I have to be honest with you. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions as I launched my first major product – my signature course, Business Bootcamp.
There have been moments of complete excitement.
…Like the day I pressed ‘Send’ on the launch email.
…Like the day that my first “student” enrolled and I deposited her check in the bank.
…Like the day I connected with a woman referred to me by a mutual friend, heard her story – a desire to create a life she loved and that held more purpose than her current bank job – and the feeling that I got from knowing that this Business Bootcamp was exactly what she needed to make those dreams a reality.
…Like the day I brainstormed new strategies with my brother (also an entrepreneur and financial guru) and came up with some much-needed fresh ideas that felt like they had the momentum I was seeking.
…Like the day I woke up to an unexpected email from a potential Bootcamp student in the 9th hour of enrollment – and it turned out that she, too, was a great fit for the program.
…Like the day I printed the draft of my first module and stuck it into the 3-ring binder, and then browsed through it with pride at the content and program I had created.
If I’m looking at the glass half full, which I (almost) always do, this Bootcamp launch has been a real success… and I can hardly wait to kick things off with my group of Go-Getter Girls tonight!
…AND, it’s also been a roller-coaster, with all the highs and excitements of developing and sharing a new product, as well as the lows filled with anxiety and frustration. I have learned and grown, and have had to readjust my expectations at several stops along the way.
But my nature is one that turns lemons into lemonade. And though this launch was anything but a “lemon,” I have reflected on those things that made it a success as well as the things I could have done differently… and I’m sharing those lessons learned with you – my readers, my PEOPLE – today.
Here’s what I’m celebrating as I gear up for tonight’s group:
- The development of a comprehensive program that will be transformative for these women, and those who sign up for future cohorts.
- That 5 women made the commitment and investment – in me and in THEMSELVES – to jump on-board this inaugural Bootcamp. That’s an honor I don’t take lightly.
- That I had a plan with goals, strategies, and dates for completion – and I saw it through.
- That I moved to a new city with my family just ONE year ago, established myself as a business coach and consultant for emerging female entrepreneurs, and have already made enough wonderful new connections and friends to fuel the enrollment of this first Bootcamp (as well as land me several other 1:1 clients). As my friend Alyce says, #NetworkingWorks!
There are also things I learned along the way – some that solidified my belief in certain areas and others that I wish had gone differently or I’d have known beforehand. These are all lessons for you, too.
- Social media and face-to-face networking just can’t be replaced. During my launch, I joined several Denver-based Facebook groups, attended an event through Denver Startup Week, launched a new Meetup, and connected with many women one-on-one. However, those tactics would have yielded more fruit had they taken place well before the launch began. There have to be enough people in your tribe who are ready to buy from you before you launch so it’s important to invest enough time and energy into these areas now.
- It’s important to incorporate lower-ticket items into your sales funnel before introducing a bigger, signature course, like the Bootcamp. These products would have given my (potential) clients a taste of my business and brand, what I have to offer and the tone in which I deliver it. (Stay tuned for more information on the two digital products I’m currently developing: Marketing Mastery and a 2018 Goal-Setting Guide & Productivity Planner!)
- At one point during the launch, someone asked me: “What will I get from this program?” And it hit me. The language around the program goals could have been clearer. Namely, what is the end goal for these women? What will they walk away with after 90 days of working with me and in this group? Lesson learned here? Ensure that product copy is concise and clear so potential buyers know exactly what they’re getting.
- Using beta-testers has many upsides, including the way a new program is marketed. I priced the Bootcamp at a rate that I (and others with whom I consulted) felt was competitive and in line with my own worth/time commitment. However, as this is the inaugural launch of this Bootcamp – the first cohort to go through the program – I could have offered it at a reduced rate and billed it as my beta-test group in exchange for feedback from participants along the way. This is a great way to strengthen a new product.
- Sometimes you have to take that first step, even when you don’t feel fully prepared. Listen, I’m a perfectionist so I’m preaching to the choir here. But this is such an important lesson that I’ve learned in this second business of mine and that I hope you’ll take to heart. When you have worked at something for a long-enough time, and made it the best you can in that moment, it’s time to jump. In the case of this Bootcamp, I could have revised the marketing copy over-and-over again… I could have watched three more webinars about the best time to launch… I could have waited until my tribe was bigger. But I didn’t. Because waiting for another few weeks to perfect the process wasn’t going to get me to the point of supporting and guiding these women to their dreams. It was only going to hold me back from my own.
- Goals are not intended to be singular or black-and-white. This newest way of framing goals that I’ve adopted – for my 1:1 services, the Bootcamp, and digital products – looks like this: 12 || 15 || 17, which represents my goal, my stretch goal, and my super-stretch goal. In this way, goals can be more fluid – giving yourself a number that is achievable, along with stretch goals that will push you to think more creatively about how you can further your reach or impact. (I’ll be talking more about goal-setting in my new 2018 Goal-Setting Guide & Productivity Planner.)
- No one is counted as a participant until they’ve paid. It sounds harsh and it’s not that money is the most important driver; it’s just that I’ve learned that people want to do something and then don’t always follow-through with that something. So, while I love it when someone says to me “Yes! This is just what I’ve been needing. I’ll sign up later today…”, I don’t hold my breath. But I certainly do a happy dance when I see their registration processed.
- Sometimes we have to reframe or adjust our expectations mid-stream.Especially when launching a new product or service, we have to move forward with the mindset that there is always room to reflect, revise, and refine (in business and in life). Through the process of admitting things when they didn’t play out as envisioned, or identifying areas that could have been stronger, we must remember that it’s not too late. We mustn’t give up. Instead, it’s time to adjust our expectations, analyze the area of concern, and create a new strategy for tackling it. (Remember: lemonade.)
So, as you take the windy road with bumps, turns, and steep climbs – which are all natural parts of your business-building journey, remember that whatever you learn today will help you tomorrow. My lessons included.
Hi, I'm Rachel!
I help women like you launch and grow their businesses so they can realize their passion, purpose, and potential.