about what your feet are doing. Because you’re worried about that, likely, you’re going to trip. You’re going to do something wrong, because you’re just staring at now and making sure that works. Don’t focus on what your feet are doing—focus on where you’re going.
  • 16:26 Cory: Your feet will take care of the work if you know where you’re going.

Focus On Your Goals

  • 16:29 Kyle: I see this all the time. The example Cory brought up of taking on all the projects that come along, I see that so often when I go to design conferences. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people, and I want to help them so badly. It’s someone who started a business, who wants to do freelance work. They love what they’re doing and they love helping people, and they’re excited. They start, they take on everything that comes along, and they get bogged down with the details of all of these clients. They’re doing all the things all of the clients are telling them to do, and it’s a mess.
  • 17:25 The story generally goes something like this: “I decided to start a freelance business, and I did that for a few months. I got a lot of clients, but I wasn’t happy with how things were going, so now I went to work for wherever, and I enjoy it. I get to do what I really love to do.” There’s nothing wrong with going to work somewhere, but the reason their brand didn’t succeed is because they didn’t allow themselves to keep that excitement and passion.
  • 18:12 They lost their momentum. They gave it away to this weight on them. Going back to the race metaphor, you can’t stack 20 people and run a race to the finish line. You’re going to fall down before you get there. If you have 20 clients at the same time and you’re trying to run this race, you can’t. You could carry one or two people on your back, maybe, on your back.
  • 18:34 Cory: It’s not necessarily that it’s bad to have 20 clients. That is bad—don’t do that. Stop. Ask the question, “Are these helping me achieve my goals? Do I want to be a professional photographer, and if so, why in the world am I doing color correction for a children’s TV show? That’s not helping me achieve my goals. If I want to be a full time web designer and have my own web firm, then why am I out doing photography for weddings? That’s going to bring in a little bit of money, but it’s not helping me achieve my goals.” It’s different if you have a day job, like Kyle, that’s helping you pay the bills, which is helping you to leverage everything else you’re doing on your brand with icon design.
  • 19:31 Kyle’s been talking about this handbook for months now, it seems. I remember all the text messages back and forth between me and Kyle where he was saying, “Well, it’s next week. I’d better write this thing.”

When you get strain off of your mind so you can focus on what you’re doing, it gives you the ability to build momentum.

Remember Why You Started

  • 19:57 Another thing that can kill momentum is that maybe you’ve forgotten why you started. I ask so many people, “What are you doing? Where are you going? What are your dreams?” They say, “I started this business 20 years ago, and I do that now.” I ask, “Do you like it? Are you excited about it?” They say, “Well, not really. It pays the bills.” That’s everybody’s answer, but they’re not excited about it anymore. They’ve forgotten why they started. Sometimes, you have to take a look back and ask yourself, “Five years ago, when I started this thing, what was I thinking? What was on my mind? What was on my heart? What was I wrestling with, and why did I decide to take this leap to do this scary thing?”
  • 21:04 We were talking in the chat earlier. Charli came in, and she’s great. She’s speaking at seanwes conference this year, and we’re really excited to see her there. She’s got a podcast, designlife.fm, and she has this apparel side brand. She said, “I started off really excited. This was kind of an accidental brand. I posted designs, and people were really excited about it, so I decided to put it on some clothes.” She got really stoked about it and had this big following. It slowly tapered off. Now she has this audience, but she’s trying to figure out how to reignite the flame of her brand. It had so much potential, but she said, “I let life get in the way and didn’t take it seriously.” She feels like she missed her chance.
  • 22:53 Kyle: She mentioned that she had the apparel brand for five years, but there’s little to no interest these days. I asked her the question, “Are you saying that you’ve lost interest or that the audience did?” Her first response was, “The audience did. It’s my fault, I didn’t keep up the momentum. I’m looking forward to some advice on getting that back.” She’s trying to figure out how to regain that momentum. We kept talking for a while, and she said, “I lost the excitement, and that’s when the momentum died. About a year and a half ago, I picked it back up and got the excitement back.”
  • 23:45 Her first reaction was to say, “My audience has lost interest,” but as we continued the conversation, she realized that the reason her audience lost interest is that she lost interest. She wasn’t excited about it anymore, so she wasn’t projecting that momentum and excitement. There’s a lot of power in projection.

If you’re not excited about something, someone else can’t be excited for you.

