And what changed my mind.
For the past two years I’ve been working on a website to help people struggling with stress, anxiety, perfectionism and overthinking. In that time, many well-intentioned friends have suggested that I ask for donations to support my work. My response:
Why all the head shaking, you ask?
When it came to donations, my biggest fear was audience perception. (Shouldn’t be a surprise considering what I write about.) I didn’t like the idea of my site, which works to connect sensitive overthinkers with each other, being categorized as “just another non-profit.” I worried that it made it easier for people to write my work off since in our country, we take businesses more seriously than we do social work.
I was also very aware of the pressure it put on friends and family. I’m trying to change perceptions about mental health. I didn’t want to stress more people out.
I also wanted to make sure that the money I asked for served a purpose. Asking for donations before my site had proven its worth to readers and community members felt all wrong.
So what changed?
Earlier today, for the first time, I added a donate page to the Beautiful Voyager. Here’s why it finally felt like time:
Today I launched the Beautiful Voyager Marketplace. In creating a business model that would help others build their own creative businesses while helping me support the Beautiful Voyager, I no longer felt vulnerable to the same potential criticism I had in the past.
I’ve become completely transparent about what I’m paying to run the site. One of the weird things about asking for money was not knowing how to articulate what the money was going towards. With this thread on the BV forums, I’ve shared every detail of my hosting costs and how and why I’m raising money. Clear goals help my confidence around accepting donations.
I believe in my vision. As I built the forum and the marketplace for Beautiful Voyager, my vision for what I want to accomplish has become clearer and clearer. I can imagine a place that brings momentum together with support for improved mental health. I want that place to grow larger.
My vision is being validated by an audience. In the BV Slack group, nearly every day I see comments like, “I am so happy I found Beautiful Voyager. It has made a huge difference in how I see myself and the world.” These statements let me know that I am on the right path in what I’m creating.
I can’t build my vision alone. It’s OK to ask others for help if you know that what you’re building is special. This no longer worries me.
My brother told me I needed to do it, saying that he would donate if I put the donation form up. And he did, too! He was the first one. Sometimes you just have to listen to family.
Want to be a rockstar? Join in now.