Idea Incubator 19: Maintain Motivational Momentum


Please see new version at:

glass collection of Liane Sebastian
The more creative an idea, the more resistance it will cause. As an external measurement, negative feedback can inspire determination or kill ambition. Despite the reception, a good idea is relentless. It itches. It haunts. At night, it appears in dreams. During the day, it pops up in clues. It won’t go away.

Though persistent, when the itchy idea climbs the ladder of development and makes a launch dive off the platform, the easiest part is over. Keeping enthusiasm, momentum, and following through take more energy and discipline that beginning. It takes fuel to keep going, to absorb what is worth developing and to ignore the rest.

Keeping motivation uses techniques learned through practice, but can be set up in advance to ensure progress. Nell Merlino knows more about creating business opportunities from ideas than anyone else. This year is the deadline for her Make Mine a Million program begun eight years ago. As I go off to investigate how many millionaire businesses they’ve grown, I revisit my interview with her and remember the challenges she outlined.

“Those who succeed have a sustaining passion. They overcome barriers that are both systemic and personal. So determined to grow their businesses, they fight to overcome resistance.”
—Nell Merlino, contributor to Women who Win at Work

All passions need a fighting commitment for materializing projects. The way to keep the fire alive through the process will indicate the depth of conviction. Construct a foundation that will help to confront the barriers of resistance:

What are your greatest work joys? Match each with how you keep that passion fed.

Does your profession possess systemic barriers for flexibility (such as glass ceilings, economic restrictions, stiff competition, distribution limits, visibility opportunities)? Match each barrier with at least one idea to overcome.

What are first steps you can take for each overcoming idea?

Who can you ask for advice on your ideas? What is your reaction to their advice?

After collecting some of your own ideas, I offer some of mine below.

Creative Cultivation: fuel-building ideas from Liane

It is hard to sustain enthusiasm over a long-term project. Distraction tugs, other projects tempt, detours threaten. Harder than starting an initiative is staying with it to completion. The longer the project, the harder to achieve. Whatever time planned, a project will take double before completion. Although I start a lot of initiatives, I take them to a level of testing their viability and then only pursue a small percentage. Knowing what resources large projects eat up, I am careful about commitment. But when I do embark, keeping enthusiasm is critical.

Using a number of fuel-building techniques, perhaps some of these will inspire your ability to keep passions alive through the development process:

• keep to a schedule and thus create habits
• organize and plan projects to pick up and put down
• use workbooks to plot and record progress
• collect quotations that inspire
• define style and build through signature elements
• take a related field trip
• keep up with work of others through key blog list
• interview those that can instruct; keep questions handy
• take strategic breaks to gain a fresh perspective
• strategize how to handle barriers: go around, go under, climb over, burrow through, or take a detour.

See the developing series of Idea Incubators.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer


Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “Idea Incubator 19: Maintain Motivational Momentum”

  1. Idea Incubator 24: Emotions as Creative Guideposts « Wisdomofwork's Blog Says:

    […] passion as a sign post for viability. Develop a project plan to focus and actualize. #19: “Maintain Motivational Momentum ” Edit ideas ruthlessly and then follow the best ones passionately. Build techniques that can […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: