4 Ways You’re Making Your Online Launch Harder on Yourself (and How to Make Your Next Launch Easier)

4 Ways You’re Making Your Online Launch Harder on Yourself (and How to Make Your Next Launch Easier)

Title Card: 4 Ways You're Making Your Launch Harder on Yourself (and how to make it easier)

How to Improve Planning for Your Online Launch So You Can (Actually) Launch a Product or Course Without Making Your Life Hell

The idea of launching your product or course can be daunting. There are so many factors to consider, including the technology required, design, branding, content creation and more. This is enough to make most people want to just quit before they’ve even started! Don’t worry though. With some careful planning and these tips, you’ll be well on your way to an online launch that’s actually successful—and doesn’t make you run for the hills.

1. You’re not thinking through the step-by-step details in your planning

Make a launch plan that isn’t a hasty to-do list

If your launch plan looks like more like a hasty to-do list, then you’re leaving out vital steps that will cost you time, energy, and even money in the long run.

You may have seen me tell this story before, but it’s the perfect example (and I see it happen all the time.)

How business owners typically set a launch date (a familiar story)

A business owner came to me for help planning her launch and when I asked her timeframe, she threw out a launch date that was a few weeks away. After we created the roadmap together, we saw she’d need at least 8 weeks to complete her launch plan.

So why did she think her launch could be done in 3 weeks when it really needed 8? Because she hadn’t really thought through the details. She had an idea of what needed to be done, but hadn’t considered every step of the process.

What would have happened if we hadn’t made a detailed plan for her online launch?

Could she have launched in 3 weeks? Maybe! But she would have added to her stress as she was forced to make some hard decisions:

  • Outsource the work to get it done on time? Is there room in the budget for that? How would that impact the launch ROI? Who should she hire? Is there time to research and interview contractors?
  • Cut back on the launch plans in order to focus her time on the bare minimum required?
  • Change her launch date to add another 3 weeks (surely doubling her time is enough, right?) And then doing that again when she realizes the launch still isn’t ready after 6 weeks?

I hear about launch stress like this all the time. And all of it can have been avoided by making sure you have a detailed plan from the beginning.

 

2. Your timelines aren’t realistic

If you don’t leave enough time in your launch plan for required tasks, then trying to follow it is a stressful exercise in futility (and a lack of sleep).

When you launch your program or project, the first thing to do is to plan it out. I’ll go into the detailed step-by-step of project planning another time, but you’re creating a roadmap of what needs to be done and when. After you see what the tasks are, you estimate how long it will take for each task and set deadlines accordingly.

Estimating time can be difficult—and that’s okay

This can be really difficult if you are launching something new—there’s always uncertainty about how long tasks will take (and that’s okay). If you’re not sure what your time estimate should be, think about a worst-case scenario so that you have the time necessary in the event of delays or problems.

Think through a worst case scenario (include buffer time)

In other words, leave some buffer time when you’re unsure in case something comes up that was not planned for. Don’t put yourself under more pressure than what’s best for your well-being. A launch with a spacious timeline will always feel better than a rushed launch.

 

3. You’re focused on perfection

 

This isn’t the only launch you’ll ever have: it doesn’t need to be perfect in order to be successful.

Say it with me: your first doesn’t need to be your best. If you feel like everything needs to be perfect from the get-go, you’ll develop an all-or-nothing mindset that’s sure to bring on a sense of dread and defeat.

No one is watching every (virtual) thing you do

Help manage your inner critic by reminding yourself that no one is paying the same level of attention to your stuff as you are (as a perfectionist Enneagram 1, believe me: I am saying this to myself most of all.)

Get started: done is better than perfect

It’s not about making your launch fit some idea of what “the best” looks like to you, but actually getting it out there so that you can start collecting feedback and know what needs to be done next. Each time you repeat a launch, you can adjust, improve, and add a new idea or feature that excites you.

 

4. You are giving all your launch goals equal importance

 

What parts of your plan are critical? And which ones can you let go?

Setting priorities is essential to being able to adjust your plan as needed with minimal stress. If you know what your priorities are, then it’s easier to let go of the stuff that’s not supporting your most valued goals. It’s okay to let some tasks—and some goals!—be less important than others.

What is important to you?

Think about what’s truly important to you for this launch—not what’s important to that famous business coach or what Big Man McCEO says your “key performance indicators” should be. You might decide that some of your priorities are numbers-based (hitting a financial target, for instance—especially if it’s based on your actual budget goals and not just a vanity number… but I digress).

Your launch priorities aren’t just about your business goals

But it’s just as vital to consider how you want to feel or ways that you want to grow through your launch process. Maybe you want to maintain better boundaries around your work time or get more comfortable being in front of the camera.

Choose and rank these priorities early in your launch process. Then, if you begin to feel overwhelmed or need to pivot, you’ll already have the decision-making criteria you need to move forward—with minimal hand-wringing.

If you have struggled in the past with any (or all!) of these, there is help! Project planning and consulting can give you the support you need all the way through your launch, from digging into the details in planning to helping you stay prioritized and focused during implementation. Let me hear about your upcoming launch by sending me an email at kate[at]theefficientcreative[dot]com.

The Top 5 Forgotten To-Dos in Online Launches

The Top 5 Forgotten To-Dos in Online Launches

Title-Image-Top-5-Forgotten-Tasks-in-Online-Launches

When it comes to planning (and implementing) a project like an online launch, the old saying is true: the devil’s in the details. And if you’ve ever launched a program, product, or new offer online and had to either 1) edit down your plans at the last minute or 2) push back your original launch date—maybe multiple times!—then you’re no stranger to those forgotten details popping up to haunt you.

Forgotten tasks in a launch don’t just frustrate you and your team. They can literally cost you—both in lost hours and revenue—and take an emotional toll by eroding trust in yourself. In some cases, they can even erode your audience’s trust in your business. In my years of project management with online creative businesses, these are the most common overlooked to-dos that I see in online launches. Add these tasks (and plenty of time for them!) in your next launch plan to start out ahead of the game.

Don’t Forget: Research

It’s a classic example of the type of forgotten task that can add days (or weeks!) to any plan. Your to-do list says something like “Decide on a new platform for client scheduling.”

Great! That’s a clear, actionable task, right? And “deciding” or “choosing” or “selecting” is something that you do all the time—you can decide something in the blink of an eye! Unless it’s where to have dinner on date night, for some reason that decision takes forever.

What most business owners forget to plan for are the things that need to happen in order to make that important decision.

  • What functionalities are non-negotiables (or nice-to-haves) when it comes to choosing a platform/software/equipment/team member/coach/program/etc.?
  • What other criteria do you need to consider for each option (e.g. budget, design, end-user experience, customization options)?
  • Which criterion is the most important? (Pro tip: knowing this in advance can help keep you from getting stuck in analysis paralysis)
  • Do you need to take advantage of any free trials before making a decision (add time for each into your plan!)

“Research options for a new platform” is just as important an action item in your plan as “choosing” is, so add it to your plan, along with a reasonable amount of time for conducting the research.

Don’t Forget: Technical or Logistical Details

The specific tasks you might include here are going to vary based on what you’re launching, and you may not always know what’s needed in advance. Especially if you’re working with a new platform or software. It’s a classic case of “you don’t know what you don’t know,” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan for it.

For example, your task list might say “Set up new course platform” and you might expect to spend a couple of days to complete it. But once you start to dig in, you realize each of your modules needs its own slide deck (something you hadn’t planned for) and the platform needs to be connected with your scheduler, but FIRST you were going to merge your schedulers because they haven’t been syncing to your calendar correctly, but before you do that, you’ve got to (etc, etc…)

So what felt like a simple enough task at the beginning has suddenly become a big task with a lot of prerequisites. When this happens and a deadline is looming, you’ll quickly figure out that you’ve got two options:

  • Work nonstop to try to finish everything
  • Slash your priorities down to the bare minimum

If your launch (or offer) includes aspects that are new to you or your team, expect the unexpected and give yourself some extra time to work out those pieces.

Don’t Forget: Editing Your Content

No matter what kind of content you’re creating to go with your offer (from sales pages to video reels to the emails you’re sending to welcome new clients), it’s pretty common to think of content creation as:

Step 1: Create

Step 2: Publish

And while I may be a little bit of a stickler for proofreading (thanks to that B.A. in English!), it will almost always be worth your time to add Step 1.5 in there: edit your content.

