7 Steps to Launching Your Next Big Project

Launching anything new is tough. If you’re like me, you have more on your plate now than you can say grace over. How in the world could you make time for one more thing?

Space Shuttle Atlantis launches from the Kennedy Space Center - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/japrz, Image #14676970

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/japrz

That’s what I thought back in December when I first started thinking about launching a new podcast. I had already been doing a podcast based on an adult Sunday school class I teach. But, after 83 episodes, I stopped in May of 2011.

My friend, Robert Smith, was the first to suggest I start a new podcast. Andy Andrews, his client and also a good friend of mine, had just launched a podcast called In the Loop with Andy Andrews. Robert introduced me to Andy Traub, the producer, who also encouraged me.

In early January, Brian Scheer, my manager, and I met with Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love. He is also host of the 48 Days podcast, one of the most popular business podcasts on iTunes. He told us that his podcast was the foundation of his entire business.

A few days later, I stumbled onto the website of Cliff Ravenscraft, also known as the Podcast Answer Man and host of the podcast by the same title. He was invaluable in shaping my vision for what my own podcast could be and providing the education and training I needed to get up and running.

I officially launched my podcast on Tuesday, exactly two months after Robert first gave me the idea. In the first 24 hours, I had more than 5,000 downloads and more than 700 subscriptions.

Though every project is unique, I have learned that every new initiative presents a predictable set of challenges. I don’t care if you are starting a business, writing a book, or launching a podcast, you have to take at least seven steps to succeed.

  1. Write down a goal and a due date. Many people skip this step. Don’t. There is something that happens when you write down a goal. It’s a way of focusing your intention and clarifying what you want to accomplish. And be sure to attach a date—no goal is complete without it.

    For example, in the case of the podcast, I wrote this down as one of my ten goals for 2012:

    Launch a podcast by February 15, 2012 and acquire 50,000 subscribers by December 31, 2012.

    When I wanted to quit, that February 15th date pulled me forward. It kept me laser-focused. It motivated me!

  2. Confront your biggest fears. If your goals don’t scare you, you aren’t thinking big enough. Most of the value in goal-setting is the growth that must take place in you to achieve them. Often, this is frightening.

    In the case of my podcast, I had to confront these fears:

    • I don’t have any real experience with audio technology. I am not sure I am smart enough to understand it.
    • I don’t really want to spend the money to get decent equipment, especially when I am not confident I will follow-through.
    • I am really not sure I can make the podcast interesting enough. Will anyone really want to listen?

    Those are just a few of the fears I faced. However, I have learned that courage isn’t the absence of fear. It is the willingness to take the next step in spite of the fear.

  3. Get the necessary training. One thing I learned from my dad is that it’s possible to learn how to do almost anything if you are willing to read, take a class, or hire a coach. Not only has someone somewhere in the world figured out what you want to do, but someone has also mastered how to teach it.

    In the case of podcasting, that person is Cliff Ravenscraft. I listened to numerous episodes of his free podcast, The Podcast Answer Man. I also bought his super helpful courses, including:

    Though his courses aren’t cheap, they were way less expensive—and faster—than the cost of trying to learn on my own. (Actually Learn How to Podcast 101 is free.)

  4. Get started on the work. Some things can only be learned by doing. Yes, you can read. Yes, you can listen to or watch online training. But at some point, you have to jump in the pool and get wet.

    In the case of podcasting, I jumped into recording my first podcast. I hated the way I sounded. My compulsive, perfectionist tendency kicked in, and I tried to edit out all the imperfections. It took forever. I almost quit.

    However, Brendon Burchard and Cliff Ravenscraft convinced me (via their training) that the imperfections actually create authenticity and build trust. As a result, I decided to do the podcast in one take and only edit out major gaffs (e.g., a sneezes, big coughs, etc.)

    The only way I figured this out was by creating the workflow, giving it a try, and then reengineering. I am sure I will get better with practice.

  5. Trust the process. This is huge. Usually, when I take on something really big, I only have a foggy idea of how to get from point A to point B. I have enough light to take the next step, but that is usually enough. When I take that step, the next thing I need shows up. Not always, but usually.

    In the case of the podcast, I didn’t know what equipment to buy. I asked a few friends, ordered a microphone, shockmount, pop filter, and desk boom from Amazon. I tried it all out, didn’t like it, and ended up returning all of it.

    That was right before I discovered Cliff’s website. I visited his podcast equipment page and went into immediate sticker shock. But he convinced me that the investment would be worth it. I ordered his complete package and love it.

    Another example, I had to submit my finished podcast to iTunes. I didn’t know how to do this at the beginning of the process. I didn’t discover how until two days before I launched. Then I messed it up by submitting the wrong link! Regardless, I kept marching forward, not getting approval until hours before my podcast went live.

  6. Go ahead and launch. At some point, you have to ship. So many people keep fiddling with it, hoping to get it perfect. General George Patton once said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

    I could have tweaked my podcast endlessly. Believe me, I was tempted to do so. But I had set a goal to launch by February 15th. I had shared this plan with my teammates. Therefore, I was committed to making it happen.

    It was scary. I had a thousand voices in my head suggesting I delay the launch for another week. They said,

    • C’mon, what’s a week? This will give you a chance to do it right.
    • You only have one chance to make a first impression.
    • What if no one listens? Are you sure this is a good idea?

    I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I pulled the trigger anyway.

  7. Tweak as you go. The great thing about most projects today—especially web-related or new media ones—is that you can keep fiddling with your project after you ship it.

    In the case of my podcast, I discovered several items I wanted to change immediately. For example, I initially didn’t use a graphic image in the blog post (i.e., “show notes”). I thought the audio player was enough. I changed my mind and added a graphic image to make it more visually interesting.

    While launching your project is a one-time event, constant and never-ending improvement is ongoing. But you can never get to the second if you don’t do the first.

As I said at the beginning, launching any new project is tough. But if you understand the steps, it’s easier to overcome the Resistance and ship.

Questions: What big project are you planning to launch this year? Where are you in the process? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    First off, the podcast is incredible!  I’ve already listened to it twice, and I’m planning to feature it on my blog as a resource worth sharing.  Thank you for taking the leap to put this out for the rest of us to enjoy and experience.

    My big project for the year is my blog.  In early January, I moved to my own self hosted domain.  Honestly, I wanted to do this a while ago, but it took courage and a little time to get over the hurdle.  I still have plenty of adjustments to make and things to learn about the whole process, but I’m glad I took this step.  My next step is to incorporate some of the connection techniques that you mentioned in your podcast.  I need to add an RSS link at the top of my blog to make it easier for readers to follow the blog.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Jon, I remember when you took the step and switched to your own domain. You did a great job in letting your readers know what was happening and dealing with any issues(I know because I had trouble getting to the new domain). But you’re doing a terrific job and have created an enjoyable experience at your site.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

         Thanks, Joe.  It’s a work in progress – hopefully, it’s forward progress.  I appreciate your readership and comments.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Jon. And good for you on your blog!

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      I, too, was enamored by the detail of this post. I was just telling my wife, “I want to start a podcast but have no idea how to do it!”

      Keep setting those goals for your blog, Jon. You’ll get to where you want to go!

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    My biggest problem right now is that I don’t have a concrete goal written down. I pretty much went through the steps of the launching “program” with my blog and my book, but right now the path forward is not so clearcut. I have been reminding myself to be patient and to not be so hard on myself. I know I can do the process–I just don’t know what direction I should take.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      What does your heart say? I love Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart plan’s his way, but the Lord directs His steps.” I interrupt this to mean: We prayerfully listen to the desires of our own heart, plan our way, and, in the process, the Lord directs our steps. Yes, our heart can deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9), but Jeremiah was talking about the unregenerate heart. God has given us a new heart.
      Hope that’s not too off-topic. I just felt impressed to say that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-J-Williams/1520637381 Matthew J Williams

        This is so insightful!  Thanks for sharing that. I am at a place of having to rethink my entire life/career and needed to hear that.  Sometimes I feel like I am sitting in a rowboat surrounded by an ocean of fear to scared to even move in any direction.  This was very encouraging.

      • http://twitter.com/InverseDream Meg Davis

        My biggest hurdle has been trusting my gut instinct even when it was proven right over and over again. I’ve never heard those two verses juxtaposed and had taken both to mean the exact opposite of you’re writing here, that I Can trust my heart when guided by Christ! Thank you so much! This topic is Very Deserving of it’s Own post!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Sometimes we have to take the first step in order to know exactly what the second step looks like. If we wait until the path is clear, often we never get started. I hope you figure this out, Patricia.

  • The Shell Princess

    I just want to you to know that I didn’t think I’d enjoy a podcast, since I get the message loud and clear in your writing.  But you have a great voice!  Easy to listen to and full of extra little details that you can’t express through writing alone.  I was pleasantly surprised and totally agree that the imperfections (not that there were many) make you very relatable and real.  Great advice on the launch.  Keep it up!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I always find it amazing that what seems imperfect to me others don’t seem to notice. The same applies in the podcast. I didn’t even notice any imperfections while listening.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate the encouragement.

    • http://twitter.com/InverseDream Meg Davis

      I agree. When connecting in a digital age, sound and video will always increase accessibility in a way print cannot. Evidence: I didn’t start commenting until I watched Michael on Youtube! I didn’t even know you had one!

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    Love this post, Michael.

    There seems to be a online debate lately about “Goals vs. No Goals.”

    I am firmly in the “Goals” camp. As you point out, you have to pick a deadline. 

    Without that, your goal doesn’t have a finish line.

    And love your thought on launch… you just have to jump at some point. 

    I did my first LIVE webinar last night. I could have spent weeks tweaking the setup. The presentation… the audio… the lighting. But, I just went ahead and DID it. And I learned a few things. But, overall it went well.

    And now… I am ready to do it even better then next time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. Good for you for taking the leap!

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      I thought the webinar went very well, Craig! I really liked the Anymeeting interface. If I ever do one, I’ll have to use them.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Craig … Great seeing you here again on the comments! I love your TMN materials. I didn’t know about the webinar, though. Might have to give it a go!

      Thanks for producing all the great materials…

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’m planning on writing an eBook to giveaway to my readers who subscribe to my blog. The plan is to have it by July. Currently I am in the idea phase. Figuring out a great idea and putting in the effort to write a great product has been tough!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s great. Launching my life plan e-book last year was one of the best decisions I ever made.

  • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

    My goal in 2012 is to write my 2nd Bible study. I am taking your advice, Mr. Hyatt, and am doing it one blog post at a time. It was such an a-ha moment when I remembered you saying to write a book one blog post at a time. i thought ok, if it will work with a trade book, I think I can make it work with a Bible study…with a few tweaks to make the fill-in-the-blanks complete sentences. By the end of 2012, I should have the entire study on the book of Hebrews written. It is a daunting task because it is….,well, Hebrews….and that is not an easy book. But, the Lord set the course and said it should be Hebrews and faith, so I walk forward.

    • http://www.calebphelps.org/ Caleb Phelps

      That is great Leah! I’m encouraged by your willingness to walk where the Lord has called you to. Could you post a link to your first Bible study?

      • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

        Caleb, thank you for asking about my first Bible study. It is a study entitled From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy. Here is the link: http://www.leahadams.org/legacy/ .

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Get it done, Leah. Second time’s easier, right? ;)

      • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

        Thanks for the encouragement, Justin. The second time is not easier for me. The first study was written out of a message that I give frequently when I speak, so I knew it back and forward. I just had to piece it together in Bible study format and add some, er, a lot of, Bible study to it. This Hebrews study is much more difficult to write because, well, it is Hebrews. And I want to do it right and well. Hebrews is not exactly an easy book to study or write about so I’m really, really, really having to rely on the Lord to give me the words. Not that I did not on the other study, but this one is just much more labor intensive.

        Bless you.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I just recently launched a podcast myself. I actually got a four-year degree in audio engineering, so I thought it would be a breeze. I was lucky enough to have a head start in certain areas (vocal booth in my home-office, haha), but I was surprised by the other difficulties. There were a lot of perfectionist feelings of inadequacy. And the whole hosting and separate feed issues were bears for me to understand.

    But like you, I found I learned what I needed to if I just persisted. I think investing in the equipment helped – otherwise, I might have just given up on the whole thing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Your last point is excellent. Being invested keeps you moving forward. It can sometimes work against you, but, overall, I think it’s a good strategy. Thanks.

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad P @ ThadThoughts.com

    In the past couple of months I have felt like I had more on my plate than I could handle.  Work projects, church projects, volunteer projects for multiple groups; they all seemed and still sometimes seem like too much.  Saying no to some new things in order to finish other things well, or until they ease, has made sense for me.

    You mention writing the goal down.  I assume you mean literally write it down?  As opposed to using a task manager or project management software or service?  I say that because while there are good project management software or services, I sometimes feel like what they do best is enable us to pile stuff ever higher, but not always to a good effect.

    I look forward to your podcast.

    One project in my head for use with my blog relates to an area people seek me out to get my input (and have for 20 years) is personal technologies.  Stay tuned!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I just meant record it any where. I have a “2012 Goals” note in Evernote. I keep my top 10 goals for the year there. Thanks.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    My favorite 2 points are confronting your biggest fear and tweaking as you go. Embracing fear and tension is a valuable discipline. Tweaking as you go gives yourself the opportunity to make mistakes and not be perfect. Thanks, Michael.

    • http://www.calebphelps.org/ Caleb Phelps

      I agree Jeremy, the confronting fear and tweaking are two of the most progressive type moves in the process of shipping. The most intimidating to face down, but the most rewarding once started!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I love the detail you go into, Michael. This is a great resource. I could really relate to your struggles and your fears. For me, I have a big project in the works to launch a free eBook for subscribing to my blog. The book is written, edited, and packaged. I have the subscription forms setup with aWeber.  I did a soft launch two weeks ago. I did a video shoot last week and I’m waiting for the final cut to produce the front landing page of my site.

    I’m excited and I’m concerned.

    I’m concerned because…
    1. The sign-up page seems like an unnecessary hassle. You have to jump through two or three hoops to get the book, including verifying your e-mail address.
    2. The video shoot seemed like a mess. While I had it written out word for word, the results were scattered. My video guy says he can work magic with editing… we’ll see.
    3. I did a soft launch on my blog by placing the book signup on my sidebar. I didn’t announce it or blog about it. With over 20,000 page views in the two weeks since I put it up, I’ve had exactly one person sign up. Not encouraging.

    I’m excited because…
    1. I saw your post on the results you got when you promoted your eBook with video.
    2. If the subscription route becomes a roadblock, I can always give it away with just a download link, like Chris Guillebeau does with his Tower and 279 Days to Overnight Success eBooks.
    3. This is an adventure and learning process. Adventures are exciting!

    The video is supposed to be done this week. I have a three day weekend coming up. My goal is to have it done by the end of the weekend. I can already feel the resistance… quiet lizard brain… I must ship!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, John, quiet the lizard brain and ship! (I tell myself the same thing daily.)

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        I wish I could replace my lizard brain with the Geico Gecko. That way I could take five minutes and save 15% on my next project… :-)

  • Anonymous

    Michael, your blog is part of my daily routine, and now, your podcast will be part of my weekly as well. I love your systematic, yet very refreshing, approach to life! Thanks for pushing through with this idea in spite of the fears, it inspires :-)

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      +1

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      +2

  • Deborah Bateman

    I am publishing my next book: The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor. I am well on the way almost to the point of getting others involved such as the editor and the artist who does my book cover, etc. Thanks for your post as I have some other ideas I am thinking about this article helps give me the courage to get started with them and quit thinking about it.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Go for it, Deborah! Another book you might want to check out on the subject of making ideas into reality is Charles Lee’s new book, “Good Idea. Now What?” 

      Very helpful!

  • http://www.paulbevans.com Paul B Evans

    Fantastic post as usual, Michael.

    A few of my launches for the year…

    1. Online Business Confidential with my best friend Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive. The best of the best of what we are doing in business right now. 

    2. Platinum Presenter – advanced speaking strategies and techniques. Plenty of people know how to speak, but fail to create a conversational connection with the audience. Took 30 people through this on Monday. A long time NSA member said, “No one is teaching this!” So I’m excited and rolling this out full force later this year.

    3. Live1821.com – not really a huge launch. Started this yesterday based on Proverbs 18:21.

    Looking forward to your release of “Platform.”

    Peace,
    Paul

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Can you provide links to the first two projects, Paul. They both look very interesting.

      • http://www.paulbevans.com Paul B Evans

        http://platinumpresenter.com/

        Working on mine and Carrie’s project the next couple of days and will post then.

        Thanks!

  • http://cavemanreflections.blogspot.com/ Michael Mulligan

    #1 on your list resonates the strongest with me.  Not only is adding deadlines to your written goals important, I take it one step further on my daily blogs:  prominently place a countdown clock for the cyber-world to see when my novel will be released.  As of today, the countdown ticker says I have 394 days to go.  This idea wouldn’t work with traditional publishers because they have their own timetables. However, by publishing independently, surrounding myself with talented mentors, and looking at that countdown clock everyday, I have a target I believe I will hit.

    When I wrote my first memoir, I followed the same format.  After my first book was released on time, my mentors told me they privately met about my “false expectations” and agreed my goal was impossible.  They didn’t want to burst my bubble, so they never told me my target was unattainable.  They are still recovering from the shock.  Yes, deadlines are powerful.  Yes, they are scary.  Yes, they are possible.  Thanks for another great post.

  • Anonymous

    I have followed Andy Andrews and have enjoy his new podcast.  I think I want to explore also doing a business podcast on getting a job specifically resumes and interviewing.  I don’t have the goal structure set up yet.   My goal this week is to set up my specific goal!

    • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

      THanks for listening to In The Loop Douglas. We appreciate it. 

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I am currently working on a research project. Unfortunately, I am moving my deadline without any limitation. I am into the procastination trap. I am trying to adhere to the deadline to accomplish my task and come out with the end product.

  • http://geoffreywebb.com/ Geoff Webb

    Awesome list! I’m in the middle of one of my big projects for the year: The Leap Challenge.

    Interestingly, it’s basically this post expanded into a 28-day challenge on my blog. The concept is you do 1-task a day to prepare yourself to achieve one of your biggest dreams. After the 28 challenges, you’ve refined your dream, gathered a network, developed a plan, and are prepared to execute. On February 29th—Leap Day—we’re all taking the leap on our big dream.

    It’s not too late if anyone wants to join us and make 2012 YOUR leap year!

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I’m planning to have enough songs to start a young adults EP by mid year. This blog has definitely helped me get motivated to see it happen.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Daren,
      I would buy one.

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        I’ll hold you to that when it comes out :)

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          Done!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Your blog content is always so valuable, and I appreciate it so much. #2 was my favorite part. 

    This year I am working on “launching”  my speaking ministry. I have 2 speaking events scheduled for May, and I sent a proposal to speak at a retreat in November (and will hear back on it the end of this month).  I have also registered for SCORRE to take my speaking ability to the next level, which will hopefully result in expanding my ministry further. 

    A side note, one of the scheduled May events invited me to come as a guest to hear their March speaker to get the lay of the land on their program. I readily accepted, and was surprised and excited to see their speaker is your own John Tiller! So, John, I look forward to meeting you in March.

    • http://www.calebphelps.org/ Caleb Phelps

      That is great Kelly!  It is one thing for someone to say they are going to ship and launch, but you have it in concrete. Praying for you as you approach may!

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Thank you for the prayers Caleb!

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Congratulations, Kelly. God bless you. I launched in 2008 and it has been such a blessing to serve God’s people.

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Thank you, Leah. I pray that I take each step with God, and not run out ahead!  Keep serving, friend!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    I’m working on an eBook to giveaway free to subscribers to my blog – but I’ve changed angle on it 3 times and I’m just so unsure of whether what I’m writing is really worth writing -again-.
    This will be my first eBook and probably lay the ground work for anything in the future. If my first one stinks, no one will want to read the next one!

    Ohhh the pressure!

    Great tips, there, though. Thank you!

    • Jim Martin

      Christin, I wish you the very best as you pursue writing this eBook.  Fear, insecurity, and uncertainty sure do complicate our lives.  I can certainly relate!  

      Let us know about your progress with this great project.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Regina-McIntyre/100000606337351 Regina McIntyre

    Thank you, this morning during my spiritual reading I realized on of my “blocks” was a fear of committment. Your message on podcast addressed that problem succinclty. Fear is fear, no matter the noun attached to it and those steps are applicable. Regina A McIntyre

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Regina,
      Thanks for your great comment. I think many of us deal with fear at some level and we only help our cause by naming the fears in our lives!

  • http://bloggingwithamy.com/ Amy

    Excellent post! Thanks for the great podcasting resources as well as the step-by-step guide to launching a project. I think this post is worth its weight in gold. Thank you!

  • http://www.calebphelps.org/ Caleb Phelps

    For my creative-type-A personality this list is helpful. It is specific enough to set up perimeters for understanding how to follow the flow of shipping, but flexible enough to apply to all shipping processes. Super helpful!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Caleb,
      I think most of Michael’s post have a great mix between the practical and the creative. Great observation!

  • http://bloggingwithamy.com/set-sacrifices/ Amy

    Another thought regarding launching a project…

    I’ve realized that I never have a shortage of ideas for new projects. My problem, though, is that I often add a project to my plate, but don’t take a different one off. What results is a half-baked project and a lot of stress because I can’t get it all done as I’d like.

    • Rachel Lance

      Filtering great ideas is an ongoing discipline. Michael wrote a post about saying “no” last summer. The line that stuck with me was about how he says no to almost everything unless there’s a really good reason to say yes. I think getting to that point takes practice, but being ruthlessly focused is a good place to aim for. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Debbie-Harris-Eckmier/698296404 Debbie Harris Eckmier

    :-)  I’m launching video art classes this year and an Etsy shop.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great idea, Debbie! Excited for you.

  • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

    I’ve been wanting to do a Digital Storytelling project with my sophomores, but I’ve let my vague sense of #2 (fear) keep me from doing #1 (set a goal.) Last week, I attended #3 (a training) in which two teachers gave an excellent presentation on how their students had prepared and presented digital stories. 

    I realized that I’ve been waiting to #4 (get started) until I’m completely ready, which will never actually happen, so it’s time to #5 (trust the process) and dive in.

    So, by May 31, I will host a showing of 38 “This I Believe” digital stories, written, narrated, and created by my English II students. With parent and student permission, we’ll also share them with a wider audience via appropriate social media channels.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you for setting a date. Watch out, world!

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        Thanks for the cheer-on, Michael!  With a firm date in place, I’m breaking it down into weekly “chunks.” Tomorrow, we’ll start by reading/hearing model “This I Believe” essays. (Any favorites to recommend?)

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Go Cheri Go! Your students are blessed to have a teacher who stepping out of her comfort zone to do something fun and amazing with them.  

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        Kelly, thanks for the support! With four months to go, and exhaustion mounting, it’s so tempting to withdraw into my comfort zone and just “make it through the year.”  Your reminder that I can facilitate memorable learning “fun” and “amazing” is timely!

    • Rachel Lance

      What a great way to step out give your students an interactive experience. They’ll love it (and you will too!). Can’t wait to hear how it goes. 

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        Rachel, thank you for contributing your eagerness — helps dissipate my reluctance!  

        One of the presenters last week, a respected National Writing Project teacher-consultant, made a “aside” comment toward the end of the session that I found incredibly freeing. 

        She said, “Of course it’s a mess while they’re working! And they’ll want to quit, and you’ll want to quit. But nobody will, and it will be wonderful!”  

        When an expert in the field expects the process to be “messy” but, ultimately successful, (s)he frees the rest of us to take risks.

        Michael did this in his post today, modeling his thinking, trials, errors, and ultimate on-time shipment.

  • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

    Thanks for the mention Michael. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you since we met at Robert D’s and am grateful for your continued encouragement and example. Ian Morgan Cron and I are recording the first two episodes of his new podcast today and we’re excited about this new forum for Ian to share his message. I’ll DM you when it launches next week.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ian and his wife, Anne, were over for dinner on Tuesday (along with Robert D). He seemed super-excited about it!

      • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

        Anytime you’re near Robert D it’s exciting. I’ll send you a preview when we get done recording and you can listen in your “free time”. Keep shipping Michael. That lizard brain is getting his *%& kicked by you.

        Oh yeah, I’d love to have you on the Linchpin Show sometime in March. We’ll talk.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Michael,  WOW!  I am so excited to read this post and I wanted to say thank you for sharing your story with others and that I am extremely thankful for the glowing endorsement of what I do and the various products I sell.

    Looking forward to listening to each new episode and hope to have you as a guest on my Podcast Answer Man show some time soon. 

  • http://theturquoisehome.com/ Laura

    Awesome! I launched my blog this week, and when I first saw the title of this post my heart sank. I thought I’d probably missed a few good points to starting a new project. But to my surprise I really had followed them already! I had set a date and started writing. And even though I was nervous and a little afraid, I launched on my scheduled date. It’s not perfect and I’m sure it’ll get better with time, but I’m glad I went ahead and hit “publish.”

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Great job Laura!  Keep writing. And if you’d like, share you blog name here, so some of us can come visit. You may find my blog at chattykelly.com

    • Rachel Lance

      Way to go, Laura! 
      Keep Michael’s point #7 in mind. The beauty of the web is that you can fix and improve as you go. It’s fun to look back after a month or year and see how much you’ve learned. What feels like a crazy workflow now will be quick and easy before you know it. 
      And Kelly’s right – share that link! The blogging community is ready to support you.

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    Love the list, but particularly item # 6, Go Ahead & Launch.  You’ve been reading Seth Godin, haven’t you? 

    I read somewhere yesterday (apologies for forgetting where), about fear being the strongest just before the moment.  Whether it be the launch of a new product, entering a difficult conversation/meeting, etc.

    This list needs to be printed out and framed!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       That’s why the first step is always the most difficult … Fear is only conquered when you face it.

      • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

        So true Michele!

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    This is fantastic advice.  I have to immediately go set my goal for when I want my project to be done.  What I want to do is move to a self-hosted blog, rather than through WordPress.  I will be using this post as a reference guide.

    • Rachel Lance

      You can totally do it Larry – there are blogs/resources out there that will walk you through each step. Set that goal and go for it!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Go for it, Larry. Here are some of Michael’s thoughts about self hosting. http://michaelhyatt.com/my-advice-to-beginning-bloggers.html

    • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

      Larry, I just did it, completely on my own (well with Google of course). It will take an investment of time for sure. Expect a few bumps in the road but it will definitely be worth it down the road. 

  • http://www.DavidRobertsons.com/about David Robertson

    Launching a project is hard. Especially when it’s something that you really care about.  When you put your whole heart into something & it’s close to your calling or purpose in life, fear is prevalent.  If you fail, the thought is, my calling is wasted & my heart has no purpose. If you succeed, the thought is, what if this becomes to big & I am not “good enough” to accomplish my purpose…

    Michael, that’s where I stuck before several weeks ago. Stuck at #2 in your post & paralyzed by the fear, even after getting the neccessary training. I wrote about this in a blog post called “The Cage that Kept My Heart”

    Right now though, I am at #4 in your post. The goals are set. Fear has been confronted. Learning has been finished (although never really). The only thing left for me to do is do it.

    Thank you for the encouragement in this post Michael! I’m glad we have a mutual friend that introduced me to you & your work. Andy Traub.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      You are right. We are really good at sabotaging ourselves. Glad to hear you are getting started, though.

  • http://www.progresslane.com/ Charlotte A. Chung

    Thank you for this post Mike!  I’ve been working on my next big project for a month now (dreaming about it for years!).  It’s the launching of my website.  And every word you said here is a good guide.  It’s also very inspiring to see you start new endeavors, such as the podcast.  

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I hope it goes well.

      • http://www.progresslane.com/ Charlotte A. Chung

        Thanks Jeremy. I’ve been learning a lot lately and your website has been very helpful to my journey.

  • Christy Fitzwater

    I am just stepping into the world of writing and blogging -terrified and ignorant.  Your blogs have been like a cheerleader at my desk every morning.  Thank you so much for all of the valuable information and the encouragement.  Today’s blog was especially encouraging, as I have been having waves of anxiety hit about putting myself out there.

    • Rachel Lance

      Glad you were encouraged, Christy! I think you’ll find the blogging community is super supportive and ready to welcome a newcomer. What’s your topic? Have you found other similar bloggers to connect with? 

  • http://www.thechristiannaturalist.blogspot.com/ Terri

    I began a non-fiction book at the beginning of the year. I’ve collected information on the subject for 30 years. This has always been in the back of my mind, but I’ve studied fiction writing for long I hated to bail on that to write fiction. My fear says I haven’t studied non-fiction writing and I don’t have a platform, but I feel the need to get it out on paper. I’ve written one chapter so far. 

    • Terri

      Oops, I meant I’ve studied fiction writing so long I hated to bail on that to write non-fiction. Let me go hide now. 

      • Jim Martin

        Terri, you really have done some work.  You’ve written one chapter (no small feat)!  That is wonderful.  You have certainly done your homework, having collected information on this for 30 years.  

        Fear (as I’m sure you know) is powerful.  It can create indecision and second guessing.  Fear has a way of saying “You don’t have what it takes.”  Most of us, I suspect, are all too familiar with the power of fear in our lives.

        Thanks for your comment.  Take small steps forward.  You’ve already made great progress in writing an entire chapter.  

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE YOU MICHAEL!! In a manly way of course. These posts of yours are incredibly practical and most helpful! You’re a tremendous resource and I love your blog, bro! Thanks!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      J-Chad.
      I am with you! My friend @johntillerIII says that being a part of the Michael Hyatt community is like taking a class on leadership. I agree with him!

      • http://twitter.com/JChadBarrett J. Chad Barrett

        Well put, brutha!

  • http://www.newlyweds4life.com/commentary Marshall Parker

    I appreciate all of your wonderful information. This year has been titled for me as the ‘Year of the Hustle’ and to that end I am working on several projects, both for my day job and my side jobs.

    I just launched a software package last month that I had been holding back, trying to tweak, tweak and tweak some more. Your advice about “Go ahead and launch” is spot on, as I had to I’ve up that idea of perfectionism and be willing to launch something the was good, but not perfect in my mind.

    As I continue to tweak this project, I am now in the midst of brainstorming sessions about 2 or 3 other projects to work through this year, and I will be putting these tactics into play starting with putting a date on the calendar for my next goals.

    Thanks again for your leadership and business advice, it is very much appreciated.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Marshall,
      Love the “The Year of The Hustle.” It reminds me of Gary Vaynerchuck’s “Crush it!”

  • http://www.endocreative.com/ Jeremy Green

     I’m in the middle of launching a new branch of my web design business. It’s scary because I’m stepping beyond anything I’ve ever done before.  I’m not sure exactly how to move forward, but after reading today’s post I don’t feel quite as overwhelmed about the process.  I’m going to apply each of these steps to my project, the biggest step being a launch date.  Nothing kicks me into gear like a launch date!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Right on, Jeremy!  Thanks for sharing this.  Remember #5 … you don’t need to know everything, just the goal and the next step!

  • Laurie

    Michael, I always get something out of your posts–especially today.  It was very encouraging.  Thank you for that!  I have recently launched a video blog.  But it took me TWO YEARS to do it!  Because I wanted to be vulnerable and real, broadcasting it to the world was intimidating. People could not only critique/criticize my content, but with a vlog,they could also critique/criticize my delivery. Yikes!  It felt like running nude through the Super Bowl. 

    But I have forged ahead…not very well, mind you.  I had put one out around Christmas time, and recently, I have had a new surge of “let’s do this thing”, so I broadcast (is that the right terminology?) another.  So I’ve done it. 

    But now the real fear steps in.  I battle with those thoughts, “Is this for me?”  “Do I really have any content that will help anyone?”  And maybe I don’t.  I don’t have a lot of visitors.  I’m not technologically savvy.  So right now, I’m trying to decide which thoughts are unfounded fear and which thoughts are reality.

    • Jim Martin

      Laurie, congratulations on launching your video blog!  Wow.  That represents a lot of hard work.

      I suspect that most of us who read your last paragraph can identify with your fear and uncertainty.  I have battled similar questions at times, wondering if I should start or continue a particular project.  

      Wish you well as you continue your blog.

      • Laurie

         Thanks, Jim!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    Wow! That podcast equipment is something I would need to save up for (or wait til I get next year’s tax refund). I am currently working on my book. I started this at the end of last year. It was inspired by blog posts that I wrote and wanted to write more about. I have to keep looking at my goal or I get discouraged because I have never taken on a project like this.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Writing down the goal and the due date are so important, Brandon.  Do you have a due date for your book? 

      • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

        I had not set one. When I read this post I realized how important that step was. My goal is now to be done writing by September 30.

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Awesome, Brandon! That’s a huge step to make sure you get there. Write it down. Post it on the wall. Tell your friends. It will remind you of the importance and help you reach the goal!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    For a year now I’ve been planning to launch video on my blog. A big step, heavy with multiple tasks and fears. I’m a fairly driven perfectionist, and I hesitate trying something new unless I can do it with excellence (a.k.a. perfection) from the start. Not realistic, I know. And life circumstances over the past 1-2 years have taken the time I’d planned to invest in the process. But, as you said, “some things can only be learned by doing.” Perhaps I just need to set a reasonable goal/date, and tackle it one piece at a time.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Go for it Michele. Take it one step at a time but launch the video blogs. It’ll work even if it is not perfect.

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Thanks, Joe.

  • Susan RoAne

    Mike,
     Wanted to thank you again for your session at Evernote. Tried to email you but saw your note about added a comment. Thanks to your advice I now add images to my blog posts!
    http://susanroane.blogs.com/susanroane/2012/02/-can-we-ever-get-over-ourselves-.html
    Many warm wishes for your continued success!

    Susan RoAne

  • http://www.thereligionteacher.com Jared Dees

    Wow, this post is so well timed. I just launched a big project this morning. I really resonate with #6 and #7. It was so hard not to continue “thrashing” (as Seth Godin calls it) at the very end. I missed my goal date and launched knowing I can tweet (#7) as I go. 

    This is the key to any entreauthor’s success. You have to ship. You have to overcome your fears. You have to get help. And you have to dream big. 

    Thanks for the inspiration Michael. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Nice job getting launched Jared!  What was the project?

  • Anonymous

    Love the way the process is described. I wonder what you would think about adding a step that you sort of referenced as an organic part of your process, but in my experience, is often a top-level step in development.

    Whenever we develop a product, we always identify those one or two key influencers we can put a product in front of and get their input. A few caveats:

    –You have to trust them. They have to trust you.
    –They need to be experts in your field.
    –They need to be your friend but not necessarily your fan. You’re not looking for praise, you’re looking for someone to catch a potential oversight or misdirection. This individual needs to be able to critique and, if needed, push back.
    –They need to embrace your values
    –They can’t slow down your process
    –And they need to know you may or may not accept their input, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.

    We have been ready to ship a product and had insight from a key influencer shape the product mix. It ended up making a big difference.

    Anyway, just a thought. Thanks for what you do, Michael.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Andy, I definitely think that can be a critical part of the process, mentioned in #5.  Thanks for sharing your experience!  

  • Veda Ram

    This has been in my mind for a few months now. R & R – Relax and Renew – targeting  women ( professionals etc). I intend to provide a 2 hrs.  themed experience using WORD in a creative way to bring renewal. I am now figuring on how to cost this event. I am excited. Thanks for prodding me on.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Have you set a date for your goal, Veda?

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    I have 2 big projects slated for this year. One is to write my healing story and the other is to write a timeline of my adopted son’s life before he came to us 2 years ago. I am in the planning stages of both of these projects. They will be something different from my usual writing but are ones I am definitely led to pursue.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Kari, congrats on adopting! My wife and I are considering that at some point in our future. If you don’t mind, how did you find the process of adoption?

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Joe – The process of adopting was wonderful and frustrating and one of the most terrific experiences of my life. It’s equally as exciting as expecting a biological child for 9 months (we have one biological child). We used Bethany Christian Services and had a terrific caseworker, but the state workers were great too. (This is key. having great caseworkers made the whole process go much more smoothly.) We had to take classes, which were a pain at times but had tons of great information. The one thing, other than prayer, that helped the process before, during and after the adoption was to read as much material as I could get my hands on. I read tons of articles and books on my own plus everything the caseworkers gave me. Then, when our son moved in (he was 9 at the time and is 11 now), I read tons on whatever issues we were working on at the time. (Still do, though the issues are not as many or as deep anymore. He’s made tons of progress.) Not sure what state you are in, but in Michigan, you have to become a licensed foster caregiver before you can adopt. He lived in our home a year before the adoption became official. Those are the basics. I’d be happy to give more details on anything. Just ask.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

           Kari,

          Thanks for the information! It seems like most people feel
          the process is a mixed bag of great but frustrating situations. We
          attended an information meeting with Bethany Christian Services on
          Monday. They seem like they’re a great resource for adoption. It’s
          always nice to hear the experiences of others.

          When it’s time to adopt, my wife and I would like to adopt a newborn/infant. I may have my wife contact you if she has any questions or wants more detail.

          Crazy, small world we live in. My wife and I are also in Michigan, Grand Rapids/Holland area.

  • Larry Galley – brdgbldr72

    Michael – Thank you for your unstinting, ongoing generosity.  You have my my respect, my appreciation and my subscription.

    Larry

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Larry!

  • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

    This post is an example of what I LOVE about your blog. It’s multi-dimensional – in one post, you’ve instructed me (info about launch), and mentored me (with your 50K bold goal example, as you shared your process for the podcast). Fabulous. Can’t wait to check out the podcast!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I’m with you, Laurie!  Michael keeps layering on deeper and deeper content.

      BTW, I just subscribed to your blog.  What a cool background and career you have!  We also have a special needs child.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Michael, I listened to the podcast and it was great. The sound was good and the message was outstanding, I look forward to future episodes.

    My big project is my second book which is coming out March 2. The book is now editted and with my ebook formatter. I have a short manifesto that will be availiable next week on Amazon and my website, it will be free. It’s my declaration to the world of why I wrote the book and some things that I’m changing in my life, you can see the cover here: excitingfamilyjourney.com

    We are also planning on moving to Hawaii next year and everything is proceeding as planned. As a part of getting the word out, I have the blessing of guest posting on several blogs. You can see me on Dan Miller’s blog next Thursday! Life is good. Thanks for the inspiration today.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Kimanzi, congrats on the second book and guest post next Thursday!   It sounds like you are following #5 well by trusting the process. 

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Yes sir, thank you.

  • Sylvie Guilmette

    Launching a MLM part-time buisness next week! I have set 3 and 12 month goals. As a reward for facing the fears, i want to buy the family a Mac in time for my husbands 40th birthday.

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  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    Great motivation, thanks AGAIN Michael. There was something about the photo that took my breath away. I asked myself if I’m dreaming big enough. My immediate answer is “No.”

    Two big projects I’m launching this month:
    1)  New look for my website, Hope101.net and launching some income opportunities.
    2)  Finishing up my first book proposal.

    That photo gets me thinking about what IF these ideas really succeed. I could help millions of people live better lives and provide for my own family. It takes my breath away!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Lori,
      I like your positive attitude and your “what IF… ”  Keep up the great work and press forward!

  • http://www.peterglowka.de/ Peter Glowka

    I love your writing, Michael. It has inspired me to finally start my own Blog a few days ago – something I had in mind for years now. I am really commited to write valuable content on a very regular basis.

    My goal for now is to get the “first ten” readers as you have suggested in one of your older posts. There is no comparable blogging scene in Germany but I see a lack of high-quality Blogs in almost any topic so I try to overcome that on my part.

    On my blog I am writing about strategy, marketing and management. So all you german-speaking business people, feel free to take a look: http://www.peterglowka.de

    All the others: enjoy this great blog! And Michael, keep up the great work!

  • Cheryl Fraser

    Oh, the lizard brain! Even so, we did ship! January 31st we launched a product line at a women’s event where nearly 500 women listened to Wendy Fitzgerald speak. After the event we sold “Remnant” products related to her talk. 14 different products that encourage women to pray, pray and pray.With a portion of our sales we are supporting a couple heading to Thailand to work at an orphanage where children are at risk of human trafficking. We also sold over 300 “slave” bracelets in which all proceeds go to Rapha House which exists to love and heal children who have been rescued from trafficking and sexual exploitation.

    Thank you Michael, for the encouraging words and all of your book suggestions. Every morning your blog seemed to answer questions that we were facing that day! Now we will look forward to your podcasts, thank you!

    Peace and Blessings,
    Cheryl Fraser

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I love this list!  It’s so accurate!  I especially resonate with the first one, writing it down, committing it to paper and in your mind is essential.

  • http://robsorbo.com/ Rob Sorbo

    I suspect your goal of 50000 subscribers has already been met IF you consider your blog traffic, they just won’t be as trackable. I avoid iTunes like the plague, so I won’t officially subscribe, but I’ll listen to it on your blog. 

    I’m kind of going through this process with my own blog. I just secured the domain Robsorbo.com and have already transferred over all of my old content from my old blog (I stuck with Blogger, just because I’m so familiar with it. I know you recommend WordPress…maybe I’ll get there someday). I’m currently working on figuring out a schedule and a general theme of my topics.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You might want to try Downcast or Instacast. You don’t have to use iTunes for either. Both allow you to take the podcast with you.
      I do recommend WordPress but do whatever is easiest to launch.

      • http://robsorbo.com/ Rob Sorbo

        It looks like these are iOS apps. Can anyone recommend some good Android apps or an online tool that’ll manage podcasts?

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          Rob, Listen should do the trick for listening to podcasts on your Android. I use it and love it. 

          • http://robsorbo.com/ Rob Sorbo

            Listen worked. Thanks Joe. 

            Now I just need more podcasts to listen to!

          • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

             Great Rob! It’s a great app. The only feature that would make it better would be a speed option.

            If you’re looking for more podcasts, here are a couple of suggestions:

            Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
            48 Days with Dan Miller
            Inspiring Words of Encouragement with Zig Ziglar
            Internet Business Mastery

            A mix of business/career/leadership but ones I always enjoy.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Rob,
      Let us know when you get it up and running. Just out of curiosity—why do you avoid iTunes like the plague?

      • http://robsorbo.com/ Rob Sorbo

        If you don’t use a Mac, then iTunes runs kind of slowly (even on the best computer I’ve ever owned, it would take at least 5 minutes just for the program to open).

        Also, I find the layout, controls, and options to be incredibly unintuitive. I’m a computer and tech nerd, but I still found that I had to relearn the program every time I tried to use it.

  • http://www.greatchristiandeals.com/ Steve Rucinski

    I am launching a Daily Deals program aimed at the Christian market called GreatChristianDeals.com we expect to ‘ship’ March 1, 2012.

    Site is live but no active deals yet. 3 months learning the models and hoping to combine my business acumen, love for tech and my faith with this endeavor.Would love to set up an affiliate and merchant agreement with you.

  • http://NathanRouse.org/ Nathan Rouse

    Michael,

    Thanks for walking us through the personal resistance you were feeling as you walked through this project. Your vulnerability is inspiring and helpful. Thanks for your investment in other leaders.

    Nathan

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    Mr. Hyatt, this podcast is incredible!  Thank you for tackling yet another challenge!  I look forward to your next one, and plan on executing your suggestions right away.

    My big project for the year is to publish my ebook that I have been working on for several months.  Things are beginning to take shape, and I need to keep overcoming the obstacles that have been setting me back.
    I have a deadline in place, and as you said, that is the key component in achieving any task.  Having a measurable goal.

  • http://www.onedressoneyear.com/ Anne Winz

    My 16-year-old daughter, the abolitionist, is practicing what you are preaching. A month ago she launched a program that includes a blog, a twitter account and a Facebook group. She is wearing one dress for one year accessorized differently each day to raise awareness and money to help end slavery around the world. She actually pushed her start date up two weeks to coincide with Hunan Trafficking Awareness Day. 

    She absolutely affirms the quote: If your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. She could have waited a year to get it perfect first, but instead, she jumped in and has been tweaking as she goes. Does she know what she’s doing? She’s learning along the way. Is this project too big for her? Not if she faces it one day at a time. 

    She has too many people in her life who tell her how wonderful she is and not enough people who challenge her to take what she knows could be her next big step.  Thank you for resourcing me so I can resource her. Really appreciate the content on your blog. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Wow, Anne!  I know you are proud of her.  She will make a huge difference!  Has she linked with Gary Haugen’s International Justice Mission (IJM)?  They are a phenomenal group making a real difference in the tragedy of human trafficking and they may be able to provide her with some resources.  Regarding challenges, they “live on the edge” all the time in their fight!    

      By the way, great job Mom!  Kids don’t make a difference like this without a strong foundation of love at home.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, John. She is one spectacular young lady, but she doesn’t like it when I tell her that. More than once this week, she has told me that she wishes she were average, not because she wants to do less, but because she wishes her peers were doing more. 

        Yes, she has been in touch with International Justice Mission. You are right. They are doing significant work around the world to end human trafficking.  

        So, about this business of finding people her own age who will help her reach for the stars, any suggestions? 

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          I have a friend who uses an axiom that says “We were born to be exceptional, but conditioned to be average”.   Unfortunately, Anne, no matter the age group, the majority of people don’t have a “reach for the stars” mindset.  However, the great thing is that leaders (like your daughter) attract leaders.  They will come to her.  You can also help her by having her subscribe to Michael’s blog and other leaders who “speak her language”.Your daughter reminds me of another 16-yr-old girl who gave a speech at a leadership conference I attended where she displayed a “holy discontent” for the lack of leadership that our (older) generation was providing to her generation.  She basically gave us a (totally appropriate), verbal whipping for not stepping up.  It resulted in more mentoring and other actions by attendees that helped make change.  I sense your daughter is also motivating people with her discontent.   Keep encouraging her.  She’ll continue to do great things!

  • Stephanie Romero

    The project I am launching this year is an online Christian mentoring site.  Several years ago I had the benefit of being involved in something similar.  It was run by a lady from her blog.  But it eventually dissolved.  I saw many lives impacted and decided to take this on a larger scale.  But I will admit that I have been plaqued with various fears.  The website is finally live but there it sits…I have yet to put more effort into it.  But I know it’s fear standing in the way.  However, your article was very helpful and encouraging….I intend to press on.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Stephanie,
      Can you pass on the domain? Do you have a specific niche in the mentoring ministry? This is a very valuable calling and I pray that you are successful!

  • http://twitter.com/LisaColonDelay Lisa Colón DeLay

    I really enjoyed your first podcast…but the format seems super long. I realized that putting it on pause made the whole thing start over. That stinks considering it happened twice to me. 

    Do you plan to continue in your current format (over 30 min podcast)?

    Do you like it better than the Skype split screen interview?
    (btw I took your advice on your post with Guy K. and started my own interview series called NiNJAinterviews (youtube channel) By March 20 videos will be uploaded. Lots of fun!)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your input. If you look at most of the business podcasts, they are 20 minutes to an hour long. 30 minutes seemed like the right length to me. I plan to continue this length for now.
      I don’t know if I like it better than Skype interviews. I think it is a completely different media channel. I plan to continue interviews from time to time.
      Thanks again.

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    Wow, timely advice. I have a dream that has at times left me quaking in my boots, but I’m moving forward anyways. This winter I became aware of the terrible suffering of orphans in Eastern Europe. God has compelled me to do something about it, and I’ve chosen to respond. At first I wanted to adopt but as I thought about it that solution wasn’t enough for me. My desire is to form a team to travel to Serbia to help alleviate these children’s suffering and raise awareness of their need.  I have taken the first steps by writing down what I hope to accomplish and what some of the needs are. I’ve also begun making contacts to develop the plan further. Your steps were a good guide to point me in the right direction! Thank you.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      What an awesome project and vision, Beck!  May God bless your efforts!

      • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

         Thank you John.

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  • Shannon

    Inspired. Thank you. Needed that kick

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  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    “Just start” and “tweak as you go” are big ones in my opinion. In the book called “The Creative Habit,” I recall the author saying something like, “it’s the writing that’s hard. It’s the getting started that’s the hard part.” And I couldn’t agree more. 

    But once you start… You’re ready to go. Think of it like starting a new exercise regimen. Those first few days/weeks are always the hardest. But once you blow past them, you’re good. 

    As for “tweaking as you go.” I launched my first ever membership site last year. It was hard, it was scary. I wondered if anyone would even sign up. But I did it anyway. I learned about pricing. I learned about delivery (technology wise – what works and what doesn’t). And I’ve learned to constantly tweak as I go to improve based on customer feedback. In March, I’m relaunching it as a full membership site with additional resources. It’s exciting! And kinda cool to think that it’s coming along this far and customers keep staying on-board and signing up. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is an inspiring story. I have thought about starting a membership site myself. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/yogagirlsc Regina Mae

    Hi, Michael!  Thanks to this post, and a few others I’ve ready over the last couple of months, I finally, finally launched my blog this past week! It had been in the thinking stage for too long to admit in print. :) But, thanks to the the information and encouragement I’ve received from your blog, it is officially launched!  Keep it coming. :)

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  • Anonymous

    My Next Big Project is to master WordPress. With a background in print design, this is a whole new world for me. I’ve fiddled with it, and my own site is a WordPress construct, but I want to be able to help others get going with it.  
    I think we often underestimate our abilities. If we are determined to learn and desire to serve, there are few limits to what we can achieve. Thanks again for a great post.

  • Bmwbear129

    I am at the ending stages of publishing a book and boy, sure wish I had read this before I just told the person editing the book that there was no deadline since I was considering self-publishing!  I have never been a goal setter, not sure why, but it’s a struggle for me.  After reading this, I may just have to set a date for the launch of my book because I am anxious to get started on the second one!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Time to set the deadline Brenda!

  • AnneFCW

    Another great newsletter. I was very inspired by the newsletter about vision before strategy. It pushed me to write down my vision for the year, which included something I’ve always wanted to do–write a book. I did put a goal down to complete a manuscript by the end of 2012, but after reading this newsletter, I need to break that down to short-term goals as well. I find myself ‘fearful’ to start, afraid of what I won’t/can’t accomplish, yet the thought of writing this story fills me with such joy. That, as well, will help keep me going. Thank you again. I appreciate you and your messages.

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    Thank you for sharing your experience of launching a podcast. I’ve been interested in the process and have subscribed to a few quality podcasts (yours included).

    Godspeed on reaching your goals.

  • Tim Hallman

    I’m planning to have our congregation start a second worship service this fall, Sunday September 9th. We have most of the vols for worship, but we don’t have the vols for kids ministry. That’s the biggest challenge right now we have to overcome. 

  • Nathan

    Thanks for the good encouragement.  For me pulling the trigger has been scary.  I’ve recieved a few rejection letters and now I’m getting shy about my material.  The down side is, I complete it and review, edit, review over and over and never get to the point where I feel I can send it.  While I wait the windows of opportunity get smaller.  Your words about deadlines helps.

  • Mary Brotherton

    I don’t believe in coincidences.

    I’ve been casually following Robert Lee Brewer’s blog, My Name is Not Bob, for a few months. In April, he initiated a clever way to drive traffic to his site by incorporating what he calls the April Platform Challenge. Today’s challenge was “read at least one blog post and comment on it.” He even included a list of some of his favorite blogs. It was a long list. I didn’t know where to begin, so I scrolled to a blogger who didn’t use a cute name – simply Michael Hyatt.

    I was blown away when the first blog was precisely what I needed to read. I’ve been considering my own podcast, after a friend suggested I’d be good at it, but I simply didn’t know where to begin. Now, I know. 

    Thank you.

    Like the Terminator, I’ll be back.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for dropping by, Mary. As you consider podcasting, check out the PodcastAnswerMan.com. That’s where I learned how to do it. Thanks again.

  • Montarious

    Thank you for this Post. I have been contemplating starting
    a Blog for years, but as you mentioned the fear of would it be grammatically
    right, would people read it, or more importantly how would I handle the
    rejection if nobody reads my blog has kept me from getting started? After
    reading this Blog, I am confident by the end of the week I will be posting my
    first Blog.  Thanks Michael for making a difference.

  • johnmarkharris

    Do you do it all through WordPress, or do you keep the actual media in something like Dropbox and then post it on WP with a link to feedburner?

    The later is how I used to do it, but now, one can simply put the media on their WP host, then input the unique podcast feed right to iTunes using a “podcasting plugin” that’s what I’m thinking about doing.

    Thoughts? Have you touched on these more technical aspects before?

    Blessings!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I host the media on LibSyn.com. It is designed for hosting podcasts. I create an embedded link to the media in Blubrry PowerPress. I set the category in WordPress to ”Podcast.” It is the feed from this category that I use with Feedburner. I submitted the feed to iTunes. You only have to do this once. After iTunes approves your podcast, they just grab each new episode from the feed. Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I host the media on LibSyn.com. It is designed for hosting podcasts. I create an embedded link to the media in Blubrry PowerPress. I set the category in WordPress to ”Podcast.” It is the feed from this category that I use with Feedburner. I submitted the feed to iTunes. You only have to do this once. After iTunes approves your podcast, they just grab each new episode from the feed. Thanks.

  • http://www.thebiblicalleader.com/ John Reinagel

     I am currently working on the launching my first blog focused on Biblical leadership. Your blog posts, podcasts and book have been an inspiration to me. They have provided me with great practical advice as I prepare for my next big project. 

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  • http://atimetohealjournal.com Beth Marshall

    Thanks for that, Michael.Perfectly timed.
    I’m about to pitch an idea to provide free audio content (30 second nuggets) to a website I am a guest writer for. Currently in the prayer/outline stage, but
    you’ve inspired me to set a date and run with it!