I think I’m not alone when I say that I have a love-hate relationship with launches in business.
On the one hand, creating a deadline can drive up our power on purpose.
We as the business owner have a clear and measurable goal to enroll X number of people by Y date, and the urgency of “now or not” can motivate people to get off the fence and choose.
Launches contain boundaries that can really serve our clarity and clients.
On the other, launches demand a high gradient of managing energy, handling triggers and ego traps, and returning to the “why” over and over again. The process of launching a program or product stretches us outside our comfort zone for an extended period of time, which takes a toll on every leader – no matter how successful or seasoned.
As I move through the “gooey middle” of my current launch process of my signature group coaching program, The Powerhouse Entrepreneur Program, I am practicing things I have never tried before in order to produce a new and different experience for myself. My goal in this process is to be both uncompromising in my well-being and Divine Feminine (i.e. creative) flow, AND fill the program by the June 16 start date.
The work of practicing like a beginner and not falling back on old habits has been truly a minute-by-minute kind of conscious effort this past month… and I wanted to share what my process has been like as well as some structures that have made all the difference to me.
So, for some background, I have led two six-figure launches in my business so far, this hopefully being my third. As a former opera singer with little formal business training, much of my process has been failing forward, as they say, until I achieve my goal.
I can testify that every launch has challenged me more than any other business pursuit, and rewarded me in equal measure. Beyond the financial milestones I’ve reached, creating a community out of disparate strangers – when I myself have often moved through life as a lone-wolf – has changed me as a person.
I’ve evolved tremendously in my leadership of my team, stewardship of my mission, and relationship with myself along the way.
Historically, the mental muscles developed from my perfectionism and low self-worth have been very strong and reliable sources of my success. But no matter what level of success I reached, the costs of using self-hate and external validation to prove I was safe, loved, and successful made the wins virtually meaningless to me.
I have come extremely far in my work to heal these wounds and generate exceptional results from a different place, but each launch is the ultimate seduction into these residual patterns of hustling to burnout and suffering through the process.
In this blog, I will share the three pillars that have been most crucial to my success. Without all three of these, I can say with certainty I would not be where I am now as an increasingly joyful and easeful multi-six-figure creative entrepreneur.
It will come as no surprise to you, dear reader, that life coaching has been an unequivocally vital source of continued success and delight in my business.
Although many assume that because I choose to experience my business through ease and alignment, that my business feels easy and aligned most of the time.
In fact, it rarely does.
Meeting weekly with my coach is the space I can lay out all of the evidence I have collected since our previous conversation about how I suck, how people suck, and how impossibly hard life is. I am a full-fledged, flawed human being.
As consciously as I choose to move through life, I have all the same fears, doubts, feelings, and habits that you have that get in the way of the life we want to live, the creative output we desire to share, and the business we want to lead. I know this, because I spend my days coaching people through their inner monologues that stand in their way too… and as their mirror and partner, I also see a mirror of my own work in them.
What they work on is what I work on too. It’s a beautiful synergy.
The thing that makes the biggest difference is that once I have “word-vomited” to a coach who can truly listen and point to the tie that binds everything together for me, I feel unburdened.
The simple act of saying all of those dark thoughts and feelings out loud is a release in and of itself. But the real magic happens on the other side of putting all that down – when I identify what choices need to be made from here.
What needs must I care to more generously this week?
What does trusting myself and the process look like this week?
What experience do I desire out of this week?
What gifts will I find in the challenges this week?
What can I choose to practice here and now?
Creating clarity is a huge piece of what coaching provides – yes, in what action steps are required to meet the intended outcome, but more importantly, in what way we will show up and experience the journey.
When we do hard things outside of our comfort zone, our body’s survival instincts are programmed to come to our aid.
Receiving coaching is a way for me to self-regulate my nervous system and access decision-making from my frontal lobe, from my intuitive compass, and from my heart. Without it, I would make thousands of decisions from fear that take me further away from what kind of life, results, and inner experience I desire.
So as I mentioned earlier, I got really far in life by learning to put my head down and bust ass by myself.
I have a work ethic of steel and diamonds… and, because of that, it was very normal for me to wall up and cut off people I love, things I love to do, and self-care I need in order to achieve my mission.
And while anyone can see the costs of lone-wolfing it, pushing through the hard moments by ourselves provides seriously huge ego boosts. I hear a lot of people out in the world speak with pride when they figure something out and accomplish it on their own.
Self-taught entrepreneurs like us are especially guilty of this. Being resourceful and self-reliant are massively great gifts to have when starting out… but in my experience, there comes a time when we realize that what got us here won’t get us there, and we need to allow support in and stop doing it alone.
It’s taken me now 3 launches of experimenting to create the kind of community I need.
I now know that I require community both inside of my business and outside of my business, equally.
