Insights from My Kickstarter Journey
I am currently halfway through our Tiny Acts of Kindness Kickstarter campaign and it’s been such wild ride. The long days and nights, the anxiety and excitement, the outpouring of support, and the utter feeling of gratitude I’m experiencing right now. Though it’s not over, I want to invite you all into my journey and share the insights that I’ve gained from it so far.
Let me first say that I never thought I’d be running a Kickstarter campaign. It just felt too exposed somehow. I’m usually a private person and my comfort zone is to quietly create in solitude in my own space. Only a handful of people even knew that I was writing and illustrating Tiny Acts of Kindness before this campaign. But my desire to put this book out into the world was a tiny bit stronger than my need for privacy – just enough for me to dive head first into creating the campaign. Here are the three key insights I’ve gained from this Kickstarter journey that I plan to continually apply to life, work, and all creative endeavors.
Fears and doubts are like noisy roommates
When was the last time you did something important and didn’t hear that chatter in your mind that tells you to stop, quit, or to not even start? It’s the voice that tells you you’re not good enough, or whatever you’re doing has been done, or someone did it better. What I’ve learned is that this voice never stops, ever. It’s like a noisy roommate that’s constantly in my ears. It’s especially loud right before I begin and it’s blaring as I’m making important decisions. It never goes away because it’s afraid that when I do something new, I’ll enter into unknown territories and it is absolutely frightened of the unknown. The best thing I’ve learned is to know that it will always be there and to see it for what it is: a scared part of myself that doesn’t want me to venture into new places. It wants to keep me safe. It wants to keep me hidden. But my heart does want to venture out, and it’s always been in my best interest to listen to my whispering heart more than I listen to my screaming fear. Seeing fears and doubts for what they really are allowed me to sit with uneasy thoughts and uncomfortable feelings and push through them as I was working on this campaign. This brings me to my next related insight.
Do the thing that scares you most
The process of putting this campaign together quickly made me realize that one of my biggest fears is exposing myself. I’m comfortable with showing my work in bits and pieces here and there, but to show my face, my story, and my passion project to everyone I knew was just too much. But what I also realized after I wrote Tiny Acts of Kindness is that showing up is no longer a choice; it’s an obligation to my heart and to my spirit. I had created something that I feel so deeply for and want so much for it to be out in the world, I feel it is my responsibility to share it as far and wide as I could. And what I know now is that doing the things that scare me the most is what allows me to stretch and grow in the best ways possible. I have to say that the most terrifying aspect of the Kickstarter campaign was the video. I was a pile of nerves on the day of filming and the crew was just amazing at reassuring me and walking me through the process. When the day came to view the video, I cringed at seeing my face and wanted as much of it edited out as possible. Luckily, I was convinced otherwise and again reassured that it’s all due to my own inner critic. I’m proud to say that I can now watch the video without feeling like vomiting : ). The best thing I gathered from all of this is that I did show up and nothing horrible happened to me. I’m still in one piece and the best part is how well received the video and campaign was. I’m almost certain that I’ve grown tremendously because of this experience.
Support is everywhere….and everything
This last part is for all the SUPPORTERS: the ones who shared my story, the ones who pledged, the ones who worked tirelessly alongside of me, the ones who wrote encouraging comments, and everyone who offered their precious time and energy to make this dream come to life. I’m wholly humbled by this experience as I’ve seen—not only friends and family showing up with their generous support—but complete strangers going out of their way to pledge and to share in such meaningful ways. This experience just reaffirms to me that so many of us are wired to want the best for one another. We are wired for kindness. And all I ever needed to do was open up and receive all the love and kindness that flowed in. While receiving has never been an easy thing for me, I’m glad I did open up because I’m now filled from top to bottom with pure GRATITUDE. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone! Your support is truly everything.