The following may be of interest to you if you have entrepreneurial ideas and plan on creating and selling e-books. Even if you don’t have plans for an e-book, the process is similar to the process you might use for any new project. And you are getting involved in new projects…aren’t you, Pilgrims?
You may already know that I did a pre-launch of “Money School for Couples” on Monday and that it’s ending today at 6 PM Pacific.
My experiences with this launch have been far different from what I expected. I thought I’d share them with you. As I mentioned above, even if you never plan on launching an e-product, the process of starting something new is the same, and I hope that you’ll be motivated to move forward regardless of the obstacles.
Before I go through the “ah ha” moments, I’ll just remind you that Money School for Couples is an interactive video course. I created it over the last four and half months. The goal is to help couples solve their money trouble and thereby improve or even save a marriage or relationship.
On to the “ah ha” moments:
1. Spending prep time wisely pays off.
I spent a great deal of my free time after work talking to other people who had done this before. I even paid two consultants to help me out. I appreciated the guidance and experience, but they weren’t able to give me the step-by-step instruction I needed.
Finally I read Dave Navarro’s e-book on how to launch an e-book. This was really helpful. It saved me hours and hours and made the process smoother. Just spending time preparing isn’t enough. I had to be clear on what I wanted and where to get it. That’s the “ah ha.”
2. I woke up last Sunday morning and decided that I was going to “get ‘er done.”
I wasn’t completely ready to launch, but I was sick and tired of this being on my “to do” list, so I just did it. I powered through some items that were unfinished, and by about 4 PM on Sunday, I decided I was done.
This turned out to be a great decision. Did I have some glitches? Yes…some major ones. But I wouldn’t have discovered them unless I just launched. The world didn’t stop because my process was flawed. I believe this is a key concept if you want to know how to make a business successful.
3. The (flawed) launch built my confidence.
I put everything I had into making Money School a great program, but I had never sold anything like this before. I didn’t know what folks would think and I had some fears. (Neal’s afterthought — one thing I never looked into was whether my small business liability insurance covered claims made from purchasers. I assumed I didn’t have any liability, but it’s something I should have looked into further.)
How did the launch build my confidence level?
Actually, the launch didn’t…you did.
When I wrote about my ambivalence in sending a sales letter e-mail to my subscribers, you guys kicked my Pilgrim arse. The very first comment I got on my post was from none other than Chris Garrett. (In case you don’t know Chris, he’s an amazingly helpful person and he’s also a blog genius. In fact, Chris’ program Authority Blogger was the blueprint I used to build this blog.) Chris reminded me that it was OK to offer a product (even for money) if I knew it would help others. He reminded me to focus on how the program helps others rather than what financial success or failure with the program means to me. This was a fantastic “ah ha” reminder. Thanks, Chris.
And Chris wasn’t the only one. Everyone who commented encouraged me, and it made a huge difference.
4. Buyers are nice people too.
I checked everything a million times and the entire process worked great. But as soon as I made my first sale, I found a glitch. I fixed it myself – or so I thought. Once I started making more sales, the glitch resurfaced. I felt terrible about inconveniencing the people who bought my program, but you know what? They were great. They understood and gave me some slack. I took care of the problem and the system is working fine now, but I was really surprised by how understanding buyers are.
5. I don’t have to do everything myself.
When the first glitch appeared, I tweeted about it and I received about 10 offers of help. I had fixed it myself (so I thought), so I politely declined. Then, when the glitch reappeared, I called in the big guns. My internet guy is Ben Cope. He bills himself out as “the internet genius,” and he is. Ben is the one who built my blog and maintains it. As soon as I described the problem, he knew exactly what to do to remedy the situation.
I was upset about the problem, but I had no reason to be. The users were patient and Ben knew what to do to fix it. It’s all good, baby…
6. It’s OK to make money.
I love being a part of Wealth Pilgrim, but I also wanted to learn how to make money on the side. I want to earn a few shekels for my time and there is nothing wrong with that. I believe in what I’m doing here and I believe in what I’m offering. The focus here will never be how to maximize my income from the readers. But I’m willing to post affiliate links and product reviews if I really believe in them.
For example, in this post, I have two affiliate links. One for Chris and one for Dave. Both of these guys have helped me tremendously. Why shouldn’t I tell you about it and benefit by sharing my experiences? You’ll benefit. Dave and Chris will benefit. What am I…chopped liver?
Bottom line: I learned that help comes from everywhere. People are great and understanding. Nobody expects me to be perfect. Even if I didn’t make a dime for Money School, these lessons would have made the entire process worthwhile.
What about you? Have you ever embarked on a mission and found that you learned things you never expected to discover? Have you ever jumped in before you were ready? What were the results?
Awaken the Author Within says
I keep read sites that talk about becoming financially free or making an extra income, and seeing your information is encouraging, because it is not so easy as they say it is..
Well done on getting this done Neal. We all think about doing something different, but only a few of us actually take it to the next level – and that doesn’t include me (yet!)
It will be interesting if you’re able to share numbers in the future, although I’ll understand of course if you can’t.
Of rather more interest will be when you get that first letter from a couple your work helps put right, as I’m sure will happen in time.
Glad that you followed through on this project. Hats off to you.
Sandy L says
Neal, this made me think of your new product launch…although I’m sure yours is much more in depth.
You know Personal Finance has gone mainstream when SNL starts making fun of it.
Thanks Sandy . You are right…I’ve seen this one and it’s a complete crack up. thanks.
Congrats Neal – as always an inspiration
Financial Samurai says
It’s a great initiative Neal, and you will never know until you try. Here you are trying, and you’re taking away a lot form this experience.
There’s no shame in making money. Just have confidence in yourself as an authority in whatever you’re trying to sell and go for it!
I wish I had more time, but i feel like i have two cinder blocks strapped to my angles, and i’m trying to swim up for air.
Just popping in to say I’m proud of you, Action Taker!
Way to take a big step forward to designing your best biz and life…and helping others along the way. And as I know YOU know…that is what it’s all about.
Congrats on finally gittin ‘er done! I think I need to take some inspiration from this and finally get working on that e-book I’ve been thinking about!
Thanks Chris…..coming from you, this is a huge boost.
Chris Garrett says
I will support a petition to get “understandingness” regarded as a Real Word 🙂 and congratulations on your launch and the learning you got from it. It’s always great to be a “doer” rather than a “some dayer” 😉
WOW……two comments from two of my favorite blogging buddies.
You guys do me such honor. Thanks.
ps Mike….not sure if “understandingness” was a word….but it is now!~
Nice work, man!
I’d be lying if I wasn’t super jealous. Thanks for being an inspiration for those of us looking to get over the hump.
The trolls will die off and go elsewhere. What’ll be left is the people you’ve helped and the couples that have benefited… whoo-hoo!
Mike Piper says
Happy to hear that it’s going well. 🙂
Also, I wonder how likely it is that the understandingness (is that a word?) of your customers is a result of the audience you’ve cultivated here.