In February 2011 (which feels like centuries ago), I went to my first business retreat and got an idea for an online course. I was enthralled by the idea and just knew that it would be a big hit. (winner winner, chicken dinner!)
But when I started to look into what it would take to create this course, it felt too hard. I would have to learn new technology, actually put myself on video (gasp!) and figure out how to get people to buy it.
It seemed too complicated. I would do the course, but not right now. So I went back to selling legal services even though what I wanted was something only the course could give me, a path to passive income.
Then in the summer of 2012 (a full 16 months later), I finally decided to take action on the idea and create my course. The idea was to teach business owners how to handle their own legal needs through a workshop I called The Online Entrepreneur’s Non-Confusing Guide to Business Law (yes, the sales page is actually still live — you’re welcome). It was a 4-week workshop with weekly calls, pre-recorded lessons and lots of templates and checklists to help online entrepreneurs get their legal stuff done.
Here’s a shot of the DIY sales page that I built myself (I’m kinda impressed that I actually recorded a sales page video back then):
The results? I had around 8 people sign up for a grand total of approximately $2,000.
I was not happy with those results. I thought I could get at least 25 people signed up. So I let it bum me out and waited another full year before trying to launch this thing again.
During that year, I focused on everything other than this workshop. The idea of helping entrepreneurs DIY their legal needs continued to nag me but I was scared to try it again. It was just too hard and I didn’t want to open up myself to rejection. The truth is, I was scared I didn’t have what it takes so I went back to what was easy … selling legal services.
And that is exactly what I see entrepreneurs do every single week. With great excitement, they tell me about the amazing product they want to create. They tell me how their life will be changed when they can make money without having to provide a service in exchange. How they will spend more time with their loved ones, travel and have more freedom.
Finally the elusive combo of having time and money (at the same damn time!) is available to them and they are going to grab it!
The next time I hear from them they’re launching a new service instead of a product. Continuing to trade time for money. Continuing to settle.
Why do they do this? The same reason I did it. Because the hard stuff is hard.
Listen up, Boss, you have to be willing to do the hard things. The things that you have to grapple with to find the right next steps. The things that right now seem confusing, stressful and you have no idea whether it will actually work but you know you need to at least try (really try, not that half-assed, barely attempted “try”).
Here’s why you have to do the hard things: because the goals you want to achieve are on the other side of the hard stuff. You won’t find them anywhere else. No matter how hard you look.
So the more you continue to hide from the hard stuff and “put it off until later,” the longer it will take for you to achieve your goals.
I put off going all in on my idea for a full 2.5 years. If I had known then that the Online Entrepreneurs Non-Confusing Guide to Business Law would become Small Business Bodyguard, a product that serves 2,000 customers and is approaching a million in revenue, I would have taken action a lot sooner.
If I had known that idea would be the source of private school tuition, mortgage payments, family vacations to France and freedom in my life, I wouldn’t have waited another minute. I wouldn’t have let my fear prevent me from having the life that I wanted a whole hell of a lot sooner.
What if the product idea that’s been nagging you is your Small Business Bodyguard? What if it’s your magnum opus and the key to getting everything that you’ve been working towards? Are you willing to do what’s hard to get it?
PS: If you’re ready to go all in on creating your product, and want a team of pros to help you do it, registration for MADE: IN FRANCE is open. Come spend a week with me and a group of ambitious boss ladies at a chateau in the French countryside, and you will go home with your product made. Not only that but your life will be forever changed (not even exaggerating). Get all the details here.