Keep on chipping away

I always have a lot of personal projects on the go, like the promotion of the book I published and my involvement with the local wrestling scene here in Plymouth. Some days I put a lot of my spare time and thought space in to them, some days I don’t touch them, but they are always there in the back of my mind.

I think it is great to have things you can pick up and put down. Some days you are filled with motivation and inspiration. On those days in one night you can get the equivalent of a weeks or more work done. This is why I think it is important not to worry about putting things down from time to time, as long as you don’t put them down forever and pick them back up on a regular basis.

Bringing me back

My book titled “Unbreakable Bond” is one book, but the journey with it has now lasted over 3 years, from writing it, to editing it, to publishing it, to promoting it. It is the promotional work I enjoy, as it keeps bringing me back to the project and means the project just doesn’t get left on the shelf forever more.

With my wrestling involvement, sometimes there are mad weeks with lots of stuff going on to talk about and promote, then some weeks it seems like very little is happening. I don’t worry though as I always know something big is just around the corner and that even on quiet weeks my passion for it doesn’t change.

Unlocking potential

I know that if I was to step away from these things tomorrow, that I have done things and created things that are long lasting and will be around even after I am gone and I am very proud of that. That comfort however doesn’t stop me from wanting to do everything in my power to make them as big as I can before I stop. You see there is so much potential in everything you are involved in and its only when you push it all the way, that you find out some of what that potential is and could be.

Your projects that you are involved in are a part of you and an extension of you. It is up to you if they realise their full potential or not and it is up to you what you want to do with them. I like the constant contact and involvement in the things I do and I hope in 50 years time I am still championing and working on the book and the wrestling.

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Everyone can Support Someone

I think there is one thing that so many of us are all capable of that can change the world. That one thing is supporting someone. We can all do things in our own right and by our own hands to change the world, but we can do more and make more change by supporting others.

Someone’s dreams can be made or broken by the support of just one person. When you are trying to achieve something and your passion, commitment and determination are being tested, it can just take one supporting word from another to keep you going.

When someone supports something you are doing it can make it all feel worthwhile. Support can make you push even harder to achieve something, it can raise your conviction and let you know what you are doing is good, is wanted, is needed.

I think too often we break each other down or question each other’s motives, instead of showing them support. You may never know how someone is feeling or the pureness of their heart, but I would rather give them the benefit of the doubt and try to help, than to let their dreams fall to pieces.

Supporting someone can take many forms. It can be buying something somebody is selling, promoting them on your social media feed, giving them words of encouragement, giving them ideas, putting them in touch with someone else who can help, giving them financial support and the list goes on.

There are many things you can do to support others, which will cost you nothing and not impact your day-to-day life in any negative way. To give support costs nothing but to receive it is priceless. Your support can be all it takes for something big to happen in this world, never under estimate the power of it.

Last week I received some amazing support for my book project after having a fair few doors slammed in my face, but it was that one piece of support that meant more than those many slammed doors. That is how powerful support can be, it can outweigh any amount of negativity.

Lets be a world that supports each other and sees real amazing change happen in our lifetime.

Are businesses ruining the name of crowdfunding?

Over the last year I have grown quite tired of seeing companies and businesses asking their fans to bail them out of bad financial positions and using crowdfunding as their vehicle to do this.

Crowd funding websites and services, like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder, have led this growth market, that sees people pledging money to support projects and ideas that they are passionate about:

https://www.kickstarter.com/

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/

I think these services are great for people or organisations that don’t have the resources to accept their own donations and have no other way of raising money. I love going on these sites and seeing people trying to gain support for ideas they are passionate about, people that are trying to make something happen and aren’t letting their dreams or ideas go to waste.

Crowdfunding to save a business

The one thing I detest though, is when I see established businesses who have fallen on hard times who use crowdfunding just to stay afloat. These organisations ask their customers, supporters and fans who have paid in to their organisation for years by consuming their products or services, to then hand over even more money, just for the privilege to continue paying for their products or services.

These businesses, when they ask to be bailed out by supporters are normally ran and owned by people, who have a better quality of life and are in more privileged positions than the people they are asking to put their hands in their pockets. In these situations they are asking for more loyalty from their supporters, but yet these supporters haven’t been treated with any loyalty by the business.

It would be one thing if the business asking for money were offering you the chance to fund something tangible, like a new building or a new scheme but to simply say we have run our organization badly, have got ourselves in to debt and now want you to pay it off is staggeringly poor. If I were to get myself in to debt, I couldn’t set up a crowdfunding page asking members of the public to pay off my debt that I incurred through poorly managing my finances.

Abusing loyalty

I also take a dislike to when social media campaigns start up saying something along the lines of save our organisation, club or company. The way to have save it would have been to run it better in the first place, the horse has already bolted on the easiest way to save it.

If you are a for profit company, you should live or die on the strength of your business and your plans. As a business you shouldn’t let yourself get in to a position where the only thing that can save you is the public’s generosity.

Charities – the original crowdfunders

If you are looking for the public’s generosity to survive, you should be running a charity not a business. Charities are the original crowdfunding platform and have been doing crowdfunding even before anyone had the term crowdfunding. That’s why I love charities and happily donate to them, as by donating you are supporting a cause that you feel passionately about and are doing something to help that cause. You give, knowing that your money is going to fight a battle that can’t be supported in any other way and that the organisation aren’t just using your investment to generate profits for people.

I would implore crowdfunding services to stop businesses using this source of moneymaking to get them out of financial problems. I would also like to implore the businesses themselves to look at other ways of raising capital to get themselves out of trouble, rather than take money away from projects and ideas that could really do with the support.

Support

If you have the spare money and you feel the urge to crowdfund something, please go on to one of the many crowdfunding sites that are out there and find something that inspires you to support. By doing this you can make sure your money is going to help make someone’s dreams come true and that you are investing in something new that you want to see happen, done by someone that couldn’t make it happen in any other way.