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.
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.
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