Episode #7: Launch To-Dos (Getting Started in Business Mini-Series, Part 3)

DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. Episode 7 - Launch To-Dos (Getting Started in Your Business, Mini-Series, Pt. 3

In this episode, we’re talking about launch to-dos, sharing some listener feedback from a previous episode, and we finish the show with a weekly actionable tip about setting by-when’s that will move your business forward.


Podcast Sponsors:

NTA | Podcast Sponsor | Driven Podcast

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re bringing you the third part of our three-part miniseries on how to get started in business. Today we’re talking about launch to-dos. We’re also covering some listener feedback from a previous episode, and we’ll finish the show off with a weekly actionable tip about setting by-whens. These will really move your business forward.

Topics:

  1. What’s on my plate [2:37]
  2. Shop Talk: Launch to-dos [10:02]
  3. Listener Feedback from a previous episode [52:10]
  4. Tip of The Week: creating by-whens [53:55]

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants by focusing on bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes a whole-food, properly prepared, and nutrient dense diet as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s innate ability to heal.

Throughout their programs, students learn a wide-range of educational tools and techniques to identify and correct nutritional imbalances and deficiencies in their clients, and to launch a successful career in holistic nutrition. The NTA produces like-minded practitioners and consultants that we endorse and consider colleagues in the health and wellness space. Registration for the February enrollment opens on September 17th. You can learn more, and save your seat by going to www.NutritionalTherapy.com. Don’t forget to mention our name, The Driven Podcast, on your application.

1.  What’s on my plate [2:37]

Cassy Joy: What’s on my plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses and lives this week. Diane, what’s going on?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I just hopped off my Peloton bike. {laughs} Not sponsored. As you know, I earned the Peloton bike as; it was a trip incentive that we had for Beautycounter, but I decided to go for this other prize, the Peloton bike. And that was my third official ride. So I’m sliding into home. Got my shower, put my skincare on, and here I am. I’m excited for today’s episode.

A few things going on this week in my business. So the 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaches program, that class is in full swing in terms of enrollment. We’ve got people who came in. I hosted a live webinar recently on three tips that everyone who is starting a business really needs to know. So if you did not get in on that, I’m sure I’ll be doing more of that in the future.

I’ve been talking with my team a lot about what I want to do in 2020 with regards to; not only adjusting the coaching programs that I offer, but doing something that I can offer business coaching for. And you and I chatted about that offline, I’m sure we’ll talk more about it on this show. Cassy is really; she’s my sounding board for all the crazy ideas, and helps me go bigger. Which is; some people might think I have big ideas. And I really don’t. I’m usually thinking way too small. So really excited about that, and talking about potentially doing some live events in 2020. So stay tuned for details on that.

In terms of projects with my team; team Balanced Bites. We’re going to be working on what we’re calling a favorite things project. And I think this is something that most influencers, bloggers; anyone who is talking to people publicly on social media, or just; I don’t know. We all have our favorite things, right? And things that we talk about all the time. And I think we tend to put them in a shop page, or put them in a highlight. I have a hashtag; Diane’s Favorite Things. But I really want to treat this like a real project, where my team and I are sitting down to not only collect up the information and categorize it better, but then fully deploy it so that everybody knows where to find this information, and when there are new folks who come in, I can say; oh hey, check out my favorite things highlight, or my favorite things on the website. Whatever it is.

Again, we do have this already. I feel like it’s more disjointed than it could be. So treating it like an actual project; which, we’re talking today about launching. So it’s totally relevant. But treating it that way, and kind of giving it that honor of being a real project, I think is going to help us communicate it a lot better.

And then the last thing I wanted to mention is; talking about the favorite things. But also with my team about repurposing old content. And this is something that; again, if you’re newer in business, it may not apply to you. But if you’ve had a business for at least a year, I think a lot of us get stuck on this content creation churn. And I always refer to it as a hamster wheel when it comes to content creation.

And you know the analogy that I have, that I like to use about sharing on social media. It’s like throwing a polaroid into a river. And people are not all standing by the side of the river. Or Instagram decided not to let them get to the side of the river, or what have you. So we all have content that we’ve shared over the last year plus that I don’t know; 80-90% of the people who might choose to follow us have not seen. I think a lot of us get stuck in this vibe of create new, create new, create new. But the reality is; we have a lot of new people who will follow us, and they have never seen this old content.

And it’s not about being lazy, or not creating. It’s about actually ushering in those new people with content that sort of creates weight and gravity to what you’re doing. So they get an introduction. Let’s say there were 10 to 20 posts that you could identify as really anchoring content. Like the; hey, nice to meet you. A lot of us do that pretty often. But I realized that I don’t often show myself holding one of my books, or a stack of my books, to tell people; hey, maybe your new! And I scroll back in my feed and I don’t even see one of my own books. And I’m like; they probably don’t know that I wrote these 5 or 6 books. So stuff like that, I’m really focusing on.

Yes, we will create new content, but how do we use what we have to usher in new people, and not just constantly feel freaked out that we have to be creating so much newness all the time. That’s what feels good for me. So that’s kind of the direction we’re going to be going in.

Cassy Joy: I love it! I really, really like that. And I think it’s smart. It tickles my maximizer-ness. {laughs} And it also I think shows you’re a good steward of your readers time and energy, and not assuming that everybody has remembered everything. Because let’s say somebody did; maybe they’re in the 10% of folks who did consume that information when you did put it out; there’s a good chance that if they enjoyed it, they would also like a refresh on it. So I think that’s really smart. And really mirrors what we’re doing. Fed and Fit, as an online editorial; half of our editorial calendar. That’s not even fair; 80% at this point of our editorial calendar is redoing old content and floating it back up to the top, and coming out with a way that we can strategize; how can we get this information out there? So I think that’s so great.

