Putting myself out there has been one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. I have always been a goal-getter… but privately. There is a different level of chasing your dreams for the world to see. It involves public wins and public failures. Nobody minds when the world sees them win publicly, but to fail in public makes the sting last a little longer.
I recently ran a Kickstarter campaign with an ambitious goal to raise $30k in 30 days, and you know what? At the end of day 30, I did not make my goal of $30k, but the lessons I learned are priceless. In 30 days, 78 people told me they supported me by helping me to reach nearly $12,000 in pledges! Yes, you read that right. With the help of my team, we raised nearly $12,000, but because I didn’t make my goal, I couldn’t keep any of the money. I did, however, keep every lesson I learned, and, in this case, the following three lessons have been just as valuable.
Lesson one – Keep showing up: People see you even if they don’t acknowledge you. I had thought certain people would support me, but the reality is that everyone who was supposed to support me did. You may not get the likes, comments, or shares you want. You may not have people supporting you the way you feel they should, but you still need to show up. The strangers that supported me and encouraged me and the people I didn’t know saw me, and as they began to show up, the people I did know followed suit. Consistency is the only way to get there.
Lesson two – Ask for what you need and have faith that things will work out: I could have set a smaller goal, but a smaller goal isn’t what I needed to successfully launch. Not making it to $30k helped me to realize the goal wasn’t too big; I just wasn’t ready for it yet, and that is okay. In a society that feels instantly made, it’s okay to take time to marinate. I am pushing back my product launch one year and freeing myself and my team from a June deadline which has allowed me to ensure that the product I am creating will be the one I can be proud of. God’s “not now” was just what I needed. I took the L, but I learned that I wasn’t ready.
Lesson three – Be prepared to fail: Let’s be real—Nobody wants to fail but if you want to be an entrepreneur, you must mentally prepare to fall short. If you never fall short, you never learn what it means to try again or what it means to come back better, and you never have the opportunity to see God work! Before I started this Kickstarter, I promised myself that if I failed, I would take time to breathe and reflect on all the lessons. I am proud of myself for taking the time and swallowing the truth that this failure is what I needed.
This was not my first failure on this journey of navigating a world I don’t know, and I know it’s not my last. I have no road map on how to create a homeschool curriculum for the masses and, unfortunately, YouTube hasn’t been too helpful. But I have faith, determination, and an amazing team to help me succeed, and thanks to the failed Kickstarter, I have more time to get it right.