12 Days To Launch: What It's Like To Launch A Digital Design Shop In Just 12 Days
Have you ever wondered what it's like to launch a digital product in just 12 days?
And if you've already created your own digital product, have you ever wondered what it's like for others?
Because I have.
And that's exactly what I'm writing this post: to share my own experiences with you and the lessons I learned along the way.
Fair warning: This is a really long post. Over 2,000 words. Apparently, I had a lot to say.
When the idea turned into a commitment
Trying to launch a digital product in 12 days... is no easy feat. And I knew that going into it.
So why did I choose to give myself such a short timeline if I already knew that?
Honestly - because I was slacking ...and scared. Slacking because I was scared.
- Scared no one would care or even notice.
- Scared my designs weren't going to be good.
- Scared people were going to say it's a dumb idea.
- Scared it would turn out to be an absolute failure.
Y'know, the voices of self-doubt and imposter syndrome.
So while sitting on my bed one morning (about two weeks ago), I decided to give myself a challenge: launch a digital product shop in 12 days.
I actually decided on 12 days, because 15 days would mean launching on near the end of the week and 20 days felt long enough for me to talk myself out of it.
Because you already know what your commitment level is.
And if you don't follow through on the things you say you're going to do enough times... you stop believing in yourself.
So a while back, I decided to stop saying I'll do things if I already know I"m not going to do them. All that to say don't make your self-doubt worse than it already is.
Show yourself that you're the kind of person who follows through on things, because you are. And if you're not, you can be.
Change your history by writing a new one.
the first few days (days 1-4)
The first few days mostly consisted of me "getting my feet wet".
Mostly working on new design templates for the shop (media kits for bloggers, pricing guides for photographers, business cards for creative entrepreneurs and personal brands), etc. Wrote a few things here and there. Uploaded a few things onto Instagram.
And by day 3 or 4, I started feeling the imposter syndrome.
... let's just say it was not a very fun feeling to experience.
When you're creating completely new, your self-doubt and fear has a way of creeping up on you. But just because it shows up knocking doesn't mean you have to go answer the door.
Instead of running away from the self-doubt and imposter syndrome feeling, I faced my fears.
So if you want to change your present and your future, then you have to change what you believe and say to yourself.
Because saying things like "It's never going to work" or "No one is going to care" isn't going to help you want to start (let alone continue) or help you believe in yourself.
Believing is yourself is a huge part of the process and journey.
If you don't believe in yourself, you're going to have a really hard time creating things and stayed inspired and true to yourself. Trust me on this. You don't want to feel like you're fighting yourself every step along the way, especially when the journey is so long.
the next few days (days 5-8)
As the days went on, the imposter syndrome feeling and self-doubt noise started to wind down. Go figure, right?
Also, I think the fact that I only had 12 days (or in this case, about 8 days left) to make this work didn't leave very much room for them (self-doubt and feeling like an imposter).
A lot of people think working for yourself is a glamorous lifestyle, but honestly? It's a lot of hard work and can be a very isolating and lonely feeling sometimes, which is why I'm so glad I was co-working with my friend on most days if not going to the coffee shop to be around people.
If you're feeling isolated and lonely in your work, create time in your schedule to spend time with others. Even going to a coffee shop with a friend to work can be extremely helpful.
Also, Rising Tide Society's Tuesdays Together's May event happened during my "12 days to launch", which was super helpful because I had pricing feedback from creative entrepreneurs (which was who I was making the design template shop for!). Click here to read the post I wrote how I decided to price my digital products.
So during this time, I was working through my to do list.
- file organization (and then re-organizing, naming the files, etc.)
- uploading the files into the shop (which... I ended up redoing later on in the week)
- designing the shop catalog (and then majorly redesigning it)
- writing content (email newsletters and blog posts)
- creating the blog and social kits
- ... and more
As you can see (and as I've realized), creating a shop involves a lot of tasks, time, and energy. Way, way more than I originally expected and planned for.
The little things here and there definitely do add up over time.
But as tedious as some of the tasks may have been, I've got to say it felt so good to put everything together and rewarding to actually see everything come together.
Fun fact: I stayed up 40+ HOURS during this time.
Yep, you read that right. FOURTY HOURS.
So I didn't intend on this happening. It wasn't on purpose, but I got a ton of stuff done during this 40 hour chunk. Honestly not even sure how I was still so functional and came up with exciting ideas, but sometimes you just go with the flow and don't question things (this was one of those times).
Disclaimer: I don't advocate or recommend doing this. Please take care of yourself. Mental health and self-care is extremely important, not to mention essential, in life, business, and staying sane.
the days leading up to the launch (days 9-11)
If I had to be completely honest, I was a bit scared, anxious, and overwhelmed that I wouldn't have everything done in time.
And if I'm being really honest, I was "burning the candle" a little bit.
During the days leading up to the launch, I just wanted to sleep. I spent most of the weekend working. And when I wasn't working, I was taking naps or eating food.
Sure, I could've pushed the deadline off a bit more. But I made a commitment to myself to make this thing happen - and that's what I did.
By the way, I always recommended listening to your body and tuning into your intuition.
Ever since reading Intuitive Eating a few years ago, I am really big on listening to yourself and doing what's best for YOU.
Not what you think others think is best for you or what other people tell you, but what your own body and mind is telling you. And that's exactly what I did.
I knew I still had a bit of fire left in me and the capability to push through.
Plus, I was so close to finishing everything and launching!
The next time self-doubt and imposter syndrome come knocking on your door, ask yourself why and what you can take away from the experience.
Where did you learn to doubt yourself so much? Because this is a learned behavior.
And what would happen if you just went for it? Because you can gain so much from the experience, especially if you try and give yourself a real shot.
None of that one foot in and another out mumbo jumbo.
If I had listened to those voices of fear and self-doubt in the beginning, I would have never made it to the days leading up to the launch. Or the launch day itself.
And another thing...
Don't chase perfection, because you will end up really, really exhausted.
Remember earlier when I mentioned the activities I did? When I reorganized files, redesigned the PDF, and re-uploaded the files?
That was me chasing perfection.
It's common for creatives to want their work to be perfect - just the way they imagined, but as every creative knows, it rarely turns out that way.
But here's the amazing thing: It doesn't make our work or the journey any less beautiful.
What happens when you let go of being perfect?
You give yourself the chance for things to happen.
Because when you're busy chasing perfection, you spend most (if not all) of your time, energy, and resources doing the same thing over and over again until it's "perfect".
And I don't know if you've ever had this experience, but I've had moments where I basically did just that (did things over and over again) until a. I lost the original concept, b. I ended up really frustrated and annoyed at myself, and c. gave up altogether ending up with ...nothing.
Building and growing Wholehearted Woman has truly taught me to be more patient and kind with myself. And that things don't have to be perfect in order for them to be good.
That I don't have to be perfect, which means you don't have to perfect either. No one does.
It's just this belief that we've bought into somewhere along the way.
The good news is that we can stop believing in it at any time.
It's all about putting yourself out there, again and again.
Challenging yourself. Breaking the cycle. Doing things differently. Making the commitment.
Because we can spend our whole lives telling ourselves that we're going to do something and then never do it.
The difference between those who get things done and those who don't is a choice.
A choice to show up, do the work, and keep going even when things get hard. So choose to do something about it and choose yourself.
Well, this section ended up being wayyyy longer than I planned, but I hope you got a few nuggets out of this.
If this blog helped you in any way, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below!
Before we end this, I have a few final thoughts (because no, those last few paragraphs weren't my final thoughts...).
launch day + final thoughts
So I actually finished up the shop and everything the evening before the launch date (or so I thought - keep reading to find out what happens next...) and was super excited about sharing it with everyone (and did not want to wait until the next day - serious case of instant gratification here) soooo I sent out an early access email plus special gift to my email subscribers!
After writing and sending out that email, I decided to take a break for a few hours.
Well, after my break and eating dinner, I realized that now I had to work on my marketing plan. 12 days only gives you so much time, space, and energy for priorities.
So I spent the next few hours creating marketing material, including Instagram content.
Let's just say I stayed up until 3:30 am that morning to finish and upload everything.
But given the circumstances (that I gave to myself... yes, yes, I know), I'm super proud of how everything came out!
In all honesty though, launch day wasn't as exciting as one would think. Maybe I should've bought myself a little cake or something and shared a video on Instagram. Actually, I think I'll do that on the next release.
I'm thinking a mango mousse dessert? How does that sound? Delicious, right?!
I'd really love to hear what you think.
And if you buy a template and implement it, I'd love to see and share it with others on social media! Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, that's all for now.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
Please let me know if you found it helpful and would like to see more posts like this in the future.
Rooting for you and your success!
Hi there! I'm Molly, the founder of Wholehearted Woman.
Be the person you needed when you were younger and share your story, because you're the one who someone else needs today.