Aug. 17, 2022

The Launching of a Brand

The Launching of a Brand

So how much does your brand actually affect your launch? And what do you do if your launch doesn't go as planned?

In this episode, our amazing guest Ken Westgaard is here to share his expertise on how to create a successful launch by integrating your personal brand and where to go from a launch flop. So get ready to listen in as he discusses the strategies and challenges of having a successful personal brand.

Join the waitlist, Launching By Choice starts this fall!
https://kenwestgaard.com/lbc-waitlist/

The OMG I’m Launching Podcast:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/omg-im-launching/id1482166006


Thank you for listening,

Zahra Cruzan

Founder, The Brand Collaborative And Brand Author

The Brand Collaborative      Brand Author

Transcript

Zahra  

All right, welcome to today's episode, guys, I am so excited to have my very good friend Ken Westgaard here with me today. So this is a little bit of a personal one for me because Ken and I started in a group at about the same time and I feel like we've just supported each other. So we met at a live event in person, I met him and his wife, and they're just beautiful humans and I really connected with them, because I could feel the passion for what Ken does what you have. And so he's just gone through a big launch and he is here to talk to us about it today and talk to us about our brand and how he's built his brand over the years. And really about one of my favorite things about Ken is how he shows up as a CEO, how he shows up as the leader of his brand and it goes to show you that whether you have 100 employees, whether you're solo, whether it's your spouse, and your kids working for you how you show up as a leader sets the tone for everyone and I think Ken just does a wonderful job of that. So welcome, Ken, I'm so excited to have you. I'll give you a proper introduction and tell everybody specifically why you're super cool but just as a human, I wanted to say that before we even got into the podcast. 

 

Ken  

I appreciate that, thank you. I'm honored to be on the podcast. 

 

Zahra  

So okay, for those of you guys who don't know Ken, Ken is the guy when it comes to an online launch. So for those of you guys who are in online education, who have a skill set, and you're looking to create a personal brand, or you're looking to launch an online program, Ken Westgaard is the person that you need to speak with he is on a mission to help online coaches step into the role as an unstoppable CEO for their business and have a fun and simple money making launch strategy, which I love. Because how many times in business do we just see really complicated ways of doing things that don't need to be so complicated, and it kind of sucks the joy and the fun out of what it is that we're doing. I think that's kind of one of the lessons lost as far as entrepreneurship, I feel like a lot of us leave corporate to start this thing, because we think that we're gonna be able to provide a better value and have more fun doing it and get the freedom of choice. And then somehow along the way, sometimes it kind of get tortured into this thing where we're not doing the thing we want to do we hate the people we're working with. Are we're not really living it the way we want to live it, we forget that we did it for the joy of it. And it kind of you get to this point where you got to ask yourself, I'm either going to do what I set out to do, and make it worth it to be a CEO, or I'm just going to pack it up, go work for someone else, because at least I'm going to be miserable, I'd rather than have a steady paycheck, right? So you got to make that choice and I think that having people in the world to help CEOs who are ready to make that decision to say, Hey, I'm gonna do this on my terms, and do it in the way that I set out to do it is so hugely important. I know, everybody talks about the money and that's important, too. Obviously, you can't run a business without money. But there's that other side of it that really makes entrepreneurship worth it, and gives you that internal drive to keep going and growing. And we'll get into this because Ken Super Wooo so he's my woo  partner in crime. But just the mindset, right, when you're not having fun, and you're not loving what you're doing, or how you're doing it, and you don't feel good about it, then we have like this internal resistance to scale. I feel like a lot of times small businesses not make it because of a logistical thing. That's what the symptom presents, but the real driver is that internal thing, right that they just can't get in. So tell me, what do you think about that when you help companies launch? Do you see that at all? Do you feel like that happens?

 

Ken  

Oh, do I see it? Oh, yes, I do see it. Yeah, I totally agree that, you know, the inner work is probably the biggest challenge that people have, whether it's launching or just running a business, to be honest. And I mean, I didn't even realize that the inner work was a thing until, I don't know, it said, when we joined BBD, both of us met James and all that stuff and that's, you know, three years ago, something like that. And that's when I really started working on my inner game, my mindset, and all that feelings and thoughts that you have all these beliefs, and there's so much stuff, you know, that you've buried deep inside, and you don't even know that's there and it's childhood traumas and you know, stuff that happened in the way we talked about this. Also, before we jumped on as well, you know, how we speak to our kids, and how we kind of actually set them up for failure in the sense because we, you know, tell them not to do this thing, don't do that, you know be quiet all that and obviously, they internalize that, and we don't even think about it, because that's the same way we've been brought up as well. So obviously, it's a lot of work to do but at the same time, I'm really happy that I did start a business and I did come across these people to be able to pass that on to my kids. I mean, how old am I 41 42 yet, and, you know, obviously, I didn't really come across this until my late 30s but my kids who are now nine and 11, I mean, if I can get them going on this road, as I'm on now, at that age, I mean, imagine what their lives would be when they're 20. You know, they're going to be so much better at this than I am and I'm so happy that I had the chance and possibility to start a business and go through this journey and be able to provide that for them.

 

Zahra  

I love that, I think so today, we're gonna get into how don't wait for those of you guys who are listening, we're definitely going to get into how to launch a brand online. 

 

Ken  

This is important. 

 

Zahra  

Because you know, I talked about this all the time, as a matter of fact, inside, I know, I've heard on your podcast OMG, I'm Launching that you really dig into this stuff. So if you guys are looking for a podcast to add to your favorites, OMG I'm Launching is awesome. I love it and you get into this, but one of the things in the podcast and in those conversations, the thing that really I think makes a difference. One of the things that I've noticed is, as we develop brands, you know, we've had brands that we've made that have done tremendous things, and we've had brands that we've you know, with clients we've worked with that haven't really done much different than they were doing before. And one of the things that I've seen that is a big indicator is how leadership is being are they stepping in to their chief what we call it the chief visionary officer role or are they playing small? Are they playing to not lose a plan to win a play not to lose and you'll see it like, well, everything is resistant. Well, no, this isn't gonna work, no, that's not gonna work, no, we're not. We're not that, what are you right? And so like having that kind of viewpoint, and that mindset, right is so critical. And it was so important that in our online course, we actually added that as a bonus was a training on like stepping into your role as the visionary for your brand. Because, of course, there's competitive analysis, finding your brand positioning messaging, audience research, experience, mapping, logos, copy, all that kind of stuff and that's great. But the thing that's gonna make or break a brand is can you execute on that authentically and consistently and clearly over time, and that is highly dependent on the top of the funnel, the leadership, right? They doing it, are they making sure and committed to making sure that's happening all the way down and that's what makes a Coca Cola, Coca Cola, or of Apple ana Apple, right? It's that level of consistency. The Nike swoosh isn't like some super complicated design that everybody has to have. It's about the consistency and the authenticity with which it represents itself over time. And that starts with the people, the leadership who are driving that, and for a lot of businesses starting out, that's one or two people, the partnership is, you know, the CEO, the solopreneur, the DIY scrappy person, is that person, and there's a lot there that you have to go through personally, to be able to show up consistently, and be able to represent yourself and your company in that way. And it's especially hard I feel like for a personal brand, right because there is nowhere to hide. There's no ethos, there's no company you're at and so your consistency, and your authenticity is just front and center 24/7 all the time. So tell me, what advice do you give to personal brands that are launching, when they talk about how do they do that successfully? How do they stay in integrity to show up authentically, consistently, even if they're super nervous about their first launch, even when their first launch isn't going the way they thought it was gonna go even, you know, if they do a launch, and they only maybe got three members, and they're like, oh, man, the group's gonna be so small, everybody's gonna know I only sold three, like, how do you talk to people? How do you walk them through that and help them be successful with that?

 

Ken  

That's a big question and jump back there, obviously but it definitely goes in with the inner work that we talked about, obviously, because it has a lot to do with the mindset. And you, as you mentioned, you know, if you go into launch and things doesn't go as you planned or expected, and you're not getting the sales that you want to maybe even get zero sales, it's easy to get really bogged out. But that because obviously you wanted someone to join your course of a program membership, whatever and it's easy. I mean, we're human, honestly, and it's only natural, when you don't achieve the goal that you set for yourself, you're going to be disappointed. But at the same time, you know, it's really two lessons, either you get the results that you want it or you get the lessons that you needed, in a lot of times, there's more lessons than the results, to be honest and that's what I did with my launch as well. You know, I got a ton of lessons, but it was just a matter of doing it that was the most important, it wasn't about the money obviously, the money is great. It's a great tool to you know, help more people but in the end, it was more about just doing the launch, getting through it getting out there getting it out to people who actually need your help, obviously, but yeah, the mindset is a huge thing and just shifting how you think about it is super important. And I think personally, a lot of people are for me, I was a lot of a lot of fear of judgment, you know, as a personal brand. You are the front figure you are the face you are the person who shows up every day on social media in particular, you know, and you put yourself out there and it's scary because we judge people we both do all the time every day, you know, every hour and obviously you just get other people judging you but honestly we all do it so why worry, you know. But one thing that really helped me dealing with that is dealing with the inner critic. So we did this at next level with James Wedmore, on part of his Next Level Mastermind group, and where he basically told us to, you know, write down what your inner critic tells you, what is the same to you wo we write it down. And when we started to wrap up his stopping the whole thing, and just asking us, you know, okay, do you hold anything back because now's the time to not hold back. Oh, yeah, I held back I was, you know, I don't know, I'm trying to be sweet with my inner critic, which is really not necessary. So I wrote down, like, probably the worst thing that could ever think about and but it was true in the sense still, you know, but the thing that really triggered that is, you know, he's just wanting to just write it out. Because that doesn't make it mean anything, you don't feel anything, but we had to present it to the person next to us. So we had to read it out loud to the person next to us and that was super hard. I mean, I literally cried, we had to do this, not just once, not just twice, but three times, both to first times, I've cried my eyes out, because it was so hard to read what I have written down and this is what I keep telling myself. You know, it's no wonder why I'm fair judgment and all of that and scared of how people perceive you, because they keep telling you all this bad stuff that you really don't want to relate to or hear about at all. But going through a couple exercises, where he actually took a breath between each sentence, you know, just to take it in a little bit deeper, really helped. And the next time I was reading that up, for some strange reason, I had to let it go, it didn't mean anything any longer. I didn't have any attachment to it, I was struggling, struggling, struggling with this for years. I mean, that was a really huge change for me in terms of just being able to show up in social media, I will always want to do videos, but I had been scared to do it. But now I found my way of doing it my rhythm from my personal brand, and so to speak, you know and yeah, that was a huge, huge change. And I really, I would say that, you know, if you had the opportunity to do that, write down what is the worst thing that your inner critic is telling you. And if you have the chance to read that outlet to someone, you know, and just get it out there because that you can actually get to release that when you actually talk to someone else about it.

 

Zahra  

I don't even think you know, just how amazing it is what you just said, because it taps into so many things. First of all, in case you missed it, we were talking about this actually, before we got on the recording is how many times do we have to learn a lesson, it's usually more than once. Especially I feel like I'm learning as adults, there's a course that we both take in it's like a money mindset course and we were joking about it earlier. And I was telling him like, I've literally been to that course three times. As a matter of fact, James had sent me a gift once and it was a little journal with my name on it and I use that to journal every time I take the 30 Day Challenge and that thing is worn out, you think it's 100 year old leather belt. Yeah, and still, I'm heading into another launch and I'm like, Alright, I gotta do my 30 days to get to like my course because you just sometimes it does seep through osmosis, and you're doing the work. And every time it's like a really good book, every time you read it, every time you go through it, you find something new, or based on where you are in life, another thing is revealed to you. And so I think is, you know, the people that are probably, you know, listening today and getting the most value out of this are people who are either like in the middle of launching their brand, or they're starting to launch your brand, or they're just thinking about doing it. And I think that what you said is such kind of bias, you know, just because you've read a book once, just because you've heard a thing once, just because you understand it doesn't mean you know it and I think that that, you know taking the time to do things over and over again, you know, and digging a little bit deeper. And then the other thing that really struck me about what you said is you basically weeded out your own brand and consistency. So like one of the things honestly, this is probably going to like undervalue what we do so much agency but most of what we do, like it is creative and is innovative and all those great fun things, right. But the single most valuable thing that our agency can do for a company is to edit them and to create singularity, it's not about all the fancies most of the time, the thing that's like completely screwing them on their brand and making it so hard for them to reach their audience is that their brand is cluttered, it's all over the place, it's not clear. And there's not a singularity of ethos of belief system, right that people can tap into or identify with and it's like what you did is you went through your own little brand garden and you weeded out the stuff that wasn't authentic to who you are and because your personal brand it had to be you so like we do this when it comes to like brands like say a product brand. I'll give you an example. We're first starting out we had I won't name the company we had a company in this very religious company they wanted to start an apparel line and they wanted to have a lot of like saying you know about one world, love one another the most important commandment kind of stuff, right and it was beautiful. And it was so excited to be working with like we love working with impact driven brands. So then as you're going through like the offer and we're like going through the brand edit, we found that they were sourcing their core product out of sweatshops in China, and I was like whoa red flag here. Like If you're trying to, yeah, trying to prove that you went like this is a huge conflict and if you continue down this path, we don't live in the 80s, people are going to figure out real quick where you're getting your stuff from and that's gonna be a really big brand and consistency. So we need to find a way because like, I promise you that people will be more than willing to pay an extra $4.50 for a T shirt, knowing that it's community commerce, knowing that it's paid with good wages for people, livable wages, because the people who are buying these shirts with these inspirational, they have a belief system that they want that the world could be this, and it's worth it to them, you know, they're willing, they've got skin in that game. So part of what we do is when we do brand audits, we go in and like we look for all or the whole pokers you know, we go in, and we look for the inconsistencies like, Hey, these are the things where you're not showing up where you say you are and once you get them in alignment, now you've got power. Now you've got this submitted process and so it's crazy to hear you talk about how you do it for personal brands, it's really you like, where are your inconsistencies? Where is it that you're trying to build a brand of competence and encouragement, but then if internally, you have an energy that is different than that, you know, it's like, you got the sweatshop going on inside and you've got, like all the cool stuff.

 

Ken  

Sweating on the outside, obviously yeah, no, it's so true and I've struggled so long for just getting myself out of my own way, in terms of just like I said, I wanted to be on video, I always loved video, I think it's creative, I think it's fun. When I put myself on video, it's like watching paint dry literally, it was so boring, no expression, so flat and it was just a matter of, first of all, getting rid of that inner critic, obviously, and just finding that voice. And I've been doing that for so many years, it's trying new things, trying to see what works, what doesn't work, what sits well with me and you know, with my friends, I'm fun. You know, I love to talk to people, I'm still an introvert but it does mean that I can't have a conversation and you know, I'm a good listener, I love having my podcast, talking to guests and being intrigued and you know, asked questions and all that. But none of that was coming through in any of the things I was doing. But like I said, you know, after getting rid of that inner critic, so much has changed. I mean, it's crazy how important that one step was to get to just really showing off who I really was. But that combined with saying that actually that combined with some human design, and I don't know people listening are anti human design but that is something that really helped me accept that I am who I am, because it's so easy to get caught up in what everybody else is telling you to be or who would be your what to do and all that stuff. But sometimes, you know, the quirkiness, that's just the way we are, we're just supposed to be that way so yeah, if you're into human design, definitely check it out.

 

Zahra  

That's super cool and I think you know, it's so funny, because our agency doesn't do any personal brands, we don't do them typically. So here you and that's all you do, like your personal brand builders, you know, teaching people how to launch a personal brand so I think it's super cool, like hearing you talk how similar it is just talking about the human design. So we go through one of the things about our agency is that we will never just do it, and then just present it to you, it's very collaborative. So we work through things because we want to make sure that what we come up with is authentic, because if not, we're going to hand you a super fancy presentation with a lot of colors and words, and then you're not going to know how to put it together. It's like when you go to a hairdresser and it looks fantastic and then the next day you're like I'm using I bought all the stuff she told me to buy to put in my hair, I thought my head flipped upside down the way she did it like why isn't it like the same. And a lot of times brands have that kind of trouble with the execution if it's not authentic, because they're still playing a part that isn't really them and so I think it's really important what you say, you know, and for people to hear that so I'm just going to repeat it in case he was to the first time is really understanding like yourself, getting rid of your stuff that's covering up your true self and then being okay with that. I completely identify with you about the video thing. I am so critical about it even any kind of recording, even the podcasts, the things that go through my head, and it was so hard for me to even start people have been telling me and I've told you like I've wanted I think years ago when I was on your podcast, I was like I've been wanting to do a podcast how is it can and I've been wanting to do it for a long time and I waited because oh my voice sounds like a squeaky 12 year old nobody's gonna want to hear that for any length of time. You know, the things you think about, I say I count how many times I say like when I talk and it's something that my mother did that you know, I feel like a bit of a squirrel sometimes do I tangent too much can anybody follow what I'm saying, am I just too out there? Am I focused enough to be able to do a recording a video or podcast all the way through and not drive people nuts who are trying to get something out of it, it all of these things, you know have been playing in repeat mode in the back of my mind. It took a long time to be able to say you know what, I feel like I have something that I can help people with. It may not be the way you know all these fancy people who were just born celebrities or have that like it, factor do it, but it's my way of doing it and if it helps somebody great, you know, and we're just gonna put it out there. And I'll get better as I go and the more you practice, which I really wanted to ask you about, you said something earlier on about getting the results that you've wanted. And I said this before, I'm pretty sure we got it from James, but talk to me about what that means about getting because I think this is what makes you just so incredibly valuable. As a launching coach, if you're launching and you're feeling any kind of resistance, if you missed a deadline, definitely need a program or a coach to help you do that launch and Ken was the guy you need to get with because you understand that specific period of time so well. And I think like when you said that, just kind of like embracing it, we're so afraid, I feel like when I was first launching, I was really afraid, because I was afraid to fail, I was afraid to make a mistake, I was afraid to look like an ass, and then it was going to be there on the interwebs forever, you know, I wasn't afraid to do anything was it and so it helped me back and I would procrastinate launches, and I would you know, not want to do things and I would suddenly I don't know fall off the face of the earth, you know, when I was supposed to be showing up. And it was really hard in that in those early, you know, months in that launch phase to like, get my stuff together and you said something about, it's either going to be the result you want, or it's going to be the lesson that you need. So I have two questions for you with that one is explained, please, because I think everybody needs to hear how you view that and what a difference it made. And the second is, how do they get a lesson like metric wise like what does it mean to get the lesson that you've learned outside of the womb you know. Like we all know, you got through the first pancake, and now you feel confident about it and it wasn't as bad as you thought, but like, also tangibly, how does it make you better for the next time around so that you know what you need to work on, you know where you're great, and where you improvement, talk to me about all of it.

 

Ken  

Okay, so the result is really about, you know, you set yourself some goals, obviously, and that's kind of where you want to end up and obviously setting goals, it's, you know, a little bit of a guessing game, you look back at some of the stuff that you've done before, maybe and you predict something from that, or you put your finger in the air and just okay, I'm gonna go for that number. So it's really not necessarily anything based on I mean, the thing is, we can't really predict the future so we really don't know what the launch result is going to be no matter how well you think out this goal can never really know and you can't really force people to come and buy your program, or course or membership or anything like that. So it's basically up to them to make that decision, so all that you can do is really influence them to make the right decision by from obviously, but setting those goals, I like to you know, divide them up in three different goals. So you have a goal that you feel content with, that you feel okay with, you know, the low kind of bold goal. And then you have a middle goal, which is, you know, that's great, awesome, I made it to this point. And then you have like this audacious goal that's really big, and you really feel really nailed that one, you'd be super happy, obviously and that makes you have a list, you know, a little bit more to go on in terms of having goals is not just one goal. And I think the most important thing is just to set that, you know, even if you don't reach that logo, you can still adjust the goals to where you're currently in your launch. I think that's a really important thing to just think about. It doesn't have to be I mean, if you don't hit that goal, that doesn't mean anything but you have heart of attachment and meaning to that goal, maybe but it doesn't mean anything if you don't reach that goal, it's just okay. And this is where kind of coming into the lesson you don't need to start looking at okay, what is happening here in the launch. Why are we not reaching these goals, is this something in the our messaging? Is it something with our offer? Is this something that we're doing or not doing our launch, you know, all of that and that goes into basically the debrief that you're going to have after you're done with the launch but you need to have a detached look at the launch just you know what is going on here. Why are we not beating the goal so just be flexible when anything goes on? Oh, everybody's running crazy, what can we do you know, we need to push out more and more and more, we have to work harder hustle all that stuff, just take it easy it is what it is and try to see if you can adjust obviously, but if you can't, that's okay, you take this launch and you do the debrief and you write down everything that you know what worked well what didn't work, and how you would do things differently next time. I think that's probably the best way to describe both of them. But I also would say that you know, learning lessons is something that you can use throughout your life I use it all the time now I didn't use to do this but now I do it all the time when I have something that is negatively happening in my life so like this last week we had our electric car it has two batteries so it's a start battery and then there's the main battery that keeps the car going and we had a message coming up in the display telling us the batteries you know charging while standing still and or it's being turned off or something like that. It's like no, this is just bullshit. This is not happening because you know it was battery's full, don't worry, but I wasn't thinking about it was actually the start better and suddenly I was standing, nobody couldn't even start car had to call the tow truck people to help me out, get the car started. And obviously, I was really concerned that it was something different because I had all these warnings blinking all over the place. It's like, oh, no, this is going to be expensive but you know, the lesson in that was that I should have, you know, once that message warning came up, I should have gone to the car mechanic and fixed it right away, instead of waiting and waiting and ignoring it until we actually get to that point. But at the same time, I do believe that was looking out for me, and just saying, Okay, you found the listen that you needed. So here's what happened, you're just going to pay 50 bucks to fix it, that's it. And then we always had to change the battery and stuff, like that was like 300 bucks. Now, instead of having to pay 15,000 or something for the whole battery, I mean, if it was that issue, there's always a lesson in life as well. If you just can take a moment, just accepting your thing is the way it is, but what is it that I should be learning from this.

 

Zahra  

I think that's huge, because so often, I think as humans, maybe not all human, but a lot of humans, when we make a mistake, when we don't get a result that we're looking for. Our first response is to say I failed, I am a mistake. I am not competent and then that forces the next thought, which is I need to punish myself for it. Why would you take that chance? Why would you do this knowing full well, you're not capable, knowing you had no idea what you were doing? Why would you bother, you know and so like, I feel like as humans, we kind of go down that path. But like, what if instead we said the launch failed, it was not executed with competency, because if it's you, you're screwed, but it's the thing that let's figure outtable is a great Marie Forleo says right, then it's like, alright, well...

 

Ken  

We'll figure it out though. Yeah, I mean, even if it's you, you still can look back and okay, it was me who didn't show up with the right energy and that was because of, you know, XY and Z. Because energy has a lot to do with how you show up in emotion, this can be a ton of things that's happening outside of your life, or your family or whatever, that's really affecting you and how you show up. So most definitely, you can, it could still be you and you can still fix it so there's nothing that's not fixable.