This isn’t about being a perfectionist or mining your content for every possible error. I’m a firm believer that “done is better than perfect.” But there’s a middle ground between firing off your message as soon as it leaves your fingers and waiting until every star is perfectly aligned.

If you’re the kind of person who edits as you go, that’s great, but there’s nothing like getting a fresh pair of eyes on your content before it goes live. Next time you’re planning the content pieces of your launch, consider adding in a little extra time for one of these options:

  1. Sleep on it. Let your new content “rest” overnight and come back to it the next day with a fresh perspective. 99 times out of 100, you will notice a few quick improvements that will help your content be that much stronger.
  2. Take a walk. Even 20 minutes away from the computer to walk the dog can give you the distance you need to double-check your content before moving it down the assembly line.
  3. Hand it off. Enlist a detailed assistant, trusted colleague, or freelance editor. Having another brain try to interpret your content can be invaluable to making sure your message is understood. Keep in mind that your launch plan will need to account for all of the time between when you send them the content and when you can expect to receive it back (make sure you ask them for this info in advance.)

Don’t Forget: Testing

I’ve worked with enough solopreneurs over the years to know most of us don’t really want to put in the time & effort for a full beta launch (complete with market research, surveys, and product iterations). Most of the time, we just want to get the thing out into the world so we can stop investing our time and energy and start seeing a return.

So before your eyes glaze over, let me just say that those things (market research, beta launches) are amazing if you have the time & resources for them, but otherwise this is The Bare Minimum Version So You Can Continue with Your Life.

Please, for the love of Future You, run a test of your process/client workflow/anything that’s supposed to run or happen automatically in the background. Make sure it works the way you intend before you open it to the public. Otherwise, you’re going to get an email from Confused or Angry Purchaser about something that doesn’t work and you’ll have to put out that fire (and maybe even pause your launch while you figure it out).

Don’t Forget: Planning for Potential Obstacles

When you start to wrap up the planning portion of your launch, I know you are ready to stop planning and get moving, but this may be the most important one—don’t overlook it!

Once you’ve mapped out a plan for your launch, take a bird’s eye view of the to-dos in your plan and ask yourself, “Where do I expect to hit a snag?”

Chances are good that you already have an inkling of some places where you might struggle or feel a little stuck. What are those potential obstacles? And how could you plan in advance to get around them?

Write these down—both the potential obstacles and your mitigation ideas—they’re just as important to your successful plan as the tasks themselves.

 

How about you? Have you ever had adjust your launch plan due to some forgotten tasks? This is one reason why project planners exist—we excel in helping you dig into the details so you can minimize forgotten to-dos. Curious what forgotten details you might be leaving out of your launch? Reach out to me at kate[at]theefficientcreative[dot]com and tell me about it. I’ve got a brand new offer coming out that may be perfect to help you have your best launch yet.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Myths (and One Truth) About Hiring a Virtual Assistant

3 Myths (and One Truth) About Hiring a Virtual Assistant

I talk with women who own creative online businesses literally every day, so let me tell you—if you’ve said to yourself, “I know I need to hire a Virtual Assistant, but…” believe me. You are NOT alone. There’s no shortage of ways you could finish that sentence. That is, there are a lot of reasons why you may feel like you can’t hire help in your business. And some of those reasons are valid. But many of them aren’t. Feel like you need to hire a Virtual Assistant, but you’re not convinced yet? Here are 3 of the most common myths about hiring a Virtual Assistant (and one big truth).

Show of hands: how many of you online entrepreneurs—when you started creating your online business—couldn’t wait to get bogged down in administrative tasks? OK, so that’s a ridiculous question, obviously. When you dreamt up your business, you were thinking of the ways you wanted to share your mission with the world. You wanted to help people solve a problem, create a beautiful space, or create meaningful results in their lives.

You started your business to help change lives, NOT to spend time on admin, right?

When you’re in your “honeymoon” phase of business development, you’re not envisioning the late nights responding to client emails, the “just let me finish this one newsletter before I start dinner” frenzy, the hours and energy that you’ll spend on business support work that really isn’t the reason you started this business in the first place.