In my neck of the woods, down her in San Antonio, I am in the midst of some migraine, just feels like it’s hurricane season for migraines right now for me. So battling those, with all the crunchy and not crunchy methods. We’re crafting our fall content plan. Normally we don’t run this close to the schedule. We like to be about three months out. We just did November’s content yesterday, so that’s about 6 weeks. And then looking for some really reliable partners.

It’s interesting; we’re going to talk about launching in businesses today, but at the end of the day, if you have to bring in another group, it’s a variable that it’s almost the last one to be considered. If you don’t have somebody in business that you can trust, that you can really rely on, it may mean that it’s a no-go. At least for right now. Until you have to go back to the drawing board.

So that’s kind of where we’re at; really, trying to figure out where does the reliable. Because we at Fed and Fit are willing; if we’re going to take on a project, or launch a business, like we’ll talk about today. My team; we are all in. And if I don’t have the resources external that I can’t control that I can’t really rely upon, then I have to keep looking. Because we have to have somebody that we can really lean on.

So we’re kind of in one of those mixes, of really just reassessing. Do we have the right folks on the team, external to Fed and Fit? And if not, where do those cards reshuffle, and what does this mean in terms of a launch calendar? Most of the time, it means things get delayed. {laughs} Which is not super fun for the number three achiever in me, but it’s definitely the right thing to do.

2.  Shop Talk: Launch to-dos [10:02]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. Next up is Shop Talk. In this segment, we talk about topics that are on both our minds and yours. We’ll cover all sides of the issue, and hopefully land somewhere concise, actionable, and helpful.

Cassy Joy: Today, episode 7! This is just flying along, isn’t it?

Diane Sanfilippo: Just, here we go. We’re in it!

Cassy Joy: {laughs} We launched this thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: We did.

Cassy Joy: We’re still launching it. And I’ll talk about how my brain works with that in a second. But today we’re talking about launch to-dos. If you’re familiar with this series, Diane and I; there’s so much to the conversation of getting started in business. And we were hoping that by answering these larger questions, breaking them down into three different steps, you would find something that lands, hopefully with each episode, if not with just one.

So, I want to start off chatting briefly; because I like to set the stage between different kinds of launches. And I think this is going to land with; some of you are going to identify with both of these, and some of you are going to identify with one or the other. There’s a difference between launching a business, and then launching a project. Right? A project usually falls under the business umbrella. Businesses will come first, and they’ll precede.

So, for example, if you’re launching a business, you decide that you want to start an online coaching business. A wellness coaching business. Then all of the things that are involved in that are similar to a project launch, but there are a few more details to be considered. Right? Like, securing an EIN. An employee identification number. If you are a solo-preneur, meaning that it’s just you, then you can still use probably your social security number. I’m not a tax or accountant official; this is all layman’s terms. Definitely find a professional to advise you. But just from my layman vantage point, if you are looking to really build this into something in the future, and you know that in your gut. You don’t know how it’s going to happen yet; I encourage you to grab an EIN, register with the state.

And just to give you an example; when I launched Fed and Fit, I secured it as an LLC, Fed and Fit, LLC back in 2010 I think is when I registered my LLC. And then I didn’t actually launch www.FedandFit.com until 2011. It was in June 2011. So there was a little procrastination and analysis paralysis going on in there. Which I feel like we addressed in the first miniseries of the Driven podcast, how to get past that.

Once you figure out if it’s a business or a project launch; and if it’s a business launch you have your name, maybe you have the legal paperwork set up. And I think in Texas the cost to register an LLC is $300. It’s nothing super crazy. But I will say, in 2010, I had to borrow $300 from my dad in order to make that happen. Which, as an entrepreneur himself he was, I think, tickled to do.

And then next is going to be grab that URL. I’ll admit; I kind of reshuffle the cards here every once in a while, and I grab the URL first. So when Diane and I were chatting about the Driven podcast, that’s pretty much the first place I went. I went to GoDaddy.com. there are other places you can go to secure websites. That doesn’t have to be the one. But that’s just the one that I have an account with. And I grabbed, I think, three to four different website URL options. Because it’s just; I see those as a great opportunity to grab something if you need it. Whether it’s your name, an idea you have for a business name. I would go and I would see what’s available.

I wouldn’t stress out if the dot com for what you want is not available. If you wanted to do Pink Elephant Nutrition dot com, and Pink Elephant Nutrition dot com is not available, I wouldn’t stress out. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Maybe you do a The Pink Elephant Nutrition dot com, or there’s no reason why you can’t do dot net or some other ones on there. Really, if you have great content, and a great product, and you’re consistent in your branding and your messaging, folks will find you either way.

Ok, I say then from there, secure your social platforms. This is true for both business launches and product launches. And it’s also true; grab a URL for a product launch, if you know that you want that to live somewhere. And admittedly, I also don’t always follow my own advice. For example, with Cook Once. When we wrote Cook Once, we started on that; the first web series released in January 2018. And it wasn’t until; that was a long time ago. A year and a half ago. A year plus; almost two years ago. And exactly one month ago is when I finally secured CookOnce.com. I also didn’t realize, though, that this book and this web series would turn into such a robust project, and a real hallmark of the Fed and Fit brand. So give yourself some grace if all of these things don’t happen in order. But definitely grab that URL sooner than later. I waited a little long, and I wound up buying my first URL ever, because I really wanted CookOnce.com.

And then from there, you’ll secure your social platforms. So this means going into Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. The platforms that you know you want to engage on. The ones that I recommend doing, regardless of your preferences. Because I admit I’m not great on Facebook, but I still think it’s important to have a presence there. I think that the must-haves are going to be Instagram; grab a platform there. Grab a platform on Facebook, Twitter.