 

Zahra  

Yeah and I love that like it doesn't like I love that when you look at it through the lens of what can I learn, it doesn't have to be the end of the world, it doesn't have to be catastrophic that your launch fails doesn't mean that you're a failure. And like there's an identity thing that happens there sometimes with us and so then our immediate reaction is to curl up and evolve, or just start like hating on yourself, or just start reinforcing a story. That is just a story and all of a sudden, we take that fact, and we use it as like evidence, see, you do suck, see, you can't do this. And then the launching like process, I think it's super important, which is why I love talking to you is like this is real talk like this is what people think this is what they are going through. And it is probably a bigger indicator of whether or not you will long term be successful or not, then the webinar funnel that you put together, is getting your mind right around that I think is so important. And I love how when you are going through your process with your clients and with your, you know, the people in your group, like you walk them through that, like you specifically talk about, you know, magnetic messaging, and like getting your energy right with launches, and really diving deeply into how you're showing up and then how you interpret that data. You know, it's funny, I just gave a talk last week to a bunch of entrepreneurs who are in the launch phase, you know, and I was like, the first thing I told then is like, I know, you're worried about making a mistake, don't worry, I was like, I promised you're going to make tons of it given so don't try and resist it. Don't try and don't fear it. Don't try and avoid it. Just know that with that lesson is going to come the education that you need, I promise you, Steve Jobs had ideas that sucked, I promise you that Bill Gates had products that flopped, I promise you that even the great have failed and that's just part of the game. If you're a creator in any way, shape, or form, that's just part of the game, it's not all going to be perfect. It's not all going to be the million dollar idea and when you're starting out, that's just the cost of education, like embrace it. Because know that, like everything that you do that's a mistake is a lesson that you learned while your company was worth 10s of 1000s, not hundreds of millions. So be thankful that you learned it early on instead of later when the consequences would be like more disastrous, and then just roll with it you know and so I like that you have that approach.

 

Ken  

Yeah, it's like the saying that, you know, they say fail fast and fail often because that is really what it's all about. Because that is exactly what it's about, it's about failing, you're learning and I think I saw somebody asking if you could go back in time and you know, remove all the mistakes that you made, or would you take like $10 million, which would you choose? Not that easy, I would not change my mistakes because if I did what I learned I would have learned nothing giving me that 10 million, I would probably make a lot of mistakes with that 10 million basically, so it'd be useless so take the 10 million basically.

 

Zahra  

Yeah, I actually just heard this on a podcast, and I'm trying to think of who it was now, but it was very successful person, you know, multi million dollars and so he was saying that when he first made like made it made his first millions, right, he would think, Man, I wish I could have made this much money sooner I wish I would have had this company sooner. And then he instantly thought no, I didn't, because the person who I was then would not be able to handle the business that I have now, there's no way they would have sunk they were to take that shit. Like if somebody handed me a multimillion dollar business at that point in my life, I'd have run it into the ground, it's true of all of us, right?

 

Ken  

Yeah and that's such a great point because if you are, you know, when you want to launch in, you're not ready for let's say, you're not ready for it being a success, you know, you're not ready for 100 people join well, I'm sorry to say, but your energy subconsciously is going to ruin that for you. Because you're not going to get that launch, even though that's what you're looking for and that's what you're hoping for one, you're not going to get it because you're not ready for internally, you are sabotaging yourself in that sense that you wouldn't be ready to handle 100 people coming in, you may be ready to handle 10 people at this stage, but not 100 just yet. But you will get there and we just have to be patient and remember that we have to continue evolve and change and get better at stuff and make mistakes and fail and all of that. 

 

Zahra  

Yeah, that's so true. So tell me, I'm going to ask now a bit of a specific question because I know that people listening are dying to get to like, also the meat and potatoes like what your genius is. So when you're in launching phase, talk to me about letting go of that manager role and stepping into the leadership role, especially if you're an OCD nut job, like I don't know, not me, not me and for those other people who have control issues, how do you explain the benefit and then how do you do it. What are some tactics that people can use?

 

Ken  

To let go of being in control? 

 

Zahra  

Yeah.

 

Ken  

That's a good question. I would just say that, you know, we need to learn to accept that we can't control everything, there's so many things that we actually don't have control of, obviously, we can do the best we can to make sure that you know things happen in the way that we want it to. But and when you're launching, there's so many things that possibly could go wrong, you can't really plan for it or anything like that but you know, if you done all the work that you need to do before you actually get to a launch, you planned out everything, everything is done, you written out emails, everything, you are more ready to deal with any unpredictable things that happen. So you're not stressed out about that, plus, all these things didn't do. So I would say just plan out things and except that you can't really control everything that's gonna make your life a lot easier, you're just going to, you know, be a little bit more relaxed and accepting things all the way they are yeah.

 

Zahra  

So I have a question about do you recommend this or not so I've heard it two different ways. One is, if you're launching, you have to be in it and all the aspects of it, doing it because you got to learn how to do it yourself, you need to do the first one. And then I've heard it where they've said, No, get some money to help you have a project manager running the technical things that along so a funnel breaks down or the tech isn't working, it doesn't affect your energy, you can show up and know that other people are there to take care of that stuff. So what's right, do you think what do you think is the better way to go?

 

Ken  

I would say there's no right or wrong because this will be obviously different for everyone. Not everyone can afford to hire someone, although if you do hire someone to help you, obviously, that could potentially help you grow and scale even more. But I mean, it would probably be great to have somebody help you to deal with all the tech if something goes wrong and but at the same time, you know, it's like, I wouldn't want to hand over my Facebook ads to someone and I didn't know a thing about Facebook ads, I would know what to look for when he's reporting back to me, I would like to know at least the basics of the Facebook ads so I know and understand what's going on once I get the report. So I know that okay, well looks like we need to change things to level up, you know, blah, blah, blah and the same thing goes for launch. If you haven't done a launch at all, and you just hand that off to someone else, then you probably don't know what to expect from a launch either. So I would say that definitely don't do a launch all by yourself just to go through the motions of being on the launch, even though it feels really bad when you say in it, but it's going to be a valuable lesson for you in there, I promise. So there's no right or wrong but getting help, obviously is great but yeah, you can do it yourself too. And it goes back to what I said, you know, planning out the launch, if you've planned out everything, you've done everything, it's so much easier, you can just show up and do the things that you actually have to do and that's, you know, showing up social media lives, whatever. 

 

Zahra  

Do you have any tips for people who are doing it themselves, about how they can protect their energy and just make sure because I think that like getting back to it? You know, I keep going back to, maybe this is why I don't do personal brands because it seems so difficult for me because brand requires such consistency to be effective. And when you're going through a launch and you're doing it yourself and there's all these emotions like happening, what tips do you have for people to help them when they're going through all of that to still be able to come out as their authentic self, not their fear self in that moment or that apprehensive or that you know the little things that creep up in real time and still show up the way they're committed to showing up in that launch.