But before long, that honeymoon phase is over and you ARE bogged down in management and administration. 

Where do you even start with finding great online business support? Fellow online entrepreneurs and Facebook groups can be a wealth of knowledge on the subject—for better or worse! Hiring a virtual assistant or other business support services (like a project manager or online business manager) can be daunting. So let me help make it easier.

I’m here to debunk 3 common myths you’ve probably heard about hiring a virtual assistant for your online business.

MYTH #1: “I’M SAVING TIME JUST DOING THE WORK MYSELF.”

AKA: “It’s easier for me just to keep doing this work because I know how I want it done.” 

AKA: “Delegating to a virtual assistant just takes too much energy.”

AKA: “It would be a waste to hire someone else to do this when I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself.”

YOU GUYS. Just… no. Believe me, I get it. When you first think of delegating, you can feel overwhelmed. Where do you even start? Fortunately, I have a lot to say on the subject of how to go about hiring a virtual assistant (and I can help you hire a VA without feeling totally overwhelmed.) 

The truth is, yes, there’s a little bit of extra time and energy that goes into onboarding a virtual assistant (or an online business manager). But when you find the right VA for your online business, you get that time back in spades. 

Which leads us to…

MYTH #2: DIYING SAVES ME MONEY.

This is closely related to Myth #1 (and they’re both equally false—as long as you’re hiring the right person for business support services.) I wrote a whole post on this recently that breaks down how much more money you can bring in every quarter when you have the right online business help based on real-life examples.

MYTH # 3: I NEED TO SCALE MY BUSINESS FIRST. THEN I’LL BE READY TO HIRE.

If you’re an online entrepreneur who is struggling to get your first clients, then sure. It may benefit you to get to a place where you’ve got some revenue consistency. But if you have fairly consistent clients and you want to *grow* your business? I’ve gotta tell you: you’re ready.

THE TRUTH? IF YOU WANT TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL, YOU HAVE TO STOP WASTING TIME ON ADMINISTRATIVE WORK.

Stop:

  • Scheduling clients

  • Fidgeting with your client onboarding system

  • Scheduling your social media posts

  • Setting up your own lead pages

  • Formatting and scheduling your newsletters

  • Tracking down missed payments

  • Proofreading your own content

  • Tracking your own analytics

…just to name a few!

Are you ready to up-level your business? Then you need to be spending your work hours on client-attracting, high-value work. Are you still doing most of those jobs I listed above? If so, you’re going to find it harder to grow your business because you’re not spending your time where it counts. If that’s the case, I’d love for you to check out my Set Up to Scale Up program, where I help creative women with online businesses (just like you!) scale their businesses and increase revenue while doing what they love.

5 Ways to Know If Your Creative Business Is Leading You to Burnout

5 Ways to Know If Your Creative Business Is Leading You to Burnout

Often, organization doesn’t feel easy for creative online entrepreneurs like you. When you’re multipassionate, trying to corral those exciting and brilliant ideas can feel like herding (mental) cats. Let me ask you a question: does managing your business feel more time-consuming, frustrating, and like just more work than you think it should? Do you ever feel like you’re on the edge of burnout as an online entrepreneur? Does the idea of organizing your business leave you feeling emotionally drained? There’s a good reason you’re feeling that way. Without the right support as an online entrepreneur, you’re inviting burnout and mental exhaustion.

If you’ve found yourself spending way too much money and way too much time on tools that promise to fix all of your admin worries (but don’t work), I might have an idea of what’s gunking you up.

Here are 5 of the most common ways that running your business is leading you to burnout.

Do any of these burnout symptoms sound familiar?

1. YOUR EFFORTS TO STREAMLINE YOUR WORK ARE ACTUALLY CAUSING MORE WORK.

We’ve all been there. We have the best intentions to get organized but then end up getting distracted, redirected, or lost along the way. Here are some classic scenarios:

  • An online entrepreneur recognizes she’s stretched too thin and wants to delegate tasks to someone else. To do so, she spends precious hours of her own time and energy each week/month spoon-feeding this new person information, and creating new To-Do lists for herself to ensure the new team member can do the old To-Do tasks she’s trying to offload. The result is she’s spent the same wasted amount of hours on the same old tasks, it’s just dressed up as “delegating.” (Little disclaimer: Delegating is great! Just make sure you’re inventing the offboarding wheel once rather than setting up a new system that requires the same amount of effort from you each time a task is due.)

