The Anatomy of a Launch: Pulling Together the Pieces

I’ve launched into new ventures prematurely and it creates havoc.  I’ve followed too many times the strategy, “Ready, fire, aim”.  I talked about the disaster with my previous blog in the last post.

Photo by Rick Harrison

Photo by Rick Harrison

 

Yet, I still kept trying to launch this blog early also.  I’m excited about it and anxious to get going.

But the details are overwhelming.  They just keep popping up like weeds.

So at times I was irritated by the delays, frustrated to launch.

 

Then I’d remember the stress of my previous launch and realized I really didn’t want to repeat that.

 

I’m a slow learner but eventually it connects.

So for the last year I’ve been strategizing and writing.

I’ve written folders full of paper until I put everything into Evernote, which by the way is a great program.

I began with the concept.  I spent days thinking and praying about what I wanted to focus on and accomplish.  Weekly it changed.  My ideas felt like water going down a drain circling ever tighter until I zeroed in.

I strategized the style, who I wanted to reach, the site layout, and a million other details.

And through those days the vision of this blog and ministry formed.

I’ve been involved in enough startups to know it won’t look exactly like I’ve imagined.  But most of it will.  And the pieces that don’t?  They’ll probably be even better.

But without all the work I had minimal hope of success.

 

Proverbs says, “The diligent will rule.  The lazy will be slaves.”  (Proverbs 12:24)

 

We can do the work ahead and lead or do the work later and follow.

 

Often when we launch into a new venture we misfire.  It implodes before we get up to speed.

We’re excited at the possibilities.  Anxious to get started.  Looking forward to the experience.

We think, “I’ll figure it out as I go.  Enthusiasm will carry me through.”

So we launch with a lot of excitement and little planning.  A lethal combination.

Not long in we hit detours, change course.  And suddenly we find ourselves in territory we never anticipated.  We struggle and eventually give up thinking, “It just wasn’t meant to be.”

 

Yet, maybe it was.  The problem may not be the concept but rather we didn’t pay the price to plan.

 

I like to write out my ideas.  That way I can re-read and refine them.

I focus on the 5 “W’s”.  And detail each one.

Who do I want to reach?

What do I want to accomplish?

When do I want to start?

Where am I going to do this?

Why am I doing this?

Then I ask, “How am I going to do this?  And how am I going launch?”

And I keep going through these “W’s” expanding and detailing them until I see exactly where I’m going and how I plan to get there.

One word of caution though.  We’ll never have all the answers.  Finally, we need to pull the trigger.  We just need to decide when.

But this helps us get running before the first challenges hit.  We need momentum to keep going while we deal with unexpected issues.

But where do we find the answers once we’re moving and hit by surprises?

We’ll discuss that in the next post.

 

How have you prepared for a successful launch?  What difference did it make?