This is a draft of Chapter 25 of the book I’m writing, Building the Invincible You. In it, I share a framework and strategies for:
Amplifying your power in your work and life.
Regaining your freedom to spend more of your time the way you wish you could.
Building the future you want for yourself and your loved ones.
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“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”
— Frances E. Willard
If you’ve reached this chapter, you’ve learned a lot of strategies that can help you create an invincible career and life. You’ve probably already put some activities into motion that are building a more Invincible You, too.
As I’m sure you’ve experienced in your life, getting started with a positive change is the hardest part. It is so challenging to make that first move and build momentum. Sadly, most people settle for less and never get started. They keep making promises to change their lives next year but never act on it. Year after year after year…
A significant number of people will get started, but they give up before momentum kicks in. They don’t create successful new habits. They don’t kick their bad habits. When they don’t see quick results, they stop and say that it didn’t work.
This is truly unfortunate because it’s so much easier to maintain momentum than to start and build momentum. If they could have stuck with their plans for a little longer, they would have discovered that their “body in motion” would tend to stay in motion.
I experienced this with my efforts to work out, lose weight, and stay in shape. I shared the story of my fitness journey in chapter 11. For years, I would make a New Year’s resolution to start working out every day. It usually lasted for a few weeks before I gave up. This sad state of affairs went on for a very long time.
The breakthrough came after about six months of consistently working out almost every morning and walking or running with my wife at night or on the weekends. It took almost six months before I saw some results that gave me hope. I was losing weight, getting stronger, and looking better. People were noticing and asking me questions about my diet and exercise program.
The same will be true for anything meaningful you want to do. Results usually don’t come quickly. Many things will try to derail your commitment and progress. There will be days you want to give up. There will be people who want you to give up (believe it or not). You will feel frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged sometimes.
However, all of this is a normal part of the process! It happens to everyone who changes their lives. If you can push through the sticking points and build your momentum, you will reach a day when things start to feel easier. I can’t promise that it will feel effortless, but it will be different than before. You’ll feel “in the groove” and want to keep moving ahead. New successes will build on a foundation of past successes.
You become a different person. A more powerful person. Dare I say, a more invincible person?
So, I’d like to share some strategies and techniques that can help you maintain your momentum when you feel like giving up.
Remembering your Why
I discussed your “Why” and your big goals in chapter 7. You identified your ideal vision of your future in chapter 4. Let’s take a moment to revisit that.
Does your Why still motivate you?
Do you still want to reach those goals?
Is the long-term vision of your life still desirable?
If you give up now, what happens to all of it? If you don’t maintain forward momentum, you won’t achieve your goals, and your vision may not come true. That would be a shame. Most people live their lives settling for less, but I hope you won’t.
When your commitment to living your life as a more Invincible You falters, think about how you can remind yourself about your Why. You may not need a daily reminder, but it helps to use something that serves as an occasional nudge.
Here are some ideas:
Print a simple reminder of your Why and your goals that you can place near your workspace. For example, I have a page near my laptop that reminds me of the work I most enjoy, so I can keep focusing on making it come true.
Use photos for your computer’s desktop wallpaper and screensaver that remind you of where you ideally want to live (e.g., a photo of a cabin in the mountains, a beach house, or a cute apartment in Paris).
Frame photographs of your Why to place where you’ll see them often (e.g., your children).
Start your morning journaling activity by writing what your current big goal is and what you’ll do to move closer to it every day. I do this every morning!
Create a daily affirmation that you can repeat to yourself (e.g., “I will launch my own business a year from now.”).
When you’re feeling discouraged, take a moment to visualize the future you are pursuing.
Track your progress (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly) that shows you how much closer you are to reaching your goals. It helps to compare where you are today to where you were in the past.
My wife and I recently discussed the strategy of comparing your current self to your past self instead of comparing yourself to others and perhaps feeling envious. I know my 21-year-old self would be so happy to see how my life has turned out. He’d be delighted that I live near the mountains, spend lots of time in the forest, am married to an amazing woman, raised three wonderful children, and run my own business.
