Two weeks ago, I launched a Kickstarter campaign. Since then, I’m clocking in at three panic attacks, two nervous breakdowns, several horrendously restless nights, and one pair of glorious Target sweatpants I refuse to take off (they have pockets!) My heart rate is a steady 75 bpm. I’m also possibly going prematurely grey. It ain’t pretty folks. But I’m learning some important things and dare I say, life lessons, in the process.
Nobody reveals the emotional toll crowd-funding takes. You’re basically putting your dreams on-the-line and failure is a possibility. That vulnerability is exhausting.
Asking for help is hard, asking for money is harder. We live in a society where the topic of money is considered taboo but during a campaign that’s all you’re talking about. For an entire month. With anyone who will listen. Even that dog with the fat-head down the street.
Disappointment with people is inevitable. You’ve expressed what this project means to you, provided a convincing and charming pitch, and given people the tools to help. That’s all you can do. At the end of the day, their action (or inaction) is up to them.
Try not to take it so personally (even though it kinda is.) Everyone and their mother is doing a campaign nowadays. You’re just one of many hungry seagulls fighting for that hotdog bun on the beach of life.
People will surprise you in great ways. The most unlikely individuals will fight for your success and even throw in a couple of bucks and kind words (which will mean more to you than they will ever know.)
Having a team changes everything. It’s vital to have someone by your side who’s going through the same thing you are, if only for emotional support and venting purposes. And binge-eating.
Be aggressive enough to get things done but kind enough to earn respect. It’s a balancing act that is dependent on the situation, but basically try not to be an a-hole or a pushover.
Learn how to utilize your friends but for god-sakes don’t exploit them. Nothing is worth ruining a great friendship over.
Take a break every once-in-awhile. Nobody should be consumed by something 100% of the time. It’s not healthy. I suggest watching an episode of Enlightened or reading a chapter of “Yes, Please” to re-charge. Laura Dern and Amy Poehler are both magical creatures that I find inspiring and whose work has helped me maintain my sanity through-out this campaign. Feel free to watch or read what makes you happy though!
Believe in yourself. You can do it. Nothing is impossible with hard work and tenacity. Take my tortoise as an example. I’ve seen her stuck on her back, legs to the sky like a Victorian harlot. And do you know what she did? She calmed down, assessed the situation, and through determination and some sweet dance moves FLIPPED HERSELF OVER. If my tortoise can do it, so can you!
And Lastly, enjoy the experience! Through crowd-funding, you have the chance to actively pursue your dreams. You went for it and no matter the outcome of your campaign nobody can take that away from you.
Two-weeks left. I have two-weeks left of my campaign and every single day I’m re-learning these lessons. It’s difficult but I can’t complain. Anything worthwhile is gonna be a challenge. I’m still alive. I still believe in myself and my project. I’m still grateful for the opportunity to pursue my dreams. And yes, I’m still wearing those Target sweatpants.
To check out the Kickstarter campaign for my horror/comedy Ranger Danger click here. Any shares or contributions are heartily welcomed and appreciated!