Can you believe we are in the third quarter of the year? You know what that means? It means it is another opportunity for success!
I have heard so many people who start thinking about that success in the new year. Sometimes, after the fog clears from all of the holiday family and friend time, we start to think that maybe it is a good time to start something new.. the next big thing in launches.
Oh, I know. Some of you have this all figured out and have already been scheduling your launches (and your success) like a pro for years. But, for those of you who haven’t been doing that, it is definitely time to get started.
Ideally, you put together your strategy so that you have something that you can launch during the biggest shopping season of the year. Fortunately, you have some time before we reach that time of this year. And, possibly you can offer a deep discount and walk away with a bunch of new clients.
You knew that, right? So, speaking of what you know (and don’t know), let’s start there. Rather than re-hashing the actual launch process, let’s work on where we are right now and what we need to get accomplished for success in the next year.
Prep Step 1: Taking Inventory (Strengths versus Weaknesses)
As you probably already gathered, the first step is in taking an inventory. Sit down with your favorite comfy food or drink, pull out your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper, and start making a list.
I have even heard that there is some psychological thing that goes on in your brain when you actually do the writing with a pen/pencil and a notebook. I have personally experienced that! But, I also understand that this is the 21st century and we are used to jotting down our thoughts in a computer… especially when we want to be able to retrieve them later.
Oh, the list…
We want to make two lists. One is a list of what we do well and one is a list of where we could use some improvement.
There are two rules:
- Write and do not stop. Basically, that is what is called brainstorming. Don’t worry about grammar errors, writing illegibly, writing something silly (or even inaccurate). Instead, just keep writing. You don’t have to speed write. You can take it calmly and slowly (and even take a small break to sip your drink) as long as the pace is continuous at whatever speed you choose and you do not actually let yourself stop until you are done with the exercise.
- The second rule is fairly easy. As a part of the “do not stop” step, do not allow yourself to over-analyze what you are about to write/type. So, in one list, you are writing your strengths and the other is the list of areas where you need to improve. When a skill pops into your head, do not stop to try to figure out what side of the center that skill falls on but put it in one of the lists without over-thinking.
What are we doing here? We are trying not to second-guess ourselves. By doing this (and doing it calmly) we allow ourselves to expand our thinking in the brainstorming efforts and are more likely to think of more to add to our lists.
Also, these may be the rules for during the time of the exercise, but you are allowed to go back and edit grammar errors or move skills from one list to the other after we have completed the brainstorming. The “rules” only apply to the process during the brainstorming.
Prep Step 2: Getting Organized
You’ve completed your lists. Great. For now, set aside the list of strengths. Yes, we can always improve on those skills, but we want to focus on the skills that need the most improvement.
How about this… In your column or to-do list under “Needs Improvement” either sort the skills (if the list is short enough) or give them a score of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best (needs the least amount of improvement). Then, go through your list and pick one of the skills that have a 5 next to it. That is the one that we are going to focus on for this exercise.
I hope this article will prompt you to launch something this year! Good luck!