I am often frustrated when I make the mistake of comparing myself to others.
They achieved success at a younger age.
I don’t play guitar as well as they do.
Their business is more successful.
They’ve published more books.
Their art is better than mine.
However, I know the old me would take a look at my life and say, “Seriously? What are you complaining about? I would love to have what you have.”
So, if you’re feeling discouraged about slow progress and feel like quitting, I encourage you to look back on your life to some of your earliest memories. Notice how far you’ve come. Remember how much you’ve accomplished. Pay attention to the long-term trends.
Project forward to anticipate where you might be in the future and that will encourage you to maintain momentum. Start measuring and tracking a few key metrics that will help you visualize your progress. I covered this in more detail in chapter 22.
Doing this certainly helped me when I started my fitness journey many years ago. I kept track of my weight loss, weightlifting data (e.g., max deadlift, bench, squat), hiking and running miles, etc. Seeing that progress motivated me to set new goals.
If you’re great at motivating yourself, this might seem easy. But, if you struggle with it, find a few friends who are good at lifting you up when you’re feeling down. Connect with people who will support, encourage, and motivate you to stay on track.
Habits can carry you forward when motivation fails. I talked about creating sustainable habits in chapter 10. When you create a daily routine to pursue your most important goals, you just automatically do what needs to be done vs. waiting or hoping for inspiration.
The most successful authors have daily writing habits.
I work out every afternoon instead of skipping the gym when I feel like it.
I journal about my business every morning while I drink my coffee.
My friend, who is great at sales, calls leads every single day.
My job-seeking career clients connect with 1-3 people in their network every day.
If you want to maintain momentum so you can achieve your goals, you must consistently chip away at the activities that will get you there. Show up every day and make some progress, no matter how small. Sometimes, the pursuit of success is a game of inches.
Those who win are those who never stop. Those who reach their dreams are those who never give up.
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.”
— Jim Rohn
Finding peer support
As I mentioned in chapter 7, accountability can help you achieve your goals. It’s easier to maintain your momentum when you’re surrounded by people who are on the same journey and want to see you succeed. For example, I’ve made friends with other solopreneurs and entrepreneurs who encourage and support me. We help each other solve problems and push each other to keep working to pursue our goals.
Recently, I also joined a short cohort course with a number of other students. The class met every week, and we also formed smaller groups to give each other feedback and support. It really helped! I looked forward to seeing everyone, and it encouraged me to do the work and keep showing up.
I talked a lot about community in chapter 17. It’s probably the most important investment you can make in maintaining your momentum to achieve your goals. Many people give up on their vision for their future because they feel alone and there are times when it just gets so hard to keep going. With all of the resources so readily available online now, no one should ever feel that lonely in their pursuit of their dreams. No matter what it is that you want for yourself, there are others who are also on that journey and can help you along the way.
I’m in a few writing communities that have been helping me as I write my books.
I have made friends with several people who are into weightlifting, which encourages me to keep working out and posting.
I have joined entrepreneurial communities that help educate and motivate me.
I am friends with numerous solopreneurs, and we talk every week.
I created my own solopreneur community, and I share advice every week in a newsletter.
Maintaining your power
Some people will be uncomfortable when you start demonstrating your newfound sense of power. It will be obvious you are living your life differently. The dynamics in your relationships with others will probably change.
You no longer tolerate being treated in unpleasant ways.
You leave situations that no longer serve you well.
You are becoming more confident and bold.
You’re asking for more of what you want.
Your expectations are increasing.
Maintaining your forward momentum in life will require maintaining your new power, too. You must resist backsliding into old power dynamics. Other people’s discomfort is no reason to stop pursuing what you want and asking for what you need. Your happiness and fulfillment matter just as much as anyone else’s needs!