I think Pinterest is actually important, even though right now you might be thinking; I don’t know how I would ever use Pinterest for my brand. I still think that Pinterest is going places. And they will continue to evolve, and you’ll be grateful that you at least have a page with a little bit of history behind you.

And then I would definitely grab YouTube. Again; same thing. Even if you’re like; I have no plan on doing video right now. I think it’s important to go ahead and grab that tag. Can you think of any other platforms that are worth grabbing?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well the one thing; I’m with you on all of that. The one other thing I was just going to note about Facebook is that; you actually will need the Facebook page. Because when you’re creating a linked business account between Instagram and Facebook, and eventually going to create ads for your business. Which, again, to your point, you’re probably like; ads, what? But one day, you might. It doesn’t mean you’re going to spend thousands of dollars. You will need to have that representation on Facebook, just because Facebook and Instagram are the same company. So definitely claiming both. Because you just have to have that connection.

Cassy Joy: Yes. And if you’re looking for ways to differentiate; let’s say, for example, Pink Elephant Nutrition. I don’t know why I’m coming up with that name. It’s probably a terrible name. But whatever name you have focused that you really want to launch with; if that’s not available as the same name across all the platforms, I would not overthink it. I think it’s nice to have the same name everywhere, but if it’s just not a possibility, don’t worry about it. Remember that you can always tag your name in there, as well. Pink Elephant Nutrition by Kate, for example. Or something like that.

Just don’t over analyze the name, because you can always change it later. But it’s important to start. It’s important to have some sort of your finger on something, and your foot in the door, so to speak.

Diane Sanfilippo: And most people aren’t going to be typing in your URL, or typing in the Facebook URL or whatever. They might type in the beginning of an Instagram handle, if they’re looking for you. But most people find you and follow you by links and other tags. So I think getting too hung up on that is definitely not important.

Cassy Joy: Agreed. Next up; I have this step in here because I think it would be more helpful to start this sooner than later. But I would choose a production organization platform sooner than later. So what are these? What the heck am I talking about? These are things like Asana, Google Drive, Coschedule. These are symptoms, most of them free, that you can use to help organize your business. It becomes, essentially, your dashboard for your business.

So let’s say you’re going to work with several contractors. Or maybe you even want to hire some people into the business. This could be your virtual workplace. This is where you have your documents stored. It’s where you have your branding outline. Maybe you have a content calendar or a release calendar. All of your to-do list. This is where you can keep all of these things virtually so that the whole team can access real data real time.

So I would just explore some of those. My team currently uses Asana. We might be switching over to Coschedule at some point in time. Google Drive; Google is, I really believe, the way of the future. I feel like I’m 97 years old; which isn’t fair. There are probably some much savvier 97-year-old’s out there than I am when it comes to Google. I need to get on the ball. I also know, because I have a daughter eventually who will be in grade school, and apparently schools are using a lot of Google resources. It’s just a little confusing to me right now, but I think that’s one definitely worth considering. So I would poke around into those.

And then just call this place home. This is where you can give yourself assignments, by-whens, and really organize your thoughts in a visual fashion. What does your team use, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: We use Asana, as well. We were using Basecamp for a really long time. And I think; I mean, Asana definitely is more robust in terms of task management. Which I’m going to talk a little bit about when I get into some notes here. But for a while, I think Asana was not robust enough, because they did not have the file storage that we needed several years ago when I was trying to make a switch. When I had heard about it, I think at the time you could only link to Google Drive. And now they do have file storage, which is really important to us. We’re constantly sharing graphics, and PDFs, and things like that. So I do really like Asana. I like how they’re updating things.

And I’ve heard of another one called Monday, which I have not fully looked into. But I did a brief check into it. Honestly, the name of it is a little tricky. Because I always tell people; hey, this is in Asana. And if I’m saying Monday, I feel like that’s going to get confusing. So if someone, whoever named it. I don’t know; it’s kind of weird. Because to say a day of the week; that’s a little strange to me.

But anyway. We use Asana. Google Drive, for sure. And we use Dropbox a ton. I think when we’re talking about larger file storage, and also talking about sharing files outside of your organization. So for a lot of folks listening; you may not have a team, but you may need to hire a graphic designer. Or you may hire a video editor, or someone to help you with anything really. And being able to share files that are larger through something like Dropbox is pretty critical. We definitely do a ton of video sharing through Dropbox, so I think that’s the one other one that’s pretty important.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. And for example, for the Driven podcast, Dropbox is pretty much where Driven podcast lives. All of our audio files are there. If we have any partners that we’re working with, we will load all of those documents there. And so on and so forth.

And then we have subtasks that we correlate in Asana, and also some Google Documents. So it’s a little bit of everywhere, but I think setting an organized intention is going to really set you up for easier success as you’re trying to put all these parts and pieces together.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right. Especially when you do eventually hire someone, like an assistant. If you’ve organized your life only analog style, in a planner. Which there’s nothing wrong with also using a planner for things, if you like that tactile; I often like to write things down. But, if you’re going to work with other people, it’s got to be digital. It’s got to be cloud based.

What I love about these systems is I can be anywhere. I don’t have to worry; oh, I left my planner at home. Asana is getting a lot better, as well, with their app. So, again, if Asana would like to sponsor this podcast.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But I love being able to, on the fly, add a task through the app. And I think that’s really helpful. And again, when you start looping other people in, overcommunication becomes really critical. So I think that’s a robust part of the app.

Cassy Joy: I agree. Big fan. Ok, the next bullet note that I have here is setting delegation intentions. I think that it’s great to do this sooner than later. Again, even though if you’re starting and you think; I have no budget to delegate anything to anybody. I still think that it’s good to say; the first thing I will delegate is X. And maybe give yourself some sort of a milestone; when this happens, I will delegate this. So I think it’s good to do that sooner than later.