  • 24:12 Cory: Go back to all of the Apple Keynotes that Steve Jobs ever did. He gets up there and is using all these words like “revolutionary” and “this is going to be beautiful,” “it’s gorgeous.” They’ve taken it to a ridiculous level in the keynotes now, but he was so sincere. He was genuinely excited about what he was bringing to the world, what Apple was doing. It was infectious. People thought, “Yeah, this is something I can get behind.” People are smart, and they can sense things. If you don’t care, they get that. When you stop being excited about your brand, your customers are going to stop being excited about it. Part of that has to do with attention. The name of the game in the 21st century is attenion. Who’s attention do you have? If you don’t have anybody’s attention, somebody else does.
  • 25:34 If you’re not putting things out there, if you’re not maintaining that connection, someone else is going to come along and take that attention away. A lot of that has to do with forgetting why you started. When you decide that your focus needs to go elsewhere, your audience’s focus is going to go elsewhere. Just because you get re-excited with your brand doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to get back on the horse with you. If someone’s been following you for a while or they’ve been a customer for a while and that’s broken, there’s some trust that’s broken there. That needs to be regained. It’s not that they’ll never trust you again. If you haven’t posted to your Instagram for a year and I used to be an avid follower, now you post once, I don’t know that you’re going to post again. You posted twice; you’re starting to rebuild. You released a new product, that’s cool. You released two more products? Wow, you’re serious about this, so now I’m going to be serious about this.

You’re Responsible For Your Momentum

  • 26:51 Kyle: There’s a reason that this episode is titled Regaining the Momentum You Started Out With. It’s not about your audience. Let’s say I make t-shirts. For a year, I’m making t-shirts and selling them. For a whole year, every time I release a t-shirt, I make a video where I say, “Guys, I just released a t-shirt! I’m super excited about this! This is going to be amazing.” Lots of energy. A year goes by, and for whatever reason, things haven’t gone the way I wanted them to go. Now, I’m not as excited about those t-shirts. I’m still making the videos, because that’s what I do when I release a shirt, but the video is, “Hey guys. We’re coming out with another t-shirt. It’s awesome. I love this shirt. It’s probably the best one we’ve come out with yet.” Nobody’s excited about that.
  • 27:59 You can say that people will still be excited because it’s this brand, but if the person who is the voice for the brand loses enthusiasm, so does the audience. When you come back a year later, after making 50 of those terrible videos, and you say, “Guys! I’m really excited about this again! I’m back at it!” You’re not going to immediately get all of the engagement and connection that you had before, because you have to build that up again just like you did at the beginning. Consider yourself back to the start. The numbers don’t matter. Let’s say your YouTube channel has 150,000 subscribers, and you left and haven’t posted videos for a year. You may still have 140,000 when you come back, but that doesn’t mean those people are still as excited as they were a year ago when you dropped it.
  • 29:02 They just didn’t unsubscribe. Maybe they forgot about you. It doesn’t mean they’re going to have the same enthusiasm. You have to have that enthusiasm, and you have to inspire people to enjoy your brand. I want to talk to people who have an existing brand, because I think we’re talking a lot to people who are starting one by themselves. If you have an existing brand, your enthusiasm as the owner, manager, or whatever leadership role you have, plays a big role in all of this. That can affect the entire brand. You may say, “I have a great marketing team. We market this stuff with enthusiasm, and it’s awesome,” but if you’re the owner or the manager over the marketing team and you’re bored, you kill the enthusiasm. That’s going to show through in the marketing, no matter how hard they try to project something different.

Difficult Decisions

  • 30:20 Cory: Steve asked earlier, “How do you objectively measure momentum? Or, is it purely a feeling? I’ve been in situations where I’ve had a steady stream of sales, but things felt stale.” It’s different for different people, and I think it’s a little bit of both. In this particular case, when he says that “things felt stale,” I would look there first. Why does it feel stale? We’ve got income and everything seems to be working out okay, but it feels lame. Yes, that means you’re losing momentum. It’s about looking forward. Maybe you have the steady stream of sales today, but what if you don’t have them tomorrow, a year from now, or ten years from now? What does that look like?
  • 31:12 What are you doing now to better yourself, and produce a better you and a better brand a year or two years from now? I don’t know that there is an objective way to measure momentum. Momentum is based on your brand, where you started, and what your goals are. A lot of it is feeling, the feelings of burnout or things not going the way you wanted, or that it is but you’re not excited about it. That’s where you can measure it personally. Feelings are warning signs rather than a measuring tape.
  • 32:05 Kyle: This ties in a lot with the last episode we recorded (Related: e015 The Pros and Cons of Rebranding). We talked about rebranding and how, maybe, your brand has gone stale, and that’s why you need to rebrand things. It may not be all visual, even. It could even be the culture and enthusiasm within the organization, and that’s part of regaining momentum. If you’ve had a brand for a while and you feel like it’s, in your words, “stale,” maybe it’s time to do a rebrand. Maybe everything visual is fine, but the rebrand could be focused on goals and culture. Do you need to remove some things? That’s tough.

