On Crossing the Finish Line
Two weeks ago, I launched the membership for my online learning platform - The Wise Owl Academy. As proud as I am to have made this resource available to small business owners, I'm so grateful the launch is over! It reminded me of when I walked in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day back in 2008...
First, there is all the training prior to the big day. You can't expect to walk 20 miles a day for 3 days straight without building up to it. With the launch, the training part was the outlining of the offering, creating the videos and materials for the classes, and learning my way (and stumbling a lot) through the “Thinkific” platform. And as exhausting as it all was, that was the easy part!
Then the practice runs - pushing yourself to actually go 15 or 20 miles in a day. Similarly, a successful program, course, or membership requires a dry run with your test group to make sure everything is set up correctly, understandable, and well received. This is your chance to make mistakes and course correct, improve, and tweak your strategy, all before the big day arrives.
Next comes building interest. The 3-Day Walk involved a lot of sharing (social media posts and blog posts) and fundraising events. With the membership launch, it was an email campaign and a social media blitz to get people signed up for the Masterclass (where I gave a lot of great tips absolutely FREE with no obligation!) so I could offer them the opportunity for membership in The Wise Owl Academy. Followed by another email campaign and social media blitz to bring members in. In both the 3-Day Walk and the launch, I worried whether I was annoying. Was I posting too often? Were people going to unsubscribe? Would anyone actually support me? There's a lot of vulnerability that accompanies putting yourself out in the world this way.
And finally, the big event arrives. You are as prepared as you can be. And it's go time.
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." ~ Alexander Graham Bell
As you stumble through the big event, you have moments of joy and excitement. You survived day one and you're feeling good. You got the first member as soon as the Masterclass ended. And just as many (maybe more) moments of frustration and sheer exhaustion. Now is when you find out you are susceptible to blisters, straining your hip flexors, and forgetting to hit the record button when you launch into your Masterclass presentation. Doubt creeps in. You second-guess yourself. You wonder why you started this whole thing in the first place (okay, maybe it's just me???). Now is when you find out that no matter how prepared you thought you were, you are still human... and mistakes will still be made.
And yet, you manage to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Your eyes are focused on the finish line and you're just plodding along in that direction, hoping and praying you make it. And then, somehow, maybe you aren't even sure how you got there, you step across the finish line. Exhausted. Elated. Proud. In desperate need of a long nap.
When all is said and done, you know it was worth the doubt, the worry, the pain, the mistakes, the being human, just to be in this place. And it feels fantastic. But you're not one to rest on your laurels. Because you know that success is fleeting and that every ending is a new beginning. And you are already looking for your next adventure.
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." ~ C. S. Lewis
What goal are you working on right now? Let me know so I can celebrate with you when you cross the finish line!
Until next time.
Cheri Andrews is a small business attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Using flat rate and subscription pricing models that take the fear out of legal fees, she partners with female-owned and operated small businesses and solopreneurs so they can move forward with confidence, knowing their business is legally protected and positioned for success.
Cheri received her BA magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and her JD from Temple University School of Law. She has over 30 years of experience in both law firms and corporate settings and earned the prestigious in-house counsel certification from the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Cheri's practice areas include business formation, contracts, policies, copyrights and trademarks, and other business needs. While some of her services are limited to her licensed states, Cheri can provide copyright and trademark services (which are based on federal law) nationally.
Cheri is the author of Smooth Sailing, A Practical Guide to Legally Protecting Your Business. Smooth Sailing is available in both eBook and paperback anywhere books are sold.
Cheri D. Andrews, Esq.
Your Small Business Attorney