As you may or may not be aware, Helium Books recently launched a crowdfunding campaign, which can be explained simply as a fundraising campaign. We're looking to raise a few thousand dollars from friends, family (both our own and our extensive Helium Family), customers, and anyone else whose personal values resonate with our mission to elevate lives through the power of reading.
Although the ideation, creation, collaboration, and iteration involved in crafting such a campaign (shooting videos, creating a compelling, informative campaign webpage, etc.) has offered both Jacob and myself such unique, perhaps once in a lifetime experiences, I've been reflecting on the core of what we're really doing—asking people for money. And, I've noticed that a lot of internal struggle accompanies such an endeavor...
First and foremost, money is a touchy topic in our society. We keep our finances to ourselves. Rightfully so, in my opinion, but that means we really only have a slight idea of the situation others find themselves in. Of course, as humans, we never wish to weigh anyone down. Asking someone who may be struggling themselves to contribute to our future is a difficult line to toe. You want/need the money for the company's future, but, more than anything, you don't want to feel coercive and burdensome. This only becomes more difficult when dealing with close friends and family who may experience an added sense of pressure to help out, even when they maybe should not.
Then, as the internal dialogue rambles on, impostor's syndrome rears its head. There are times when I've had doubts, albeit fleeting, regarding the worthiness of our idea to garner other's money. There are countless other causes, businesses, personal matters one's hard-earned dollars could be put towards...why us? Ultimately, as I've learned, even the most successful individuals among us have felt similar feelings. It's simply the brain keeping you safe. If you don't venture out and do something worth supporting, you're less likely to fail miserably. So, with that safety in mind, the brain is going to try its damnedest to convince you that you are not capable of creating something that matters, in hopes you succumb to its wishes and retreat to a risk-free life. Oh brain, I love you, but sometimes I don't like you.
Ultimately, these aforementioned struggles have to be weighed against the ultimate vision we have for the business. Should we overcome the discomfort of diving into murky discussions surrounding money? Should we fight feelings of impostor-dom? Is it all worth it to have a better chance at achieving the mission we've set out on?
To us, the overwhelming answer is yes.
Both Jacob and I know that what we're doing matters. What we're doing has made an impact in peoples' lives, and we have the potential to scale that impact exponentially. This doesn't make these struggles any easier to overcome, but the resistance grows weaker as your why grows stronger. Our why—to grow our reach, make reading more accessible to all, and to improve lives as a result—out-muscles any opposing force.
I'd guess almost all of us have believed in something strongly at one point or another in our lives. And, we'd do just about anything to keep this belief alive and well. If that means having tough conversations, extending our necks into uncomfortable territory, and grappling with our internal wiring telling us not to act, so be it. These become truly trivial things when framed in reference to the ultimate goal, that why I speak of.
If you haven't yet found a strong why in your life, keep searching. And, when you do find it, promise yourself that you will let nothing stop you on your journey.
So, sure, asking people for money is hard. But, it's one hard thing among countless other hard things that must be confronted with energy, passion, and unwavering focus and commitment on the path to reaching our goal.
With that, I ask you humbly to please consider making a financial contribution to our crowdfunding campaign (running through mid/late-May 2021). If you believe in the power of reading, community, and an elevated life, show your support today. Do so by visiting the link below, where you can also learn all about the awesome perks you can earn (brand swag, unique experiences, and more) and how we intend to spend the funds raised.
To you and to the entire Helium Family, thank you for joining us on the journey to new heights.