The 5 things I learned from running a crowdfunding campaign!

I woke up this morning feeling inspired to sit down and reflect upon my “Tiny Living, Big Thinking” crowdfunding campaign. It has been about a month since the campaign has ended and since that time I have had the opportunity to gather my thoughts. I’d like to take a moment to share what I have learned throughout the duration of this project.

1. Don’t let someone else define success for you.

If you haven’t met someone else’s definition of success, does that mean that you have failed? What is failure anyway? Who defines failure for us? The truth is, you don’t know unless you try and while you are trying, you get to be in charge of creating your own definition of  your personal successes and failures. I spent months researching and preparing to launch this campaign with a supportive and talented campaign team. I put my all into this project knowing that my goals might not manifest as acutely as I had hoped. I was a sheer optimist.  I raised $1,208, which was just about 2% of my goal. I spent many hours researching crowdfunding platforms, setting up my campaign page, networking, sharing my story, and beginning the process of education, because I knew that education would be a key player in setting a strong foundation for myself and other people considering the value of the tiny house movement now and in the future. In my personal opinion, I succeeded. My campaign was featured in news articles, a radio show, and I was supported by tiny house enthusiasts and leaders from all over the country. My campaign page had 1,996 visits from 30 different countries. Contributions came in from strangers from all parts of the globe. My “Tiny Living, Big Thinking” facebook page is still gathering momentum and new people are liking my page daily! I have met life long friends, mentors and supporters! I even had the opportunity to live in a tiny home on wheels for two weeks during my campaign! These opportunities were all by-products of following my heart and setting my own definition of success. I would have failed had I not endeavored to succeed.

2. There are good people in this world. 

People want to help. People want to support good causes. Allow people to help you. For many of us, including myself, asking for help can be challenging, but when we can open ourselves up to the idea of working together, we see that assistance creates momentum, we save time,  strong bonds are formed and we build community. It’s true,  people believe in you just like you believe in others.

3. Slowly and Slowly. 

Life is not about speeding to the finish line. It is important to pause in our daily lives, to be present so we can enjoy life now. When we stop in the now, we have the opportunity to gain so much clarity and wisdom as to our potential to create meaningful tomorrows. When we are moving full steam ahead we miss all the subtle messages and wisdom that our environment and the people around us are trying to share with us. By definition, a movement, is the act or process of moving. Whether movement is occurring externally in our bodies or internally in our thoughts, it can take time. Education precedes movement. So be patient with your dreams. Don’t be so hard on yourself. More is happening in those moments of stillness than you could possibly imagine.

4. You don’t know what you don’t know. 

It is ok that you don’t know everything, even in today’s world where most of us have google search within reach 24 hours a day . You have to start somewhere. Stay open to receive new knowledge and allow others to help you fill in the blanks. I had several supporters gently show me where I could have improved my campaign and where I was spot on. We need others to give us perspective and to guide us, so that we can begin to know what we once didn’t know. When we open ourselves up to receive the insights of others, we embark on a journey of trusting, questioning and reevaluating our truth to allow our creativity the capacity to manifest in the greatest possible way.

5. Be kind to people, you never know how they might be of service to you in the future.

Life really does come full circle. Some of my most amazing supporters were people who I knew as a child. We may not have had many interactions in our childhood days, but enough for us to reflect and remember that we treated each other well. One childhood acquaintance supported me wholeheartedly throughout the duration of the campaign. Her consistency and loyalty to my personal project was truly humbling and I will be forever grateful.

So, what is next for me and my tiny house project?

As I mentioned,  the funds gathered from my campaign aren’t enough to start the build of my home,  so I will use these funds to continue taking baby steps toward my ultimate goal. I will continue to educate myself and the people around me. I will continue to participate in tiny home workshops like the one I recently attended at the Big Tiny House Festival in Somerville, MA. It was wonderful to learn from tiny home builders, tour tiny homes and connect with other tiny home owners, lovers and supporters in the community!

There is talk of relaunching a future campaign because I feel strongly that my story (yes, it’s your story too) is  too important to go unheard. The future campaign will explore a different crowdfunding platform, using all of the amazing knowledge that I have learned from the launch of this campaign! I am deeply excited about moving forward with a new energy and perspective. I want to thank all of my friends, family and supporters for offering me unconditional love and support as I continue forward on this path!