Big events like landing a great client, hiring a new person, or getting mentioned in the press generate a lot of momentum for a business. They create positive growth and make for a great soundbite.
It’s tempting to focus on these sorts of things. They are tangible and easy and get excited about. But its important to keep them in perspective. The fundamental problem with momentum is that it dissipates over time. Momentum has a short half-life, and it ebbs and flows. One month you are on fire, then next maybe not so much.
Thats why when building a business or a brand, one of the critical components to consider is trajectory. Trajectory is the slope of your growth as it relates to time. The components are often different for each company, but the general it relates to things like revenue, market share and sales growth. Your focus should be to undertake things that make the growth curve steeper, which leads to faster progress.
Momentum events are short-term in nature, while trajectory is focused on long-term progress. It involves looking at the bigger picture and widening your view. This enables you to make decisions in the present that will make a bigger difference in the long term. Or in the words of Walter Gretzky, “skate to where the puck is going”