meaningful work podcast

Episode 16: Bulletproof: how to cultivate an unshakeable launch mindset

Sep 5, 2023 | Podcast

Mindset can make or break our business, especially in the wild, wild world of online launches.  Not only are there 6,834 decisions to make, but the need to increase your reach and visibility, plus the potential to earn a lot of money, or lose money, in a short amount of time, frequently leads to launch burnout. Which looks like an owner scrapping a launch mid-way through, making bad decisions, or getting sick right after your launch finishes

In this episode, Brook talks with her Leverage Mastermind collaborator, Simon Kelly, about their two favourite topics: online launches and mindset. If you’re about to launch an online course, program or membership, you’re going to get so much value out of this.

You’ll learn:

  • How to know when you’re ready to launch
  • The quick and easy way to know whether or not your thinking is helpful or crappy
  • The most common crappy thinking that will tank your launch – if you let it.
  • Why good ideas are worthless
  • Why people with marginalised identities are at most risk – and why we need you to launch How to approach feelings of failure
  • How you might have the opposite problem that you think you have – AND how you can use this to your advantage.
  • Working with your nerves Winning launch mindsets to tuck into your brain and marinate on Creating out loud, online, in public
  • The purpose of life and being human (we don’t like to d*ck around).

If you’re ready to leverage your expertise and give your clients a deeper transformation, with premium group programs, then register your interest in our upcoming Leverage Mastermind.

Go to >


Our attitude, thoughts, feelings, perspective, beliefs, opinions, these make up our mindset. And our mindset can make or break our business, especially in the wild, wild world of online launches. Stress, burning out, deciding to pull the plug on a launch and thinking it’s not meant to be, folding up your dreams and locking them in a closet never to be opened again.

In this episode, my Leverage Mastermind collaborator, Simon Kelly and me discuss the most common crappy thinking that will tank your online launches if you let it. And how to overcome this. Safeguard your attitude, boost your mood and reframe your thoughts and beliefs to sell out your courses and programs. So if you are selling online courses, programs, memberships or otherwise doing a short, sharp, open-closed cart launch, you’re going to love this episode. Let’s dive in.

Welcome to Meaningful Work, Remarkable Life. I’m your host, Brook McCarthy, and I’m a business coach, trainer and speaker living and working on the unceeded lands of the Camaragal people here in Sydney, Australia. In this podcast, we explore the paradoxes inherent in working for love and money, magnifying your impact and doing work you feel born to do. We explore the intersections of the meanings we bring to work and the meanings we derive from work.

So hello, I’m Brooke McCarthy. I’m Simon Kelly. We are going to be talking about launch mindset, which is a big one. We’re going to try and keep it super short and super tight because my God, the two of us could talk about this all day, right? Is this my favourite topics or what? Yeah, exactly. Launching and mindset, come on, like these are the fantastic topics we could talk about all day. But one of the first ones, like we really want to establish some of the common mindsets and how you can go about overcoming these so that your idea doesn’t stay an idea. You actually create it and you produce something that other people benefit from, including you. Indeed.

So in our last mini training, we did touch on, and I think we’ve touched on in all the trainings, procrastinating, procrastinating research, procrastinating tech, procrastinating planning, you can be very productive doing not so useful things, right? And in fact, they can be not just not useful, but they can kind of keep you sliding backwards because your brain has convinced yourself that I’m not ready yet. I’m not ready yet. I’m not ready yet. It has to be built first. I can’t launch it until it’s finished. And this is not, not only is this not true, this is actually not helpful. Yeah, it can be a very difficult spiral to get out of because it’s an easy thought to convince yourself of, if I just do some more research, if I’m just more prepared, then it’s going to be more successful. But it is absolutely a myth hindering you from taking action in public where the actual magic happens.

And if you’re not doing it in public, if you’re not doing it with clients, how are they going to realise the value of it? Like I know it sounds preposterous. I’ve had clients that have gone back to university because they’d convinced themselves they couldn’t possibly do the thing. They couldn’t possibly sell the thing or do the group program until they’ve got that additional qualification. I know a lot of very overqualified business owners who make next to no money because of this erroneous crappy thinking. Yeah. And it is just our own thoughts telling us that we’re not ready. But the more that we give oxygen and energy to that, the more it’ll circulate in there.

So I think that that kind of brings us to another point that can really hold people back is comparing ourselves to someone else. So one is doing research and taking so much time to do that, but that’s just kind of us against us. But it can be really amplified when we’re looking at others and seeing other people launch and seeing how successful they look and just really our interpretations of what that means about them and about us. And the distance, like the gap is kind of a bit painful. Like Marie Forleo comes to mind for me, just how polished the launches look and the programs and everything. And I know that’s like circulating back there is like I’m setting the standard for what my launches and content need to be when it’s like it’s got nothing to do with me in any way. 100%. Great example. Great example because she looks great. The production’s really high production value. And there’s been a hell of a lot of business owners over the years that have gone, well, if I can’t look like that, then surely I couldn’t possibly launch, which is just, again, really crappy thinking. Yeah, exactly.

I think something you’ve mentioned before, Brooke, is like comparison is the thief of joy. And another book by Dan Sullivan. I can’t attribute it to me. It’s something you said that someone else said that someone else probably said down the line. But you said it last time I heard. So you can be attributed to that one. I think psychologically we want to fit in. So compare and we’re like, oh, what are they doing? It makes a lot of sense to be doing that, but knowing when it serves you, when it’s like, oh, cool, I want to fit in with some people. That makes a lot of sense. And then knowing when it’s like really kind of depressing and not serving you anymore, it’s hindering your growth. When you’re making it that the gap is so big, therefore I can’t take action, which is not true at all.

A way that I try to work through this when I catch myself thinking in this way and I’ve got the energy to redirect it, sometimes I don’t and I’ve just got to walk away for a bit. But I think the opposite way around. Instead of thinking, oh, wow, like how far do I have to go? I think one, how far have I come? And how are things 12 months ago? How were things three months ago? And look, I’m taking action in public, Neil. I would have been so scared to do that before, but look at me creating content. I’m on video with Brock. Look how far things have come. That feels awesome. That’s really cool. Yeah, no, that’s great. That’s really, really constructive thinking. It’s helpful and makes you feel good. This is a really good, I think a really good measure of is this useful thinking or is this unuseful thinking? Is this helpful? Is this constructive? Is this unhelpful and unconstructive?

How does it make you feel? Does it make you feel like, oh my God, I’m not enough. I’m not enough. I need to go back to university. I need to get Marie Folio’s hair and hire some production team. Or does it make you feel like, wow, look at me, I’m doing stuff. I’m feeling good about that. So I think that another very common thing with crappy thinking that is 100% relevant to lurching is the imposter syndrome.

The tomato imposter syndrome. I reckon the two of us could talk about this for hours and hours, but we’re not going to. We’re going to keep it tight. But one thing I’ve noticed is that imposter syndrome is a sign of a conscientious person. It’s a sign of an intelligent person. It’s a sign of a deep thinker. It’s not necessarily a sign that you are in fact an imposter. And I love that Maya Angelou quote who says, I have written 11 books, but each time I think, uh-oh, they’re going to find me out now. I run a game on everyone and they’re going to find me out. Knowing that highly successful people, public figures, frequently feel like a fraud, frequently feel like an imposter is actually really, really useful to know, right? Because it means that it’s normal and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true.

So it means that your ego has been provoked. You are feeling exposed. You’re on the internet. You’re trying new things. You know, you’re going for gold. You’re going for big goals. You’ve set yourself, you know, a big goal and your ego is retaliated. Your ego wants to keep you safe. It wants to keep you exactly where you are, where it’s to keep you in the familiar, comfortable territory. And so that’s why it can arc up so loudly during a launch. And it does. It arcs up for me. It arcs up for everybody.

But over, you know, the last, God, I don’t know, eight, nine years that I’ve been launching, longer than that really, because I started teaching around Australia about 2011, I’ve learned ways to keep it quiet or to kind of keep it under control so that it’s not in the driver’s seat. It might be in the back seat, but it’s not driving the car. It’s not stopping me, you know, from doing what I want to do. So it’s also super useful to realise that there’s no such thing as a qualification process. Nobody’s going to tap you on the shoulder. Nobody’s going to tell you, Hey, Simon, you’re ready now. It’s okay. Like you passed your assessment, you passed your exam. Here’s your gold star. You know, you can pass, go now. You need to make that decision. Nobody else can do it for you.

Ultimately, that decision lies with you. You must back yourself. And part of backing yourself is to realise that your ego is a liability in this situation. Your ego is the one that’s trying to stop you from looking embarrassed. You cannot die from embarrassment. So much of business is not about you. It is about sharing the value of what you do and the value of what you do is not about your personality.