A great resource is the book Focus by Michael Hyatt. I think that might be something worth looking at. He talks about the four different buckets, what to delegate. What are the things that you’re good at, for example, that you enjoy? Keep those. The things that you’re good at that you don’t enjoy, consider delegating. The things that you enjoy but you’re not good at, and then the things that you don’t enjoy that you’re not good at is definitely something to delegate.

So, for example, accounting is not something that I enjoy. I’m ok at it, but I really don’t. Because I’m very detail oriented, but it’s not something that I enjoy. So that fell under the delegation bucket in my organization. Another thing to delegate is something that I am not good at that I do not enjoy, is graphic design. I would so much rather; I can come up with something in my brain, but communicating, how does this actually look, from my minds’ eye onto a computer screen is really difficult for me. So I’d so much rather find somebody who is really gifted at that. Because there are folks who are really gifted at the things that you may not be gifted at.

So I would set those kinds of intentions. Design, accounting, attorney work is an obvious thing that you will probably delegate at some point in time. Videography, video editing, for example like Diane mentioned. Copy editing is something that at some point you might delegate. SEO expertise; those kinds of audits are things that you might delegate. Web development is something that you might delegate, unless that’s something that you’re really good at and that you really enjoy. If you’re starting a business in web design, then it might behoove you to design your own website so that you can use it as an example of your work.

So I would do some analysis of those things sooner than later. And like I said, it’s not obligating you to delegate right away. But I think it’s good to get started.

And really quickly, I would like to mention. If you are not in a position to delegate your accounting right away, and find an official accountant that you can outsource to, there are lots of business owners who keep track of their own input and output via QuickBooks. Or, if QuickBooks does not jive with you, you could use like an excel document. You can scan receipts on the fly with Dropbox. If you haven’t ever scanned a receipt into Dropbox, it is so fast and easy. If you know that you’re going to want to expense your gas from driving your car, you can just pull up Dropbox on your mobile phone, and say add a file, and scan a receipt. And it does a really great crisp job, even if the receipt is just lying in your lab. So I would just start keeping track of those kinds of things.

And then next after that, I think that it’s good. We will get to talking about a website, and all the things involved in that. But even before that, I still think that it’s good to start thinking about branding. And I do, unless you are a very, very passionate; you have a background in branding, you have a background in design. I recommend bringing somebody else, another set of eyes, to the team here. And delegate this if you can.

You will need a logo, a color palette. What do they call it? A brand board, I think is what it’s called. Now, know that you can launch without having this. I launched Fed and Fit. I designed my own logo, in PowerPoint of all things, when I launched Fed and Fit. And I had that same logo for three years. And it did just fine. I’m not saying this is make or break. But if you’re really wanting to take things seriously, and get started quickly and find some traction right away, this is something to consider very seriously.

So I would bring in somebody. There are all kinds of websites out there that you can find. You can say; here’s my idea, and here’s my budget. I want someone to come up with a logo for Pink Elephant Nutrition, and you can see what kind of ideas and what pitches all of these wonderful designers have out there. And they can give you some colors to work with.

Ok. And then from there, we have a website. And this is; I don’t have this as a written bullet point, because it just fell into the back of my mind as a given. But I think it might be worth chatting about briefly; when it comes to starting a website, know that if you don’t have any room in your budget to hire a designer, web developer, you can launch a website without any expertise. There are great platforms out there. There’s WordPress. There’s Square. There are other ones, I’m sure. Blogspot is one of the ones out there.

And what you can do; WordPress is my personal favorite. Like Diane said; if you know that one day you might want to monetize with advertisements, WordPress makes it really easy to do that at one point in time. So, there are two different options for WordPress. There’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org. A dot org is the open source platform. And a dot com makes it really easy if you’re somebody like me who really doesn’t understand anything about web development or web design. For the dot com, I think they cover your hosting, or you pay them to host your website. You choose one of their templates, and it’s like an instant website. It looks great. You can upload a font, or a logo in just a special font, and get started right away.

So go ahead and start poking around with that. You can start a website before you announce it. So don’t think that you have to have this beautiful, perfect website ready to go off the bat. Because you’re going to have thousands of readers as soon as you press live. It’s just not the way it happens. You’re going to have a website up, and it’s ok to have it up and play with it, for months maybe, filling it out. Making it look and feel the way you want before you tell anybody about it.

Ok. So now we’re going to chat about launch calendar about specific by-whens. So this is really exciting. Some of you might have tuned into this episode thinking this is all we were going to talk about. So we’ll get into the meat of this. I know Diane has lots of thoughts.

When you’re thinking about a launch; maybe it’s your business launch. You want to tell people about it. “I started this nutrition business.” Or maybe it’s a product launch. “I am starting a home delivery business for flowers.” Whatever it is. And you’re ready to get going. I would say; decide what foundation you need to set before you launch.

So if you are starting a nutrition business, I would encourage you to establish a reference library, if you will, on your website. So that it gives you some authority when folks come and visit you. Because if you’re asking people to hire you for nutrition consulting services, it would be good to have, I would say, between five to ten articles on your website already. Talking about your philosophy. Giving away some of your best ideas. This is the idea of blogging, right?

In the blogging world, marketing has really turned on it’s head from the old school days. Now, instead of holding our best ideas as close to home and as proprietary; we give them away. And we give them away in an effort to earn our reader and future clients’ trust. So I would sprinkle a few of your best ideas out there. Like I said, if it’s nutrition, I would start with between five to ten articles and put them out there. “Here’s my stance on white rice versus brown rice.” That’s on my mind, because we’re rewriting our article on that as I speak. Something like that.

If you have a floral shop, and you’re looking to launch a floral business, for example. Which my sister is doing, and I helped her build out this plan. But if that is your plan, I would say the foundation there is to set marketing intentions. And I would say to have at least 10 to 12 client testimonials. People that you’re able to work with, one on one. Have some photos of your product. Have some photos of your process. And be able to really have good testimonials of folks who used your services. Maybe they didn’t go through your website, but you were able to cultivate those ahead of time.

For the podcast, for example, what did we launch with? Three episodes, I think, of Driven podcast. I think a podcast; Diane and I, we went back and forth on this conversation a lot before we launched Driven. Because we were like; do we start, and just say, hey episode one is airing right now, go catch it? And then you had one episode to experience what we were up to? We made the decision to head it out with essentially a set. A library of three episodes. So that you could really get the feel for what we were doing here, and you could decide, having been really truly informed, if you wanted to subscribe or not. And if you wanted to leave a review or not. So those kinds of things. Do you have anything to add there, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Just one thought. We did talk about doing these foundational episodes, where we were going to kind of deep dive on each of our backgrounds with our businesses. I think we still want to be able to tell those stories, because I know many of you are familiar with us and our work. And some of you are like; I started listening, and I’m into it, but I don’t really know who you are, where you came from, and why I should listen to you.

But ultimately, we were just at a point where we either didn’t have the time to get it done, or we didn’t have the framework of how we wanted to do it. And that was a moment where we could either spin out, and not just keep moving forward, or we could just make the decision to say; hey. We’re going to get this thing launched, and keep going.

And I think there are a lot of moments like that throughout the process that you’ve been talking about where people can either paralyze themselves by spinning their wheels, like you said about choosing a URL or choosing an Instagram or whatever it’s going to be. And a lot of folks who are listening to a show like this, and looking for advice, you are the type of person who will get stuck in analysis paralysis. And we’re just kind of here to tell you; you need to make a decision. Because you cannot predict what will happen. But I guarantee you nothing will happen if you don’t make a decision. The only thing that may happen is that decision happens for you.

So, ultimately, you’re spinning your wheels, someone else may choose that handle or register that domain in the process. While you’re trying to make a decision. So if there’s one thing I can instill along the way, all the items that Cassy has kind of laid out, and admittedly this yin and yang that we have; as much as we have in common, I feel like I am more organized than it seems. But my brain; it’s so hard for me to sit down and write what is the linear process by which we achieved X, Y, Z. I just don’t think in those terms, and it’s so hard for me to put it down on paper. In a bulleted list, in order of how it happens. I’m a much more brain storm; there’s a word in the center, and there are spokes coming off the wheel, and here’s all the stuff that feeds in.

But point being; as you go through each of these steps, you will have to make decisions. And I think the strongest and best muscle you can flex as an entrepreneur is the ability to make informed decisions as quickly as you can with as much information as you can have. And for the Questioners out there, you should not be spinning your wheels for weeks on end about all of these issues. Make a decision and move on. Especially when you’re new.

I don’t know what more you think you will gain by waiting a week, a month, three months. If you’re new; there’s nothing else. You know what I mean? Sometimes as a more seasoned entrepreneur, not being able to make a decision is just a sign of an uncertainty that does mean, hang on a second. Breathe through it. Meditate on it. Give it some space. We do have those moments. But I think especially when you’re newer, following your gut is really important. And if you’re struggling to have gut instincts about things, I don’t know how to instill that.

I think you kind of just have to choose what you think is maybe the best. That you feel 50-70% sure on, and go with that. Do you know what I mean? Because you’re just never going to know. And you will always have certain things that you kind of regret. But at least you can feel like you made the decision, instead of it just kind of happened to you or for you. That’s just kind of this vibe that I want people to get.

Cassy Joy: I love that. I think that’s a really great way to put it. And it brings it back down into reality. Because I think when we spiral on some of these decisions, it feels like it doesn’t exist yet so it doesn’t really matter if we take action right now or not. And I would think what Diane is articulating really well is that it really does matter. The idea is here. The opportunity is now. Just move on it. Or the decision will be made for you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Cassy Joy: I think that’s great.

Diane Sanfilippo: The fact that you register the site, get the post up, do those things is all more important than the minutia of; what was the name? What did you title the post? Was it good for SEO or not? Doing the work is more important than doing the work perfectly.

Cassy Joy: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’ve talked about that a bunch. Do you want me to get into some of these little details here?

Cassy Joy: Yeah. Let’s do it. I have a few notes on a marketing campaign that I can add in while you’re chatting.

Diane Sanfilippo: OK. So a couple of things I want to talk about that my team and I think about when we’re going to launch; I’m going to say a project. Because even launching something like meals; yes, it’s a new line of business for us. But it’s a project. I just kind of look at it that way.

We look at what is the overall goal of the program or the project. Who is it for; who are we talking to? How will people find it? Obviously, that means a website, what have you. Something like our meals business, we started it out as something you could get to from our website, and you would shop with a plugin. And later we moved it to Shopify, which is basically like the WordPress of online shopping at this point. It is sort of the gold standard for anyone who is building an ecommerce site that is not fully custom development, if that makes sense. So lots of brands you guys all shop on are Shopify.

So, we have figuring that out. Where will you collect information and contact details? So people’s email addresses, so that you can tell them when the thing is ready. And I think this is a really important part of the process. When you’re building a website, when you’re deciding, “I’m going to write an eBook,” or “I’m going to launch a network marketing business,” whatever it’s going to be, along the way, sharing what you’re doing with people and finding a way to get email addresses so that when you do launch the thing, to your point, Cassy, about the fact that we push save or publish on a blog, and it’s crickets. There’s nobody there. How can we tell people? Who are we going to tell?

