This is a moment for reflection. As I write this, the kickstarter campaign I launched has 1 hour to go, and I have not achieved the goal of 10K. That means that the 1,800 raised so far will disappear into the ethers. It was like playing the stock market.
The experience provides an opportunity to explore how to better serve this project, the funders, and myself, as I launch it. Truth be told, normally I would keep all of these thoughts to myself and my inner circle of friends and family. But I went public with my campaign to fundraise, and so I feel like I owe it to the people who have supported this first step to understand the impact.
The goal started out as ridiculous~ I reached Rebecca, the person I have been dreaming of doing a feature piece on for over a year and a half now, but didn’t establish the solidity needed to raise funds for the piece until 3 weeks before she said we could come shoot. The whales are there (and they move).
Even though it seemed like a crazy task, put together a talented crew & raise 10K without established contacts, I believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it. (I’m such a believer, that I even put that title on my card.) For better or worse I have a history of making big things happens in small amounts of time (extra stress always included). And these past experiences makes me explore the concept of sustainability~ and puts me in a place of questioning if our desire to rush things, life, projects, development, isn’t at the core of the sustainability issue our planet is facing. So with that, I have to question if it is wise to rush.
But then I think about rivers, and the rush they use to garnish momentum, and look what they do, they shape our land, and nourish our bodies. And I consider the whales, who are will be featured in a new way in this first video. I think about how the majority of the stories we have in the world are about how people have been killing whales, and how this story will be able to infuse a new story into the public consciousness, that whales have the ability to heal people. I wonder what impact that might have on protecting these species, and start to wonder if my line about not rushing things is just the easy way out the back door of hard focused work.
When I said yes to jumping off the platform of reason and by trying to raise 10K in 2 weeks, it’s because I saw a certain kind of momentum I’ve learned to trust. I believe in following the yes’s. When one of the world’s most successful whale photographers jumped on board for no cost; I saw a yes, and when the talented crew of videographers and editors of the microdocs team came on board, I saw a yes, and when the tourism board of Tonga came on board and said they would help offset travel costs, I saw a yes. So….I followed suit, and said yes.
It’s a funny thing when you dream big. You start to see how it can threaten people. I started to hearing from people I trusted that it was an impossible goal. It made me realize that when you aim hi, it creates a reflection for others to see where they aim lo.
Meanwhile, backers started arriving. People I knew, and people I didn’t know. I ended up in conversation with potential funders who are interested in the long term project, and I ended up coming into conversation with a lot of people who believe in the vision, that we need more stories designed to reconnect us to the planet, to inspire a sense of hope, and offer clear direction. While we need people to point out what is wrong, we also need more people to show us how to do it right, our world is ripe and ready for these stories.
So there is still 7 days to go before we will have the potential to fly to the Tonga to catch the whales and Rebecca working with them this season. I look at this as a game~ doing this kind of work ~ fundraising for something I believe in. I think of it as building a Kingdom of Allies; you never know where the next step will take you, who will lead you to the next story in the series, or who will provide a great idea or insight, or who will give the right kind of advise and emotional support, and will bring the funds that are required. I’ve learned that the most important rule is that you need to trust. It puts my in a constant state of being open, and being generous. (After all, you can’t ask people to give unless you are willing to give yourself).
So I’m starting a new kickstarter campaign. The goal is lower, which insures that people who want to be involved can be, and the length of time is longer. While I am off speaking with funders, I still love the idea of building a groundswell of backers out there who want to influence the kind of media they consume on the Internet and be part of the team in charge of sharing it on the Internet. I can’t help it, I will always love the power of grass roots organizing at the end of the day. Until the next post….