SFR 95: My Launch Calendar… – Stephen Larsen

SFR 95: My Launch Calendar…

Dec 23rd, 2017 anchorwave


There Are Two Things On MY Calendar. Events, And Product Launches…


Hey, what’s going on everyone? This is Steve Larsen, and you’re listening to an early morning Sales Funnel Radio

Welcome to Sales Funnel Radio, where you’ll learn marketing strategies to grow your online business using today’s best internet sales funnels. Now, here’s your host, Steve Larsen.

I am literally about to go downstairs into my garage. In my third car garage, I’ve got a full gym, got the squat rack, the dumbbells, the barbells, the bench, the pull-up bars. I love it, I love it. That’s always been a part of my life. When I first graduated from college, it’s only been about two years ago, I actually stopped all those things and I have missed them greatly. So I’ve loved diving back into it all in the last month and a half, two months here. I’m excited.

I was about to go downstairs and get going. The hard part is that I know that outside right now it is 29°, so I was bundled up. I was like, “Uh. Right now it sounds more fun for me to do a podcast,” actually for something that’s been on my mind for quite a while. It’s cool that … Okay. I’ll tell you the story.

Russell BrunsonTwo or three days ago, I was standing next to Russell and he said something that summed up something that I have been wanting to say for a while. I was standing there, I was in his office, and he goes, “Yeah, check out my calendar. My life is run by deadlines.”

I was like, “Hm, That’s a good phrase right there. My life is run by deadlines.” It’s true. If you look at his calendar, and mine actually, the one that’s right next to me on my left right here on that wall, it’s run by deadlines. I have a huge full calendar. I’m sorry, massive calendar on my wall, and I circle dates.

Now, some of the dates are events that I’m going to, that I’m going to speak to, or I’ve already been asked to speak at like eight different events next year, which I’m very excited about. Then, so one category is an event. The other category, though, that’s on here though is a product launch, something that I’m actually going to be putting out into the market.

You know what’s funny about that, and what’s funny about the pattern that we would work by, you guys have got to know that since I’m leaving ClickFunnels, what I’ve been trying to do is I’m trying to extract every lesson that I can that I learned there and I’m trying to publish it, not just so that you guys can know what it is but also that it sticks in my head. What I’ve been doing is I’m going and just trying to nitpick and pull out all the little things here.

So some of these last episodes, especially episodes 90 to 100, know that that’s what the goal really is. I’ve got more and more of those coming…

I did that episode called 11 Brunsonisms, but I keep trying to pull out some of the best and biggest lessons, and you need to know how we operated there and how I’m going to continue to attempt to operate on my own come January 1st when I’m totally solo. Just know this is how we did it, is we would set a … Okay. Please note that the reason I want to go through this is because I see people launching stuff really slowly. I understand there’s a full team at ClickFunnels, Russell and I working in tandem, but a designer, traffic guy. There’s all these different elements, videographers, copywriters, email person, this person, and I get that. I understand that.

There’s a full team there, but still, I think it goes to say, I think you need to know why we launch so fast, why and how. I want to go through both of those things real quick, so if you look at his calendar, like I said, there’s really two different types of things on his calendar. One is product launches and the other one is events that he’s traveling and speaking at, and things like that. It gets full really fast for the full year every single time, and we never want to erase it because it’s almost like a … I don’t even know what to call it. It’s cool, it’s awesome to look at it.

You’re like, “This is what I did this year,” and that’s what we call them, funnel years. Anyway, so the way we launch stuff and the way I launch stuff is, the way I’m going to keep doing it, is we will set the date for when we want to put something out. Too often … I’m sorry, it’s like five 5 AM right now and I’m trying to wake up still so let me get this out there. Too often, what I’ve noticed is that somebody will … In fact, here’s a good example. The other day I was on a coaching call and I was coaching somebody. I said, “Hey. When are you going to launch this thing?”

The individual was like, “Oh, you know what? I think I’ll launch it on, maybe I’ll do it on Thursday.” I was like, “No, no, no. When are you going to launch it?” The person goes, “You know what? Maybe I’ll launch it on … Maybe I’ll do like Thursday or Friday or Saturday.” I said, “No. When are you going to launch it?” I had to get forward about it, and the person was like, “You know what? Maybe Saturday.” I was like, “You’re not understanding what I’m telling you. When are you going to launch it? Choose the freaking date. Choose the time and the date right now and you hold your own feet to the fire on it.”

The person was like, “Okay. I’m going to do it this day.” I was like, “Cool, what time?” The person was like, “I’m going to do it at this time,” and I was like, “Cool. Awesome. Now you have the time. Now the trick is to hold your own feet to the fire. What mechanism can you put in place to hold your own feet to the fire?” Guys, that’s one of the keys of what I’m trying to teach you right here. When you set a launch date for product or a funnel that you’re putting out, or anything at all, one the biggest keys is to ask yourself, “What is the mechanism, to hold your own feet to the fire.”

One of the easiest ways to do it, one of the ways that we do it, one of the ways I’ve done it is to be public about the launch date. It’s real easy to let that launch date come and pass if you’ve told nobody. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve told a ton of people about a product that I’ve been … I’m putting out on January 4th. It’s not totally done yet, and the reason why is because it’s public so I have to finish it. Does that make sense? That’s how we ran everything at ClickFunnels. That’s why we put everything out there. We literally … You know the Expert Secrets book funnel, guys we started that funnel two days before the actual launch. That was the freakiest thing.

I don’t recommend that. That’s a full team of fanatic experts to pull off in two days. We did not sleep for … Oh my gosh, that was ridiculous, but you get the point though? You get the point. I hope you get the point. What’s the mechanism of you being able to just … That’s one of the reasons you launch as fast as you can. Just set the date, set the date, set the date, and get as much stuff as you can done before the actual launch.

You’re being public about what isn’t done. In the sales picture, telling people, “Look, you’re part of this first group. I’m going to take you through it personally, and we’re going to finish building out this thing together,” or “Look, this first time I want to take a big group of people through it together and you’re going to get more one-on-one help from me than anybody else.”

This first group, does that make sense? Module one is going to launch in two weeks, module two is going to launch in three weeks. That make sense? You’re being open about it, and this is the way you’re releasing. You’re unraveling it, rather than having it be done all in one big package and you waste a ton of time and not get paid for it. What you’re doing is like the snowball unraveling, unrolling kind of a thing. Does that make sense? It’s like you’re unraveling a map that’s rolled up like a scroll. You know what I mean?

That’s how you do it. Otherwise, what ends up happening is you never launch anything because you think it has to be perfect when you launch it, and that’s not how things work. You don’t know, we don’t know what people want all the time. What’s funny is if I go create a course or if I go create a product or if I go create something to my own specs, I usually overshoot the ball way past what the market actually wanted. Does that make sense?

Schedule Or needed or is expecting, or would be good enough, and so I would go and I’d create … I’ve done that so many times personally where I’ll go create something and it’s good and it’s so beyond what the person was wanting or expecting or beyond the current spot where they were needing, or whatever it was, that it almost overshoots expectations and creates overwhelm.

So you create it with then the first round out, which should take pressure off of your back because the market is helping you make the product. You are not there doing it on your own. Does that make sense? Okay. So you unscroll it. You unravel it. Unravel the product, and that’s how you put it out there. The first thing I’m trying to put across here is, number one, what’s the mechanism that you use to hold your own feet to the fire once you set a launch date? Really, if you think about that, what you’re doing this first round, the first thing, because the market will be making the product with you, what you’re really doing before the launch is trying to perfect the sales message itself.

You’ve got to think about the product and the sales message as two separate things. They’re not the same thing at all, and when people screw up, most of the time I see that they think the product is a thing that sells. If they’ve never sold anything before, you’re like, “No. The product never sells itself.” Rarely does a product ever sell itself, like the iPhone. The iPhone sold itself. As soon as people saw it, they’re like, “Holy crap. I gotta have that.” It sold itself a little bit, but that kind of product is not very often, and I wouldn’t hold your breath for it.

Instead, go perfect this awesome sales message that breaks and rebuilds the belief patterns around a single big idea…

That’s what … The product is facilitating the big idea. I’m going off on the side, though. The first thing, though, create the launch date and then a mechanism to hold your own feet to the fire. Yes, even Russell has to do that. The way that we did it was to be public. That’s one of the ways, be public about the actual launch date. When you’re public about the actual launch date, now you have to make it because hundreds and thousands of people are watching you now. They’re watching you, and it puts you in this area where you know what?

There’s potential to be really uncomfortable. You might have to stay up really late. You might have to get things done, whatever it is, but it’s cool because 99% of time it gets done because now it’s public. It’s public knowledge.

If you never told anybody your idea, that’s the wrong approach. That’s it. That’s a really bad approach. Anyway, terrible. That’s a bad approach. Tell everybody about your idea. I’ve never had anybody steal an idea from me ever, and I try to tell … Guys, this podcast for me, I try to tell all of my ideas on it, all of it. There’s some products I haven’t told you guys about because they’re slightly in a different market, but anyway, I’ve got a few episodes coming up where I tell everything though. I’m trying to put all … and you should too. One of the reasons why is because it holds my feet to the fire. I no longer have a choice. I’ve got to get it done. I’ve got to get these things done.

It’s one of those letter gold moments that Russell always talks about too. It’s the plot to a [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:12:25"]. Am I going to actually pull off and do this thing that now others are also holding me accountable to? So what’s the mechanism? One of the mechanisms, like I said, is to go and be public about it. It takes the pressure off of you knowing that the first group is going to create it with you. Follow me as … These are all, they’re all intertwined. All these reasons are intertwined.

Another mechanism, though, that you can use is like an accountability partner.
So what I’ve been doing, what one of my buddies and I are doing is we are doing … Have you guys ever heard the thousand dollar check thing? I don’t know if you guys have before, but anyway, this is what it is. I messaged my buddy and I said, “Look, dude. I’m about to go solo. I’m excited about it, but I want to make sure that I hold my feet to the fire as far as being ferocious in the business place,” being ferocious. You know what I mean. That’s how we are every single day. That’s how Russell is every day at ClickFunnels, because we got accountability from the public where we’ve got all these launch dates going on, but one of the methods that I love, so awesome, from one of his earlier podcasts was that he would write $1000 check to somebody else.

They wouldn’t cash it. The other person would write $1000 check back to him also, and what you do is at the beginning of the week, you tell each other, “Hey. This is what I’m going to get done this week,” and at the end of the week you report. Real fast. This doesn’t take long. These are not full, massive, huge meetings. You’re just reporting. If you do not get all those things done in that week, the other person cashes your check. Does that make sense? That’s what I’m doing. So my buddy Ben and I, I’ve talked about him many times on here, Ben’s the man, but what I’ve been doing, what we’re doing is this thousand dollar check swap.

Right now, he and I are rigging our checks together and I’m sending mine, $1000 to him. He sent $1000 to me, and if we don’t get those things done, we get to cash each other’s checks, which is awesome. That’s another mechanism. Does that make sense? That’s another way. There’s a lot of ways to do it, as you go back and do it. So hold yourself accountable. Run your life by deadlines, not by, “For a while, I’m just going to focus on the product. I’m just going to get the product done.” No. It sucks so bad to actually have created an entire amazing product that (a) the market may not have wanted and was overshooting it, and (b) quite honestly you didn’t get paid to create it.

You know what I mean? In fact, okay, my brain … There’s another squirrel that just popped up in my head. I’m going to follow it for a second here. I was just reading this morning from a book called, The Innovator’s Dilemma, and it is fantastic. It’s by Clayton Christensen. This guy is a genius. He teaches at Harvard Business School. Absolutely amazing hero. Another book called How We Measure Life. Anyway, he’s the man. If you’ve never studied any of his stuff before, it’s like deep stuff though. I have to read it … It’s the kind of book where I’ve got to read the paragraph two or three times to get it. I’m like, “Holy crap, that was so deep. That was so good.” Anyway, it’s awesome stuff, but here’s one of the reasons why you want to create the product with your people that first round.

As you are unraveling a product, as you’re putting it out there, and this goes to support the fact that I was saying before that many times you’ll create something that’s overshooting what the market even wanted. Let me read this. It’s from a chapter called Discovering New and Emerging Markets. In Expert Secrets, the book tells you to create a market, so I was like, “That’s a cool supporting chapter for this entire thing.” I actually immediately flipped to that and this is the first paragraph that I read. I was like, “Holy crap. This sums up the entire thing that I’m saying right here.”

What Expert Secrets tells you to do, don’t choose the freaking niche. You go create it, but with this in the backdrop. This is it. Markets that do not exist cannot be analyzed. Suppliers and customers must discover them together. Not only are the market applications for disruptive technologies unknown at the time of their development, they are unknowable. Let me say that one more time. Think about this. Think about this. Markets that do not exist cannot be analyzed. Suppliers and customers must discover them together.

How can you analyze? How can you go create a market that is not even created? If it’s not created, you can’t analyze it. It’s the same thing with the new niche that you’re trying to create. You have to take your best guess through the formulas of books like Expert Secrets and throw it against the wall. Then that first group that you’re selling to unravels it with you as you sell it to them.

Funny, it’s a different way to think about it guys, but funny enough, it actually is a huge alleviating thing to realize. Whether it’s an info product, a piece of technology, I don’t care if you’ve got to code something, I don’t care if it’s this first group, and if you can’t sell it to make money with, then you go get a beta group…

Those are the two different launch strategies that I personally. Either I set the … I always set the date so everyone knows about it, but I’ll sell it, get paid to create it and make it with them, or I will go get a beta group and I will unravel it with them as well.

I never … Guys, don’t do it on your own…

Do not create the product on your own. That’s what I’m trying to say here, and you use launch dates as a tool and all these mechanisms to hold your feet to the fire. You’re like, “Launch, launch, launch, launch, launch.” Launch this product. A couple weeks to sustain it and get on its feet. Then you have your next product launch, then the next product launch and the next product launch.

Now, I know I say focus on one funnel at a time, and it’s so true, but also know that sometimes one funnel has a whole bunch of different products in it. They don’t all have to be created in order to launch it in the funnel. “Stephen, that’s going to be crazy. There’s all these things to juggle the first round.” Yeah, I know. There’s a lot of stuff, but it helps you get it up so quickly. You don’t have to actually have it done before you launch it, and I beg you to not have it done before you launch it because of this principle.

Not only are the market applications for disruptive technologies unknown at the time of their development, you’re trying to create a disruptive technology, a brand-new opportunity…

It’s something like that. It’s something disruptive in general. A brand-new opportunity, what you’re trying … You’re trying to go in with the brand, the niche that you’re trying to create and you’re trying to say to every other person in the sub-market, “Look guys, the old vehicle is wrong.” That’s the reason why you don’t have to sell it as hard. That’s why you don’t need all these hard-core sales tactics or anything because it’s a brand-new opportunity. “Hey, check this out. Instead of painting your car, I’ve got this brand-new one over here for you, and it does all these things that have never been done before.” Cool. It doesn’t take much of a sales pitch. You know what I’m saying?

Not only are the market applications for the disruptive technologies unknown at the time their development, they are unknowable. You take the best guess you can, you throw it against the wall. Using the formulas of Expert Secrets and how to create that niche, you throw it up against the wall and then you say, “Okay market, now it’s your time to come help me create the rest of it,” and that’s how literally … That’s how we launch stuff. Anyway, oh man. Quite honestly, I was just looking for a cool paragraph that would help support what I’m saying, and now that I’ve picked this book, I’m like, “Crap, that was freaking awesome.” That was one paragraph. I should probably finish reading that book.

Anyway, I hope that makes sense though. So my buddy and I, Ben and I, he lives in Utah, I’m here in Idaho, and we chat pretty much every day, almost every day, but we’re doing that now. He’s solo, he’s been running solo for a while. I’m about to go solo, and I want to make sure that I still stick to this style of launch because it’s very different than any other kind of business I’ve ever worked in. When I saw the way my dad worked and stuff like that, I know that those companies don’t work like this either. It’s a very fascinating way to approach your business, to launch in this kind of way, to have your calendar be full of events and the stuff that you …

Guys, it’s like, there’s good and bad to literally everything in life and this is using the positive parts of procrastination.

That’s what people would call it. With that, when you set the date and you’re starting to create the message, just like a few weeks before or if you’re starting to be really good at this, maybe a few days before, I wouldn’t recommend that though until you have really done this several times a lot, but it’s the good parts of procrastination. You’re going and you’re creating a scenario where you have to come up with something awesome because you don’t have time to mess around. You get it out there, you sling it together, and in a way where you’re focusing on what sells it, not the product itself.

Then with the market, with the market, with the people you’ve sold or with a beta group or with the … Whatever the point … Whoever it is, the point is it’s not by yourself. They are creating it with you, and then they go through, and what’s nice about that is, like I said before, it takes that pressure off as the public is doing it with you.

