One of the most precious things in a new venture is momentum.

When you have it anything seems possible. When you don’t … sometimes it’s difficult to stay positive.

And it’s always fleeting in the early stages. You have it, and then it slips through your fingers.

Over the last couple of weeks, for a bunch of mostly unrelated reasons (school holidays, distraction from other urgent things and the ebb and flow of enthusiasm for something new), I’ve lost momentum on this project.

It’s frustrating.

You want to make the boat go faster, but you cannot steer a boat that isn’t moving.

As I said in the first post here:

In my experience the reality is always messy and complicated, and often difficult and unsuccessful. But generally heaps more interesting.

I guess this is one of those moments!

So, this is what I’ve been doing:

  • I’ve refocussed on the immediate next milestone, which is to get this to a point where I can make it available to anybody who wants to sign-up and use it. I now have a much clearer list of the work that is left to do, and while it’s not as short as I’d like I figure better the devil I know than the devil I don’t.

  • I’ve got moving, literally. A couple of weeks ago I signed up to do the Tour de Gravel (a four stage mountain bike race - see my Strava activities 1, if you’re interested in the details). That forced me to spend the weekend sucking in air, rather than looking at a screen, which could not have been better timed. Based on past experience I shouldn’t be so surprised how much better I feel after doing something like that.

  • I’ve reminded myself why I’m spending time on this in the first place, which is because I want this tool to exist so I can use it myself. It’s easy to forget that when dealing with feedback from beta users, which necessarily puts the spotlight on the things that don’t quite work yet. The most encouraging thing from the last week was a few minutes I spent setting up a dashboard for one of the ventures we work with. It was encouraging to see how close we’re getting to something that is really quick to use and immediately useful.

Hopefully that is enough to get some momentum back. Evidence will be in the next post.

I’m interested to hear your suggestions. What do you do to get a project moving again when you’re feeling stuck?

  1. Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 & Stage 4 ↩︎