Part of regaining momentum is to be okay with tough decisions.

  • 33:07 That’s hard. It may come down to, “I just started this brand a year ago, and things are going great. I had a lot of momentum and I over-expended my energy in the beginning.” Going back to a race, in a race you have to pace yourself. You can’t start off at full-sprint and expect to get to the finish line with all of your stamina. You have to pace yourself. The excitement and momentum of the beginning can turn into doing way too many things. Maybe you started off posting things on Instagram and Twitter, and that’s how your brand started marketing itself. Now you have courses and products, you post on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and so on. It’s this stack of things you do, and it’s unsustainable. Maybe you need to cut some of those things out and get back to really focusing on what your brand started out with in the beginning.
  • 34:10 Cory: The tough decision might even go so far as, “I need to stop doing this.” Listener, maybe that’s you. Maybe you’ve been building this brand and working on it for a long time, and there’s no fruit or passion. Maybe there’s a following or money, but you’re dying inside. If that’s you, maybe you need to say, “We need to be done,” and cut the chord. That maybe what you need to do. It might be something else. Bringing back your momentum might look like hiring somebody. Maybe your brand is stagnating because you can’t handle the weight, and you need to hire somebody. That could be. Maybe the momentum will come back once you bring someone else on the team to handle all the stuff that you shouldn’t be doing or you can’t do as well.
  • 35:12 Get them on board. It’s going to hurt a little bit in the beginning, because now you have to pay two people, three people, or 100 people, but it might be better for you in the long run. Maybe you’re producing products, but you have two people handling the inventory and your sales have exploded. They can’t handle all of the orders, so maybe you need to outsource all of your products to a warehouse where they handle everything. You’ve got full control of the packaging and the process, but they can handle all of that with their teams. Maybe you need to move that off. Again, it’s going to hurt financially, but it’s going to allow you to build that momentum back.
  • 36:01 It’s good to make hard decisions. Some of those might be saying no and some of them might be saying yes. It’s about finding that balance. Kyle and I say this all the time, but you have to figure out what your goals are. Where do you want to be? Where do you want your brand to be? Are you willing to put in the work, the 18 hour days, to make it happen? Are you willing to not have a weekend for a year so you can have a better life for 50 years? I don’t know, maybe.

Do Something New

  • 36:35 You might be doing the same thing you’ve always done, and it doesn’t work. Maybe you need to stop doing what you’ve always done. People get locked up in routines. They say, “Well, I’ve always done this. There’s an ebb and flow, seasons.” Maybe you should stop doing that same thing. Maybe you need to start doing something else or adapt to new technologies. Maybe you need to stop depending only on sending out mail, and maybe you need to get into the email business. Maybe you need to get on Snapchat. I don’t understand Snapchat. Supposedly, it’s big. I feel like I’m behind because I don’t understand Snapchat, and I’m losing an audience there that I could engage with.
  • 37:29 I’m saying no to that right now, but maybe I need to say yes. Marketing doesn’t work the same as it used to. It’s always changing. Everything is always changing. It’s going to be different next year. It will be different tomorrow.
  • 37:49 Kyle: Cory mentioned earlier that you might need to hire somebody or change a manufacturing process or offload some things. One thing he mentioned was that those things might hurt financially. As an encouragement to people that need to do that, realize that it’s not a new expense you’re adding. It’s a new investment that you’re adding. If I went to you and said, “Cory, you started this brand and it looks like you’re starting to lose momentum. If you pay this guy over here, you’ll regain that momentum back, and you’re going to make four times what you’re making now in two years.” It’s almost a no-brainer to say, “Yeah, I’ll pay this guy to help me out, even though I’m making $2,000 less a month,” or whatever it is.
  • 38:45 But now, you have momentum and a push to get to the next thing. That’s much more rewarding in the end. It’s the long game, like we talked about at the beginning. It’s looking at the finish line rather than down at your feet. You’ve got to have that momentum building. If you’re going to be a professional runner, there’s a lot of tough work that goes into that. You walk every day, and then you start running or jogging every day. There’s a burn. It’s hard on your body, but eventually, you get to the point where you can run four or five times further than you could when you started, and maybe more, without getting exhausted. Suddenly, you’ve realized that though there was a painful process, the end result was greater than the pain.

