Do you remember the movie “Failure to Launch” with Matthew McConaughey? The basis of the movie was that he was the “grown” child that would not move out of his parent’s house… he was content with where he was…comfortable… and had no intention of changing that setup. We were not born to stay in one place. We were not meant to live in a state of comfort or complacency. Growth can be painful…and to grow we have to finally LAUNCH. We have to stop planning and talking about the thing and just DO IT! Have you been in that place in your business?
I grew up in San Jose, California, where the Winchester Mystery House is located. We would go on field trips to see this odd house. Back in the late 1800s, Sarah Winchester was married to William Winchester, the founder of the Winchester Gun Company. Sarah faced a horrible tragedy when their infant daughter died, and then William passed away from tuberculosis a couple of months later. Sarah felt she was being punished and haunted by all of the people who had died at the end of a Winchester rifle barrel. She went to a psychic who told her that she needed to leave Connecticut and move to San Jose, California to start building a new home in order to rid herself of the regular visits from angry spirits. The legend was, she was told as long as she kept building this house every day, and every night, the spirits would stay away.
This Victorian-style house has 160 rooms, is approximately 24,000 square feet, and despite the many oddities, the place is incredibly beautiful. There are stairwells that go nowhere, doors that open to brick walls and rooms within rooms. Millions of dollars were spent but the house was never a truly livable home. A modern fun fact is the Winchester House was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the Haunted Mansion at Disney theme parks.
There are so many people in business, like Sarah Winchester. They keep building and building to avoid those scary spirits of doubt, imposter syndrome, fear of failure, and others from moving in. Before long they are building stairways to nowhere (or random content pieces to no particular audience), doors that open to brick walls (freebies or lead generation pieces that really don’t take people to a strategic spot in the funnel), and millions of dollars spent for items that turn out to be unusable.
I’ve always said, “You can’t get great until you get started.” You have to know when you first open your store or launch that book or podcast, you’ll be in beta. So if you have a course that you’re launching, you run a beta program so that you can test and tweak. You just have to stop the building and move in.
When I was getting ready to open our co-working space The Village Workspace, we had to open the doors before we knew what would truly happen. We had planned and prepared for the best we knew how, but we wouldn’t know for sure until we just opened the doors. You can’t tweak until you get started and once you launch, you will find things to change. So my advice always is… start your beta, and go from there.
Now, I’m going to actually flip the coin here and say there are some people who try to launch a program or sell a book before they have built an audience. You want to make sure that in your planning stage you look at your plan and ask yourself, “Have I built a network before I need them?” In your planning stage ask yourself realistically, “Do I have an audience made up of just peers who will never purchase?” There are a lot of people out there having a lot of conversations on social media, with audiences of all friends. It’s just a love-fest that happens every day on their social media channels, but none of them will open their wallet and pay for your service. So you need to look at that and say, “Who is my audience? Are these friends and family members? Or these people who will really become customers?”
We probably all know someone who has been building a website forever or creating a course for the past 5 years. Sometimes, we need to stop the building, stop the planning, cancel that course we signed up for (to stall some more), and just launch.
Here are 3 steps to take if you’re feeling a little like Sarah Winchester right now:
At least 2 years before we opened the doors at The Village Workspace, I was talking about the opening. I had already envisioned this space open. I just proclaimed it as if it were already so. I told people we would be open by January 2020 and then started moving In that direction every day. It’s that target you need to focus on every day. Will some think you are crazy? Sure. Will some tell you all the reasons you can’t do it by that date. Of course, they will. As Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” He also said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” I love that guy!
Once you claim it, start telling people. This adds accountability. You don’t want to tell the world you are writing a book and then you never finish it. Share not only the idea you are working on but the daily progress.
Take your audience along for the ride. Build anticipation and involve them along the way so that they are excited when it’s ready. If you wait until you are finished before you start talking about it, there will be no one there to buy it or talk about it. Trying to build a network that you need after the fact is very hard. You are now going at it from a sales angle instead of a relationship angle.
TAKE DAILY ACTION
I’m not talking about the never-ending action Sarah Winchester took (every day for 36 years (?), but I am talking about taking action toward you FINISH LINE. Poor Sara had construction going on until the day she died. Don’t be that project.
Don’t let a day go by without looking at your plan and taking some sort of action. Whether it is calling a graphic designer, getting that new business mailing address set up, or writing 1,000 words in your book, do something every single day. Talking about it is one thing. Planning and taking courses to launch is another, but actually doing… doing something that moves you closer to the launch date… that’s the kind of action that brings clarity and completion!
Don’t forget, you can stay in beta for a long time. So launch, tweak, keep going, keep tweaking, and before you know it, you’re out the door and this project is flourishing, and you’re starting the next project.
I would love to hear from you about what projects you have been planning! But be honest, are you still planning? Or do you have a launch date? Contact our rockstar marketing team at SocialKNX or Schedule a call with me directly about what you’ve been planning so we can talk marketing strategies, or figure out how SocialKNX can support you in other ways… but in the meantime, let us know about it, so we can be excited for you!