Maintaining your freedom
Reclaiming your precious freedom is an integral part of becoming the invincible you. Maintaining your freedom is essential for maintaining your momentum. It will slow if you let someone start taking away the time you need to focus on your personal goals.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this. I know I have!
In chapter 11, I mentioned how hard I worked to create a daily habit of exercising. I couldn’t make it stick until my 40s. But, once I got my workout routine locked in, I fought to sustain it. More than once, someone tried to interfere with my schedule and make me skip my workout so I could do something they wanted (e.g., attend a meeting). For over 14 years, I’ve had to push back, say No, and maintain my calendar freedom to keep investing in my health and wellness.
You can use your calendar to protect your time fiercely. Become comfortable with saying No to things that are a lower priority than what you need to do. Schedule the time you need to focus on tasks that will help you achieve your goals.
Also, you sometimes need to remember why you left bad situations so you can maintain your freedom from them. Don't get sucked back into drama, toxic environments, or negative relationships. Life is too short to waste a minute doing that!
Finally, I want to talk about the momentum of your career. Almost every career has peaks and a lifespan. Almost every profession has a season.
Maintaining momentum with your employer
Sometimes people hear my advice and think they should immediately quit their jobs, abandon their professions, and build entirely new careers. That’s not what I’m recommending. If you’re learning and growing in your job, stay and make the most of it!
My current solopreneur business was easier to build because of how far I took my corporate career. Becoming an executive helped. Building a strong network helped. Learning public speaking, marketing, sales, and how to run a P&L helped. All of that acquired knowledge and experience came from my jobs. Then, I was able to exit and move into running my own thing more successfully.
Timing is important. If you're riding a good wave with your current employer, take it as far as you can before moving to the next one.
You should obviously stick around when things are going well. For example:
Your career is clearly growing within the company.
You’re regularly receiving promotions.
You’re receiving big raises (i.e., way above a cost of living increase).
You’re still acquiring valuable new skills, knowledge, and experience.
But, for most people, staying in a job for too long has diminishing returns. On average, being employed at the same company for over two years will make you earn less over your lifetime — by about 50% or more.
Don’t let an employer slow your career momentum. If they don’t value you, find a new employer who will.
Maintaining momentum in your first-act career
Just as surfers love to catch and ride big waves, your career has waves too. It’s those moments in time when you experience accelerated professional momentum.
The stars feel aligned.
You’re crushing it at work.
Your talent is finally recognized.
You’re receiving promotion after promotion.
You land great new jobs with ease.
Your confidence soars.
Everyone seems to want more of you and what you can do.
You feel like you’re on top of the world.
You may be lucky and catch a few decent waves in your long-term career. A few people may enjoy an early wave, then flounder and struggle, but make a comeback—or change careers or professions—and have the good fortune to catch a second wave.
Some folks perk up when they realize that they are on a wave. But they don’t capitalize on it and ride it as hard as they should. Fear, impostor syndrome, and misplaced loyalty make them put on the brakes.
This is tragic because once momentum is lost, the wave dies down, and careers stagnate. You may never get a second chance.
So, I’m here to tell you, do not make that mistake. If you’re lucky enough to catch a great wave, you’d better ride it as hard as you can for as long as you can. But what do I mean by “riding your wave”? How do you keep the momentum going?
Here are 10 steps that can help you make the most of your wave when it happens.
1. Lean into the momentum
When you feel the positive momentum of your wave — your moment in time — enjoy being a hot commodity. Lean into it and accelerate hard.
2. Don’t be afraid
"Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true."
— Patrick Swayze
I get it. Velocity can be frightening. It can be overwhelming. But, you have to overcome the fear and create strategies to manage your stress and anxiety. Get help if you need it.
3. Don’t put on the brakes
Some people aren’t necessarily afraid, but they do let up. All too often, I watch people succeed and immediately take their foot off the gas.
But we live in a world of friction. That momentum eventually slows if you don’t keep driving forward while the wind is at your back.