The value of your work is realised when it’s in the hands of your paying clients. If you cannot get that work into the hands of paying clients, it’s unrealised. It’s unrealised value. It’s unrealised potential. So you ultimately have to step up and make that decision. Yeah, 100%. A really common, I think, imposter syndrome thought is like, who am I to do this? And it’s a bit of a depressing kind of thought. But a little, a shift with that one is like, who am I to hold this back? And it kind of, it’s the bringing into the, like, how does this feel thing that you mentioned before, Brooke. Like when you’re feeling uncomfortable, it’s not a sign to shy away. It’s a sign that you’re growing.

Like our ego and our psychology is  really good at conserving energy. Like it’s the most expensive in terms of like kilojoules burnt part of our entire body and entire makeup. I’ve heard this talked about as the motivational triad. So it seeks pleasure, avoids pain and conserve as much energy as possible, like maintaining status quo. So if you’re doing that, then you will feel comfortable. But that’s not really going to get you to do anything different at all, will it? Like you’re just going to stay exactly the same. So if you’re going from doing services one-to-one with clients, let’s say, and you’re like, all right, I’m going to launch a group program. It’s like, what are you doing? This doesn’t feel like pleasure. This feels like pain and it’s uncomfortable and you’re changing and no one else is really doing this. Like what’s happening and you don’t look like Marie Forleo. What’s going on here?

And that uncomfortableness stops a lot of people from taking any action and they start believing those thoughts that are keeping them handed and they’re like, oh, this must mean I shouldn’t do this. Yeah, 100%. And yeah, further to Marie Forleo point, if you don’t look like the norm, if you are a marginalized identity, you know, yes, absolutely, definitely. It’s harder for you. And we need you, you know, we need you, we need you to set the example. We need you to come forward so that other people that look like you can go, oh, great. Okay. If she’s doing it, if he’s doing it, I can do it too.

The next kind of crappy thinking or unuseful, unhelpful thinking when it comes to launching is everybody’s looking at me. I’m naked, I’m exposed. Everyone’s laughing at me. You know, what if I fail? What if I fail? Like they’re all waiting for me to fail. Really, really common. And frequently I will ask, you know, my clients, you know, what bitchy colleague, what bitchy competitor is squatting in your brain? Who is squatting in your brain, rent free, taking up space?

Now those people may not be thinking of you at all. They may be worrying about their own, you know, perceived competition, but you are giving a hell of a lot of energy, hell of a lot of time, a hell of a lot of invaluable real estate in your brain to an energy leak, a massive, massive energy leak.

So another technique that I really like to do with my clients, especially during a launch, especially, you know, when they’re feeling the fear and they’re like, oh, they’re starting to wobble is, okay, let’s just go straight for the worst case scenario. Let’s look that in the eye because pretending the elephant is not in the room does not make the elephant go away. And when we go there and, you know, I ask people to look at it and I ask people to look as objectively as possible. We put the pros, we put the actual benefits that have been realised so far. More effort than not, the client concludes, you know what, the only thing that’s being risked here is my ego, I could potentially feel embarrassed and I cannot die of embarrassment.

And oftentimes it’s a case where the business owner is feeling like everybody’s looking at them when actually their audience is quite small. So not only do you have the opposite problem that you think you have, nobody knows you exist, but also you have a massive advantage here because nobody’s, your audience is smaller, nobody’s watching. So you can fail spectacularly. You can blunder, you can make time pose, you can, you know, chew on your words and it could sound clunky and nobody’s going to see. No one apart from your mother is going to see anyway. So great. I do love that when you get mothers commenting on the incident. It’s like so proud of you.

So we’ve talked about some of the problems and a couple of different mindset shifts that we can have, but we want to go through a bit of a quick list of growth mindsets you can apply when it comes to launching, when it comes to validating to help make your group program and what your marketing a bit more of a success. Fantastic.

So please write these down, try them on for size, tap them into your brain, marinate on them, see how they feel, see what happens, see if they’re useful to you. The first one I want to share is that feeling nervous is closely related to excitement. I say that to my kids pretty regularly. If you’re feeling nervous, you could well be feeling excited, right? Yeah, the physiology, the symptoms are the same, right? Yeah. Another one is ordinary people launch every day all the time. They are deciding to launch. It’s not just the celebrities and big people with tons of audience. Normal people, everyday people like you and me, we’re launching all the time.