  • An entrepreneur sees she’s unorganized and looks for productivity software to help. She chooses the most detailed and intensive one, assuming it will give her the most support. Instead, she finds herself frustrated, confused, and scheduling hour-long meetings with tech support and lost in a customer-support email wasteland. In the meantime, business tasks are being dropped and important items are lost in the cracks thanks to her new confusing software.

  • An online entrepreneur decides it’s time she “gets organized once and for all” and emphatically heads out to buy a planner, pens, sticky notepads, a new water bottle that says “boss” on it, stays up all night reorganizing her work desk, decides to update her email signature, gets a new professional headshot, buys business cards, creates a Twitter account, tries a new website building platform, and creates a mood board and — wait a minute — has she done any work?

A fast way to identify if you’re creating more work for yourself is by answering this single question: “Is the task I’m about to take on going to move the needle on the specific task that needs completing? Or is it simply a new task that runs adjacent or parallel to the task I really need to deal with?” If the answer to the first question is NO and the second question is YES, stop. Refocus. Go back to what you’re truly trying to accomplish.

2. YOU’RE NOT CONSIDERING YOUR NATURAL ENERGY FLOW:

This is so, SO key, you guys! The 9-5pm schedule is not for everyone, especially for creative entrepreneurs!

If you’re dumping your most important items on your plate in the morning and find you’re totally mentally exhausted by lunch, you’re really setting yourself up for a day half-wasted. Instead, try tackling your priorities during the pockets of time you feel your most alert, most creative, most focused, even if that doesn’t mean they’re done “first.”

Perhaps it’s in the early morning hours before your family wakes up or late at night when the rest of the world is quiet. I’ve seen people rock a “2 hours on-1 hour off” format that begins at 8am and ends at 7pm. Sure, they start a little earlier and end a little later, but they have an organic 3 hours of “off-time” built in to tackle life’s other daily needs.

The beauty of rocking your own business is having the freedom (and permission!) to structure your hours in a way that works best for you.

3. YOU’RE WASTING TIME TRYING TO CUT CORNERS INSTEAD OF JUST DOING THE THING.

Tale as old as time. When we feel overwhelmed or emotionally drained, we can sometimes panic looking for ways to avoid the grind rather than *master* the grind. Instead of dropping your shoulders and plowing through the work, you spend your day procrastinating and completing a lil’ bit of this here, a lil’ bit of that there, so on and so forth. Then, at the end of the day, you ultimately didn’t save any time and you have nothing finished to show for it.

4. YOU’RE FEEDING YOUR “MUST-HUSTLE” BEAST AND TEETERING ON THE BRINK OF BURNOUT.

Listen, I know how good it feels to be “in the zone.” However, there is an important distinction between good business management and setting unrealistic expectations on an impossible timeline. While it feels great to get work done, it’s important to remain practical about what you’re asking from yourself. Maximizing your work when your energy is high is great, but don’t plan your projects around that level or productivity forever and always. You’re going to burn out eventually, and all of that momentum and progress you made will be sacrificed and lost in the long run when suddenly you feel like you can’t do ANY work.

5. YOU’VE FOUND YOURSELF IN A CONSTANT STATE OF REACTING.

One fast way to tell if you’re in a cycle of bad online business management is to determine if you are always in a constant state of reacting. What I mean is: You’re playing defense. Your days are spent putting out fires, addressing issues that popped up the day prior, and tackling items as they happen, making it impossible to get started on your own goals and objectives. It’s like trying to fill in cracks in a wall while water leaks through.

Good business support will do two things: 1. Allow you to play offense — i.e. put you in a place where you can be strategic, thoughtful, and innovative about the business moves you want to make and ultimately have space and time to put them into action. And 2.) build you a sturdy foundation so water doesn’t begin to leak through the cracks in the first place. I have a lot more to say about this, but that’s for another blog.