What I mean by that is I need to feel like I have a team inside of my business that I can count on, that can take things off my plate, that can brainstorm and pivot with me, and that can contribute their own magic to my blindspots.
The “inside” members of my business mostly include my assistant and associate coach right now – both of which it took working with several different people in each role to find the right fit for me. There’s a lot to unpack when looking at hiring (maybe a topic for a future blog post!), but for me it is incredibly important to work with people who I sincerely trust could do as good a job or better than I could at their particular zone of genius.
At this stage in my business, I don’t need someone to train in what I know… I need people who are powerhouses in their own right and who bring value to the table in addition to taking things off my plate.
The difficult lesson I also learned along the way was even when I brought in someone immensely competent and awesome, it didn’t always mean they truly aligned with my values or could meet the needs of my business.
Finding people who can embody both the world-class skills of their craft AND my core values was a game-changer for my launch process, because I truly never feel alone in my business anymore.
During each of my launches, I also joined a community to surround myself with other fellow online business owners. Walking in lockstep with others like me, I learned a lot about other business models and offerings (brewing for future ideas in my business!), gained qualified leads from referrals, and made friends that I still keep in touch with.
What I changed this round was that instead of joining someone else’s community, I decided to generate my own.
A coach friend and I put our heads together and created what we call “The Leadership Lab,” an invitation-only support structure for fellow six-figure master-level coaches. Instead of turning it into an offering, our buy-in to participate is a monthly donation to a charity of our group’s choosing. We knew that some sort of financial investment makes a difference to the energetic investment we bring, and the priority was about creating a supportive community for the growth of our businesses. The win-win of contributing to a cause we deeply believe in was a cherry on top.
This portion of my journey is probably the one that has evolved the most over the course of the three launches.
I *thought* I took good care of myself during my first two, but with now years of practice, I have implemented completely new practices and frameworks from which I operate in my relationship with myself.
On a practical level, here are three things I now consciously do out of self-care to sustain me in my launch.
I allow myself to work muuuuuch less.
→ In my first launch, I scheduled every hour of my workdays (and more) with virtual coffee date calls, sample sessions, sales calls, networking events, clients, meetings, webinars, and marketing admin. I was excited and committed to fill the program, but also running on the thrilling energetic momentum of taking this ginormous leap of faith… I ended up in burnout shortly after the program began.
→ In my second launch, I hired two associate coaches and an assistant to support me, which re-directed my energy to leading my team through the launch. I was in the midst of opening our Airbnb and moving from New York to Arizona at the time of the launch, so I had to be laser-focused with my time. I still took dozens upon dozens of calls, as well as hosted more workshops and pre-launch events to leverage my time. Juggling so much at once meant I had to trust my team to show up, and I had to take great care of myself in my down time. I did not burnout as in the first launch, but I was overwhelmed throughout most of the process.
→ In this launch, I have a fully formed team who show up for me and for the work. I listen intuitively to my energy and work fewer hours when I know I need to rest. I view my time and energy as infinitely more valuable than before. The new way I have been showing up in this launch is by giving myself permission to do creative projects that my heart/gut are called to do – that have nothing directly to do with the launch – like recording my singing, writing blog posts such as this, attending local shared interest meet ups, hanging with friends, and traveling.
The result is that I am ahead of my enrollment numbers at this stage in the previous launches. My leads have emerged more organically, and I’ve maintained greater well-being than ever before. I am now nurturing my audience as a whole through emails, authentic social media visibility, and giving and requesting more referrals.
I sing and meditate almost every day.
When I train on CEO-Care in the Powerhouse Program, I provide a massive list of possible self-care practices to choose from, but the goal is quality not quantity.
If you were to pick a handful of the things that make the biggest difference to your overall quality of life, what would they be?
For me, singing is one of them. I have been singing only what speaks to my soul that day, and sharing my music with others.
I also look to meditation and journaling to support me in spirit, a calm nervous system, and inner guidance. This intuitive practice has brought aligned past relationships to the surface of my mind. After meditating, I write down all the names and I reach out to them.
I read a one-page vision statement every day.
Part of my spiritual practice that I’ve integrated into this launch is to visualize (or practice manifesting, however you relate to it) what my entire life is like at the end of this program. I describe in detail how my home, relationship, body, business, finances, family and friends, and internal experience came into bloom by December 31, 2022. I read it out loud with energy and excitement, and imagine this truly being my life.
As a highly visual person (and a creative visionary type), doing this practice daily makes more of a difference than I can explain. If I can imagine where I’m going and what this is all leading to, I more deeply trust and choose the actions I take each day that will take me closer to that place.
I have found greater and greater fulfillment and ease in the process of launching by prioritizing three pillars: recentering with my coach, leaning on my communities, and practicing gentler self-care.
How I do those evolves each passing year and even day, but my hope is that by sharing my process and perspective, you take something that resonates and implement it into your life and business.
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