I don’t think a lot of people think about that when they’re new. But as you get into something much further, you do need to constantly be thinking; how will I let people know that this thing is ready or it’s open or it’s released or I’ve launched it. And all of that.

So when we map out a release plan, I love to have at least three months of time. Again, I’ll about this as like a project. We’re going to launch; we reopen the 21-Day Sugar Detox Coaches program. What we do is map out about three months of; what does this relaunch look like? What does opening the doors to this program look like for three months?

That doesn’t mean that three months before it opens, we’re posting every day about this program. But it does mean we need to look at what’s the content? Getting things finalized. Making sure we have graphics and have information to share to trickle out over those next three months.

Again, I think people might feel like their foot is on the gas. They’re just creating this thing. They’re creating a website. They’re creating an eBook. They want to launch a business. And a lot of us basically; we think we’re going to flip the light on, and if we build it, they will come. We have to have a longer runway that we’re using during that time to communicate.

One of the cool things about social media now, especially with something like Instagram stories, is we can actually share behind the scenes and share the story before the story. Right? So let’s just say you’re going to launch a network marketing business. Say you’re a Beautycounter consultant. You have been thinking about it. Or maybe you did sign up. Whatever the case may be. Letting people know that this is even something you’re considering before it happens; it helps to nurture people in this relationship. So that all of a sudden, you’re not like; out of left field, now I’m selling this product.

Maybe you’re using the products before you’re releasing them. So with my spice line, for example. Before I released the spices, I’m showing people. I’m testing spice blends. I’m getting samples of bags. Samples of jars. Bringing people along the way. Being able to tell that story as it’s happening.

There will be some things where you will want to hold your cards close, and not show everything. And I think that for most of us, I would say, I keep quantifying things. But 80% of the things that we are going to launch, we should probably be bringing people along the way. Because we want people to be invested in that journey. I want you guys to know. A lot of you listening; you knew we were launching Driven before it happened, because then when we hit publish, you’re there. You’re lined up for the concert. Do you know what I mean? You are ready when Trader Joe’s opens at 8 o’clock. 9 o’clock. You are there. You know it’s going to happen.

So I think that’s part of the process that we get really caught up. I’ve got to check off the thing, and do the thing. But let’s bring people along for the ride. And having that timeline helps you to have space for that.

So when you’re looking at three months out; whether this is just for you, or yourself and a team. What Cassy was talking about; doing any kind of outreach to get help that you might need. Plotting things and planning them. Involving a graphic designer. Involving other people. This is where you’re really going to need that extra time and that runway.

And then planning out the actual tasks. And I’ve talked about this before, and I’m going to say it over and over again. Everything that needs to happen is a task. Even if it’s just; a decision needs to be made. It’s a task. So this becomes much more apparent when other people are working with you. Where; like this just happened the other day. One of the women on my team; she posted a comment to something. And I was like; is this a question? Do you need something from me here? Or was this just a comment? Because if you need something from me, I need a task. I need to know that you need something from me here. And I think that is; we’ve talked about breaking down your projects and all of that. So this is where that comes in; really breaking that down on that shorter runway.

Cassy Joy: I have a quick note to add to the runways. Because I think just to illustrate; from, let’s say if you are an avid Fed and Fit reader, and you’ve been along for the ride. You knew a year before Cook Once, Eat all Week hit shelves that we were working on a book. And you knew about this concept. And that wasn’t an accident.

It also wasn’t an accident that we developed these resources to thank everybody who preordered. And it wasn’t an accident that I told you guys where we were at preorder numbers, and what my goals were. Because it was a real village, community effort, to get that ship launched. And I think it’s important to honor your reader as if they are a partner. And in my business, I view my readers as partners. And I really do see us in partnership with each other. I’m here to bring you along for the ride and make sure that I’m serving you as best I can.

So whatever your product is, the customer, the client, the reader, the consumer, is not this; they’re smart. They’re not dumb. They are very intuitive. And they want to be along for the ride. And in today’s day and age, there are some really great articles out there. If you Google marketing to millennials. I don’t think it’s actually specific to millennials; I think it’s just marketing in today’s day and age. We are savvier as consumers than ever before. And in order to trust a product, we need to be a part of the process.

So, not that I’m that calculating, necessarily. But it is important to me that I am honoring the part of the reader in communicating as much as possible on the things that are hallmark to the business.

And then for Joyful Foods, for example, is a great example of a product that’s not even launched yet but many of you already know about it. I started talking about it probably three years before we’re going to have a casserole for you to take a bite of. So that is because it is a massive undertaking, and that is exactly how we treat it internally. I want you to know what we’re working on so that when we do have product available for a test, or we are ready to launch this Kickstarter, and get in some preorders and get those early adapters in the door, I want folks to already have been informed about it. And understand the intention and the heart behind it.

So, just like she’s saying, we’re talking about Joyful Foods three years out. And then six months out is when my team then focuses 80% of our time and energy on launching this product. And then our marketing plan, which we commissioned about four months out; we’ve been working on for a long time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. To the point about bringing people along for the ride; old school marketing and market research needed to hire focus groups, and get this information from people who did or did not know much about a brand. And now we have so much access to each other that you can be using social media to poll people. To ask questions. What do you want, what do you want to see? I think when it comes to releasing something new, have your idea; have your conviction about what you want to create.

But I did this as well with Balanced Bites meals; I’ve done it with spices. Where I’m like; hey, what’s more important to you? A price point that feels more comfortable, or top of the line, all grass-fed organic. Which you know; I want people to be eating that way at home as much as possible. The readers spoke. The followers spoke. And 70-80% of people said I would rather have it be a bit more affordable than top of the line, everything. And I was like; ok. It doesn’t matter to me which way I go. Either I charge a little more to account for what it’s going to cost, or not. But that was something along the way that people asked.

