How do you know when you’re ready to launch? It could be anything: a side project, a business, a book, a career, yourself after college, a family, etc.
There’s no such thing as perfect timing. As this article on happiness puts it:
“There may be better and worse times to do something, but there’s no perfect time, ever. Stop waiting around for ultimate readiness, because it’s not coming.”
It’s tempting to wait to launch until everything is perfect: your website, your edits, your logo design, your finances. But this is a trap. You’ll be in the waiting place forever. No matter your situation, launching is a risk and risks are chancy. At the very least, they signify changes.
I handle timing by asking this question: are you launching right now? Yes? Good. Then you’re ready. In other words, there’s no right time to launch except the time you find yourself launching. Which means that if you’re mid launch and and freaking out because you’re not “ready,” don’t worry. You’re probably more prepared than you think and if not, it’s fixable: the Internet exists. But since you’re no fool, you’ve probably done a lot of thinking, talking, research, planning. Well, you can do that forever and still not feel “ready.” You have to go for it.
Don’t wait for the perfect time. (For more on timing and changes, see Bullish: When To Make Massive And Ballsy Life Changes For Your Career)
What about money? Having a financial cushion eases the discomfort of launching, especially if your launch involves a pay cut of some kind (actually, it eases discomfort in general). But. A nest egg is not a requirement to launch. I read that starting my business would cost up to $7,000. It didn’t. I was recommended to get a second credit card before I launched. I didn’t. Of course, having money is easier than not having any, but like timing there is no magical state of financial “readiness” to reach before you start something.
But you do need a business model, i.e. an idea of where the money you need to live will come from while you launch your empire or start your family. My solution is working part-time in retail. It’s a win: I like the job and people and being on my feet several days a week is a nice contrast to sitting in front of a computer. You’ll enjoy your launch a thousand percent more if you’re not panicking about how to pay your rent. You don’t need a nest egg, but it’s good to avoid going broke.
What if your thing sucks and nobody wants it? This is unlikely, and there are ways to make it less likely: market research, marketing research, testing, finding a niche, getting specific, putting yourself out there, trying new things.
Starting a brand new thing is vulnerable. It probably won’t go the way you expect (fear of the unknown) and it might not work at all (no one loves failing even though failure and mistakes are important and inevitable). No problem. This is your launch, which means that you define success. Success may be self-publishing your memoir, even if only your friends buy it.
When I cried to my sister that my business would never make money and I’d be alone and friendless forever, she suggested redefining success as helping people instead of making enough money to live. Making money is a good measure of success, but it’s not the only one. As my primarily measure of success it was making me feel like a panicked failure instead of a powerful person who makes her clients’ lives better.
Do you have an idea, project, or business you want to launch? There’s no time, money, or confidence like the present.
This post is part of The Bullish Blog Network.
(Photo sources here and here)