My first launch back in 2014 threw me for a total loop. I had no idea it would be so incredibly physically taxing and emotionally turbulent.
(By the way, by launch I mean opening doors for a finite amount of time and marketing and selling a product or a service. In my case, I’ve sold courses and now my signature GFY membership.)
It felt like I went through 10 different emotions in one day. From ‘on top of the world’ when that sale would come in to ‘total failure’ when I’d hear crickets or see some ‘mistake’ I’ve made.
With this emotional rollercoaster it would be difficult to wind down and sleep soundly at night. My alignment practices and self-care would go out the window, I’d be tired and unhappy to take care of the kids and my husband would get a much more volatile and cranky version of me.
I felt like no one really understood what I was going through and it felt really lonely and depressing. There were times when I felt so depleted, I would just want to quit my business all together.
And the harder I worked and the more I tried to have everything go ‘perfectly’, the more mishaps I’d attract and the worse I felt.
The truth is that launches are no joke. Imagine running a marathon, but at a sprinter’s pace and with the added consequences of not being able to pay your rent if it doesn’t go well.
If your launch doesn’t go as well as planned, i.e. you don’t hit some goal you have in your mind, it’s easy to feel discouraged, depressed and self-doubtful.
But even if your launch does go well and you achieve great success, you could feel so depleted that the achievement feels empty, unsatisfying and like it came at too high of a cost.
After my first launch (which was pretty successful and generated over $30K) I knew that when the time would come for later launches, I needed to make damn sure to prepare myself well.
Here are the 5 lessons I’ve learned from doing four launches over the last two and a half years.
I also include 3 ways to prepare for an upcoming launch that that I hope will not only help you avoid burnout, but to enjoy the whole journey before, during and after the launch AND guarantee more true satisfaction and success!
5 Painful Launch Lessons
Lesson 1: Embrace the emotional rollercoaster.
Recognize that you aren’t riding Disneyland teacups and buckle up for one wild and exciting ride.
This may feel like a time of high stakes – something you have been preparing for for a long time and a lot is riding on the success of the outcome.
During the launch, you may bounce from feeling on top of the world to questioning your every move.
Accepting that launches will shine light on your strengths and your weaknesses will allow you to embrace the process more (instead of being totally shocked and revolted by it).
I learned there is great benefit in just letting yourself feel everything, instead of trying to balance it out. So maybe for a few weeks you will work out less or eat out more… maybe your regular patterns will be disrupted and that’s OK. It’s temporary.
And maybe you could even think of it as an exciting way to test your limits and connect with new parts of yourself!
If you don’t resist the emotional ups and downs (which will only amplify them), but instead welcome them, you’ll direct your energy toward quickly moving through the ‘sticky’ parts, making adjustments and asking for support.
Lesson 2: Expect the Unexpected.
It is vital that you prepare emotionally and physically for possible wild cards. It’s important to learn to roll with anything that comes up (instead of it stopping you dead in your tracks).
During my last launch in May 2016, I ran my first challenge as a part of the launch.
When I opened enrollment for the 14-Day Manifest Miracles Challenge, I had over 1100 people register. I was hoping for and excited for that amount of participants, but I didn’t expect that they would be SO active.
I had planned to do a daily 5 minute Facebook live video and checkin 30-mins a day on the Facebook group. I didn’t foresee dozens, sometimes hundreds of posts a day that I wanted to respond to.
I gotta admit, at first I felt really overwhelmed. How was I supposed to finish all the sales emails and other launch prep activities (finish a complete redesign of the GFY Membership sales page for example) AND spend hours in the Miracles Challenge Facebook group? All while 7 months pregnant?
The short answer is that I couldn’t. So I decided to hire a sales page designer to handle the sales page design (which wasn’t in my budget and it was on very short notice) so that I could free up my time. I made a game-time decision to count on a more lucrative launch and spend the money to outsource what was initially on my to-do list.
I also adjusted my strategy to spend way less time writing sales emails and instead participated, commented and answered more questions in the challenge Facebook group so that the challengers would get a bigger taste of the value I provide to those that join my membership program.
My gamble paid off as I had the biggest launch so far with this new approach. But most importantly, I actually did what I most enjoyed during the launch – interacted with people and helped them improve their lives – and that was what made the launch successful for me in ways far beyond financial!
So the moral of the story is: don’t let anything stop you in your tracks to the point where a potential challenge feels bigger than your intention.