Commitments & Saying No

  • 40:27 Cory: Charlene asked, “How do you keep the momentum going while overlapping?” If you haven’t heard this term before, overlapping is where you have a day job that pays your bills so you can work on your passion. Our boss and friend Sean McCabe is writing three books on The Overlap Technique. There are a lot of podcasts on it and a lot of good information. Overlapping is doing this thing to cover your expenses so you can build up your passion project, the thing you’re actually passionate about. Charlene also says, “I have two four-legged commitments.” I’m guessing that’s animals. “For whom I’m solely responsible, so my free time is generally taken up by them. I also want to find time to write, further my coding lessons, and pursue other business-related interests.”
  • 41:33 Charlene, you’re going to have to say no to something. You’re going to have to cut something out. This is the case for a lot of people. My mother asked the other day, “How do you know what you say no to when you want to do everything?” If you keep saying yes to everything, you’re going to do a lot of things really poorly. You’re not going to be able to do the things that you want to do. It may be that your four-legged commitments are a season, and you can fit one other thing in with that. That means that you’re going to need to cut out a couple of other things. The more you keep adding on, the more fragmented and fractured every piece is going to be.
  • 42:23 If you have a commitment that is a non-negotiable, you have to learn to adapt that in with everything. It also might mean that, if you want to find time to write, further your coding lessons, and pursue other business-related interests, there is a lot you’re going to have to say no to. There’s a lot you’ll have to cut out, because that’s a lot—plus overlapping with a day job. It’s a lot. First, you’re probably going to need to cut something out. Second, don’t be discouraged, because it’s not going to be forever. It won’t feel like you have to do 20 hour days for forever. It won’t feel that way. In ten years, it will be different, and you’ll be able to do other things.
  • 43:17 Maybe you need to set aside the business-related interests for a while or this other brand project. Maybe you have this idea for this great business, but you’re building something out right now. You can start that business in ten years, and that’s okay. You can push that off. Stick with your commitments as long as they’re yours. I have a commitment to my wife and my daughter, so I can’t just say, “Sorry guys, I need to say no to you.” I can’t do that. I have to take care of them. I have to take care of my daughter, but there are other things I can say no to. Maybe you can just focus on one thing for a time. Focus on the next thing for a time. It’s not forever.

Identify the things you need to cut out to achieve your goals.

It’s Never Too Late

  • 44:14 I don’t want to rant on this too long, but I get so angry when people over 50 feel like they’re done. “I can’t start anything. I’ve been working this dead-end job for so long. I don’t know how to learn new things.” No! You can start. You can start now. You can always start something new, start fresh. You can always do that thing you always wanted to do. You can do that. The only person stopping you is you.
  • 45:07 Kyle: It’s ironic when people assume that their age somehow dictates how successful they can be. When you’re young, maybe in your early or mid 20s, there’s a lot of people older than you that might doubt your ability to succeed in a business. You might think you’re too young to start a business and be successful. Then you get to be older, like Cory’s talking about, you’re in your 50s or 60s, and you think, “It’s too late in the game for me to start something new.” Does that mean that only people between 30 and 40 can be successful? That’s ridiculous. It doesn’t matter where you’re at. Gary Vaynerchuck is a great example of this.
  • 46:14 I don’t know how old he is, but the audience he’s speaking to is a much younger audience, overall. He talks to a broad audience, but he relates easily to people even way younger than I am. He’s 40, and he’s relating to people in their early 20’s starting a business. They don’t see him as a 40 year old guy trying to give business advice—they see him as a guy in his late 20s or early 30s giving business advice. He has that energy and passion for it. He’s got momentum and excitement. He’s not just sitting there. He’s grown with the times as well. That’s a key thing we talked about, not getting stale or stagnant. He’s not a 40 year old guy in a suit trying to give business advice, standing in front of a whiteboard pointing at things and telling people what to do.
  • 47:12 He’s kept up with the modern world. He can relate to people. Then you have people like Matt Lopez, who’s a cohost on Lambo Goal with Sean McCabe, talking about business. He has tons of businesses, and he’s in his mid 20s. He’s inspiring people in their late 50s and 60s, even.

There isn’t an age boundary when it comes to achieving your goals like you may think there is.

Age isn’t a limiting factor.

