Starting and stopping in our business (or life) is our topic today, and how it is hurting your momentum and keeping you stuck. Don’t worry. We’re not just going to talk about how it’s doing that or what the problem is. I’m going to give you tangible, actionable solutions. So, if you have ever struggled with starting and stopping and keeping up your momentum, and you find yourself every year kind of in the same spot, whatever level that you’re at, this is definitely for you.
You can listen here to the full episode or keep reading!
I was talking to my team member and she said that I really needed to do an episode about what I was experiencing at the moment. Which is that the last few months in business – because of the economy, because of some personal things, because of business decisions that I made, pivots, realigning, disaligning, all of the things – the last few months in my business were lower than I’ve experienced since launching.
It got a little bit scary. It got to the point where I think many people would have quit. However, I’ve done so much work over the past couple of years on mindset. I have gone through so much and come out on the other side and have seen what happens when you don’t quit and you continue doing the work. When you continue to show up for yourself and other people powerfully, I know what happens, and I want to illustrate that for you with some visuals.
Imagine an x y axis, and picture the X axis. There’s a line, and underneath that line it says where most people stop and it stops about halfway across the page. Then parallel to that X axis, there is another line, and right at the end point of the first line it upticks in a slow upward indicating momentum, indicating growth. That is often when most people stop – before the momentum starts.
I’m experiencing this right now, and I’m gonna tell you more about it, but this reminds me of my favorite analogy and it’s the popcorn analogy. I used to send this to my team when I was team building and social selling because it’s always true in any endeavor that you undertake.
I want you think about a bag of popcorn. Usually, we put it in the microwave for about three minutes – give or take 30 seconds or so. As soon as you push start on that microwave, the microwave is applying the same amount of heat – (the same amount of radioactive waves if you really wanna think about what’s going on in there) – But it’s applying the same amount of heat pressure work, if you will, during the first minute. Though, if you looked in on the first minute of that popcorn popping process, there is nothing happening with the popcorn bag whatsoever. It’s just still – no activity.
In the second minute, same thing. Literally nothing happening at all that we can see. The third minute starts out and not much is happening there either. It’s not until the last 20 to 30 seconds that all of a sudden all those little kernels start to just pop off – it’s like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop all over the place, and the bag is expanding.
What was always happening underneath the surface that couldn’t be seen is now coming to fruition. How does this relate to life and business? Great question!
There is a time period of days, weeks, months, even years, that sometimes the work that we’re putting in – the energy that we’re putting in – isn’t producing an immediate result, but we have to trust in the process that it’s all adding up in our favor and that it will lead to results. The problem is our minds can’t handle not getting that instant gratification – not seeing that a result is going to happen, that you will make income and impact, that it’s all going to come together eventually.
For some people it takes longer than others because there are so many factors. We’re not all cookie cutter business owners, we don’t all have cookie cutter backgrounds. There’s so many differences and variances in us as individuals that you really do have to just work your plan, keep your blinders on and continue doing that until you see the results.
The last few months have been lower months for me. This is not what I was planning on. (I didn’t really save accordingly to make sure that, you know, lower months were covered. And that’s been a learning experience as well.) But I have done so much work on myself and my business that I KNOW if I stay the course and keep going, my popcorn would pop off – and it did!
If I keep asking “How can I serve?” “How can I help?” “What’s next?” And I keep momentum of knowing my purpose, my why and I keep going forward, I am trusting in the process. In the last week alone (from the time this was written) I have closed over $10,000 in sales.
I say this to show you the example that I knew that was going to happen eventually, so I did not quit. And so if you’re in a place right now where you don’t quite yet trust that process, I really want you to lean into that, and think of a time in your life where you did keep pushing through and the results came later. The results came months, weeks, or even years after the work that you put in. But because of the work that you put in. I promise you it is the same with business.
I have a lot of clients and they’ll have one launch or work with one company for a couple of months and they stress out because “it hasn’t worked (yet).” What I try to tell them is – it’s an endless process of learning and growing and failing forward. The more quickly you can fail forward and recover from failures and know that, in fact it wasn’t a failure, it was a learning experience that’s going to later tee you up for even more success if you grow through it.
