It shouldn’t be a secret that I’m a planner, especially when it comes to big business endeavors like a new book, launch, website or program.
Which is why I get so annoyed everytime I see a post that goes like this:
“Oh my gosh! I had this fantastic idea for a program/book/service last night and just emailed you about it and people are signing up and this is amazing!”
First, yes it’s great that you’re taking action and not letting fear hold you back but second, WHAT THE HELL?
This kind of post doesn’t communicate “I am here to serve” it says “I just threw some spaghetti at the wall and some strands stuck!”
No matter how last minute your ideas might be, it doesn’t indicate a high level of forethought, planning or detail when you share these things.
Here’s just a short list of some of the things you cannot possibly do well when you “launch” an idea after a couple hours:
- Test your shopping cart to ensure payments will run correctly
- Write, record, or even outline the content that the client will be receiving
- Determine the communication schedule for a service or program
- Set your policy for refunds, cancellations or payment failures
- Adequately communicate the value you’re providing and the ideal client you’re serving
- Create space in your schedule to serve
- Build excitement around what you’re providing
Each of these can cost you literally hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost income, expenses and customer satisfaction.
And before you comment with “well I did because blah, blah, blah” let me say again: you cannot possibly do all these things well when you’re launching something with little to no plan in place.
Here’s an example of how this works in real life assuming 2 people have equal talent. My buddy Joe is a great guitarist and songwriter so he picks up his instrument, takes the train into the city and just sits downtown and plays his music. It’s brilliant, he’s good, people throw coins and dollars into his guitar case. He’s going home smug because he didn’t just sit around planning, he went out and made money sharing his gifts.
And then there’s this other artist, let’s call her Adele (she is, sadly, not my good friend). Adele works her art too by writing songs, setting up studio time and crafting an album that becomes a top seller as soon as it releases. She’s not being lazy or relaxing, she puts together a show, arranges venues, assembles a wardrobe, hires a band, creates stage direction and lighting, sells tickets, does interviews, promotes the HELL out of her tour and, predictably, makes a lot more money than Joe.
Do you see the parallel yet?
Joe is the friend on your Facebook page who is always throwing something new out, hoping that the people nearby throw in a couple coins and “invest” in his offer. Join me tomorrow for a webinar! Buy this book I wrote last night! I’ll build your website in 90 minutes!
Adele is the friend who doesn’t post on Facebook much because she’s working and when she does launch sure there will be people who say it doesn’t need to be that fancy and who think concert tickets are too expensive.
But it’s undeniable that Adele is reaching far more people than Joe and making a lot more money in the process.
[Don’t even get me started on the people who work like Joe because they need the money and life is expensive. Don’t expect your customers to buy anything to bail you out of a financial hole or make your life more comfy.]
Conversations that begin with “I just had an idea and 2 hours later started promoting!” are destined for behind-the-scenes only. While it can be tempting to throw it all out there in the name of authenticity and openness, you’re also telling all your colleagues, potential clients and community that you don’t care enough about this offer to give it the time, attention and support it needs to thrive.
It’s the business equivalent of “I wanted a pet so I just adopted a litter of puppies!” or “I just love to cook so I started a restaurant in my kitchen, here try some soup!”
Hustle is good. Trying things is great. But do it in a smart way that doesn’t leave the people around you wondering what’s going on and why you don’t take the time to plan properly for this thing you call a business.