If you talked to me about a year ago, I would have responded “you’ve got to be shitting me, do you want me to end up in the hospital again!?”
…And I wouldn’t have been wrong.
A year ago this week I was balling my eyes out on the phone with my dear friend telling her I would die if I had to go through another launch. We were a month out from launching our last round of Not So Skinny Style School in March 2016, but as many of you should know, a lot has happened since then.
Since day 1 of envisioning my online style school, I wanted to create a place where women could come, tap into my whole collection of style knowledge, connect with experts beyond me and grow a community of women taking a more soul-based approach to style. What I didn’t realize is that I would almost kill myself in the progress.
In a society with a masculine approach to business and life, even those businesses with women leaders, like myself, are often fraught with intense burnout. I can’t tell you how many Facebook posts I’ve seen in the past year where I have seen fellow women entrepreneurs hospitalized or get really sick due to sacrificing it all for their businesses, just like I was doing.
Women are burning out of careers at a higher rate than men (take a look at this U of Kansas study about women in journalism).
So many of us turned to entrepreneurship because we wanted the freedom but so many of us end up being slaves to our businesses which isn’t the freaking point. We’re in a time where so many women are standing up for equality yet we’re trying to make ourselves live in a masculine-based model.
No wonder we’re fucking tired!
Last year at this time my body + soul knew something wasn’t right.
I committed myself to finding a new way to build my business, breaking free from modeling mentors or others and just listening to my soul. But then last summer I started to go into launch planning mode while in Florence at design school and I started feeling sick. You see, normally these large launches cost five figures, and are planned at least 6 months out. Going into a new launch felt off. So I let it go.
5 months later when I asked myself if I could launch my rebranded school,
Style Icon Academy in 30 days I was surprised to hear my soul give that resounding yes…and a shortened timeline of all things!
So, how did I do it and how can you do it too?
1. “How do you want to feel?”
The first thing I got clear on was that I wanted my launch to feel both simple and ease filled. Every day and every meeting I reminded myself and my team of that goal. When something felt hard or uncomfortable, I’d evaluate if it was more complicated than it needed to be.
Your action step:
Get clear on your core desired feelings around the launch. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Check out Danielle Laporte’s amazing book, The Desire Map.)
2. I mapped it out (and realized I already had a lot of what I needed).
I first realized I could re-purpose some of my old content, including the structure of the 15 day Style Challenges into the Style Icon Challenge + I could use some of our previous launch emails but update them to fit the launch. As much as some things were completely re-written the structure was already there. I brain dumped everything I wanted to do in the launch and I broke it up into super small tasks. I then put everything into our project management software Asana and delegated to my team members.
Your action step:
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or total newbie, ask yourself how you show up best in the world. Is it through podcasts, video, your visuals, the written word or something else? Make sure you play in your zone of genius in your launch plan. You’ll have fun in the process and show up in your best way!
3. Less is more.
I took back a lot from my team and cut down on our independent contractors that would normally help with a launch. If you saw my 1099s from the past 2 years you’d know how many outside contractors we used for launches. I know many first launches don’t always have the budget for a copywriter but I always had copy support around launches. Having to not manage a lot of people (or managing my business manager managing a ton of people), it made everything feel so much lighter (not only to my pocketbook). Not promising anything won’t ever be hard in a launch but by making it simpler and not taking on as much you’ll feel more free even if you still have your plate full.
Your action step:
Take a look at your action steps and ask, where can I step back + make this simpler?
4. Trust the universe will provide what you need.
I didn’t want to go and spend thousands having my developer or designer redoing our sales page and membership site. One Sunday before I went to bed, I envisioned getting a membership site that I could plug and play, which would allow me to grow as I scaled my program. I let it go and forgot about it. The next day I got an email from Teachable personally reaching out to me asking if there was a potential for us to work together. Umm, hello! Universe, I heard you and the next day I was on the phone with Jess hearing about my dream come true program. We’re actually doing a webinar on Tuesday, February 21st, so take a peek!
Your action step:
Along the way when you need something, envision it and let it into the universe. Sometimes a quick google search or Facebook post asking for suggestions will provide the answers, and sometimes they’ll come looking for you. If you’re looking for a way to easily launch a membership site, make sure you join my webinar with Teachable next week.
5. I let it go.
A lot came up for me during the past 2 months of launching Style Icon Academy…Guilt from how much money I had spent in the past on the launches to guilt for treating my body so badly in the process. The thing I realized is, it can be easy and I can commit to making it easier. Last night during my galentine’s with my close friends in LA, we did a little ceremony to let go of our old versions of ourselves. A lot of my journey over the past 2 months has been letting go of my “shoulds” as well (i.e., I should have done a video training series, etc. etc.).
Your action step:
If you’re holding on to the past biz you, honor it then let it go in whatever way you want (I love fire and burning sage). Make the commitment to allow the journey of a launch to unfold and teach you the lesson it’s meant to teach you. Let those “shoulds” go!
What’s next for my launches?
From now going forward, I am committing to making launches feel simpler so I not only nourish myself, but my business as well. I know I will not always feel amazing during a launch but I am committed to making my life easier, and the lives of my clients too.
One of the biggest ways I made my life easier was by finding Teachable and using them to set up my sales page + membership site in a matter of a few hours. I am so grateful to have had them land in my lap.
When I started to plan our first launch of Not So Skinny Style School in 2014 there wasn’t a platform we could find that existed to plug and play a well-branded membership program. Teachable has made it feel like a completely different experience. It was honestly the easiest part of my launch setting up our backend of the membership site + the sales page on Teachable, something I would have never expected to say even when I signed up. It was worth every single penny I spent on membership, and more!
It doesn’t have to be hard.
It doesn’t have to be so tiring.
It doesn’t have to be so complicated.
If you are looking to launch an online course, you don’t have to almost kill yourself in the process like I did and so many other entrepreneurs have done before us. I hope you’ll join me next week at the webinar I’m hosting with Jess from Teachable …you could literally launch your new program next week, it’s really that easy.