And so now when people ask a question about that, I can say; I base that on the feedback from my readers. Same thing with recipes, etc. What you’re going to execute on.

And I think, again, because things can happen so quickly in today’s world. Even you saying 3 years; there was a time, however long ago, it might have taken someone 5 to 10 years to develop what you want to develop. Because business can happen so quickly these days; it’s not like you invent a widget and you have the whole thing built and then you have to go door to door and really talk to people about it. We have this opportunity to tell the story as it’s happening.

And, something like Kickstarter, like you mentioned, you have a chance to get people involved early. And that is something that I think everyone needs to really sit with and process with whatever it is you’re doing with your business or if it’s a new business, or you’re launching something new, etc. I just think this part of the process is really critical for everyone.

Cassy Joy: It brings to mind one really quick thought. And I we’ve talked about this on previous episodes. But this fear of being seen and starting small. You really have an opportunity to be seen as starting small. Right? It’s a distinct marketing opportunity to connect with your clients, and your customers, and your readers early on. Exactly what we’re saying.

So if you have an idea that you want to start a podcast with a friend of yours; talk about; I have an idea to start a podcast. I don’t know exactly; like what Diane is saying, to ask, polling people what do you really need and want. And say; we don’t know what we’re doing, we’re going to learn all the steps in how to get this thing going. Oh, we just learned about how to launch on iTunes. Oh my gosh, it takes four weeks. Or whatever it is.

I think that being seen as learning these lessons along the way, you’re really going to bring folks into your brand. So this fear of being seen as starting small needs to be turned on its head, because that is such an opportunity that I don’t want you to miss out on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, amen. I mean, how many of us love people’s stories from the beginning? Like the story of Siete foods selling tortillas at PaleoFx event when there was no food available except the “must be nutty” is what they were called almond flour tortillas and Love Bean fudge. Those two were the only food items at this whole conference, and everybody was eating it.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And seeing that story from its infancy to this gigantic business. We love that. You know, a couple of other things I wanted to just note. I love the idea; if you are going to launch something that’s bigger, and you’re in more of the world like we are, where it’s kind of this; I don’t know. I say blogging. I’m not a blogger, so I don’t know what I can call myself. I don’t blog. But this world of kind of blogging, creating books and resources, etc.

I actually think something to consider as having someone has a project manager. And for those of you who are Obligers out there, who you really need that outside accountability. This could be someone who is like a business coach, even. Or each week or every two weeks, you have someone that you’re accountable to. Or someone that’s helping you decide what you’re doing and what you’re going to get help with. And I think a lot of solo-preneurs struggle in that space. It may be a matter of creating sort of a network or a group of you or an accountability group or a pacing partner. Whether it’s in a different type of business or a network marketing business.

I remember when I first started out as a nutritionist, and I was blogging and working with clients. I did have someone that, every couple of weeks, we would check in with each other. And just say; oh, did you get that newsletter out? Did you do that? I think that can be really helpful when you’re not in a position to just hire a project manager, who is going to outline everything and make sure you’re staying on task and on date. So, having someone that you can be accountable to is important.

And I actually find, to the point we were just making about sharing with anybody who is following what you’re doing, even if it’s like your mom, your sister, and your best friend, that’s it; that can be accountability for a lot of people. Just saying, I’m going to launch this thing on this date, whether or not a lot of people know about it. That can be some great outside accountability. So creating that outside accountability is important.

I think that’s it. I think I covered all of those little details I wanted to just get in there.

Cassy Joy: I love that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today’s podcast is sponsored in part by Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics. America’s leading purveyor of premium, sustainable seafood and grass-fed meats, and a certified B corporation. Now is the time to grill some wild seafood and mouthwatering grass-fed meats. Their selection includes wild salmon, fish, and shellfish; grass-fed beef and bison; plus premium pastured chicken and pork. Vital Choice also offers great options for work or outdoor adventures. Fantastic canned salmon, tuna or sardines. I just ate a can of the sardines the other day; they’re amazing. Wild salmon or bison jerky, and more. Be sure to save 15% on one regular order with the promo code DRIVEN or get $15 off your first Vital Box with the promocode DRIVENVB from now through the end of the year. Visit vitalchoice.com.

3. Listener Feedback from a previous episode [52:10]

Cassy Joy: Ok. We’re going to jump into Listener Feedback. In this segment, we’re sharing notes that you’ve dropped us via Instagram at @DrivenPodcast in response to a recent episode of the show.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, I’m going to read this one, because it was in response to something that you talked about, Cassy. This is from SRAnderson1126 on Instagram. This was a comment on one of our previous episodes. She said, “I love you both, and this podcast. I’ve been listening to the episodes on my morning walks. I’m a new mom, and I’ve hesitated with sharing too much information of my daughter and breastfeeding struggles on social media. I took Cassy’s advice to share my experience with infant craniosacral and chiropractor bodywork for my daughter’s mild tongue tie, thinking it might just help one person. Sure enough, after sharing my experience, I had several messages from friends and strangers who had suffered from the same issues and had no idea this alternative therapy was available. Anyway, thank you for giving me the confidence to overcome my fears. It has and will continue to translate over into other areas of my life.” I love that!

So, you were talking about this in a recent episode where; don’t worry about the 100 people who may see this thing and not be kind of cheering for you, or interested. Think about the one person who might be able to get help from this.

Cassy Joy: I love that. If I had an emoji, it would be the cry face! That’s so, so wonderful. Good for you. And I’m sure that was still a scary moment, pressing publish. You typed it up, and it was scary, and you probably second-guessed yourself. But that is so true. And there are a million other different scenarios that could be out there. Share, share, share. Because really, if it helps one person, it’s all worth it.