Remember that everything can serve you, and look for a way to turn lemons into lemonade.
Every launch will get easier, in that you will get better and better at the process. The first time is the most unfamiliar, and therefore the most challenging.
Lesson 3: Done is better than perfect.
After observing many of my colleagues launch after launch, I’ve seen emails with typos and broken links, all the emails in a sales sequence going out at once on accident (imagine getting 10 emails that were supposed to go out over 10 days all in one shot) modifying their offers and prices mid-launch, changes in strategy… you name it!
It turns out that getting things done has a much higher correlation for a successful launch than making things look pretty or finding the ‘perfect’ marketing or sales strategy.
I’ve certainly seen this in my own launches. I remember how I agonized over ever email and sales page element in my first launch. I would spend hours on improving things only to be disappointed when it didn’t actually move the needle to generate more sales or visibility.
Now I live by the philosophy that getting my message out is what counts, not all the pretty bows I wrap it in. And my results reflect that.
My advice is to focus more on connecting with your audience, passionately sharing what you’ve created and how it can powerfully help your clients.
And embrace that success is typically messy and involves a lot of growth. Perfection is overrated – practice makes progress and progress is what it’s all about for an entrepreneur.
For something to feel successful to you, it will need to have the integrity of your intention intact. I never compromise on this. Everything else, such as the timing, the strategy, the marketing, the delegating, team dynamics, etc., is negotiable and will get modified so that things get done (even if not perfectly).
Lesson 4: Seek out and take the path of least resistance.
What I mean is look for the easiest, least energy consuming, most resonant way to resolve any problem. Learn to do what feels the best to you, in your heart and gut, not just what your brain is telling you is the ‘right’ way.
You may need to get creative, but necessity is the mother of invention. No time in your business will require more ingenuity than during a launch. Those that enjoy the rush of game-time adjustments and thrive in an environment that calls for their highest creativity will enjoy launches.
Those that want predictability and prefer to follow a formula may find themselves very disappointed if they apply someone else’s strategy and don’t see it have the same effect in their business.
I always choose ease over achievement.
As my assistant and I were preparing for my recent launch, I kept falling ‘behind’ in completing certain tasks we agreed we wanted to complete to prepare for the launch.
One of the tasks was to pre-record short videos with the 14 daily lessons for the Manifest Miracles challenge. I just couldn’t get myself to do it. We were preparing to move to a new house, I was feeling super pregnant and it felt totally uninspirng.
So I told my assistant: “We’re just gonna have to deliver them over email, let’s not do videos.” And she replied and said I am really missing out on connecting with my audience if I don’t do videos. I told her that I just didn’t have it in me and I didn’t want to record these videos from an uninspired or resistant place because it wouldn’t be my best work.
The next day she came to me with a genius idea: why not do daily live videos in the Miracles Challenge Facebook group since this was now an available function in Facebook?
I thought this was BRILLIANT! I love connecting with people live. Yes, it meant that every day for 14 days (including weekends when I don’t usually work), I’d be committing to showing up to do the daily lesson. But it felt waaaaaaay easier and a whole lot more fun than pre-recorded videos.
And whaddya know? The videos were a huge success and led to me answering many questions, offering a ton of value and promoting many facets of my membership program in a non-salesy way.
This led to not only more participants joining during the launch, but a much higher retention rate (very few refunds during the 10-day money-back period) and a much more engaged new group of members who understood the GFY membership program better than any other new members in the past. Win-win!
So it pays off to notice when something doesn’t flow and look for and take the path of least resistance – you never know what brilliance and glory it may lead you to!
Lesson 5: Celebrate each step of the way.
The thing about being an entrepreneur is that there isn’t usually anyone to pat you on the back or say “job well done.” Outside of newsletter open-rates, sales numbers or other quantifiable results, there aren’t many praises and awards.
It can feel very lonely and isolated to be a small business owner, especially during a launch when emotions are running high and things are happening at warp speed.
This is why it is paramount to take time each day to celebrate every little progress, mini-success, small breakthrough or minor growth.
One of the biggest reasons for my launches getting easier and easier each time is that now I focus on really appreciating and celebrating the daily.
I post my progress on Facebook, write about it in my gratitude journal and I’ve also enlisted a team of cheerleaders who celebrate with me in every stage!