4. Kill your impostor syndrome
When things are going well and we’re making good progress, we start to question ourselves. The higher we climb, the more doubt and uncertainty creep in:
I’ve watched people lose momentum due to fear and impostor syndrome. Don’t let it rob you of a chance to maximize your potential.
5. Eliminate friction
What’s holding you back? What’s slowing you down? We all have something that is creating professional friction and risking our career progress.
Get rid of those bad habits. Acquire the skills you need. Do whatever you can to reduce friction to keep the momentum of your wave going as long as you can.
6. Seize opportunities
When you’re riding up to the peak of your career wave, you’ll notice that more opportunities start flowing your way. That’s what I mean by becoming an “opportunity magnet.”
However, you can let these moments pass you by. Be brave and seize those opportunities to make the most of them and maintain your momentum.
7. Take bigger risks
You have to take bigger risks while you can before it’s too late. This is similar to Retirement Planning 101. The earlier you can put more money into your retirement fund — and invest in higher risk/higher reward opportunities — the bigger the return will be in the end.
And, much like retirement, you don’t want to take your biggest risks in the end when you could lose everything. It’s easier to bounce back from mistakes when you’re younger and riding high on your wave.
8. Be careful with your loyalty
When an employer treats you well, you should treat them well in return. Work hard and give your best to your job.
But if your progress slows down, don’t wait too long. Take advantage of your career momentum to maximize your growth and earning potential. If your employer isn’t supporting that, a new one will.
9. Build your professional brand
The best time to build your professional brand is when you’re winning. Take advantage of your momentum and push hard to create a visible presence in your industry and online.
Grow your audience while you can. Build a strong professional network when you’re riding high on your wave.
10. Capitalize on your success
When you’re in the middle of riding your big wave, take advantage of your good fortune. Find ways to extend your success in one arena into opportunities in others.
When your success pays off, resist the urge to grow your lifestyle to match. I’ve watched too many people live just within their means (or beyond) because they thought their career wave would keep rising up and up and up. When it slowed or even reversed, they found themselves in financial trouble.
Maintaining momentum into retirement
The final wave of momentum should carry you into your second-act career, semi-retirement, and retirement. You want to end your working life on a high note, which means you must pay attention to the decay of your current wave.
Don't be that person who didn't recognize when it was time to pack up and leave the game that no longer wants or needs you on the playing field. Find a better game or, better yet, create your own game and write your own rules. If you do this well, it will build your last legacy until your final days.
I saw the writing on the wall with my tech career. I had already left my previous employers and professions. I was still in the tech industry, but my time was coming to an end there, too. So, I created a business that leveraged the assets of my experience and wisdom vs. seeing my age as a liability.
What will you do after your primary career ends? How will you maintain your momentum to keep living an amazing life?
Use your remaining momentum to create a transition plan that will let you coast to the “finish line.” Find something meaningful to do with your remaining days. Full retirement isn’t so great anyway.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
— C. S. Lewis
Reach back and help others. This recommendation is less about momentum — and climbing higher — and more about giving back and feeling fulfillment.
Successful actors become directors before it’s too late (e.g., Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Jodie Foster).
Hot music artists start their own record labels (e.g., Jay Z, The Beatles, Dave Grohl.
World-class athletes know when to hang it up and transition into coaching (e.g., Bill Russell, Martina Navratilova, Mike Ditka).
People like me leave the corporate world and advise the next generation of leaders.
When you choose the right wave and ride it well, that momentum sets you up for the rest of your journey. When you reach the end of that wave, you can intentionally create your own wave that will take you the rest of the way.
You will always have new goals, new dreams, and a vision for how you want to live your life. Becoming invincible means you can give yourself the space, freedom, and time to maintain your momentum to pursue all of it.
Thank you for reading! This chapter is public, so feel free to share it.
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I’m Larry Cornett, a Success Coach who can work with you to optimize your career, life, or business. My mission is to help you take complete control of your life so you can become a more “Invincible You.” I currently live in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with my wife and our Great Dane.