What to do if you are feeling stuck.
Author Jodi Womack brings her strength and experience of executive coaching from the Get Momentum Leadership Academy to her writing. Her firsthand experience of business management, marketing and customer service translates to the fast paced and demanding roles that face busy professionals today. Jodi focuses on delivering immediately practical solutions to the opportunities all business professionals face. She coauthored Get Momentum: How to start when you’re stuck. (Wiley, 2016), which we reviewed here. She writes about building your business by building your professional network for business magazines like Fast Company online and MariaShriver.com. We took the opportunity to talk all things ‘momentum’ with Jodi recently.
Q: Was this book prompted by a time in your life when you felt stuck? If so, can you tell us more?
A: We’ve been coaching people in the Get Momentum program for over 5 years. Even the most successful looking people get stuck sometimes… in their life, with their family, in their careers. And the most successful people I’ve ever met, are the most coachable. They’re looking for insights on how to get through their challenges. They’re NOT being stoic in trying to figure it all out on their own. That’s how my husband, Jason, and I wrote this book. We shared personal stories as well as client stories of being stuck and how to get out of it.
Q: In chapter one you talk about a fear of people around you ‘not showing up’ to support you in the way you hoped they would. At this stage it is just a fear – but what if you use the techniques outlined in the book, and your people actually don’t show up…?
A: The second Momentum question is “Whom can you learn from?” And we focus primarily on mentors and influencers. And that’s key. Who you surround yourself with, definitely influences how you think, what you do, and the opportunities that arise. If the current people in your life aren’t supporting you, start seeking out those who do… And that can mean changing the books you read, videos you watch and people you hang out with. socially. If you’re trying to loose weight, and all your friends meet up at the bar after work, you’re NEVER going to change your behavior to going for a workout or anything healthy. You’ll need to find a new social community that is in alignment with your new goals. And it works the same for starting up a small business, implementing a healthy lifestyle or any other positive changing you’re seeking to make.
Q: We often hear from readers who get really enthusiastic about new processes they read about, but have trouble sticking with them. What advice would you offer?
A: Sure! New shiny things are always fun to play with. Like a new diet. A new workout. A new product idea. But eventually… we go back to what we know and what’s comfortable. Old habits never go away. Instead, we have to replace them with good habits and make that our new normal. We need an emotional connection to these new habits. I encourage people to start small and connect new habits to old ones they already have… Like put vitamins next to your toothbrush. If taking vitamins is the new healthy habit you want to make into a regular routine, connect it to something you do automatically, like brushing your teeth. Make the new habits EASY to choose. Put out your workout closes in the morning, so they’re the first things you see.
Q: We love that you mention book clubs in your book. In all the work you’ve done, can you tell us about any businesses that included reading and personal development as part of their company DNA?
A: Yes, and no… I can’t name names of private clients, but I will tell you that we’ve done book club workshops for aerospace companies and Fortune 100 companies! These companies promote life-long learning. They KNOW their employees are engaged and thinking of the next new big thing. I wrote about that experience and some great business book club articles here.
Q: You talk about the importance of monitoring. Can it go to far? At what stage does the ‘target’ become the goal at the expense of the bigger ‘purpose’?
A: Ha, this is great. Some people get so into the organizing of the organizational system, they forget what their real task is! None of us were hired to manage email or sit in meetings. Those are just strange tasks that have taken over most people’s workdays. When we talk about monitoring, the first question we ask is “What POSITIVE things are happening that you can acknowledge?” This is important for 2 reasons: #1 people are trained to look for what’s wrong… what’s broken. So they go through life focused on the negative. I encourage people to ADD the positive focus. Consider who’s doing great work. Who went out of their way to make something better. Who did just a bit extra? Acknowledge those behaviors and see if they start appearing more in the workplace. It’s all based on Behavioral Psychology. Reinforce the behaviors your want to see.
Q: Tell us, what do you want be known for?
A: I want to be known for empowering women to intentionally design their professional lives and giving them the tools to make that possible.