Adopting a Mindset of Launch and Learn
I wanna move a little bit more into us, and thinking of getting into this mindset of launching and learning. So this is a great story. A lot of times people, I find, plan their launch party before they launch, and I worked at a startup years ago, and the founder, first of all we were in stealth mode, yellow flag number one. Secondly, when it was time to launch, he said okay, we're gonna launch on, and I think it was like January 11th, 2011 at 1:11 in the morning. So I remember going to the office in the middle of the night. We all had to go for this party. And we were planning, well we weren't. Other people were planning this launch party, and in my head I was thinking, I don't think this ends well. And it didn't because we stayed in stealth mode. We were focused on this guaranteed success, and so I think you can't walk into it with that assumption. And this is why. Most entrepreneurs think this is what it'll look like, right? You have this idea, you're gonna 3D print some little boxes...
for your travel thing, and then QVC is gonna get it, and you're going to go on vacation. And that's not how it works. It's never like this, but that's literally what people think, especially because of Shark Tank. People get this in their head. So this is what people think is going to happen. What actually happens is this. It's a spattering. It's like you're blind. You're just shooting arrows everywhere, and this a lot of people I think believe is failure, but I think this a beautiful example of success because you've taken the first step. You've tried. Most people just have a target and never shoot arrows at it, but this to me is success. The problem is that a lot of people don't move forward after they have those initial failures. The first no. If I'm doing research for an idea and the first person I talk to doesn't have that problem, well then I go talk to the next person. I don't just delete that idea from my head. So that's a big failure, that if you do research and you're not getting anywhere, you can't stop. You have to keep going. I'm a really visual person, and so I think this is a great example of getting into this habit of launching and learning, and to me that learning is really research, and that could be many forms of research. It could be analytics if you have a website or an app or something, it's talking to people, it's getting on the phone with customers, it's reading the support emails that may come in, or taking phone calls from customers, but the more you launch and the more you learn, the closer you can get to finally having that thing that makes sense, that people want, and that they're gonna pay you for. And the best entrepreneurs I think succeed because they really embrace this. Like I said earlier, a lot of entrepreneurs do that launch, and then it doesn't go well and then they think their life is over and they go back to their job, or throw away that idea. Or they launch and then they do one set of research, and then they just keep going and they don't do more research. But I think if you really wanna be successful, you have to get into that habit of launch, learn, launch, learn. Otherwise, you'll never hit that target. And it should be obvious right now, but launching becomes more of a lifestyle and not this one-time event that happens in your business. I see this especially with online businesses, where they think okay, just once we launch, everything's going to be fine. And that's not true, it has to be this continuous part of your lifestyle and your culture if you have a team and things like that. And some other benefits to launching and learning is that it's gonna help you save a lot of time because as you're learning, you're collecting data to hopefully inform what you should do next in your business. So you're maybe not building that new feature, adding some thing to your travel box, or whatever product you have, but you're gonna save time because you're building the right things, which is going to save money, which is going to create something that people actually want, it's a big domino effect, which then builds trust, creates word of mouth, and eventually creates all that momentum that leads to a product that people want, and tell other people about. And also, you may not be at this stage yet, but once you have a team I think it's really important to get into this habit of launching and learning because if you're constantly in this mega-launch mode, your team's gonna get burnt out, and without learning, you're not getting the feedback that I think really can help fuel your team, and sometimes that feedback is negative, and sometimes that feedback's positive, those customer success stories are great ways to keep your team motivated once you get to that stage. You might not be there today, but maybe you will be in a few months.