Over the years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched business owners stop themselves from launching because they need to take the time to plan it all out. Sort out every last detail. Know exactly what they are doing.
I get it. Some of you work that way. But a lot of you are stopping yourself from finding your success because of it.
Business schools tell you that you need a formal business plan. Maybe if you’re going to apply for a loan, but if you’re a solopreneur? I call bullshit. Sure, have a plan of some sort. Know what it is you want to do, how you’re going to do it, and that sort of thing. But you don’t need a book-sized business plan that would make a college professor or MBA grad proud. Not at the beginning.
Get out there and make something happen. If it fails, adjust. Change course, whether it be a little tweak or a big one. But fail FAST.
I watched a friend labor over a huge formal business plan and launching his business for close to a year. He was super secretive about what his plans were. We’re both wedding photographers, and this isn’t rocket science. (Unless he was figuring out how to do wedding photography on the moon at a price everyone could afford. That would be awesome. But he wasn’t.) So he spent time going over everything. Making sure he had a great logo, which he paid for. Making sure he had purchased all the gear he might ever need. Racking up credit card bills. Dipping in to savings.
With NO IDEA about how the market was going to respond to any of it. And little to no income to finance it anyways.
We actually argued over this. It is actually because of him that I learned that not everyone does things my way, even when I think they should. I learned a lot from him.
How would I have done it? I would have launched with a basic logo. Rented gear. (I *heart* Borrow Lenses and they don’t pay me to say that. They are fantastic to work with.) I would have made do, raised money, refined things on the fly, and then purchased things as needed.
On the way, you can refine the plan. You can change pricing, marketing, logos, and your branding.
But you can’t do that in a vacuum. You can’t do that when you have no idea at all what the market thinks of you, or how people will respond.
Obviously, I practice what I preach. I’ve been sitting on wanting to launch this site for ages, but I just haven’t had the time. But who the heck decides on October 31st that they are launching on November 1st with a default template (I’m a photographer — goodness, I really need to change out those banner images soon!), no logo, no solid plan? Oh yeah, me. I’m still sorting out how everything is going to work. But I’m making things. It is happening. And I couldn’t be more thrilled! (That said, with 50,000 words to write this month, I have a feeling the redesign might happen in December.)
Put it out there. Don’t be afraid to do it. Find out what they think.
It isn’t failure. It is growing. You’re just not used to looking at it that way.
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