Momentum

I've been in Canberra for the last two days and I'm looking forward to being home with my children tonight.

I miss them when I'm away.

Work has been good lately — but, as with any small business we've had our share of small issues. Nothing major, but little bumps in the road that have me checking if I'm heading in the right direction. Adjusting and readjusting. Many readers of this weekly journal own their own businesses — small, large and in between — and I'm sure you'll understand that it's actually all part of the joy and privilege of being able to make your own destiny.

I've also faced my own personal hurdle of late.

A few months ago I let you know that I started a journey to write a book and I've recently stalled.

I started with gusto and then hit a wall. Stuck with the key themes and narrative I was building. I thought it was going to be about one thing, but after interviewing an amazing group of people, it has now got me thinking that it might in fact be about something else.

I've managed to interview the heads of design, user experience, digital and strategy at organisations like The Walt Disney Company, Wall Street Journal, Pinterest and Google to name a few — and what is coming back has me thinking that the framework of this book is now going to explode into something much bigger than I originally thought. A good problem to have, but a hurdle nonetheless.

It's stopped me in my tracks and has had me scratching my head for weeks!

To be honest with you, these interviews have opened my eyes at what leadership means for us as creative people. They have opened my eyes towards a new type of leadership that we as creative people have the ability to harness.

And thus, my momentum stalled for a little while — but I'm making a point of reframing my initial thoughts on themes and topics, and pushing forward later this week.

Which, this week, has me thinking about momentum and the importance of it.

I have a friend. Yes, believe it or not I do.

Let's call this friend of mine Dimitri for the sake of this article. Dimitri is an interesting cat to say the least.

See, Dimitri is one of those people — an experienced, accomplished creative person with a lot of reasons to be proud of when it comes to his career. I've admired his ability to navigate this career — the ups and the downs — with integrity and composure.

I shared a drink with Dimitri last week and he told me of a podcast idea he had — he was so excited about it. He showed me notes, sketches and references of other podcasts. He told me how many episodes he was going to record, the length of each episode and the way it was going to provide value to the audience he was aiming to attract to it.

It was the same podcast idea he told me about last year.

I've known Dimitri for close to 17 years, so I feel comfortable being open and honest with him. I also know, that he trusts my feedback and understood clearly where I was coming from when I said:

"Cut the shit mate. Stop the chit chat, get off your arse and do something with it or kill it and move on."

He paused for a moment and looked me straight in the eye. He wasn't mad with me — he knew I cut straight to the core of what he was already thinking. And, being a long-time friend of mine, he knew I said it with love and kindness.

Just as a good friend should. With. Love.

After a little laugh at my abruptness, I told my dear friend that he should just record one episode. Just one. He should file it, not listen to it and then record another. Not to get it right but to begin something simple.

To begin creating momentum. Not for his audience which doesn't exist, but for himself.

"If you're not moving, you're not moving. Simple."

Dimitri was standing still. He may have filled his notebook with more detail about his podcast but he hadn't done the one thing that truly mattered. The one thing that would teach him more than any scribble in a notebook could.

He was hesitant to take the first step. He was afraid to do something that may prove that his idea wasn't as wonderful as he once thought — and he failed to understand that this was one of the greatest lessons of all.

He didn't understand that getting started wasn't about perfection. It was about moving forward and not standing still. It was about building up a habit, a rhythm and a resilience toward things that will inevitably pop up and try to stop you — and sometimes they will, but you'll have the fortitude to get back up and keep on going.

Momentum is underrated and not often spoken of.

It is something that gives you the impetus, motivation and proof that your idea is worth pursuing.

Or not.

Something that teaches you to change, redirect and pivot, or keep going in the same direction because those notes, lists and ideas in that notebook were right all along.

Without it, you're standing still.

With it, not much can stop you.