college-success

I have learned an interesting thing when creating my first digital product, 29 Credits – at a certain point, you just have to say it is complete and launch. In many ways, I am a perfectionist. We all know that nothing is ever perfect and we are all our own worst critic. Which means that at a certain point, I just have to say it is good enough and put it out there for the world to see.

Overcoming Fear

I found that my biggest hurdle was nothing other than fear itself. Fear that nobody will like what I have to say. Fear that all my editors and readers are wrong; the book is terrible. Fear, fear, fear. I am saying it now: I am afraid. I have spent the past few years working on everyone else’s business. Making products with a team, for other people and companies. I am not new to digital marketing.

I am probably going to fail in this endeavor…

Still, there is a vast difference between meeting a spec for a project versus attaching your name to something you personally created for the world to see. The former simply requires that I meet a smattering of different technical requirements; easy enough. The latter requires that I meet all of those requirements, set by a very tough critic, while also overcoming a personal struggle.

Shaming yourself for every failure is not going to help you in the long run. Yes, you absolutely need to accept responsibility for all outcomes, but work on decoupling blame from shame. Burdening yourself with guilt and feeling you are a terrible person because of your failures is shame. Accepting, learning from and tackling them head on, with a new outlook and perspective is accepting blame, and incredibly healthy.

Dealing With Being Unsuccessful, 29 Credits

In my book, I talk about two things in particular that relate to fear. One is a section called Dealing With Being Unsuccessful and another is Stressing About What You Can’t Change– yeah, in a book about succeeding, I talk about failure and how to prepare for it. The sections are about how to take a step back when things don’t quite go your way, accepting blame while separating out shame, and then focus on what you can do about it in the future. Then you do it.

Getting Ready to Fail

I am probably going to fail in this endeavor, which is sobering. Yet, I have to remember why I took on this project in the first place: to learn. No matter how the book does in reviews and sales, I can promise you that I am going to learn a lot and that is going to make me a better digital strategist, and more importantly, it will make me a better person.

In the end, being a better person is what matters most, and I will not fail at that.

The other thing to think about, which I think especially applies to anyone else doing their own product launch, is that all products are a marathon and not a sprint. Yes, having a successful launch can be really helpful and it is worth investing time in making sure all of the technical components are ready. Make sure your social media is good, your email campaign is set up, your graphics are ready, etc.

Really though, all of these things can be done at any stage. Some of the most successful books ever don’t turn in to mainstream hits until they are deep in to the series. The great thing about digital is that you can set up and improve your marketing efforts at any stage, as well as your product itself.

So, get ready to fail on your first launch. Overcome your fear and launch anyways. Then, learn from it, become better because of it and adjust.

Good luck!

DV2