Some of them are entrepreneurs who have felt this process themselves, others are simply friends who can just uphold my vision… The important thing is that I connect daily with those that can help me refocus on what’s going well instead of what’s not and to remind me of the biggest picture.
It can feel vulnerable at times to open up and invite others in at a tender and emotionally raw time, but that is what allows that support to flow in.
This simple practice of daily small success celebrations keeps me refueled and focused not the right things before, during and after a launch and that’s what makes the whole launch journey smoother and more enjoyable!
3 Ways To Prepare for a Killer Launch
1. Forget sales goals, instead get clear on your core desired feelings.
It is very easy to become lost, sidetracked, overwhelmed, doubtful, depressed and want to just quit everything during a launch.
Having a North Star that guides you and helps you stay on track is paramount if you don’t want to wake up after the launch asking yourself “What the f*ck just happened?”
I’m not saying you can’t desire or envision X number of participants or some other tangible goal for your launch. What I’m certain of is that without a clear intention of how you want to feel during the launch, you’ll be holding on for dear life on the emotional roller coaster and not allowing the support and stability that are accessible to you.
Your intention will quickly help you refocus and autocorrect if you are getting spun off into the bushes. For example, if your launch core desired feelings are to feel AT EASE, IN APPRECIATION and INSPIRED, then you’ll know when to make a hard left or u-turn if you are feeling overhwhelmed, ungrateful or desperate.
The focus on how you want to feel not only takes away the pressure of achieving some arbitrary financial benchmark, but utilizes the mechanism of the Law of Attraction to bring forth maximum support for every element of your launch.
2. Get super anchored in your alignment practices and self-care routines.
If there were ever a time to utilize your grounding and balancing tools, it would be during a launch. Having ways to reconnect to your vision and your priorities is paramount at a time when everything moves quickly and there are a lot of decisions to be made on short notice.
When everything else feels uncertain or unclear, you’ll have something to bring you back to your center. I would sacrifice everything for my alignment, because in alignment, EVERYTHING flows.
There are infinite way alignment and self-care practices, but a few common ones are: meditation, visualization, gratitude journaling, massages, working out, time in nature, creative & artistic outlets, etc.
A simple tool you could use to learn about alignment tools is my 21-Day Full Of Ease Course. This email course will help you to get in the habit of making your alignment more important than your coffee.
(And for those that really want to master riding these waves from contrast to clarity and success, the GFY membership would serve as great benefit to you. Many entrepreneurs have used it to create a foundation to bring them back in balance.)
3. Enlist all the support you can get & expect a post launch come down.
It takes a village. Even if you’re a solo-preneur, the truth is that everyone around you is going through the launch with you. Your partner, family, friends, colleagues, mastermind buddies, etc. will be hearing about it and joining you for parts of the ride.
It is extremely beneficial to get them on board early on so they are aligned with the vision, or at least aware of it. Specifically ask for support in ways that would be helpful to you during and after a launch.
It may mean having a team of contractors, consultants, or assistants to support you in various parts of the launch. Or preparing your family that you’ll be cooking less and hiring someone to clean the house so that you can focus on the launch.
The more you can have clear expectations and ask for help when you need it, the easier it will be for you not feel like it’s all on your shoulders.
And for goodness sake, especially ask for support during the post-launch come down. It’s highly likely that after the cart closes, you will feel a little empty, discombobulated and even depressed after such an intense period.
Even if you’ve had a super successful launch, you may feel the rush of adrenaline is gone, and now you are exhausted, fatigued, unsure of how to feel about anything and asking yourself, what’s in this new reality?
Give yourself time to adjust. Spend time with those that help you relax and have fun. Plan in some play dates or a mini getaway after a lunch to recharge and recuperate.
I promise with time you will get back to feeling ‘normal’ and it will happen quicker and easier if you can give yourself space to recalibrate and enlist support of those you love. And it will certainly make you more likely to want to do another launch in the future (instead of threatening to never have one again)!
Now I’d Love To Hear From You:
I hope this post has been useful to those of you who are considering or preparing for a launch or have experienced launches in the past!
Let me know:
- which of the lessons and ways to prepare resonated with you and why?
- if you’ve done a launch before what was the hardest part for you?
- what will you now do differently as you prepare for the next launch?
Can’t wait to read your comments and have a discussion that will help all of us enjoy our launches more, see more results with more ease and redefine success in our own terms!
P.S. Have a friend launching? Share this post with them!