 

Ken  

I would definitely say have someone you can talk to whether that is a partner, spouse, or if there's no Facebook group that you're in, if you have a mentor, coach, whatever it is, have someone that you can reach out to when you're not feeling good and things are really not working out for you really feeling like this is a failed launch, that's going to be like the first step definitely have someone that you can reach out to. And the second is the thing that we actually talked about before we got on as well, is this exercise of what if possibilities. So when we say what if I launch and you know, it fails, automatically, we think, you know, negative thoughts. It's just wired like that, I don't know but what if you change that and you look at okay, what if I do a launch and you know, if I do get 10 people in? And what if a launch and this is the first launch that I helped transform hundreds of lives and what if this is the launch that makes me millions of dollars? You know, what if this is the launch that makes me build my future dream house, you know, whatever, I mean, endless limits to what you can come up with but once you start thinking about that, what if possibilities, your mind starts shifting. And I know when I did this a first time, it was really interesting, because I was reading through the what ifs that are written down and once I got the end, I noticed this sensation in my body. And it was so similar to what you have, when you have fear in your body. It's like chest tightening a little bit, you know, heart's beating a little bit faster, you're getting sweaty, all of that but at the same time, I knew what my mind was in a completely different place. It was like in this happier place instead of a negative space so it shows that just changed the way you see things can really have a good effect on everything and it feels literally the same way that it did welfare, so it was really cool.

 

Zahra  

I read that somewhere that they talked about, that's how they trained professional athletes, that it's not so much they don't feel different, like we think we can't, and celebrities, like we think, Oh, I have stage fright. Oh, I have but these people who do it so well. They're taught to believe when they feel their heart rate increase, and they feel themselves start to sweat, they interpret that as excitement, not fear or apprehension and it's just a perspective shift. And that's why they're able to go out with the whole different energy than when right get up and speak it speaking engagements and, and conferences and stuff. I have like stage fright and I just remember, like cold sweats like this just and I remember, you know, reading that that really helped because I could connect with people one on one in a conversation or in small groups, but looking a bunch of people just, you know, used to scare the heck out of me. And I remember thinking that, like I was so nervous and that was about that time that I read the way athletes do it and I thought that was super cool that it's just a mindset shift, like throughout the day. 

 

Ken  

It really is. I mean, it's easy to say but this was the simplest way I've ever been doing it because of the what if possible exercise. It wasn't any, you know, hacks or tricks or magic or anything you didn't have to Yeah, it was really simple. And it just kind of shifted the way you started thinking about because it's weird, because when we start thinking about, you know, what is it what if this happens, it's all negative all the time, and we just do it, we don't even think about it. But just a small shift changed everything so just write down 10 whatever possibilities printed out having in front of you and read it out loud every day helps.

 

Zahra  

I think that's a really good tip because I know you're 100% right when you say that that's where your mind automatic, because we're hardwired for survival. You don't want to take risk. We're hardwired to talk.

 

Ken  

I step out of the door and get run over you know.

 

Zahra  

Yeah, but we do like what if it failed? What if we lose money? What if we spend our time? What if you know, and so like our mind goes there automatically, like we're biologically wired to want to do that, especially if we were not doing inner work and mindset work to you know, obviously that dissipates, the more work you do. But if you've never done any of this work before, or you're in a high stress situation, like a launch, maybe those thoughts get in much quicker and much more automatic. And so I think a lot of people kind of have this, well, don't let him go there, that's not really practical. You can't always do that but you can replace it with a good thought, you know, within if you have them printed out ready to go. We do these in that visionary leadership, and we call them evidence anchor stories so one of the first homeworks is you've got to go in, and you've got to write down 10 pieces of evidence that you are competent and capable in what you do. So maybe it was a client testimonial, but your testimonial on there, maybe it was the fact that what you lost last time and you sold one, I sold one before. So I know it can be done you know, I really like whatever however small it is, you need to have 10 pieces of evidence that you are competent and capable of doing this. And so every time that thought comes and we do have these little like just index cards, right we're not that fancy, but we just put them on index cards. It's like tape them do whatever you need to your computer screen, your bathroom mirror, I've got mine on a giant cork board that sits behind my desk, just and you look at them and so whenever you're not feeling sure of yourself or those thoughts creep in and look at one of the ones I have on there, which I don't think you'll get is Shut up, Janice, were you on that call? Big library index card that just says Shut Up Janice, but yeah, it's just crazy how the little tool when done repeatedly over time, they really do help.

 

Ken  

And it takes time to, you know, get into all of this inner workings actually come through on the other end. I mean, I've been I started three years ago and it's only until now I feel like things are really shifting in a big way. I mean, there's been plenty of small shift throughout the process. But three years now, things really started shifting, like, when I did launch noise, I should before launch, I had some bills coming in, or I didn't get paid that I expected. So I was $3,000 short, and it's like, oh, God, what do I mean, I'm $3,000 short. Now we definitely need this money and normally, that would be bugging me out maybe for a whole day whole week. But it took me let's say five hours in total, from the minute I got this message till you know, I reached out to a Facebook group that I'm in getting some people talking about it. They're getting on a coaching call with coach working through it there and you know, just in a matter of few hours, it was done. But I wouldn't have been there three years ago, no way but the work has paid off in the end. But it takes time you have to consistently work on this and just be aware, obviously it's the first step, you know, the awareness.

 

Zahra  

Yeah, I think that's super huge because I think that I want your thoughts on this. So a lot of people who are launching have this idea in their mind that like I just got to get through this rough patch. Once I get through this rough patch of the year at all out and being CEO, and growing and scaling my business will be super easy. Just need to get through this patch and it's usually a number or something of income, right if sales, whatever. And I think that's totally bogus, because here I am and year over year, we doubled our income, we've scaled and there's still a learning curve. There's still things I don't know, there's still things I got to figure out. There's still mistakes I'm making so talk to me about like, what do you think about that?

