Keeping the Faith
Over a week ago, I wrote an update to the people who have supported my project financially. It was a very private message which I am now making public and sharing with all of you:
I woke up at 4.30am, with a thousand thoughts and worries swirling in my mind. How will I raise the money? Can the bike ride and documentary go on? What other strategies can I take?
I forced myself back to sleep, and during that 2 hours of shuteye, I felt a higher power at work and bringing peace to the situation.
I woke up at 6.30am with these thoughts and solution:
Temptations come in different forms and manners.
For me it came in the forms of giving up and compromising my integrity.
Not meeting the goal amount, constantly being bombarded by thoughts of inadequacy and that I’m probably not cut out for this, that I should give up now before I make a total embarrassment of myself for having launched a failed crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
Before the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, I had a good feel that the $40,000 goal was reachable - it was, after all, the minimum amount I’d need to set out on this bike ride and to pay for the production cost of the 40-day trip plus editing the documentary; I had numerous people pledging their verbal support; I felt peace in my heart to go ahead with the amount; plus, I saw a double rainbow in the sky the week before I launched the crowdfunding campaign, so I took that as a good sign that this campaign was going to be a success.
I know now that I have been very naive and know so little about crowdfunding, human psychology and marketing. I put myself out there, only to realize that I am so inadequate in coping with the reality of fundraising and how to get people interested and rallying around my project.
Compromising my integrity:
Accepting the easy way out and cash sponsorship that would jeopardize my integrity as an athlete, wife and role model I hope I’m setting out to be.
I will not go into details on this, but what I will say is that, often, in the pursuit of our dreams, we are presented with the possibilities of the broad and easy way to fulfilling that dream, rather than the narrow and difficult way of doing so. During my darkest moments of this fundraising effort, when I hit rock bottom, I had the opportunity to opt for the easy way out, but it didn’t take me long to say no, because I know I’m worth more than that opportunity, and that I’ve learnt much more, and am a much stronger person for the right decision I made in choosing the narrow and difficult path.
Admittedly, I made a mistake by not researching and investigating further into the right crowdfunding platform to use for my project. I was motivated by Kickstarter’s successful branding and network, and thought I could leverage on its proven track record to raise a successful campaign myself. Honestly, from the beginning, I was confident that I would meet my goal rather quickly - I know now that I was grossly wrong and over-confident.
Indiegogo might have been a better alternative, because it is not an all-or-nothing model as Kickstarter is - which means that I’d get to keep whatever amount I raise on Indiegogo, rather than having to raise the exact goal amount, or I’d get nothing at all on Kickstarter.
A mistake has been made and I have to move on. This is my strategy moving forward... (...to be continued in the next post)