A few weeks ago, my mastermind group and I were joking that launching is sooooo stressful that there’s a market for such a thing as a launch therapist.
It was only funny because it’s entirely true! Over the years, I’ve worked behind-the-scenes supporting many of my clients as they launch, especially in the last 18 months.
And if there’s one thing I know about launching, it is that launch stress is no joke. Personally, I’m pretty much involved in a launch every day of the year. For clients, we’re either planning a launch or actually launching, and then there’s our internal launches.
As a result, I’ve had to learn how to keep the launch stress at bay otherwise I’d have collapsed and be out of business by now.
There are definitely things you can do on a personal level to take care of yourself from ensuring you’re getting enough sleep to eating well and moving your body.
Self-care is important, but the real secret comes down to stopping launch stress before it starts so you’re not causing a fight or flight response in the first place. (You know – the sweaty, heart beating fast feeling that you get in the moment when things are going off the rails.)
Here are five ways to stop your launch stress before it starts:
#1. Start Early
Launching takes way more time and details than most people realize, which is why it’s better to start much, much, much earlier than you think you need to.
How much time do you really need? However much you think you need timewise, add at least 50% more.
Let’s say you’re focused on getting something out the door quickly and you want to launch in two weeks. Make it three weeks, because there are always going to be things that trip you up along the way. No amount of planning can help you avoid these gotchas, so just leave wiggle room in your calendar.
Also, if you’re working with any type of contractor (from a designer to a launch manager to a VA to support your launch), to get someone really good at what they are doing, you’ll need to book them at least 60 to 90 days in advance. (Here at Scoop, we book for launches three to four months in advance, if not more.)
#2. Clear Your Calendar
One of the hardest things to deal with when you get into the weeds of your launch, is having other things that need your time and attention. From working with clients to your day job, those other responsibilities make it challenging to pour your energy into your launch.
If you’re always stuck stealing time to sneak in what you need to do for your launch, it’s going to add extra stress. Plus, all that switching between tasks and projects means you lose time as you flip back and forth.
Clear your calendar as much as possible during the higher volume times of your launch so you can be focused and direct your energy all in one direction.
#3. Get Help
Hey you Superwoman, launching is a team sport. You don’t have to do it all on your own and there are no bonus points for doing it that way.
Asking for help is hard. But if you’re going to keep all of your marbles while you’re launching, you need to get help.
What kind of help? That’s going to depend on the stage of your business, your specific needs and your budget.
You may need to hire someone to help with a specific aspect of your launch, or maybe you don’t have budget for that but you need support from a good friend who can read through your sales page and give you some honest feedback.
When it comes to your launch and getting help, look beyond your business too. What can you do to make things easier on the homefront? Maybe you need a little extra childcare the week of your launch, or to plan some meals ahead. (Or maybe just set expectations that you’re going to be extra busy for a bit with your partner, friends or family.)
#4. Always Have a Plan B
Launching truth: There are always going to be some serious surprises. By their very nature, you can’t plan for surprises, but you can try to stress proof your launch by spending time upfront on a Plan B.
Yes, you need to have faith in the results of your launch and that you’ll hit your goals, but you also need to be ready for when a surprise pops up.
Think about where in your launch you may need to be flexible, depending on what’s happening at that point. For example, if you have a goal to enroll 10 people from your webinar, what happens if you only get 7 signed up at that point? What can you pull out of your pocket as a Plan B to help you still reach your goals?
The Plan B (and C and D) can be a real sanity saver as you’ve got a backup plan that you can easily put into action when a surprise happens.
#5. Perspective is Everything
As you go through your launch, remember this is only one launch of many that you’ll have over the years you run your business.
Every launch is a learning experience, and you’re going to chalk up a lot of lessons as you go through your launch, so try to keep that in perspective.
While it may feel like it’s a life or death situation, I assure you it’s not. That thing that’s making your head feel like it’s going to explode, you’ll laugh about months from now. And that moment part way through your launch where you think “WTF am I doing?!?!” – it’s entirely normal.
The Recap: Launch & Celebrate!
Your launch will end. Plan how you’ll celebrate getting through all of it when you wrap so you have that to look forward to no matter what the end result. Having the courage to launch and put yourself out there in the first place deserves celebration!