  • 47:57 Cory: Sometimes people think that time is what kills their momentum, and that can be true. The longer you do something, the more momentum you can either pick up or lose. It can go either way. The truth is, a lot of that is based on the kind of decisions you make. There’s a brand called J. Peterman, started by a guy named John Peterman. He was a small time entrepreneur who made a jacket that people liked. He made another one and grew organically. Grassroots, word of mouth. At one point in the TV show Seinfeld, there was an actor on there who played J. Peterman. His character was kind of silly, but the popularity of the brand exploded. There was all this momentum, but they lost sight of where they used to be and the company ended up going bankrupt.
  • 49:38 It’s weird, because you would think that having your name mentioned on a popular show like Seinfeld and then having your sales go through the roof would be good. It wasn’t sustainable, though, and they couldn’t manage it. They went bankrupt, and they had to reassess where they were at. A company had bought them, and a few year later, John Peterman went back, repurchased his brand, rescaled it back, and brought the momentum back. Now, they’re a very large brand with a large, loyal following. He had to make some key decisions there. One was to declare bankruptcy and sell the company. Again, he decided to buy the company back and do some rebranding. It’s a fascinating story.
  • 50:32 There were a lot of key, tough decisions made over a period of time. John could have said, “Well, that’s it. I can’t do it anymore. It’s all gone.” Instead, he made tough decisions and saw what happened. A lot of that is risky. There’s risk in rebuilding momentum. It’s scary. What if you get momentum back and it goes down again? What if you fail again? You try so hard, and what if it never gets to the place you want it to be? I want to encourage you, listener, that you can do it. You can achieve your goals and get to the place you want to be.

It’s going to take hard work and time, but it’s never too late to regain momentum.

Look Ahead

  • 51:39 Kyle: Do you know what someone running in the lead of a race never does? They never look back and stare at how far they’ve come. They keep running forward and looking at the finish line. We’re talking about time, the length of time you’ve been running this race. A lot of people lose momentum, and they feel like time affects their momentum because they’re looking backwards. They’re looking at where they’ve come from and what they used to do instead of looking forward and saying, “Where are we going with this? What are we doing? What’s in the future that’s exciting for this brand? What’s going to be the next big thing for this brand?” They’re looking at their feet or looking backwards.
  • 52:38 Look forward and say, “This fuels me. This is momentum. I acknowledge that I’ve run 300 miles, but I have 300 more to go and there are so many things ahead of me that I can do to reignite this brand and bring back the momentum and passion that I had.” That’s how someone doesn’t lose momentum over time. A lot of people fall victim to looking backward. They get into a stagnant place. They say, “I’ve always done this.” You start off with different focuses in a race, like how fast you’re going, where everyone else is at, and making sure you get ahead. Over time, you focus more on your breathing and your heart rate. You slow down sometimes and speed up again. You can’t be focused on the things you started with—you have to focus on what’s coming.
  • 54:03 Cory: There’s a difference between remembering where you’ve come from and staring at where you’ve come from. If you try to run backwards, nope. Not going to work. It is important to remember how far you’ve come, because you’ve gotten to where you are now. You took the first step, and now you’re 5,000 steps in. Remember that you were able to do the 5,000 steps. That means you’re capable. You’re able. You can do 5,000 more steps. It’s going to take more work because you’re tired now, but you can bring that momentum back.

Remember where you come from, but don’t focus on it.

  • 54:49 Kyle: Remembering and acknowledging the things you’ve done are way different than focusing on the things you’ve done. Sean McCabe and I were talking in the chat yesterday. Since I started working at seanwes, I see what’s going on at seanwes and the things Sean has planned out in the future. It’s awesome. We’re talking 2017, and it’s just the beginning of 2016. There are all these things planned, and that’s huge momentum. As the team, we know what we’re working towards. We know the things coming in the future, and we’re not focused on something from two years ago. We’re moving forward and doing different things. We’re not focused on the past. In some ways, we’re getting through 2016 so 2017 can be awesome. We’re running forward with full momentum rather than trying to figure everything out in the moment.
  • 56:21 I left something important out of the story that I told at the beginning of the show. I mentioned that I started at seanwes and the momentum came back, and that sounds really counter-intuitive to people. The momentum came back when I finally decided to remove scarcity. I removed the need for starting to generate sustainable monthly income. I covered that. That’s what the Overlap Technique focuses on—covering your bills so you can pursue your passion. Yes, I want to monetize with my business. Yes, I still want to grow it, and I do have products I’m creating right now for my business, but I didn’t start those early enough to generate sustainable income in the timeframe I wanted to. The scarcity of that was killing me and making me focus on all the wrong things.
  • 57:32 I was forgetting where I started from and why I was so excited about icons to begin with. Even though now I’m working two jobs, I’ve cut some things out. I don’t go out and do stuff with friends as much. That’s okay. I still have fun with people and see them on the weekends. We still have people over sometimes, but there’s less of going to do fun things and more of me with my head down, focusing. I’m super excited and passionate about it. Neither of my jobs feel like a burden. They both feel like excitement and momentum. Both of them give momentum to the other.