Sitting drinking my coffee this morning I found myself reflecting on the success of Girl Noticed’s Kickstarter campaign. Just one month ago I was sitting on the same couch, with the same mug, at the same computer questioning what was to be my first real venture in fundraising. Good idea or not? Would people donate, was Kickstarter cliche, was a $5000 goal ridiculous for me to think I could raise in one month. Was I setting myself up to fail? But I made the decision, although reluctantly, and hit the “go” button. Project launched.
A week earlier I had decided to start blogging again. When I had originally set up this site, I chose to format it as a blog because I felt the “story” was important. I wanted a forum to share the message of the importance of being noticed. Noticing yourself and noticing others. As time passed and the project grew and people started to actually notice, I had stopped sharing that story. With success came responsibility. The responsibility to be more professional, really look like I know what I’m doing. My posts became about where we had been, what murals we had done, and where we were going. After all people would come to my website first when introducing them to the project and it had to look and appear ‘perfect’. I even set up an appointment with a web designer to change the whole site so I could accomplish just that. “PERFECTION”.
And perfection is exactly what I thought not only other people expected from me, but what I expected of myself. So much so, that I found myself doing nothing. It was too much pressure, and in an attempt at being perfect I stopped making the effort.
I stopped making the effort. Good lord! The effort is what it’s all about, bringing that effort every single day and realizing that’s how change and growth happens.
Thankfully, I think I may have hit my head on something but I woke up! I threw expectations aside and said what do you want? What do you believe in? I really soul searched for those answers, and it took me back to the guts of this project. I said quite loudly to myself, make it what you intended it to be, and damn it, make the effort.
So I wrote my first blog entry in what had been probably 16 months. 16 months of what do people expect of me, am I doing it right, what if I fail? I decided I’m going to do it my way. I think about 10 people read that blog post. Maybe 15 will read this one, maybe? But its 10 more people who are engaging in what we are doing then were engaging when I was posting nothing waiting for the next mural to happen.
And then a beautiful thing happened, the moment where taking the leap of faith pays off and you say “HA, I knew it! I knew I should have followed my gut”!
Juni Desiree´ happened, a fellow blogger who stumbled upon the little story I had shared. Juni took the time to read, comment and then look through the rest of the site, comment again and then offered to share my blog on her blog and promote my kickstarter campaign along with it. This was a total stranger who just “got it”. It moved her, and she wanted to help. And she meant it. She even went to the Kickstarter campaign and donated. Juni was my proof that I just needed to “believe it”. As was the fact that I surpassed the goal that I had set on kickstarter, you know the one that I thought was ridiculous and setting myself up to fail, yes not only was it reached, it went well past the $5000.
What I realize now, as I finish my coffee, is my success, Girl Noticed’s success isn’t about how smart I am, if I know everything, how professional I come across on my website or present myself. It’s not about the resources that are available to me, or even the opportunities that if I miss just one I’m screwing up , it’s the belief that I can make my goals happen. We all deal with vulnerability, uncertainty and failure. We just have to trust that if we continue moving forward we’ll figure it out. But the key here is you have to move, you can’t sit still waiting for perfection to happen, it will never come. Do, do it again, and then do it some more…just believe it.
Check out my new friend Juni’s blog Sapphire Writer. Juni is a life writer at heart. Through her personal essay she writes life stories that move people. Along with personal essays, she shares writing tips, and words and art inspired by life. Press or copy the link to check it out.