The greatest discovery I've had since graduating college has been GOALS. It seems like a simple thing, everyone in this world has goals in their life, right? Wrong. I can't tell you how many years I wasted in life without a real goal. Oh wait. Yes I can. All the way up till I graduated college.
And just to clear it up, a goal to me has nothing to do with completing tasks on someone else's path. Yes, I graduated college. Yes, I had what was considered a good job out of college. But neither of those things gave me any sense of accomplishments because they were milestones expected of me, and not a goal I figured out for myself.
To me, a goal is something that YOU define. It is something you stand for and believe in. For some, graduating college or getting a good job is a goal they set for themselves, and for those people, that accomplishment is something they can be proud of. For me, school was a great place to network and make lifelong friends, but on a whole, the actual milestone gave me a large lump of debt without any sense of real accomplishment.
My first real goal came at the age of twenty-three when I decided I wanted to be a published author. It wasn't easy. In fact, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Not the writing of the book, or even the publishing side of it, but the actual decision to put myself out there--to expose myself to criticism and failure. Ok world, here it is, please don't sock me in the balls and leave me stranded on "you suck" island.
On 09/2011, after three years of dealing with self-doubt and fear, I accomplished my first goal. I remember holding that book, like holy shit, that's what reaching a goal feels like. DAMN THAT FEELS GOOD! And just like an entrepreneur or artist after delivering their work to the world, I was exposed. Not a day went by that wasn't anticipating a massive uproar, or some dude sending my book back with a giant, "I hate you," written on the cover with sharpie. Days became weeks and weeks became months, and suddenly I realized that I had survived. Yeah sure, my grandpa was upset that used the word "fuck" in the book, and that one facebook friend who studied English Lit in college had a few million suggestions, but on a whole, I made it through. I had a tangible book that I could hold, smell, read, use as a doorstop, whatever. No one sent me hardcore hate mail and my amazon page didn't instantly fill up with one star reviews and serious threats. So maybe, just maybe, this goal thing isn't so bad.
So I set a new goal.
I want to become a NY Times Bestseller and publish a book that builds a tribe and inspires people to chase their passion in life.
The biggest advantage of having goals is their power to align your actions. As soon as you set a goal, it's freakin crazy how the universe works in your favor. Almost immediately after setting this new goal, I started writing. There was no outline or crazy organization involved, I just wrote every day for three months until I had a Microsoft word file that was saved as "A Life Told From The Cloud(First Draft). Then, after a few more months trying to figure out how I would share it with the world, I stumbled upon Kickstarter... and the rest is history.
So why Kickstarter?
I admit, the idea was hard to grasp at first. Am I the grown up version of the 5th grader coming to your door with See's candy bars? Should I just send an email blast to friends, family and the one or two high school teachers who actually thought I was a legit student? But then I started looking at all the projects on kickstarter, and I can't tell you how pumped up this got me. Here are artists, entreprenuers, and creators from all walks of life, revealing their passion and goals to like minded peers and friends. Nothing can be more inspiring than seeing someone else explaining their dream, reaching for something bigger than themselves. HELL YEAH! And in that moment, I was hooked. I want to tell people what I stand for and the things that I believe in.
So today my project goes live. I can't lie and say I don't have high hopes. We all should no matter what we are working on in life: a relationship, a project, anything that matters to you. If you are dating someone and you don't hope you have a future with them, you should probably get the "break up" talk over with. If you are in a job that you don't hope to go anywhere at, you should start looking for something you DO enjoy. That being said, I hope that people respond to the project. I hope that people believe in me as a writer and a storyteller. Obviously, the stipulation of Kickstater (achieve your goal or you get nothing) is a scary thing, but at the end of the day, it's that hope of accomplishing these kind of goals that get us up in the morning.
And that is my road to Kickstarter.
Here is the link!
Thanks everyone for your support.