Lessons Learned from Launching my First Product

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Date Published

August 12, 2015

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[focus]Just over 2 weeks ago, I set out to create a product in just 10 days as part of Gumroad's #SmallProductLab challenge. And the amazing news? I managed to launch on time (in fact, a little early — as I thought the launch day was on our 10th day, not the 11th) and I have had actual sales![/focus]

Creating a product in 10 days is no easy task. I knew that when I started, but it was only when you get knee-deep in all the “stuff” you have to do that you realise JUST how hard it is.

I wanted to take the time to reflect on what I’ve achieved — and the lessons I’ve learned.
## Lesson 1: Be prepared.

Preparation for creating a product is a blog post and whole topic in itself, but be sure to take the time to prepare properly.

I had my product idea before I started the #SmallProductLab challenge, but the Gumroad team had a plan of action in place with ideas for what we needed to do each day — and assignments for specific days as well, to ensure we kept on track.

I can say without a doubt that if I didn’t have that action plan, I would have been totally lost. It’s taught me that having a solid list of actions to complete, and a daily schedule, help you to keep taking action daily and move forward to get your product launched.

Lesson 2: Clear your schedule.

I was trying to plan, build and design my product - all alongside my other client work (and I’ve been super busy at the moment). It was a LOT to take on all at once.

That said, I was pretty proud of the balance I managed to create. But the next time I create a product (which will be soon - I have the product creation bug now!) I’m going to make sure to set aside dedicated “creation” time, where I have no other distractions and I’m not trying to juggle a hundred balls at once.

Even if you’re busy, you can find the time to create your product. I worked for an hour or two in the morning, before my day’s work started, and then continued in the evening if I needed to.

Lesson 3: Look after yourself!

The major lesson I learned when creating your product is to NOT overwork yourself.

There are so many things that goes into creating a product - beyond just planning and creating the product itself, which is a task that could have taken up the whole 10 days if you’d let it!

There is marketing, promotion, creating, planning, structure, email lists, product set-ups, pricing…and even more than that. There is so much to think about and you’re crazy busy creating the actual thing that you want to put out into the world too.

And when you’re trying to balance your normal workload, creating a product AND (gasp) having a life - it can get pretty easy to forget to look after yourself. But make sure that you do, so that you can keep the momentum going once your product is created and out in the world.

The end?

Of course not. 🙂 If there’s a lesson that has been most valuable for me to learn, it is this:

You are capable of doing anything if you put your mind to it.

This is a sentiment that I had always stood by, but now feel even more strongly about.

I was so scared of putting myself out there and letting myself and my work be seen by a wider audience - instead of just working with my 1:1 design clients - that I self-sabotaged and decided not to work on anything.

When starting #SmallProductLab, the Gumroad team recommend that you set yourself a goal. It could simply be to finish, or it could be to make X amount of sales.

My goal was to have 10 sales by the time a week had passed of my product being launched. It turned out that I had 10 pre-orders before my product had even launched. That meant that come launch day, I had already surpassed my goal.
Taking part in this challenge has shown me that I’ve been able to create something out of nothing - and that ideas that we have can be successful, but more importantly can create change and help people.

If you’re sitting on the fence and you’re undecided if you want to create something from an idea you have…all I can say is take that leap. You won’t regret it. 🙂

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