Last week I launched the Straight Talk for Leaders Executive Course. In some ways, it felt like I finally launched. It also felt like I was pushing sooner than I was ready.

Both are right.

I finally answered the call to offer online training for the Straight Talk Framework. To get started, I followed the concept of a “seed launch.” Call it a beta. The idea is powerful: do the best you can, ask for feedback, and keep improving.

I explored what the last year of training revealed and built an outline. I focused on what was necessary to lead the Shift to Straight Talk. Outline in hand, I focused on the experience. How to build and offer a course that elevated the people who participated.

Then I selected the platforms. I built landing pages. I explored the audio, video, and other needs to make this work. With my ducks all lined up (not sure they were in a row), I flipped the switched and the course enrollment was live. It was time to start telling people about it. And for me, the start of an emotional roller coaster.

It means the effort is real.

The difference between telling and selling

Talking about the Straight Talk Framework is one thing. Explaining the value of the Straight Talk for Leaders Executive Course is completely different. It means explaining enough about the experience and outcome to prove the value.

Did I capture the right emotion? Did I explain why the investment of time and money leads them to their better tomorrow?

Plans versus planning and what actually happens

Even beta and seed launches have plans. A basic approach and order to announce, educate, and move people to action. The plans make sense. And while I intended to follow the path, I managed to fall behind schedule and do things out of sequence.

The result?

A late flood of support, interest, and a lot of questions (still trickling in, too; all welcomed). That caused me to postpone the actual start of the course by a week. It was a chance to answer some questions and welcome more people into the program.

I enjoyed a lot of great conversations during the week. If we talked, thank you. Without a doubt, you helped me improve this program and what we’ll do together in the future. 

If I hadn’t launched, would I know?

At an emotional point – questioning my own value, if not my sanity – I was talking with James Jardine. He asked me, “If you hadn’t launched, would you know?”

Would I have answered all the questions and made the connections without launching? Or the act of launching force me to distill to the value quicker? To address issues and questions I had overlooked.

Right questions, right time.

Launching… was the right choice. Warts and all.

The reality of the experience strips away whatever doesn’t matter. It places focus on what people care about. It helped me discover what I overlooked. I learned how to better explain key elements. I found out what value to amplify.

The real benefit was in the conversations. The energy and excitement as we explored the framework and program got me amped!

Then I decided to change platforms

With new insights and experience, I evaluated the decisions I made leading up to the launch. Then made a last minute decision to change teaching platforms. Of course I hit a glitch that created another delay.

The Straight Talk for Leaders Executive Course finally started on Wednesday. And it included an improved welcome, initial discovery, and baseline. I realized the importance of measuring and tailoring the experience for mutual benefit. It’ll make the whole course better.

That means we started about 10 days later than I planned. But we started. And now with a clear focus of value, I’m amped.

Now the journey begins

The five weeks of the main substance kicks off next week (August 30th). I’m going to hold the registration open for a few more days (check it out here).

If you’re interested, I’d love to have you join us. To help with the decision, I’m going to explain some of the elements a bit better over the coming days.

• What the executive course is (my vision)

• What you get as a result

• How to measure the value, since it’s more than training

I’ve also gotten some excellent feedback and requests for Straight Talk services. Once the Executive Course is humming along, I’ll start working on those.

I’m excited to be on this journey with you. If you’re signed up for my newsletter, you’ll get first crack at anything I launch. Let’s engage and explore what we can do together.

About the Author Michael Santarcangelo

The founder of Security Catalyst, Michael develops exceptional leaders and powerful communicators with the security mindset for success.

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