I’m 18 days in the Kickstarter trenches and I can tell you that everything I have heard about Kickstarter being a full time job is true! It’s constantly reaching out, posting, tweeting, sharing pics, writing personal emails, drafting e-mail blasts and basically doing all I can to stay in front of people as much as I can. In exchange for a few un-subscribers, a few pledges always come rolling in. And as someone who, prior to Lalita, never asked for anything, this has been a whole new realm of uncomfortable territory that I quickly had to adapt to and a life lesson that needed to be experienced.
For me Kickstarter has been a powerful tool in my own personal growth. A year ago, or even six months ago, if crowdfunding was mentioned my belly churned with fear. I thought I could NEVER do that, but in this whole Lalita journey, one of the things I’ve realized is never say never. When you invest so much time, energy, and love into your baby, you are willing to do almost anything (that doesn’t compromise morals) to have it thrive. I never thought I’d be photographing my own stuff or doing graphic design, but it happened because it had to get done. I assumed someone else could always do it better than me until I was put to the test; not only did I succeed, I thrived. I’ve now set a look and feel for my brand that no one else could have done because it came from me. Will I always shoot my own stuff? No, but the important lesson is that I know I can.
Beyond expanding my own capabilities as a human, the emotional lessons have been incredibly powerful. To say Kickstarter is a lesson in trust and faith would be a gross understatement. You spend years developing something only to put it out there for people to love, hate or care less. The truth is that when you have poured so much of yourself into something, it can be hard to separate yourself from the project. . .but you have to. If I tried to appeal to everyone, I’d fail miserably. I have to be okay with knowing that what I am creating will powerfully resonate with some and leave others not understanding Lalita at all. For me, knowing that I can inspire a core group gives me the faith to know that once I reach a larger audience, there will be even more women (and men) who resonate with this brand and it’s message. If I have achieved that, I have succeeded.
With every e-mail, post, and personal message, I have had to get really comfortable with rejection. I can say years of auditioning prepped me, and it certainly helped, but it takes an insane amount of courage to reach out to hundreds or thousands of people, knowing only a handful will even respond. However, the thing with contacting people is perseverance and an open mind; I realize now that so much of my support is coming from where I least expected it. It pays off to be nice to people and to be kind and generous (for a multitude of reasons) but in regard to Kickstarter, you never know who from your past could be your biggest supporter simply because you left them with a warm and fuzzy feeling about you. Kickstarter has also been a wonderful reason to reach out to people and to reconnect, even if it’s only a few lines of exchange, it’s more real than years of clicking likes on their Facebook postings.
Above all, Lalita and Kickstarter have been a lesson in receiving. I’ve always been the one who wanted to believe I could do it all, but truth is: I can’t. No one can because we do not live in a vacuum. I may be the face behind the campaign, but there are so many people who continue to help make this a reality. Not only have people taken time out of their lives to pledge or to share, but to help in the months of preparation for the campaign. Kickstarter has been a lesson in receiving love and being okay with that. It sounds so simple, but it’s one of the lessons I needed most. I needed to be comfortable with people loving me as much as I needed to be comfortable with them not.
I am a firm believer in “without risk, there is no great reward!” I believe that no matter the outcome of this Kickstarter campaign, I am winning. I had the courage to put my heart out there and leave a campaign’s success in the fate of both those who know me and complete strangers. I had the courage to continue a dream, despite the real possibility of not reaching a funding goal. I had the courage to leave the security of one company to follow my passions in another. And most of all, I had the courage to put myself and Lalita out in the world to be loved.
To view the campaign and to pledge click below. Campaign ends September 17, 2015, 8:29 PM P.S.T.
Filed under: Lalita Tagged: crowdfunding, kickstarter, lalita, motivation, personal growth