I expect that you’ve heard this quote ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often’!
I had a consulting call with Mark Steer, one of my fellow students in Online Wealth Blueprint after I offered a free consultation on Facebook.
I spoke to Mark on Skype for about one hour.
His problem was that he has been working on a product since September which he is planning to launch next March. Today is January 22nd 2014.
Mark’s product is about how to drive free traffic using Pinterest.
I can certainly empathise with Mark – getting your first product out onto the market is difficult. It took me at least 4 months to create WP Website Wizard.
I know of other members in our student group who have been labouring away for 15 months on their product and it has still not been launched.
Here are the barriers in their mind (- I know because I experienced them):
- technical – things like how do I set up a members area? What theme should I use? I want transitions in my Powerpoint to make it look fancy. How do I record screencast videos? Where do I upload hem to?
- mindset – I want it to be perfect. It’s not good enough yet. Fear of putting your stuff out there and receiving criticism. Fear of the unknown – what will people think, reputation, failing etc
The problem with all this ‘noise’ in your head is that the intrinsic value of the information being offered and consumed will not change all that much by adding all this fluff to your product.
Whilst you are messing around with all this stuff, you are not improving the lives of your potential customers who may need your information TODAY rather than in 3 or 6 months time when you have added in some fancy Powerpoint transitions.
Making money is about an exchange of value – at the moment Mark has nothing to exchange for money. As Marlon Sanders said, ‘half done, ain’t done!’
Also, if you spend 6 (or even 12 months) creating your product you have a significant portion of your life wrapped up in that product. If it flops, think how devastating that would be to you. All that time and money for little or no return.
In the worst case scenario, it could even make Mark throw in the towel.
So when I could see that Mark was in the process of possibly repeating the mistakes that I had made, I was anxious to bring forward his deadline for getting out version 1.0 of the product.
We’ve agreed on a period of 10 days i.e. a week on Friday (today is Wednesday).
Mark also has another coaching call with Marc Milburn scheduled for a week on Friday – I figured that it would be useful if both parties had something tangible to work on improving.
Frankly, he could get his product out today if he was familiar with the process.
But I wanted him to get familiar with the process of producing a product without putting him into a state of panic.
I want him to see how easy this can be.
We’ve discussed what needs to be done and Mark is reporting back to me on Friday with his progress and to deal with any sticking points in his mind. It is all 90% in his mind (as it was in mine!)
Will it be perfect? – Heck no! Nothing ever is.
Will it be the final version! Heck no – this is version 1.0 – the minimal viable product i.e. the bare bones of a product on which he can stick a payment button.
Version 2.0 might be made if Mark thinks it is worth the effort after testing it first in the marketplace.
This is vitally important because it gets him over the barrier of creating and launching his first product.
This is a huge barrier to get over in internet marketing – it’s a barrier made mainly in the mind.
It can only be removed by taking ACTION.
Once you discover how easy and quick it can be, your next product will be faster (and better) and the next one faster still until you get to be like Sean Mize who planned to launch 150 WSO’s in 2013, came up short with 80 and made $65,000 from WSO’s and a shed load more from his coaching programme.
Jason Fladlien advocates that you should create one problem/one solution products in one sitting.
When you first hear this you cannot believe this is possible.
Once you start creating products, you understand that this is very possible when you are familiar with the process.
The other vital points about getting your products out quickly is:
- you can quickly gauge what the appetite is for your product in the market which will help you decide whether it is worth building upon or whether to move onto your next product
- you can get feedback from beta testers and reviewers for improvement
- you have something tangible to build upon and improve – I constantly add additional stuff to my existing products – if I hadn’t created them yet, I wouldn’t have the opportunity of improving them.
- Only by taking action do you find out your strengths and weaknesses and start to make improvements – your first product is likely to be poor in comparison with subsequent products. It took Edison 10,000 attempts to create the light-bulb! It’s a process of testing and failing. Being part of a coaching group reduces the amount of testing and failure but you still need to learn the process.
- the more products you have, the easier it is to create powerful sales funnels
So ‘fail fast, fail often’ is vitally important in business.
They say that money loves speed. I think that is true.
I am anticipating that by moving Mark’s deadline forward by more than two months, a lot of barriers will fall down for him in the next 10 days. It will be a steep learning curve for him.
On the other hand it would be tough for him to spend another 2 months on his product only to find out that no one is interested in his product idea.
At least by getting it out there quickly he can let the market decide. If there is a reasonable response then he can work on Version 2.0 with all the bells and whistles like adding nice Powerpoint transitions!
I’ve also offered him some technical short-cuts – I have developers rights to software that could make his journey much easier. I’ve offered this to him if he thinks he needs it.
The reality is that there are plenty of free options as well.
I will report back on how Mark progresses at the end of January. This is an actual person with an actual problem and maybe you can learn from Mark’s journey to creating his first product?
The other big thing that Mark may not realise, is that by consulting with me, he is now accountable to me for taking action. He perhaps doesn’t yet realise how this could really move him forward.
Fail fast, fail often – this is vitally important to remember in business if you really want to find success – they do say success is a 1,000 step process.