They’re no more special than you are. We’re all special and we all have unique gifts to bring to the world. 100%. We’re all extraordinarily ordinary, right? The next one is I am learning out loud. This is a big one. We’re doing this on the internet. If you run an online business, if you’re putting content marketing on the internet, you are learning out loud, yeah? And as such, you are setting an example for other people. So frequently people email me or they might even mention, you know, face to face, they’re like, oh, I really like seeing the typos in your emails. You know, sometimes they email me back and they’re going, oh, there’s a mistake, there’s a broken link, there’s a typo. You know, I’m always happy to receive that. But they specifically say, I like the fact that you’re making mistakes because it makes it more normal and more ordinary and more acceptable for me to make mistakes as well. It’s fascinating. It’s almost like giving permission to like not be super polished or something like that. Another one is learning in business is doing.

I think there’s this idea that learning is consumption, but learning is production. You learn so much more by doing things in public, co-creating than you do by reading books and understanding theory. Very hard to learn to swim by standing at the edge of the pool and looking at it. I love that analogy. Oh my God, I’m going to use that, Simon. That’s a great analogy. Yes, you do business, you don’t learn business. So the next one is that it is way more fun. It could be way more fun than you are currently allowing. Yeah. And I think that’s true, not just for launching, not just for creating and running and selling out premium group programs. That is true for all aspects of business. A change of perspective, a change of attitude can make a huge difference.

I think you were telling me that the other day, right? You were saying how you’d read a book and you just had this tiny tweak. Nothing changed but your perspective. And all of a sudden you felt like a hundred percent better. Yeah. Just to add some more quotes to the equation. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Nothing’s actually different but the way I’ve kind of decided to look at it, oh, it’s totally different. It’ll never be the same again.

So another thing that I think is really important as well is it’s like a bit of faith. It’s thinking like, well, excellent things are just around the corner. If I’m co-creating, if I’m trying this, if I’m exploring taking action a bit more in public, like what opportunities are waiting for me just around the corner? Like I have no idea. It’s very exciting. And I’ve got faith that with action being taken in public, learning by doing, it’s just more awesome is going to be added to the world. I love it. And further to that, sales.

You know, people give me the side eye all the time and I tell them that sales is fun. Like sales should be fun because sales is social. Sales is about people. It’s person to person. And if you like people, you know, even if you’re an introvert, forget extrovert, introvert. If you are interested in people, if you are interested in understanding the nuances, the depths of what you actually do for a living and how that, you know, how that work impacts other people, the insights that you’re going to get through sales conversations, through sales are insights that you cannot find anywhere else.

So there is so much to be learned. There is so much to be gained from sales and it absolutely definitely should be and could be fun if you allow it. Yeah, absolutely. And another benefit, not just the fun of sales and the social aspect, but is the money side of things. So actually launching and creating something, there’s lots of benefits that we’ve talked about, but generating income, leveraged income, that’s not just time for money.

Now the world, like depending on how your mindset is around money and how you use it as a tool in life, like that’s discussion for another time because it’s not the answer to all things related to happiness and why we’re here, but it is a tool to use to improve your business, improve other people’s lives, to support your family and to buy things for yourself completely selfishly and go on holidays guilt free. It is a tool that we have in life. It’s our quantifiable measure of various things, but it is an asset, it is a resource and we are in business to generate money unashamedly. Yes, unashamedly.

There’s a beautiful quote from Hélio Gibran, who is a Lebanese poet philosopher and he says, you work so that you may keep pace with the earth for to be idle is to step out of life’s majesty that marches with proud submission towards the incident. I hope I had that, I hope I remember that accurately, but you know, work, livelihood, money, this is part of what it means to be human. You know, this is part of what it means to wake up and be useful and to have a purpose, to have a point, to do something with the talents and the gifts that we all have. Awesome. So we run through quite a few like mindset kind of roadblocks and growth mindset adjustments that you can make. We’d love to know what’s one thing from this video that you found really valuable. Leave it in comments, send us a message, however you can get in touch or even just write that down for yourself, something that you’d like to try on. Leverage Mastermind is open for application now.

If you are keen to impact more people and take your clients deeper with a flagship group program, go to forward slash leveraged with a limited number of spots. Applying helps us see whether or not we’re a good fit and know it will not obligate you to take the next step. For those details again, go to

Brook McCarthy Business Coach

Never miss an episode

Join our list

Acknowledgment of Country

We acknowledge the Cammeraygal people, the traditional and ongoing custodians of the lands that Hustle & Heart creates and works on. This lush land is just north of Sydney Harbour Bridge. We also acknowledge the traditional and ongoing custodians of the land, skies and seas where you are, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise that these lands were never ceded.

Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

Pledge 1% org

Social life

Say ‘hi’ to Hustle & Heart founder Brook McCarthy on:

© 2015-2023 Hustle & Heart | Privacy Policy | Hustle & Heart is owned by Brook McCarthy