Remember: without the right support as an online entrepreneur, you’re inviting burnout and mental exhaustion.

 

Fortunately, I can help you take the reins on your workflow and implement systems that counteract the pitfalls described here. If this sounds like exactly what you need right now, then I’d love to introduce you to my Set Up to Scale Up Strategy Session package. In just 3 hours together, we can build that solid foundation for the most painful part of your biz.

I promise it’s possible to stop spinning your wheels, capitalize on your energy, maximize your time, avoid burning out, and play stellar offense for your business, and I’d love to help.

1 Quick Hack Creative Entrepreneurs Can Use to Plan an Easier Launch

1 Quick Hack Creative Entrepreneurs Can Use to Plan an Easier Launch

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Buffer Time. White Space. Unscheduled Time. Whatever you want to call it, it’s something I’m a little bit obsessed with right now (because I’m kind of hoarding it, but that’s just where I am ATM.)

pretend the ring is free time, m’kay?


See, last week was crazy. There was snow. The kids had time off school. My husband got a cold, then he graciously shared it with the rest of the family (and I still haven’t totally recovered). Plans changed. Stuff still got done, but, you know… less than usual. Life showed up.

Life’s fun that way. You cannot stop it from showing up. And it usually doesn’t RSVP.

Since you can’t prevent the unexpected, you have to account for it. So anytime you’re making a plan (one with some kind of timeline attached to it), you gotta add Buffer Time.

Back when I was a corporate Project Manager (‘lo these many months ago), I learned some really valuable advice around this idea. 

Now, I know you’re not a corporate project manager, but stick with me here, I promise this will end up applying to you. 

The advice was NEVER to tell management the Best Case Scenario timeline. N.E.V.E.R. So, sure IF the clients gets us all of the specifications in on time and IF they include all the stakeholders’ ideas and IF the testing phase runs as normal and IF… you get the idea. There are a lot of variables that can impact a timeline and a lot of chances for Life to show up at any one of them.

If a project manager were to tell the boss, “Well, we expect the project to take 8 weeks, but if everything goes well, we can get it done in 5,” which part of that do you think the boss really hears? It ain’t the longer time frame, I promise. And how often do you think the project ACTUALLY gets done in 5 weeks instead of 8? There’s probably some data out there on that type of question, but I’m not going to look it up. Both you and I know that it’s probably not very often. Thanks, Life.

And how does the boss feel when the project takes 8 weeks instead of 5? Well, sure, you may have SAID that you expected the project to take 8 weeks, but that’s not what they heard, so when 5 weeks pass, then 6, then 7, the boss gets more and more frustrated and YOU feel more and more stressed because the pressure increases with every extra week that goes by.

So what does this mean for you and your creative business? Here’s what I want you to do: go back to that corporate boss scenario I just laid out for you and read it again. But THIS time, imagine your brain as the boss.

Does that change how this scenario feels?

Those extra 3 weeks between “Best Case Scenario” and “Actual Projection”? That’s your buffer time. It’s the time you add in because you know that Life’s gonna show up.


Giving the Best Case Scenario timeframe is one thing when your job may be on the line, right? That is, it’s easy to err on the safe side if you think your boss is going to be mad at you for missing a deadline. But when you’re both the planner AND the boss, it is SO easy to give your brain that Best Case timeline. And then when things don’t pan out in the best way possible, you’re stressed. Maybe you feel like you’ve failed. Maybe you start avoiding the work entirely. And the longer you put it off, the more daunting it feels.

So consider this your friendly reminder that no matter your plans, Life’s gonna be there. Add in some cushion time to your plans. Just a little unscheduled time around each task (small tasks need a little less, big tasks a little more). No need to be super technical with the amounts (that gets deep into project management territory and we don’t need to go there today). There may be some trial and error and find what works. And if you’re someone who tends to procrastinate when you have the opportunity, keep that in mind. That is, don’t go nutso with your Buffer Time—try to balance momentum with white space.

Allowing yourself a little leeway in your plans will make a HUGE difference in how you feel about them. You’re still gonna get there. But it’s going to feel SO much better on the way.

