Why launching a business is like getting a jumbo jet off the runway

Screenshot 2014-10-19 21.54.04Here I am sitting in the plane about to take off from Sydney to Dubai. I always love that moment of huge acceleration …that moment when you are thrust back in your seat as the plane accelerates faster and faster, gaining momentum as it is about to launch into flight.

That moment is incredible! Getting a massive bulk of metal, passengers and luggage off the tarmac into the air is an amazing feat, which seems to defy the laws of gravity.

Then, only minutes later, we hear the ‘ping’, the seat belt sign is extinguished and we are now gliding through the air, cruising at the altitude designed for maximum efficiency and comfort.

There is a lot of similarity between a plane taking off and starting a business.

If you think about the pre- flight check and preparation needed before you take off and then the immense quantities of fuel required to get the plane off the ground that is exactly the same as launching a business.

The planning, setting of a destination, and the time, energy and effort to get a business of the ground calls on your personal resources of resilience, perseverance and imagination. A massive investment of your inner reserves not to mention your financial reserves.

Whether you are launching a new business, or a new offering for your existing business, you still need to put in an enormous effort.

The benefit of this is not just the ‘launch’ of the business or the new offering, but it is also the impetus it gives you. Setting a deadline harnesses your resources and focuses you to work towards that one goal.

I recently went through this when I launched my book and relaunched my website. There was a ton of activity happening. I hadn’t been so busy for years! Whilst it was taxing, it re-energised me for my business and reminded me of three keys to achieving any goal.

1. A public deadline is a real motivator

Knowing that I had made a public commitment – dates for my London and Dubai book launch parties – gave me a deadline I couldn’t change or welch out of. This made all the difference in the world to me. A public commitment kept me accountable. I did the work I needed to do. Those tasks were my priority as I knew I couldn’t cancel or postpone those parties.

2. A plan saves time

Knowing that I had a launch party with over 80 people coming focused my mind to do the work. The plan ensured that I was doing the right work at the right time. Sometimes you may feel that planning takes up too much time, and you should just get on with the work. Making the time to do the plan will save you time and money in the long term as you will know you are expending your resources on the right tasks to move you closer to your goal. I created a very simple plan using my post it note system and I reviewed my progress everyday. Like a pre-flight check on a plane, it made me feel confident I was doing the right things to achieve my goal.

3. Have a juicy destination

If I hadn’t really, really wanted my goal of getting to Number 1 on Amazon.co.uk and have a fabulous launch parties in London and Dubai, then it would have been a real slog. Working hard to achieve something you don’t really want or care about is dispiriting. Putting in the hours and the toil, imagining how great the party would be and what it would feel like to get to number 1 gave me the fuel I needed to keep going.

The launch parties and my book sales seem like a distant memory, yet it was only a few weeks ago. Creating such audacious goals and achieving them has strengthened my belief in the effectiveness of creating juicy destinations and the plan to achieve them.

What big event or launch are you planning? Let me know in the comments below.

Would you like to make your public declaration here? We can support you to make it happen – find out about exploratory coaching here.

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