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Asking Questions


What it looks like to launch small


I recently saw this new program that was designed to help you launch a product and basically just get your message out en masse. My first instinct was, “add that to my list of things to do before the launch!!” I thought I needed it. I thought anything that would spread my launch quicker would be a good thing.

What it looks like to launch small | Val Marie PaperEnter, my word for the year: small.

A product launch is by no means meant to be small. We want the fanfare don’t we? The pats on the back for new creative products? The sells that tell you you must really be on to something? That Insty mentor of yours who comments with a heart emoji? But most of all, we need the sales if it’s our business, right?

Still, I feel like I’ve been doing it all wrong for years. I’ve been doing it for me. If I were REALLY truly doing it for God, I wouldn’t be consumed with making it bigger for the sake of me, but Him and this can get pretty blurred on launch days.

In the past, I’ve shared some very direct sales Insty posts when I feel like God is leading me to it. But there’s a different, more pure spirit involved in those moments.

I haven’t sent out a single email this go around asking someone to share in exchange for some products. This is a normal aspect of businesses and something I’ve always done (and did for our Yearly Journals) and will obviously do again. Please don’t hear me say that promotion is bad!! We were meant for community and I am surrounded by some pretty amazing business women that I love supporting and that love supporting me. Really, that’s not the issue. If you can do “big” with a pure heart, by all means go for it! But this time, I felt like my heart didn’t even want to wrestle with the thoughts of “am I doing this for my glory or His?” My heart needed to do this launch a little quieter.

So yesterday the internet didn’t break. We didn’t sell out. We didn’t have a ton of shares. But something better happened. I got to be a part of a product launch that started and ended with God as the project manager. It’s not about me in the least. And yesterday, I actually remembered that without getting tripped up by launch day “look-at-me” fever that normally infects me.

If you have a business and find yourself stressing out about making a splash with your next launch, remember small isn’t bad if the alternative for us is an unguarded heart that lusts for more.

I’ve been there. I’ve had enough launches to tell you that doing things small yesterday was sweet and delightful. There were no expectations. I was able to celebrate small and not wait for a specific outcome to decide for me whether I could celebrate. It had stressful moments and still took a ton of work, but I wasn’t focused on other people’s praise or relying on other people sharing to make me feel good about myself. It made the day really refreshing filled with sweet chats with customers, a casual dinner with my family, a barefoot walk around our neighborhood, packaging journals on the porch, a Fresh Market stop for $2.99 chicken and lots of silly songs with the girls and falling into bed by 8:30.

I read something really interesting on Sunday when my head was telling me I should be working on getting the website ready. I’m so glad I ignored it!

In Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald recounts a story about William Wilberforce. He was a candidate for English Parliament and was anxiously awaiting news if he got the appointment. A biographer wrote, “For days it grabbed at his conscious mind, forcing aside everything else. By his own admission he had “risings of ambition quote and it was crippling his soul.” and then…

“Sunday brought the cure.”

I LOVE the way that is worded! It’s beautiful. Sunday was his day for realigning his perspective to that of God’s. The book goes on to say, “Blessed be to God for the day of rest and religious occupation where in earthly things assume their true size. Ambition is stunted.”

Ambition stunted. I love that one too. Y’all, I am a go-getter. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in accomplishments and successes, but if my ambition is blowing earthly things out of proportion, I want my ambition stunted just like Wilberforce’s was and for earthly things to assume their true size.

Yesterday, I got to experience the quietness of a launch and I highly highly recommend it, friends. It was the most epic reset for a soul who sometimes judges life in the ebbs and flows of launch highs and slow season lows.

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