My Kickstarter was successful and I even surpassed my goal by $400 at the time of this writing and after the photo above was taken! I would not have been able to do this without the generosity, support and help of my backers. More love will be coming to them soon. I am beyond thankful. Words can’t express how thankful I am. I’m going to keep this short and to the point but brutally honest. This was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done for my writing career, but still so worth it. I’m writing this to share my experience with Kickstarter, but also as an inspirational manifesto to my fellow creative or anyone else trying to make it. Without further ado, here are five things I learned from running a successful Kickstarter Campaign.
1. People Still Don’t Know What the Hell Kickstarter Is
The average person, someone who isn’t trying to start a business or kick off a creative project, still doesn’t know what a Kickstarter is. They don’t know their card doesn’t get charged until the campaign ends, so often times they wait to get paid to pledge. They don’t know if you don’t reach the full amount of your goal or surpass it by a certain date/deadline, Kickstarter won’t let you keep what you did raise and they don’t know a pledge is more like a promise or that it mainly shows support for and belief in the creator.
Looking back, I should have done a better job explaining that, so please learn from my mistakes.
2. Launch On a Pay Day
Just trust me on this one. See number one. It will make your life easier.
3. Most People Will Be Indifferent to You & Your Campaign or Just Not Care
That saying about death & taxes should include rejection. We all face it in our lives, especially if we’re a creative. This is one of the harsh realities I had to come to grips with. Some of these people will be people you know well. Some of these people will be family, friends, people you bumped uglies with and even some of your very own readers. Yes, they won’t even think your dream, vision or even you are worth even $5. It is human to take this personally, but don’t. Or if you do, only let it bother you for a second, because you don’t have time to think about them. They don’t matter. You have work to do. Focus on that and the friends, family, readers and people who do believe in you.
The truth is, it’s not anyone’s job to believe in you. It’s YOUR job to believe in you and anything else that does not move you in the direction of your dreams is just white noise.
You think Misty Copeland would be where she is if she didn’t soldier on despite rejection or indifference or people ignoring her? How about Oprah? Carol Burnett was told to go home, she had no talent and would never be successful. You think she would be who she is today if she listened?
Do not, under any circumstances, let anyone dictate your worth or talent. Just because someone doesn’t “get” or isn’t into what you do, does not mean you will not be successful. Keep pushing. Build your own platform and following of dedicated supporters and if they come around knocking after you’ve made a name for yourself, hand them the back of the wagon pass.
The surest way to fail and make them right is to stop believing in yourself. The surest way to succeed is to go harder.
You see, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Most people don’t have the balls to do something like this: to put themselves out there, go for their true dreams and put their success or failure on stage for all to see. They live their lives stuck in a grind at a boring ass 9 to 5 because they are too scared to step out on faith or care too much what people think about them, so they won’t understand it when you defy the conventional and fight for your dreams despite uncertainty or possible failure. Who would you rather be? Them or you?
“Embrace your doubters They know not of what they speak. They’re delusional too. They can’t yet see what you see. They can’t see what’ s in your imagination. Give ‘em a hug.”-Mark Coker Smashwords blog
4. Read and Watch Encouraging Books and Videos Every Day of the Campaign to Keep you Going
I have two books I read over and over again as a creative to stay inspired and never give up: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon and Ignore Everyone by Hugh Macleod. I read Hugh’s book again during my Kickstarter campaign and it was my survival kit. I’ll just leave you with a few gems from the book and you’ll see why I love it so much:
“If your idea is so good that it changes your dynamic enough to where you need them less, or God forbid, the market needs them less, then they’re going to resist your idea every chance they can. Again, that’s human nature. Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships. That is why good ideas are always initially resisted.”
“The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. How your own sovereignty inspires other people to find their own sovereignty, their own sense of freedom and possibility, will give the work far more power than the work’s objective merits ever will. Your idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing. The more amazing, the more people click with your idea, the more people click with your idea, the more this little thing of yours will snowball into a big thing.”
“Doing anything worthwhile takes forever. Ninety percent of what separates successful people and failed people is time, effort and stamina.”
5. NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER QUIT!
Part of my success was due to not giving up. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and think you’re never going to make it, but that’s a dangerous road to travel. I read an interview recently by Ru Paul and he said something like a lot of people who make it to the top are not necessarily the most talented, they just know more people. I agree 100%. Like Hugh said, ignore everyone and believe in yourself and your dream and YOU WILL make it! But only if you never quit! Get back in the ring! Never go down!
This is What Never Giving Up on Yourself or Dreams Looks Like…
Misty is who she is today, not only because she is amazingly gifted, but because one woman saw that gift and talent in her before anyone else/ the world did. That woman never let Misty give up, despite all the people who said she wasn’t good enough. This woman nurtured the gift she saw in Misty. That is who my backers are to me.
“Never Quit Never give up. Quitting guarantees failure. If you never quit, you’ll never fail. Stamina and staying power beat the sprint. Think of the story of the tortoise and the hare. Fight for your right to pursue the best career in the universe.”-Mark Coker Smashwords blog
This could really go on for pages, because I’ve learned so many things, but I’ll stop here and leave you with this.
Because I have a book to publish!