It’s like flexing a muscle. And I just wanted to tell you what I’ve been experiencing lately because I knew it would happen, and I want that for you too. I want you to have that unstoppable confidence in knowing that it’s all adding up for you. If you are grounded in your purpose and you know that you are supposed to be doing the work that you’re doing and you will make it happen, you will continue to show up, success will happen, it always does.
And whether that is finding your soulmates, whether that is growing your booty in the gym, whether that is decreasing your mile time, whether that is getting the promotion at work, whether that is having your first 20, 30, 40, 50, 100K month – whatever it is, the way that you get there is by putting in the work consistently and not stopping.
Orange Theory Fitness Analogy
I need to talk to you about Orange Theory Fitness and the way that that works, because the way that I frame this thought or how I’ve been thinking of it lately anyway, is really based around heart rate training and orange theory fitness and thoughts that I have there that always seem to transfer to starting and stopping in life and business.
I know, I know… I’m a weirdo groupie Orange Theory person, it’s okay. I love it! But you’re going to love this analogy too!
Orange Theory divides the portions of your workout into three different categories, and they’re signified by green, orange, and red. The green zone is called your base – that’s gonna be a pace, whether you’re running, rowing or doing body weight or weight work, it’s a pace that you could sustain for 20 minutes or longer. It’s challenging, but doable, it is like your cruise pace, okay? So you can breathe and speak a few sentences if you wanted to.
Then the orange zone is called push pace. This is where you get your heart rate up, you are breathing heavy, and it’s definitely challenging. You’re pushing yourself, but this is meant to be a shorter duration. This is not a pace that you would sustain indefinitely or go for really long stretches of time, but it’s a place where you are going to get major results if you can hold onto that pace for a set amount of time, even though it’s a little more uncomfortable and you execute on what the coach is asking you to do.
Then lastly, there’s the red zone – all out. This is always the shortest interval of the workout. There are not a ton of them and they’re interspersed. This zone is not going to be the whole time. You are not working at your maxed out capacity for longer than 30 seconds to maybe a minute, every once in a while. It’s like your final push.
Those are the three zones, and the thing that I’ve noticed for myself for sure, and for a lot of people, they do so much better going into either a push pace or an all out sprint starting from that base pace. It kind of doesn’t make sense because after you sprint the last thing I wanna do is run into my next all out. It doesn’t really make sense in your mind, but then if you try to go all out from a dead stop or even a walk, it’s extremely hard and uncomfortable.
This is what we do all the time, though, in business (I’m speaking of a place of experience) and it’s painful to stop building your business, to take a lot of time off, and then try to hit it hard again. You’re not getting the results that you would be getting if you maintained consistency. If you maintained a base pace and then jogged into a launch. You’re going to get much better results than you would if you go from a dead stop or a walk into a launch. You’re definitely going to get two completely different results.
Unfortunately, I see a lot of my clients, or women that I would love to work with, starting and stopping and starting and stopping, and they’re not getting anywhere. They have the ability to get anywhere that they freaking want! If they would continue moving, maintaining a base pace and show up and build their brand throughout different seasons. Then when they’re in a place to scale and escalate, they’re not starting from a dead stop.
Disclaimer – I know there are mental health things that are in place for some people, and I’m not speaking to that person. I know that’s a completely different story. You can also check out this post about emotional triggers that can derail your momentum.
If you’re not dealing with something that is literally stopping you and your brain from moving forward, and I completely – trust me, I completely understand and have had to deal with that myself. I’m not talking to you, but you know I’m talking to you. If you’re someone who starts and stops a lot and you can never seem to move the needle, you can never seem to get past this threshold to your next level. It could be because you’re starting and stopping. And I think sometimes we feel like if we’re not going full out, if we’re not doing a 30 day run, a 60 day run, a 90 day run, then we’re not working our business. What we’re doing isn’t growing our message. It isn’t growing our brand, our influence, impact and income, but that’s simply not true.
The best thing that you can do to create success is consistency. I promise you that. I’ve seen it from both sides, from being inconsistent and being consistent, and I swear, if you have the best dialed in aligned brand and you’re not consistent, it doesn’t mean anything. If you’re a leader, you need to show up and lead. If you’re in business, you need to be open for business. Maybe you’re not taking all out massive action everyday, but you show up for work on your work days. I’m not saying that you don’t need rest and to take care of ourselves, but taking 10 minutes out of your day to do ONE action step like posting on social media – that’s doable.
Sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to just do the minimum (because we don’t think it impacts anything), but keep doing something versus stopping. Because one day can turn into two days. Two days can turn into three days. Three days turns into a week. A week turns into three months and then you can’t figure out why you let go of your momentum.
It is going to be so freaking hard to get started again, and no one’s even gonna be listening. Correct? You have to earn back that attention, and you absolutely can. You can build back momentum, however, if you want to really move forward, I challenge you to challenge yourself. Show up for a year base pace, push pace, or all out, on your work days for a year. See where you get. If you have a business plan and you have a strategy that’s proven and you’re working that, your business would grow exponentially if you give that to yourself.
Starting and Stopping in Action
I actually had to stop recording this episode and stop the flow of thought to go and pick up Taylor. There was no other option. However, after I sat back down to my desk some hours later to finish recording, I noticed, not surprisingly that it would’ve been so much more efficient to just continue the flow of thought for the next 10 to 15 minutes, if I’d had the time, versus starting and stopping and losing that train of thought. I’m sure I lost thoughts that I’ll probably never quite get back.
Which fits in perfectly with our topic. Not planned, but perfect timing.
During my pause, I had so many more ideas pop into my head, but I think I’m going to save those for another post!
So I’m going to give you some wrap up and closing thoughts regarding starting and stopping – regarding perseverance, regarding pursuing your dreams and not quitting before your results start to pop off.
Firstly, I want to make sure that it’s not an issue of alignment, or rather an issue of misalignment in your brand – in the way that you’re building your business, your business model, your business plan. It can also be really tempting to stop doing something that we aren’t enjoying. Now, even if your brand and your business is totally aligned, there are will be things that you have to do that aren’t necessarily fun, and you can outsource all you want; but there’s still going to be parts of any job or business that aren’t your favorite that are required.
However, if there are key elements that just don’t feel like you, that don’t feel in integrity, that don’t feel flowy or fun – and there’s enough of that – it might really be an issue. Not so much of the starting and stopping and the disciplinary habitual type of pattern, but it could be more your brain is not wanting to do something that it feels uncomfortable doing. I see that a lot of times with clients, as well. So maybe that resonates more with you where something is amiss, and no matter how much you try to keep going, you keep starting and stopping because it just doesn’t feel good.
If that’s you, I would encourage you to really take a look at what isn’t working and how can you make a brave pivot, even if it’s hard, because starting over and starting from alignment and experience is far better than continuing to hustle and grind and build something that feels off.
If it has anything to do with your brand or business, make sure to check out Align Your Brand, which is the course that you need to take if you do not have your personal brand dialed in. Whether you’re beginning to build a personal brand online, you want to start over or rebrand in alignment, and you want t to have a business that just feels really good, and one that you’re obsessed with that you don’t want to stop building – this course is for you.
The goal is for you to wake up in the morning most mornings and be excited that you get to do the work that you get to do. I know that sounds pie in the sky, but it’s not. But it does take intentionality. It does take making changes all along the way. Making readjustments, not necessarily big changes, but keeping yourself in alignment with the way that you are growing as a person, with the way that the economy’s changing, with the way that the Internet’s changing, with the way that your desires are changing, and with the way that God is prompting you.
If you are done starting and stopping and want to keep your momentum up, check out Align Your Brand – it’s self paced and the journey I take myself and my 1:1 clients on every time we need to readjust.
I want you to envision where you could be in your business, or if you’re reading this and you’re like – “Hey, I’m killing it. I’m doing great. I’m being so consistent.” – But maybe it’s an area of life like your fitness, your relationship, your marriage, or the one that you would desire or a friendship or your parenting, whatever area it might be. Take some time and visualize and write it down.
This is even more powerful if you could write down what you envision in a year. So it’s the end of 2023 or whichever year you’re reading this, and it’s the end of the year.
It’s December 31st (year XXXX). Think about the person that you are and the results that you would have if you stayed consistent.
Write it down.
- What would you be feeling?
- What would your bank account look like?
- How would you feel about showing up and keeping promises to yourself, having that loyalty to yourself?
- Maybe you always show up for other people, but not consistently for yourself. What if you did that for you?
- How would you feel?
- How would that impact your family?
- How would that impact your relationships?
- What would you look like?
- How would you be dressing?
- Who would you be working with?
- What would your audience size be?
