This past Friday morning at 4 AM I officially launched The New Social SEO Podcast. During the previous two-and-a-half hours later I had set up the website, created all the artwork, recorded, edited, and uploaded the first episode to Amazon S3, tested my RSS feeds and submitted the podcast to iTunes. A few hours later it was picked up by a few of my friends in the blogosphere and the promotion began.
It all started with an idea, an idea I could have left alone, and almost did…
After watching all 9 episodes of Mortal Kombat: Legacy on YouTube and putting away some laundry the idea struck me for the first episode. After thinking about whether or not I should record the first show – it was 1:30 AM after all and my wife and daughter were asleep – I sat down and wrote out what I wanted to say. I then fired up Audacity and hit record.
I tell you this story not to brag about how fast I can build a website – I've done this exact same thing many times before – but rather to illustrate a point.
In agile software development the emphasis is on getting valuable software out the door as quickly as possible without compromising quality. The idea is that you get the software into the hands of the users so you can find out through measurement and feedback what needs to change. You change it, they're happy because you've helped them do their jobs better, and the cycle continues.
Why should it be any different with your business?
During the seven years that I ran my web development business and the past 10 months of my marketing firm, the most difficult task I have is getting my clients to launch their new site, product or service. And I have to ask myself why that is.
Is it perfectionism? Are they afraid of success? What fear is holding them back from telling the world, “Hey world here I am! I have something of value to offer. Come and get it.” A statement which of course is followed up by a healthy dose of marketing.
We could consider the psychology all day but it all comes down to a single question I have for you today:
Do you want to win or lose?
Many instantly say they want to win. But do you really?
How many ideas have you put into action this month, this week? How many ideas did you put aside because you thought it was stupid or it wouldn't work?
That's negative thinking my friend. I highly recommend against it.
Now I'm not saying any of this is easy or is going to happen overnight. Quite the contrary. I'm very fortunate to work for myself and from home. That means I get to see my wife and daughter a lot more than your average husband. But it's not all peaches and cream. I work, a lot. Somedays I don't go outside because I'm working away. Thankfully I married a woman who is also very entrepreneurial and understands. We support each other. And when I do spend time with my wife and daughter I put work aside for the day and be totally with them – no email, no Twitter – just quality family time. I am without a doubt one of the luckiest people on Earth.
But it's taken me a long time to truly value my time. Many entrepreneurs I know don't know what their time is really worth, and it's a hell of a lot. My 15-minute rule applies to everyone and everything without exception. Before I wrote this post I rescheduled a meeting I was brought into because the people were 20 minutes late and couldn't get their stuff together. Is that ego? No. That's ensuring that people value your time.
And you do not have to apologize for that. So don't. Ever.
Now you might be a lot smarter than me. You might not have to work 16-18 hours days 7 days in a row, something I think Chris Brogan – someone I look up to – can relate to. If you can kick all the ass you want without working that much more power to you. For the rest of us winning means working hard, and having fun the entire time. It means not trying something but doing something.
Go all in and do it a lot.
Release that new product or service. Start a podcast. Launch the new website.
If something is not out there for others to see it does not exist. If you do not put it out there you cannot find out if you are on the right track or not – there is nothing to measure.
Do NOT let F.E.A.R. hold you back from winning. Surround yourself with supportive, positive people that will also be brutally honest with you. Launch and launch often. Measure and adjust. Work the hours you need to. Take your excuses and put them in the garbage where they belong. Determine your priorities and move in that direction with a vengeance.
Win or lose? It's your choice. Which do you chose?