- Gil Hildebrand
- How I Hit My 7 Day Launch Goal
How I Hit My 7 Day Launch Goal
Failure was not an option
The room felt like it was caving in. A lump formed in my throat.
This was clearly a terrible decision. Why oh why did I have to publicly post the 7 day subscriber target for my YouTube channel and newsletter?
A tidal wave of anxiety crashed over me almost immediately after hitting send on the video sharing my launch goals. In the video, I talked over and over about how I was creating a realistic plan. What if I didn’t hit it? Would that just make me a wantrepreneur?
“Maybe no one saw the video yet. I bet they’ll never notice if I delete it now.“
My mind raced as I contemplated my next move. “Look, you committed to this thing, there’s no turning back now. If you really mean it, you’ll find a way to make it happen,” I told myself, faking as much confidence as I could muster.
Truthfully, I didn’t see a way out. I had committed to this thing, broadcasted it to thousands of people. If I really was all-in, there was no turning back. “Looks like you burned the boats,” one of my friends commented on Facebook. “Yep,” I replied.
Descending into the Valley of Despair
Three days in, I entered the Valley of Despair. I was only 25% of the way to my goal. But there was an even bigger problem—I had already reached out to basically everyone I knew. There wasn’t going to be another big rush from my personal contacts. Or so I thought.
The biggest lesson I learned from my first outreach was that there were too many calls to action (CTAs). I shared the news of my Building in Public campaign, and then asked my community three things:
Join the newsletter
Subscribe on YouTube
Share this with other entrepreneurs you know
And that was where I went wrong. While it would have been great if my audience did all three, I wasn’t doing them any favors. Too many CTAs created decision paralysis. It was easier to just move on than to figure out which of those 3 to perform. A classic marketing mistake — one I’ve made before and should have avoided this time.
Then I found the turning point
Fortunately, I did have one ace in the hole. On Day 5 I posted a new video sharing the story of what happened after selling my company. This was my most ambitious video yet, taking several days to produce.
I was determined not to let the effort go to waste. I hit up my social feed again to share the new video, but this time with a very clear message: if you like this video, subscribe to my YouTube channel. No confusion with multiple CTAs. Just a very clear ask.
And…it actually worked! By the end of Day 7, I was at 133 subscribers on YouTube, 33% higher than my target of 100 subscribers. Friends and colleagues were sharing it far and wide, and I watched as the video engagement rocketed higher. And the channel continues to grow. Amazing progress. And a big thank you to all of you.
Well on my way to the next target of 1,000 subscribers.
Stacking up wins is so important to staying motivated as an entrepreneur. I tried to set ambitious but achievable target so that I could feel good about the progress. By picking my goal in advance though, I was forced to fully commit, stay insanely focused, and work hard to get there.
Not all according to plan
While I hit me YouTube goal, I fell far short of my goal of 250 email subscribers, achieving only about 100. I was wrong about email being an easier entry point. I was also wrong about having two goals. I should have focused on only one. Lesson learned.
The hard work is just beginning
While it was a relief to hit my launch goal, this journey has barely even started. I hadn’t even decided what business I’m going to build yet! And here I am talking about it in public already.
So this week I analyzed two business ideas I’ve been kicking around. One of the most important things I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is the importance of picking the right market. As Marc Andreessen explains, it’s the only thing that matters.
Finally, through the lens of analyzing the market and especially the Go to Market (GTM) strategy, I was able to pick a winner. This product idea has a very clear value proposition, a tightly focused market with a potential ROI that can justify the price, and a clear path to getting the product in front of potential customers.
I spent the rest of the week using ChatGPT to help me perform market and competitor research. Then I created a business plan and organized it all in Notion.
While I’m not yet ready to share what this product idea actually is, I’ll leave you with a sneak preview of the logo I designed in Canva.
Hmm, what could it mean?
Thanks for tuning in. I look forward to share everything I learn on my journey to build my next great company.
P.S. Help me fine tune this thing! Let me know if you like the format of this email and if there’s anything you’d change.