There is no doubt about it. If you’re dreaming about launching a new business, ministry, a product or service… You’ve got some questions! Even if you’ve done it before, every launch is different. Your mission will be different, the people you’ll want on your team will be different, the challenges that you will face will be different!
Don’t worry. I’ve been though many launches at this point in my journey. I’ve started my own businesses, ran a small business incubator and I’ve helped women across different industries get their dream out of their head and into real life.
Although each launch is different, there are certain principals that are common across the board.
As you prepare to bring your dream to life, you’re going to want to take these four tips into consideration.
1. Set a date.
Launches have dates. They are not these ambiguous processes that gradually occur. A launch is a certain period of time where a dream goes from private to public… and it’s scheduled… on a calendar…. at a time… on a clock. If you don’t set a date on the calendar, you will inevitably either delay the start because of fear, or never get to it out of lack of motivation.
A specific launch date (and time) also builds anticipation and urgency within your audience. If there is no scheduled date, your audience has nothing to look forward to. And if there is no date that the launch ends, there is no urgency to get in. You have got to schedule a period of time that is your launch.
You’ll need to figure out what kind of timeline you’ll need. Some processes will be lengthy while others will feel fast. Depending on the type of launch you’re doing, think through some of the processes you’ll need to go through and get the date on the calendar. As you get closer to the date, you’ll probably decide at some point that you’ve chosen the wrong date. It’s okay. Stick to it!
Don’t change the date. There will always be things that come up and interrupt your ideal launch date. Those things might even mean you need to change the strategy or the features slightly, but don’t change the date. Tell the world and stick to it.
2. Get Clarity.
Be ruthless about getting clear on your end goal and what you value. There will be a million and one things that try to distract you from the goal along the way. People around you will have opinions. Certain things won’t work like you’ve wanted. You’ll get discouraged. And there will be things that you have to compromise on.
But there are some things that you cannot compromise on. At the onset, get clarity on the vision and values you have. And. Don’t. Waiver. From. Them.
Ask yourself what the end goal is. Write that down. What is the vision you’re going after? Then, think of who you want to be at the point of launch. Write that down. What are the values you want to hold true to? Those are the things that can’t change. You can be flexible on a whole lot of things in the launch process. You cannot be flexible on the vision and values. Otherwise, you’ll get into launch with regrets. I don’t want that for you! Get extreme clarity on the primary mission and on the qualities you want to hold true to along the way and you’ll love the results even if you’ve got other changes along the way.
3. Make Friends.
You. Will. Need. Them.
Make two kinds of friends as you get ready to launch. First, make the kinds of friends that are going to support you and encourage you. Launching is an incredibly vulnerable thing. You’ll be putting your heart and soul into something that is, at its core, a massive risk. When you open your cart to launch, you’ll feel pretty naked and you’ll need a friend to remind you that you’re not. Make friends that can remind you of reality to celebrate you, to encourage you and help you maintain faith that you’re on the right track.
Secondly, make the kinds of friends who will tell you the truth. These friends are harder to find. Especially the more popular you or your product becomes, you will find it challenging to find these truth tellers. But you need them. In the on-ramp to launch, you’ll need people to bounce ideas off of and friends to remind you of the vision and values.
Trust me, there will be moments when you don’t just want people to celebrate and encourage you. You will need people to be a truth teller for you and remind you of the things that really matter.
4. Find your Pace.
This one can be tricky. You’ll have so much energy being directed toward your launch, but let me challenge you of one thing. Here it is… Don’t get burnt out during the launch. Your work actually begins after you’ve sold your produce or service. Once you put your dream into the world, you have the work of scaling it, building your team, working out the dream. If you expend all of your energy during the pre-launch lead up, you won’t have the energy to carry out the very thing you’ve been building toward.
Find a steady pace and keep to it. Don’t allow yourself to do what so many people do- a flurry of activity at the beginning and a slow and painful trail off of energy at the end. Because the brunt of your work will be after launch, you’re in a marathon rather than a spring. So, when things go wrong. Breathe deeply. And when things feel easy. Breathe deeply. Be steady and methodical. Take intentional and pointed steps toward the goal. And remember, the goal isn’t the moment of launch. It’s the vision you’re chasing down.
How about you?
If you’ve launched before, what are the things that you’ve learned? If you’re preparing to launch your dream, what are the things that scare you most?