UPDATE (3/14/17): I want YOU to be a part of the process! Click here to find out how you can contribute as I put together this kickstarter!
I have an extremely exciting AND terrifying (to me, anyway) announcement…
… I’ve started the process of designing a potatocorn plushie with a production company, and I’ll be having a plushie kickstarter in a few months!! (Hopefully sooner rather than later!)
And the truth is, I’m terrified of failure. Seriously, mind-numbingly terrified. I thought I'd share my feelings on fear with you; and if you feel the same way about anything in your own life, maybe we can learn how to overcome it together! :)
I worry about a failed kickstarter so much that I’ve googled all there is to google about failure. And here's what I learned: I need to figure out the root cause of my fear, redefine failure, and focus on what I really want instead of listing out all the ways I could "fail".
So, the "root cause" of fear...
This took me a lot of thought; what is it that makes me think this kickstarter is equivalent to impending doom?? Is it a fear that I'm not good enough? A worry that I won't make enough money? I can list out a ton of different concerns, but ultimately, I need to forget the secondary fears and try to figure out -- What's the one big reason I'm so insanely terrified? After a lot of cheek-squishing and staring at the ceiling, I realized something that has applied throughout my entire life thus far.
I'm intensely afraid of disappointing people.
Disappointing my teachers, my friends, myself, and now... you. I think I've always tried to be a "people-pleaser", but this time, I don't know if I will please people. What if no one wants a plushie? Or if some do, but not enough to make it happen? What if people want one, but not of a potatocorn? Or if it isn't cute enough? What if there's a thousand delays in the kickstarter and people get mad? What if I disappoint my audience?
There's a million "what if" questions I can use to drive myself crazy and paralyze myself with fear, but... I gotta stop! Now that I've identified the "root cause" of my fear, it's time to reason it away. If I disappoint my audience, or if the kickstarter fails... so what? Then I'll try again. I'm not fragile; I have an issue with taking criticism too personally, but that's something to work on. Disappointed customers won't kill me -- they'll help me learn and be better next time. It won't be the end of Cuddly Potatoes if a Sir Walter Flufflebottoms plushie doesn't get funded. I'll try my very best to make the plushie as cute as I can, to put as much hard work into the kickstarter as I can muster, and that's.... well, that's all I can do, isn't it? I'll do my best, and if some people are disappointed, that's okay! It just means that I should learn from the experience so I can do better next time.
I need to remember that I don't have to impress everyone to justify my efforts. I need to do this for myself.
And focusing on myself means redefining Failure.
I tend to define failure as an un-funded kickstarter project or disappointed customers, but maybe, just maybe, I shouldn't think like that. That definition of failure focuses on the made-up critics in my head, and I need to focus on me. If I'm focusing on my own growth, I need to define failure as giving up. Which is almost ironic, because the fear of failure makes it so, SO tempting to give up. But I can't give up. Instead of focusing on success vs. failure, I should focus on whether an experience will make me a better person, and contribute to my growth as a human being.
Of course, I'll continue making goals and celebrating success, but I will also remind myself that failure is not an unpopular post or a nonexistent profit. Failure is the unwillingness to learn from my mistakes and move on. I shouldn't dwell on what can go wrong, because if something lame happens... so what?? If something goes wrong in this Kickstarter, I promise to reflect on what more I need to do better, and try again later.
A plushie kickstarter would definitely help me grow, as an artist, a small business owner, and a person overall. I'm scared, but excited. So I'm gonna do this, no matter how scared I am.
Because I want Cuddly Potatoes to grow.
Selling stickers was my first dream, and I'm ecstatic that I already get to do that. But, I don't want to just sell stickers forever... If I could do anything, I'd focus my entire life on Cuddly Potatoes -- creating derpy plushies, quirky stationary, silly stickers, and literally anything that would make you smile through the ridiculous obstacle course that is life. It's weird and maybe even pointless, but it's oddly the best way I know how to uniquely contribute to the world. I need to focus on my real goals and stop letting fears of failure stop me in my tracks.
And I think that running a plushie kickstarter could be the first step to that. Just maybe. :) We won't know until we try, will we?
All the best-est,
P.S. Keep an eye out for future updates in the next few months on this soon-to-be kickstarter! <3