3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done

If getting organized was easy then yes, of course, we’d all do it. Learning how to prioritize tasks and carry out a plan is as valuable of a skillset as any other business-building skill — right up there with the Copy & Paste command on a keyboard. Organizing your work and implementing systems so that you get more done with less effort is a skill that can take years to learn and usually involves a lot of bumps in the road and mistakes, too. 

In my experience and expertise as someone who has a passion for prioritizing, a knack for organization, and a real-life job as a project manager for creative women business owners, I’ve identified the three biggest players in the Prioritization & Execution Business Game, and I’m going to share them with you…

The key is in identifying your biggest motivators, calling out your sneaky potential roadblocks, and addressing your pesky time-sucks

Once you can clearly establish these three components you can start to get strategic about your work! Learning your motivators will effectively pad you with positive launch ammo, like passion, drive, and energy.

Having a leg up on your roadblocks ensures smooth troubleshooting and effective execution, and getting clear on your time-sucks gives you the opportunity to power through tricky tasks that threaten to sabotage your big-picture plan. And not doing this pre-work planning? Well, in that case, you’d better work really well under pressure because your work will take longer, require extra work, and load you up with extra stress.

I encourage you to pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee, set up by a nice big window with your favorite pen and notepad, and give the following a go: 

Begin by reflecting on what pieces of your project are the most exciting to you. These are your motivators. These tasks will most likely be the pieces of your job that made you start this business in the first place. For a lot of creatives, it might be the end-goal, the final deliverable, or the “big picture.” If this is the case for you, write it down somewhere meaningful and visible so you can use it as a reminder when the going gets tough. If you feel bogged down with the technicalities of a job or project, refer to this shiny motivator — let it energize your drive and boost your momentum! You can also sprinkle small pieces of your motivator throughout your work week to operate as a small dose of drive when you need it. (For example, if you love the feeling of a happy client, work in time to review previous happy testimonials and see how you can apply the feedback to your new or upcoming launch!) 

Next, acknowledge the pieces of your project or launch you’re worried about. These are your potential roadblocks. These items require nurturing, attention, time and space. Do not jam pack the tasks that you know are going to trip you up at the end of your schedule when you will be crunched for time no matter what. Set up a game plan in advance to methodically address these buggers with the care and thought they (and you!) need. The sooner these are addressed, the smoother the launch-waters will be! 

***Note: It might not be possible to address/tackle all roadblocks at the top of the launch, simply because they may not appear until other pieces of your project have been completed! That’s OK! Just knowing they’re on the horizon will give you the chance to plan for them when they inevitably arrive. 

Lastly, identify which specific tasks keep getting knocked down to the bottom of your To-Do list or keep being moved to the next day/week/month. These are your time-sucks. These are the worst. These items are often small, simple things that make a person think, “Oh, I’ll just handle that tomorrow morning,” “Oh, that will only take me 5 minutes,” “Oh, I can do that on my lunch break/before bed/on my commute.” While they might seem small, they are detrimental to productivity. When enough time-sucks pile up, you find yourself way-way behind, or worse — unable to move forward at all until they’re addressed. Make a big ol’ checklist of your time-sucks and set aside as much time as you think you realistically need to handle them. (Then, once you’ve allotted a set amount of time, add a lil’ more.) When you’re able to treat time-sucks as priority items, you’ll be amazed at how efficiently you can blow through other, larger tasks! 

Approaching your business in this thoughtful and careful way will help set you up for major success without the major paint points of confusion and burn out. 

There is no shame in saying “Hey, this piece is going to be hard for me,” just like you should not shy away from the parts that make you go, “I am so good at this!” Organizing your business admin in a way that capitalizes on the good and works with (not against) the “bad” makes you one hell of a smart business-woman, and I hope this system gives you major peace of mind. 

Also, also – there’s more relief where this comes from. 

If all of this still feels overwhelming or you’re struggling with identifying which things are motivators, challenges, and time-sucks I have a dream solution for you: Let me do it. My custom Love Your Launch Masterplan offers 1:1 support and accountability throughout the life of your project. I will pad you up with all the tools you need (including this strategy!) to help you plow through your business admin with grace and agility. Spots are super limited thanks to the specific attention to detail and care that goes into each masterplan. Click over here to get on my calendar!