After some pretty extensive back and forth debates with myself (this is far less crazy than it sounds), I've decided to pull my Kickstarter campaign.
I'm a strong believer in going with your gut – doing things and acting in ways that feel true to yourself and your beliefs. Even before launching the Kickstarter, I'd felt a reoccurring hesitation and lack of authenticity about the campaign. There's an incredible sense of accomplishment from working towards something and seeing your hours, days, weeks, months and eventually years of labor pay off in ways that reward you over and over again and allow you to continue in your growth. And while there would have been an immense number of hours poured into specially curating products for each of the Kickstarter supporters, there was still something that didn't feel quite right about seeing this campaign through.
With crowdfunding growing more and more commonplace, it's developed a stigma of simply asking for money as if the world owes us something, which is why it was incredibly important to me when creating this campaign to offer comparable, generous rewards for each contribution. This way, rather than simply accepting donations, I would be pouring my time and energy into building custom products for each contributor as I do with all of my products. The campaign would simply be offering exclusive products and packages that I don't typically offer on a regular basis to further the incentive. However, even then, something didn't feel right; it didn't feel like a fully genuine move. I felt the need to back myself up constantly by throwing friendly, yet blatant reminders out that there are great rewards, in an effort to say without actually saying, “Hi everyone! It's so important to me that you know I am not simply asking for donations, but am rather putting funds from the sales of these specific products toward one of the biggest tools my business uses!” That need for justification further proved to myself that this wasn't something that I felt right about pursuing further.
This may sound like a detour, but bear with me. Last night before heading to bed, I set my alarm for 5:50AM and left my phone charging in the kitchen so that when the alarm went off, I would be forced to immediately be on my feet. I'm a chronic “snoozer” and will snooze until the snooze button itself is too tired to snooze any longer. So this self-inflicted punishment / motivator has been a long time coming. My first thought when my toes hit the floor were, even in my incoherence, “that campaign has to come down today”. This was the first decision I'd made about the campaign that felt right in every possible way.
In order to take yourself seriously, you can't take yourself too seriously. This sounds ridiculous, but holds so much truth for me. Sometimes it's important to jump into the unknown and try things to see if they're a good fit, because to be honest (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this), I've surprised myself. I'm notoriously impulsive and jump in full force - giving with everything I've got - when I'm passionate about something and can see its potential. This has lead to quickly and completely losing interest, sometimes taking a sharp turn to lead me down an entirely different path, but there are those times when it feels right immediately and sticks for good. I've embraced each of these outcomes with open arms and an unwavering faith that in the end, you'll end up where you're meant to be. For now, I'm meant to be in a van that breaks down around every corner; that's part of the journey that will lead me to where I'm meant to be years from now. And I'm going to soak up every solitary second of that journey – break downs and all.
To everyone who has donated, shared and encouraged me throughout the campaign so far, “thank you” hardly breaks the ice on how much I appreciate your support! “Thank you” continues to hardly break the ice for supporting this decision to go a different (dare I say, better) route.
Thank you endlessly!
Janine – Owner / Woodworker - If You Give a Girl a Saw