Sunday, May 09, 2010

Climbing Mount Momentum

Becoming a successful, money-making author is like being a mountain climber. You can't fulfil your big dream or goals without a lot of hard work, sweat, and a plan of attack, but once the momentum starts rolling, the climb becomes easier as long as you take it one step at a time. The successful, money-making author and the mountain climber must first prepare themselves, and they have similar checklists.

Mount Momentum Checklist:
  1. You have to assess your goals. What do you want to achieve? You want to make it to the top, of course. How will you get there? How long will it take?
  2. Scope out the landscape. What are others like you doing? How are they making it to the top? Can you duplicate this? How hard will it be? What are you prepared to sacrifice to get there?
  3. Practice on smaller mountains. Don't just rush up the biggest mountain you can find. Practice on some smaller hills first. Practice makes perfect--or at least it'll help keep you alive. Practice with a safety net or harness. Don't quit your day job to go running off to that mountain. Use others for support too.
  4. Accumulate the right gear and tools. You wouldn't try climbing Mount Momentum with stilettos and a pair of driving gloves, would you? If you answered 'yes', please go to the next post in this blog. If you answered 'I'm not that stupid', keep reading. Make sure you have the right tools, the stuff that'll make your goal much easier to reach. Be prepared. Sometimes this step can take a while. But that's better than slipping and falling off the mountain, isn't it?
  5. Invest a huge amount of physical energy. Once you've taken that first step up that mountain, be prepared to become exhausted. This is draining work. You're trying to haul your butt up to the top of a peak you can only imagine, unless you've been there before. Your body is going to hurt. Your mind is going to hurt. Take frequent pauses along the way, but don't stop too long. Keep your eye on the prize.
  6. Maintain a bulldog-like persistence. Keep your eye on the prize. Yes, I know I just said that, but it bears repeating. Go after what you want with all you've got. Don't stop until you get to the top. If you lose your grip and slide down a bit, take a breath, reconsider where you're at and where you want to be, then start climbing again.
  7. Climb with a friend. Use the buddy system for safety and encouragement. Pair up with someone who has the same goals. Arrange joint climbing ventures. Learn from each other. Support each other and cheer each other on. And if one of you falls, make sure the other is there to catch. Or at least make sure he falls first so you can land on him (ok, joking).
  8. Re-evaluate your goals. If you fall off Mount Momentum completely, it'll suck. You have to start all over again. First, make sure you really want to get to the top. Maybe you could do some other kind of extreme sport--like kayaking or ping-pong. Maybe that damned mountain just isn't all that important. But if it's still your deepest desire to get to the top, pack on your climbing gear and get moving. The longer you sit on your butt, the faster the momentum disappears. Until one day it's just a dream again.
  9. Pray to the Universe for a streak of luck. All it takes is one misplaced foot, one wrong slip, one faulty piece of equipment, or one giant thunderstorm to set you back. Luck plays an important role in your success as a successful, money-making, author mountain climber. Without luck, you're dead in the water--even though this is a mountain analogy. Without luck, you wouldn't even be in the position to consider climbing that freakin' mountain.
Now go out and conquer Mount Momentum, before you lose your courage--or your place in line.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

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