 

Ken  

Yeah, I completely agree. I mean, yeah, personally, I would think it would be boring if there was nothing new to learn if I knew everything and that's it like, okay, now what, and then you sit there, I mean, that will be boring. So I think it's good that we have new things to learn and there's always going to be new challenges when you get to a new revenue goal. You know, once you reach on, okay, okay, great, yes, I made it, now what and then you have a new problem. How do I get to 500,000, you know, how to get 2 million, multiple millions, there's always going to be new problems just like this a, you know, new level new devil, basically, yes, there's always going to be something so you never get away from that. But it's a matter of how do you handle it, and you continue to get better at handling those challenges every time you do a launch every time you get to this income goal or whatever. And I think that's probably the most important thing that you know how to handle it, and it's gonna be a lot easier. 

 

Zahra  

You know, it's funny, because it was very much that experience, at least for me, you know, first it was like an income goals, you know, this is how much we need to make. And then after the income goal, it was very quickly, like, whoo, this is the staff, we need to find this amount of talent, you know, to be able to produce the work for this amount of sales, and I had to learn it was like getting the right people on the bus and that was a huge challenge. And am I a good leader or a manager? How do I do this and, you know, how do I find these people? How do I keep them engaged and trained and all of that, then we get that sorted out, and then we're looking at our income and we're like, well, you know, maybe three clients hold the majority of our income. So we need to have a diversification because we can't, you know, be bothered, because now I'm supporting all these people and so I can't be in a position where one client backs out, I'm totally screwed. So then it was diversifying, like no one client should represent more than 10% of our revenue, and like, how do we so like, there's always so much, you know, going on, but it is exciting. And if you look at it that way, and I think it's really important what she said, it's like, oh, normally that situation that you had with the money would have taken you like days to recuperate, and you're able to shorten it now to like, less than half the day. And I think that that is the beauty of the lesson in launching your brand that is to be learned. Because, you know, Jeff Bezos, like all these people, they have the same problems that all entrepreneurs have, maybe not to the same degree, I would argue even more difficult, more more moving parts and pieces, the most of us but it's not about them having fewer problems, or them being smarter, it's about them learning how to manage the emotion quicker process the thing quicker. They don't sit there and worry for days and weeks about what if they make a bad choice, they are easy, like they go through it's how quickly they get through that and I think that launching is kind of like the ultimate lesson in that because a lot of ways you think gets you super comfortable with failing. Feeling clueless like a good old fashioned launch, right like that kind of the baptism by fire I guess that you that you go through and if you lean into that and embrace that process, instead of resisting it right, and trying to paint a different picture about what happened and blaming this or that or external or whatever, and you just buckle down and say Look, I'm going to experience this through and through, I'm gonna learn from it through and through. And I think that example that you gave about like being able to take something that would have meant so much and like chip away at that meanie and chip away at that time that it takes you to process that is huge, because now that opens up so much more for you as far as like what you're able to do. Super cool, I love that. Okay so before we get I have this game that we play, which is the rapid fire questions. And when I do this, before I get into, are there any nuggets or anything that we didn't talk about that you really want to talk about or bring up because I could talk to you for hours and hours and we could go in all different directions. Because I think you're so valuable in so many ways, as a mindset coach as a launching expert but you tell me, is there anything else that we haven't covered? 

 

Ken  

I would say that whenever you're launching, just be ready to test things out experiment, have an open mind be the scientist, because there's no one size fits all, you know, you have so many choices. And there's so many people telling you that you needed to do this way you need to do that way but it all comes back to you know, what do you want to do? How do you want to show up? How can you be your best self, because if you start doing things, the way that you don't want to do and you feel uncomfortable, then the energy is going to be off and you know, it's going to be a mess, to be honest. So make sure that you go all in on the things that you want to do and you know, you have your message, you have your personality, just be you and experiment and test things out, see how things work. Yeah, that's the last advice that I would give.

 

Zahra  

Yeah, 100% agree with that. I think you talk a lot about the data and so many people skip that I've heard before, it's pretty popular. Now it's been made popular by people about you know, there's always a lesson learned and that's true. But the lesson is in the data and so even if you're not super techie, and you can't look at all the KPIs out there, pick a few, like, have something that you walk away with, because that information is valuable. Yeah, so maybe you don't know how to track every little piece of your Facebook ad and conversion rate, but pull the data, maybe you can pay somebody to help you interpret it later. But at least grab it, you know, at least look at your open rate on your email list, like pick something that you can do set some kind of, you know, goal financially, but then also set a goal information wise, like what do I want to learn from this? And then like, what do I want to make off of this so that when you walk away, you've got some kind because I've seen that before, where people will do maybe not in the launch as often we don't do launches as often. But in any kind of marketing campaign where they do a marketing campaign, and they put so much time and money into it. And then they come to us because they're like, well, it fails or maybe companies you fix it. It's like okay, well, what failed about it? Well, the whole thing was a disaster but there's no understanding of like, maybe the idea was a great idea. But the copy on this last email wasn't great or the link here went like we had one that they were running ads for a product and then when you clicked on it, it went to their homepage, not to the product in the shopping cart so...

 

Ken  

That's why it failed. 

 

Zahra  

Yeah, everything was great, photography was great copy was great, I got a ton of clicks, nobody purchased it, but unless you're looking at the data, unless you're seeing that, so they weren't going to spend 10s of 1000s of dollars to redo the whole thing when it was a couple $100 fix. Like it wasn't just changing, you know, like it was crazy, you know, they could have done it themselves and there was nothing, they didn't need us. And so when we showed them like you don't need this, you just need this, like you just need a URL but that's the power of data. And sometimes we make so much more work for ourselves because we think the data is going to be worked with were so intimidated by numbers and graphs and charts. And it's like, really, it's what simplifies it gives us the answer key to most of what you're doing because marketing is just numbers you know, at the end of the day, that numbers gonna tell you the story so I think that's super cool that you have that. All right, ready for rapid fire question. 

 

Ken  

Let's go. 

