Here we are: learning time.
I've shared two different timelines: the first being the one I could use to SELL HOW GREAT I AM AT LAUNCHING! while the second shows a more rounded out picture.
And even those aren't telling the whole truths. When I wrote out my timeline for Part 2, I tried to include the pertinent dates and players. But I didn't talk about the failed launches, the crickets I got when I opened shopping carts, and how it felt to close the doors of Teahouse Studio and walk away from what I thought was my biggest dream ever.
I haven't talked about the events I've attended, the people I've met, the ones who have kept me going when I'm ready to give up on myself or walk away. I haven't talked about the folks I've hired for help - the ones who have helped immensely and the ones who haven't. Or the e-courses I've taken or the e-books I've bought, still sitting untouched in a folder on my desktop called "Read Me."
I also didn't talk about the part-time jobs I had to take to keep me afloat, going back to the non-profit I left so proudly two more times because I needed the money and going into debt wasn't as appealing as working harder. So I worked harder. And I kept going.
It all leads up to this. You guys: this launch is the culmination of years of work and progress. Years.
And yet, we all want it overnight. We watch what everyone else is doing and think why not me?
So we start. But nothing happens right away - it never does - and we get bored, antsy because we’re doing all of this work and have nothing to show for it.
We don’t have anything to brag about to our friends on social media and aren’t they all wondering why we aren’t having completely sold out launches too?
The truth: no one is paying as much attention to us as we think they are.
Even the ones who are, aren’t.
We get stuck in The Slog of it all and forget that it takes time. An uncomfortable amount of time. Like a really really uncomfortable amount of time.
And most people quit.
Good news: if you aren’t a person who quits, your chances of eventual success increase exponentially. Tweet it.
Most people aren’t cut out for The Slog. Most people don’t want to really do the work.
I want to celebrate getting a book deal, but I don’t want to write a book. It’s so hard.
I want a shiny new website, but I don’t want to write all sales copy. It’s so hard.
I want a full roster of sold-out programs, but I don’t want to narrow down who I work with and how I help people. It’s so hard.
Yes. It’s so hard.
Looking back on it now, I can say, with certainty, that it’s all been worth it. That things are only going to continue to keep going up. That I’m going to keep on figuring it out more and more.
But there were times - even recently - when I was pretty sure that I was crazy.
When I was pouring my time and energy and money into getting this program off the ground, I thought but what if nobody signs up? What if all of this is for nothing?
And it could have been. It was a leap of faith. Having 65 workbooks printed was a leap of faith. Investing in design and business coaching and marketing help was a leap of faith. Letting go of trying to get more clients and focusing on something bigger was a leap of faith.
And this one paid off. They won't always. And that's okay too.
If you’re here and you started reading this because you, too, want to have your own $40K launch, here’s the moral of my story:
Keep going. And then keep going some more.
At each step, figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Refine your process at each turning point.
Articulate what you’re doing. Tell your story. Figure out the specifics of how you can help people.
Learn to communicate the value of the work you’re doing. And then share that communication with the world. Over and over and over again.
Start to celebrate yourself. Track your small wins. Give yourself gold stars. All the time.
Even if you feel crazy. Even if other people think you’re crazy. Even if, most of the time, you have no freaking clue what you’re doing.
It is your responsibility to be relentless. Yes, you can change course and self-correct as needed, but you have to stay on the trail, trusting that every step you’ve already taken will help inform the ones to come, even as the terrain shifts.
Because the terrain will shift. As soon as you learn something, you'll realize that you've crossed over into brand new territory that will make you feel like you're starting over. Looking back, you'll realize that it was never starting over, though. You'll see that all of your experiences fed into the one you're having now. In a way you could have never imagined.
It is also your responsibility to let go of what’s not working in service of the bigger yes. You will try things, and they will fail. The horse you were in love with will refuse the jump and you will be thrown onto your ass. And you might choose to get back onto that horse, but you might choose a different horse. Or you might decide that riding isn’t for you, but dancing is. Or writing. Or speaking.
You might find a completely new style of what your business looks like, switching Artist for Coach, but you’ll know that This Creative Life is in your blood. The trying, the doing, the holy shit is this really happening believing that your creative work matters, that you abso-fucking-lutely have something to offer this world.
That people will live better, stronger, happier lives because of something you’ve created.
You’ll take that CrazyFaith and it will hold your feet to the fire of this path you’re on. The one that burns so hot but so good all at the same time. The one you’re crazy to be on, but you wouldn’t - and couldn’t - have it any other way.
Find that CrazyFaith, gorgeous. Trust your process. Trust yourself. Even when it seems like that goal line is so far away. Give yourself the credit to let it take years.
Step by step. It happens step by step. And even when you're knocked to the ground and are sure you can't get back up again, you will. And then you'll take one step. And then one more.
And when you do get to the endzone, when you do carry that ball across the line, take a moment to look back. To see the ground you've covered. To say, hell fucking yes, World. I did it. And I'm not going anywhere.
**graphics by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching