The agony of your current launch is building endurance and strength for the next

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I have one week until my belt test in my martial arts class. In the weeks before the test, my instructor puts the fire under us so we have the skills and endurance to handle the 3+ hour testing gauntlet.

Last night, I was partnered with a teenage student who was feeling the pain of pushing herself hard. I have had so many of those days in my 12+years of training martial arts that I kept whispering to her:

“You are making yourself so much stronger right now. Training when you are exhausted and have no will is exactly what is building future endurance.”

And then it hit me like lightening:

People get so stressed when they feel awful in the middle of their first big product launch.  They think that this particular launch must be successful, or all their hard work is for nothing.

When really, this first launch is just training for the next one, where you will feel the boost of strength and endurance you built from the first one.

Eye of the Tiger Baby

My friend Amanda Wang who is training for the Golden Gloves shared  that halfway through her first fight, she was ready to throw in the towel and give up. It was too hard and it felt awful! Before the third and final round, her coach looked at her and said:

“Look, I’m not going to lie to you — you lost that round. You lost that round! Is this what you wanted? Is this why you trained so hard? For you to lose? All your hard work, all your training! You have one more round and you have to do better, you’ve got to throw more punches to win this fight, you got it?”

The months and months of intense training gave her the strength and courage to push through the exhaustion and really fight for her life.  She won the match.

But if she had not gotten up at 5am and run on the mornings she felt like sleeping, or if she had not carefully managed her nutrition and diet when she really just wanted to eat a greasy burger, she would not have had the mental and emotional reserves to pull out a win when the stakes were high.

Enough with the fighting metaphors Pam, what does this have to do with product launches?

If you bust your behind on your first product launch and no one buys anything, don’t worry, this has been essential to build your strength for the next one.

If you sell 10 seats in your teleclass out of your desired 50, don’t worry, you are building marketing momentum and endurance to sell out the next one.

If you totally screw up the sequence of emails to your list, or have a shopping cart fiasco on the day of sale, you are building operational strength and mojo for the next one.

Train when you least feel like it. Your power is building.

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17 Responses to “The agony of your current launch is building endurance and strength for the next”

  1. […] is probably why my time back in martial arts has inspired so many blog […]

  2. As both a martial artist and a launch-er… I have to give this a double thumbs up! 🙂 I couldn’t agree more. Those training sessions can be brutal and all you want to do is give up. The same can be said of those first few launches, when there’s no sign of success… and yet it’s only when you put in those hours and work on those beginning launches that you do reach that success, that next belt, that big launch.

    Loooove this, and thank you for the great reminder Pam! 🙂

  3. So TRUE Pam!! This is NOT about this LAUNCH!! I am looking back on my 6 Figure Speakers Summit which I produced last year – HUGE amount of work – very little financial return on the amount invested – returns though have kept coming and coming and coming in the form of social capital, credibility, and connections.

    I’m now in my second “big launch” with a JV partner this time – and we are a week away from the complimentary call ( We have a number of affiliates and are getting good signups for the call – and we’re being sponsored by Aspire Magazine – all great things –

    Yesterday though was one of THOSE days – our VA and my partner had some miscommunication about some stuff we promised our sponsor and major affiliate – and our VA is also newly pregnant and having health problems and ended up in the hospital this weekend with heart issues. Since she had all our login info there was a teeny bit of stress (ok maybe not so teeny) but what I was able to do – since I’d been through the fire on my summit last year – was to encourage everyone all the way around to BREATHE (including myself) and I was able to stay really clear and present as to what the most important things were at the moment.

    1) the health and worth of our VA – top priority
    2) the relationship with our sponsor
    3) my relationship with my partner
    4) making some concrete decisions about getting back up support immediately for the rest of the roll out.
    5) figuring out how to get data so we could re-outsource if necessary.

    What I loved was my own capacity to lead through the chaos because of my previous experiences. What a gift! Here’s a little present for anyone who is in launch mania and needs a sec to just chill out and get their perspective and priorities straight – Enjoy!

    Breathing In the Light….

    Peace is IN you….. Gratitude to you for being a Beacon of Light on the path of the Evolutionary Entrepreneur Pam!


  4. Just the perfect thing for me to read today, Pam, thank you!

    My TWO recent launches actually went really well (though I will NEVER launch two things at once again! Bad timing on my part, unintentional though it was, and a great lesson!) Now, though, I’m just exhausted, and going through a bit of post-launch let-down. Reading this helped remind me that it’s all part of the process, and doesn’t “mean” anything (other than I need to get some more rest! ;))

  5. Wow… I need to get down to the gym after reading that! 😉

  6. Hi Pam,

    I fully agree – too many people don’t go forward with launches out of fear. Tis better to have tried and flopped than to have sit on fanny and do nothing!

    And like you said, each attempt simply builds power!


  7. Gail Gaspar says:

    There’s something about the trials being learning, lessons and not tests that rings for me. Read this just as I’m sitting down to tinker with seminar content(-: Thanks for the compassionate Thursday boost and for inspiring the insightful comments that follow!

  8. Pam, you hit the nail on the head. What a great post and great timing as I work my launch or should I say, it works me.

    You are like Mickey in the movie Rocky, “Get up ya bum; I didn’t hear no bell.” Love you for it.

  9. El Edwards says:

    Not just for launches Pam. This is also so true for those days when we’re tired of the hustle. When it all feels too tough and we wonder if maybe we’d be better off just closing it all down and getting a ‘normal’ job. We all have days like that but because we tend to talk and write about the awesome side of doing our own thing, there is this tendency to think that the dull days are just ours.

    P.S. All the best with your belt test. My best mate is a red belt in tang soo do and so I’ve heard enough about what they put him through to know better than to wish you luck. 😉

  10. fas says:

    So well said. Once you do something successfully, it becomes easy for the next.

  11. Lindsay says:

    As a new entrepreneur, I needed to hear this encouragement today. It’s funny that’s what’s so obvious to me in my physical endeavors (cycling centuries, hiking 14ers) is so elusive in my business endeavors. Thanks for helping me make the connection that my flops today are preparing me for my successes tomorrow.

    • Pamela says:

      I am so glad it landed with you Lindsay! It really was an epiphany last night when I realized that I never even question the need to train and train and train, but when coaching new entrepreneurs, I struggle to explain the same concept.

      Applying what you know about being an athlete will be so helpful to your business journey! Keep up the good work!

  12. Martha says:

    There is a quote somewhere in the world that says blades of grass have their own angels cheering them — “grow, grow, grow”. Seems a fitting metaphor for you and your giftedness with encouraging people. My eyes started leaking when I read what you said to your student partner. You’re good people, Pam Slim. Don’t forget.

    • Pamela says:

      That is so lovely Martha! Next time I am on my back outside looking at the clouds, I will listen carefully for those cheering angels.

      Encouraging others reminds me of the same lessons I need to learn. It is beautiful that way. 🙂

  13. Julica says:

    Pam! Get out of my head, please! ::grinning::
    Seriously: thank you. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight. Bring on the training, baby.

    • Pamela says:

      All those cameras I have planted around your house come in handy Julia! Thanks for giving me fodder for my posts! 🙂

      Eye of the tiger baby. You are gathering so much steam and momentum — keep going!

      • Zaretta says:


        Thanks for this reminder. Just finished the first draft of a sample chapter for my book proposal and sent if off for review by my accountability partner. I was tired and didn’t want to do the fine detailed editing. Re-read it and thought, “oh, this is crap!”. I reminded myself that I was just building momentum for the second draft. Your words are a balm to my spirit.