That’s one of the … They’re unraveling what this new opportunity is with you, because you’re not going to be able to guess what that is, which is what that book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, was saying. It’s like, “Look, it’s unknowable. You can’t know what it is because no one’s been there before. You can’t analyze that market because it doesn’t exist yet. You’re trying to create a new opportunity that has never been there before. You’re creating a niche.”
If you’re like, “I’m going to do what this guy does because it’s already out there,” then you’re not creating a niche.

Anyway, think about that though…

Has ClickFunnels had all these products ready to launch at the time that they actually went to market? No. They’re still creating tons of stuff all the time, and it’s awesome. That’s how fast they move with it. You’re like, “Oh man, that’s really intense.” It is intense, but it is so much less risky. Funny enough, then trying to make all those things before they’re ready to launch, anyway. So I’m doing that, holding my feet to the fire. I’m trying to have an accountability partner, which I’m super stoked about to help hold my feet to the fire, and hold true to the launch date or hold to my calendar that I’m creating.

My calendar is full of events and launch deadlines. That’s really it, and then I backwards plan on getting each of those things done a couple weeks in advance. I start putting together the sales script. I put together the funnel to sell the thing. I’ll create the first model that I think is the coolest one but then really after that, the rest of them, it’s all ask campaigns inside of each individual module, or if it’s a software, each feature has its own little ask campaign. You know what I mean? You can use it any way you want, but this style, get used to it and let it sink in and be like, “Huh. When is my launch date?”

That’s the first thing to figure out. When is the date? Set the date and the time that you’re going to launch it.

Now start telling people about it and you’re going to start crating these cool mechanisms where people create it with you, which takes the pressure off your head, and number two, find someone else to be accountable to with it. So anyways, I feel like I said the same thing over and over again, and I’m actually trying to. I’m trying to say the same thing in several different ways so that it clicks. I hope you get it and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. That’s how. That’s how the launch is done. That’s how you put it out there and be successful on such a regular recurring basis and launch things as quickly as you’re able to.”

What’s fun is that when you actually have the thing up and ready and done, you have that first round of people that have gone through and you’ve created the product with them, oh my gosh that’s such a good feeling because then you just focus on selling it, which is the funnest part in my opinion. Maybe people come back after a while and say, “You know what? We should have added an extra training here,” or “I wish there was an extra feature in the software here,” or “I wish that there was some other … ” and that’s great.

Then you go do a little spot check module there, a spot check training here, a spot check feature there, but besides that, guys the core of it’s done and you’ve created something that’s amazing that’s tailored to what the people wanted and you’ve thrown in some extra things that the market has never seen before.

Then you’ve got yourself a sweet product that you got paid to create, and something that they wanted. Does that make sense? Too many times I’ve created something and it’s like an overshoot of what people are expecting. They’re like, “Oh my gosh. That was way too deep.” That was a problem with my first MLM product that I put out there to the market a year and a half ago. It was too intense. You had to be a funnel freak like myself in order to actually pull it off. I was like, “Uh, crap. I did the overshoot thing.” I had to pull it down, and rework the entire thing.

I was like, “Gosh dang it.” It took me eight months to put it all together, and I was like, “Man, I did it wrong. I shouldn’t have done it that way,” so this time it’s totally different and it’s awesome. Oh my gosh, it’s so cool. It’s a billion times better, which I didn’t think was possible at the time, but the market is making it with me and that’s why. There’s been a beta group for months and it’s been awesome. So anyways, I’m practicing what I’m preaching. I hope you guys are getting out there. Choose an accountability partner if you want to.

I’m excited to do the thousand dollar check thing. We’re setting that stuff up right now and I’m getting ready to sprint again, which quite honestly I’m kind of addicted to.

If you don’t have a massive wall calendar, I do suggest it also.

It gives a cool macro view of your day, and then usually the day before each day, the day before I do my micro planning to pull off and do my backwards planning to actually pull off what’s going on there. Anyways, that’s more about how launching is done in the ClickFunnels and guru world. Pretty much anyone I’ve ever seen actually is launching stuff, and especially the internet marketing space, and honestly any space in general where there’s actually hustlers and things like Sales Funnel Radiothat, that’s how I watch them do it, sitting in the seat that I did at ClickFunnels. All right, guys. Hope you’re doing great. I will talk to you later. Go launch stuff.

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