4. Tip of The Week: creating by-whens [53:55]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, we’ve got a Tip of The Week. In this segment we give you tip you can take action on this week, to move your business or life forward. So Cassy, why don’t you give us a tip?

Cassy Joy: So this is my definitely linear brain coming out. I didn’t realize it was as such {laughs} until you and I get into conversation with each other. I can be squirrely, but definitely my default is to be linear. I think it’s really powerful to set some by-whens. If you know you have a launch, and Diane mentioned this. But let’s say if you know that you want to launch a business in March 2020. That’s the date you really want to launch something. Or maybe you have a goal. If you’re a Beautycounter consultant, and you know that by March of next year, you want to become a director within Beautycounter. Or you know that you want to launch a podcast by March of next year. Set the; I would start with you by-when of when you want to launch. And then work backwards of what needs to happen and when.

And I would get pretty granular. Because it’s not going to happen for you if you don’t take action on these things. And I think it’s important; if you are an entrepreneur at heart. Or you are somebody who is really motivated to get a lot of things done, and a lot of different capacities, at least for me, I have to reign myself in. I have to detail tasks. Otherwise, I will chase butterflies that I find very exciting that move the needle in other projects and other areas of my life. But if this project is still a priority, I have to actually task it out, and I have to have a plan.

And I’m not saying everybody is like that. Not everybody is, but if that resonates with you; and I’ve found that that does work for most people. I think that go ahead and detail tasks and put by-when dates, so it gives you an idea of what needs to happen in order for the next domino to fall over.

And things that you would put on there is; come up with a name by this date. Find a graphic designer to help me with a logo by this date. Make sure the website is at least the URL secured by this date. And a lot of these things are easy. Those first early tasks; those are fast. You could do those in a morning over your cup of coffee, right? You can register with the state. You can secure your URL. And you can probably come up with the name with your best friends over dinner the night before. Right?

And feel free to ask folks for help if you’re feeling like you’re in this void by yourself with all of your own thoughts. Like, Diane and I are sounding boards for each other. It’s ok to bring folks in so you can move things along faster. But set specific by-whens.

And I’m not saying that this has to be gospel. It’s not like; if I don’t get the product tested and in a customer’s hand by this date, we’re bust on the final date. It just means that you might have to move some other things around. But it gives you a go-by with an intention and a pace that you’re comfortable with. because what if you set these by-whens, you want to launch in March with this food business, and then you realize when you set these specific by-whens, that this is going to have you working 70-hour weeks on top of current obligations, and that’s not ok with you; then extend the date. Right?

So I think going into a project and a launch; whether it’s a business launch or a project launch, it’s really good to manage your own expectations of your time. What’s going to be required of you. When milestones have to be reached in order to achieve your ultimate goal.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. For the Rebels out there; which we are both Rebels. We’ve somehow determined, though; I would not have thought you were a Rebel from the outside.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} But, I think the by-whens ultimately, if there is a final by-when. So, here’s the example for me; publishing a book. Having a publisher, having a big commitment, and knowing that if I want this book to come out at this time of year, this specific week, whatever it’s going to be that then working backwards from that actually gives me these due dates. Knowing that not meeting the deadlines along the way; the only person suffering is me. If I don’t meet each of those deadlines, it just means I have less time to meet the next one.

So I think each of us can handle this a bit differently. There are going to be some folks who; they see something is due next week, and they’re crossing things off earlier. But if you’re like me, and it’s like; if it was due yesterday, I’m doing it today. Like, unfortunately, for my team, that’s kind of how I operate. Until it’s overdue, I’m barely paying attention to it. I don’t know how to get around that another way.

But having some kind of real gravity to things. Some kind of; either I’ve invested money. I have paid this person to do this work with me. Some way to add weight. Because a lot of you who are new; there is no weight to any of this. You know? Maybe it’s a matter of saying to your spouse, or your partner; I invested $1000 in this, and I’m going to make it back by this date. Even if you’re at like $800 by that date, instead of $1000, at least you had that date and you were like; ok, I’m almost there. Just one more month and I’ll be there.

But I think we need to give ourselves that commitment so that we’re able to kind of cross those things off. Because unfortunately, when you go from working for somebody else to working for yourself, it can be very, very challenging to stick to those by-whens unless there is something weightier behind it.

And I guess what that means is; a consequence. A consequence to not meeting each of those. And sometimes it’ a bit arbitrary. But I think if those of us who buck when we have deadlines; if the consequence is, I have to work harder or faster or stay up later, then I’m probably going to be able to stick to those deadlines a little bit better when I know that the only one suffering is really me. Just by not hitting those. I’m here for it. I think those by-whens are really critical.

And most people are going to find that you will achieve things faster than those dates. And I think that that’s really empowering.

Cassy Joy: I think that’s important. You know, that’s something that I do for myself. Because I’m somebody who responds really well to positive; I don’t know what this says about my personality {laughs}. I’m nervous to admit it. But I’m someone who responds so much better to success and positive energy than I am to negative consequences.

And it’s like; when I think about, I’m working on another book. And the book is due at the end of April. And the calendar that I’m setting for myself has us turning it end at the end of February. So even if it’s late; even because it’s an aggressive calendar. Even if it’s late, that’s March. And it’s still early. And I still have these feel good feelings around it. We put together a great product and we built a calendar around it. That’s something that I have to do. So I think that’s great; giving yourself more time than you think you might need I think is definitely a great tip.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @DrivenPodcast. Cassy is @FedandFit and I’m Diane @DianeSanfilippo. Tune in next week for a listener Q&A episode.