 

Zahra  

Rapid Fire question. dream vacation.

 

Ken  

Definitely somewhere warm, where the sea is blue or turquoise, something like that. Yeah, I don't have to be more specific than that but palm trees as well yeah.

 

Zahra  

That's awesome. A habit that boosts your confidence.

 

Ken  

Boost my confidence, cool, huh and I know I'm not supposed to think about this. This is true, I am thinking right away. Because how could that be? A habit? Boosts my confidence? Wow, that was a really tough one actually. I think if you do something every day, and you actually have some level of success, I guess that would be something that boosts your confidence because you actually managed to go through something yeah, learning something new.

 

Zahra  

Awesome, hobby or habit you adopted during COVID.

 

Ken  

Well, we watched a lot of TV shows and they managed to go through a couple of seasons of different things.

 

Zahra  

Yeah, what is the favorite thing about what you do right now about coaching?

 

Ken  

Just getting you know, when people have these aha moments, and to you it's like really simple stuff but for them, it was like, Oh, wow, I have never thought about that is so great, I'm gonna write this down. It's like, okay, well, that was just, you know, something simple for me, but it's so easy to forget that, you know, were a little bit further ahead or something like that and we take things for granted so it's a good reminder that the simple self is just as valuable. 

 

Zahra  

Book you're reading right now. 

 

Ken  

Right now I'm reading a book that's called Email Marketing That Doesn't Suck.

 

Zahra  

Oh, I saw that, it came up on my suggestion.

 

Ken  

Really good and it's really funny by Bobby Klinck, so definitely, highly recommend that.

 

Zahra  

 Paper planner or digital. 

 

Ken  

Oh, it's kind of like a mix, but I think I do prefer paper.

 

Zahra  

I'm a mix person too. Favorite digital organizer.

 

Ken  

Favorite digital organizer, huh?

 

Zahra  

Turntable Guy, Trello, Asana, what's your...

 

Ken  

I use something that's called Infinity, which I'm really happy about.

 

Zahra  

I have Infinity okay, so I have an Asana nerd but I also bought the Infinity because we use that as our storage so that the tasks like some things that we have information wise, okay, this is totally defeating the purpose of a rapid fire but nobody's a bigger, organized nerd than I am. Yeah, so we got the Infinity because it was very similar to Monday.com. 

 

Ken  

Exactly.

 

Zahra  

But we liked it, because it doesn't like make you make a task for everything. It could just sit there and so we have like all of our client, like portfolios and historical work, and like where we store all so we link up our SharePoint to that. So that way, anybody who's working on a project can go in and see past work we've done and so we keep their boards, like pretty simple there. It's where we keep all like our training material and stuff like that so people go through onboarding processes, but we use Asana on the daily, but yeah, sorry, I just keep that for a minute. Because it's a very new company and so nobody has Infinity.

 

Ken  

But it's really good at organizing things in folders and you can have different boards and different tasks and different folders, I don't know yeah.

 

Zahra  

Yeah, the formulas you can put in there, you can do tables and charts, Excel so it's really cool. If you're looking for an alternative to like Google Sheets or Excel, you can go in and build that up. Anyways, we saw like a commercial for pinning them but yeah, nobody, it's so rare. Nobody's heard of it so I was super excited that we're here, man we're right here. Okay, so what is the mantra that you wish every CEO would say when they wake up in the morning?

 

Ken  

There's two that I like one is "Anything is possible", because I've truly believed that anything is possible, anything can be done, anything can happen and then second, is "Your success is inevitable". Both of these are from James so I'm not going to say that I came up with this, but I love both of them because when you internalize those two, I mean, seriously, anything does become possible so yeah, there you go.

 

Zahra  

Okay, Ken, thank you so much for taking so much time with not just me today, but everybody listening, there was so much value and it was a lot of fun. I feel like whenever I interview people from our group from our Facebook group is just like, these are my people and so it's really more fun for me than it is work because there's so much to talk about. And it's such a great energy and vibe and thank you so much for sharing so much of not just your personal experience, but your expertise too because I think that combo is lacking. So often experts kind of want to know everything without telling people like some of the more vulnerable things about it and that's what we need to hear a lot. I feel like you know, people who are just starting to need to see that, hey, I can be successful and it doesn't always look as pretty as people make it sound in on you know, social media, and sometimes it's a little messy. Alright, so how do we get in touch with you?

 

Ken  

Well, people can follow me on Instagram and on TikTok I just got on TikTok, just so you know, Ken Westgaard, nothing fancy, yeah those are the two best places to catch me to be honest.

 

Zahra  

Okay and I know that you're going to be launching your program Launching By Choice again at the end of September. And I know you don't do it often so we're going to plug in in the show notes. For today's if you're listening to today's episode, and you want to get in touch with Ken and you want to be a part of the Launch By Choice and get on that waitlist so that you are reminded right before it launches, then go to our show notes page and we'll have a link there for you so that you can get on the waitlist and get in contact and make sure that you are aware of when that is going on. Because if you are in a place where you are launching, especially a personal brand, there is so much value in getting support and help that you can show up as your authentic self as you can show up and do the launch that you want to do the way you want to do it and build your brand the way you want to build it and experience is king, but you also can learn from other people's experience. So come and join the group, get the help, learn connect with people who are going through what you're going through and get that support system going like Ken said it's really important to have people who get you who get what you're doing and who are there to support you when you're in the middle of a launch and you need some emotional support. That's a huge benefit so yeah, thank you again, Ken. I had a blast as always, anytime we get on the phone, we always have a great time. So...

 

Ken  

We do. 

 

Zahra  

Yeah, thank you again.

 

Ken  

Thank you so much.

Ken Westgaard Profile Photo

Ken Westgaard

Business Coach & Podcast Host of OMG I'm Launching

Ken Westgaard is on a mission to help online coaches to step into the role as the Unstoppable CEO of their business and have fun & simple money-making launches.

As a multi-passionate Manifesting Generator who loves experimenting with launches, Ken will dive deep in his pursuit of finding the truth about launching. And when he does, he’ll make sure to share that newfound knowledge with you.