Think about all the possibilities if you showed up and were consistent with your plan, whatever that plan is. If you don’t have a plan, you need to get a plan. No, willy-nilly over here.
Lastly, I wanted to speak to the woman who may be going through a hard time, whether it’s something that’s a mental health issue or something that’s temporary. Maybe you’ve experienced trauma, maybe you’re in a period of time, you’ve experienced loss or you’re experiencing grief, or there’s something that is just bringing your vibe down – you know the feeling when you just don’t feel like showing up.
I have a whole episode on this – how to show up in a season when you don’t feel like it. And I really encourage you to go back and listen to it.
When I launched my coaching business, it was the lowest point of my life at that point. I actually had started taking an anti-anxiety medication for anxiety and something else that was going on. Even with that, and even with the support of my parents literally living in the house with me and helping with Taylor, I just had the toughest time showing up, and for the first part of that time period, I would sit in front of the computer and beat myself up because I couldn’t get my executive functioning to work, but I felt like I just had to keep trying and pushing myself to do something. I would sit literally in front of the computer dorking around a little bit, but I wasn’t really doing anything but feeling like somehow that was going to be helpful.
What really changed was giving myself grace and allowing myself to do what felt good when it felt good in that time period, but always doing a little something. It wasn’t what I was used to doing or producing, especially when, at the time, I was majorly producing in all the areas, social selling, all the things. I was able to do all of that in a very different state of nervous system.
Talk about pivoting your strategies, business model, expectations, etc, when you are going through it. There are ways to continue showing up, and I tell you some of those personal details because I get it. I really do, but I bet you there are other things that you’ve been consistent in, even if it’s not your business.
One thing that I would challenge you to do is if there are areas in which you’re consistent and it’s not your business, think about what are the elements that are in place for those other areas that help you to be consistent. I was talking to a friend of mine who has completed 75 hard two times. That’s so much discipline, and a lot of people cannot stick with that. They don’t even wanna start that, let alone complete it, but she has. So what are those elements that are in place? Is it the structure? Really analyze that – journal about it, think about it.
Then ask yourself how can you apply that at this point in your life? Instead of starting and stopping all the time, how can you change some of the structure of your life or business when you’re going through a tough time?
Maybe instead of doing a bunch of reels with your face and talking, maybe that’s doing five reels a week, but they’re quotes set to a video off of Canva as the background with music. Maybe that’s all you can do, but at least you’re showing up still. If it makes you uncomfortable to share a certain way, change your strategy, continue to provide value, continue to get your message and your brand out there, just pivot a little bit to how you feel comfortable.
For me, I had to go completely into a private Facebook group (Elevate Academy) for a long time, and as it turns out, that’s still where I love to show up, because guess what? That group was my home base, my safe space in building my business for so long that now, even though I’m not in a place where I feel like I need to be private, that’s where I love to go. If you’re not in there, we welcome you. If you’re a female entrepreneur, building a personal brand and business, you are always welcome.
Starting and Stopping Overall Message
My message overall is this.
It’s a little tough love, but it’s give yourself some discipline, but also give yourself grace. It’s a beautiful thing when you learn to know the difference within your own self. This is part of self-leadership – knowing am I going through some mental health stuff right now? Am I going through something that I need to focus on and figure out a way where I can still continue to show up in a different way? Or do I really need to stop? And you’ll know when that is. But for the woman who is frustrated by the starting and stopping, no matter what season of life, discipline is really, truly freedom.
Discipline is freedom. Having a business plan, working that plan, knowing when and where you’re gonna show up and what you’re gonna be posting, that makes all the difference in helping you to develop that habit of discipline that really does bring freedom. Sometimes we think of discipline as restrictive, but it never is. It leads to all the things that we want, all the results that we want, that give us that freedom.
The mental freedom, physical freedom, financial freedom, ALL THE FREEDOMS. So I challenge you to find a structure that can give you that discipline and that you can work within, find a business, model, a business plan, and work it every day, and hopefully it’s something that gets you really excited because the things that we’re excited about and the things that we love and that feel good – we’re way more likely to do, even if we have to slow down to that base pace versus a push pace.
Have you found yourself starting and stopping in life and business? Tell me in the comments about it and let me know if this was helpful!
Looking to connect with other women who are on a journey to make an income and impact through their personal brand? Join Elevate Academy For Brand-Building Marketers & Maverick Mompreneurs™.