Back in the spring of 2012 I was contemplating doing a kickstarter to try something new. I had an idea for a bottle cutter but the thought of filming myself up close in HD and putting it out the web for everyone to see made me cringe. I grew up as an introvert, throughout my professional career I was forced to put myself self out there, be it through business presentations or filling a leadership role. Even though I did these things I was never really comfortable with it. Creating a kickstarter campaign and putting myself out there in this way was really not something I was comfortable doing. A big part of me had already decided I was not going to do it; this is when I ran across the facebook post that changed everything. A simple little picture tucked away inside my facebook news stream.
The second I saw this picture a series of clicks happened in my head. I realized that we all create the boundaries of our comfort zone and once these boundaries are established we rarely look beyond them. Whenever we are faced with a problem or an opportunity we only consider options within our comfort zone. It does not take long before we exhaust all options available inside this zone. Once all the options are exhausted we get stuck, there is nowhere to go, no room for something new. Once I had this realization I knew I had to try something new, the further outside my comfort zone the better and this kickstarter project was way outside my current zone. I figured the worst that could happen would be my project would not get funded, maybe some embarrassment, perhaps some ridicule. All emotions rooted in fear.
To make a long story short, one year later my life is completely different and so much magic has happened that it all seems a little surreal.
· My kickstarer raised 80k in 30 days.
· I then went on to sell a quarter millions dollars worth of Kinkajous in 90 days.
· I quit what many people would consider a dream job.
· My invention has been sold in over 50 countries.
· It was featured on an American TV show
· A Hollywood studio is considering to use it is a large budget picture
· I’m in talks to appear on a national daily television program in the US.
· I’ve launched a new company Bottle Cutting Inc.
· I’m currently promoting my second Kickstarter “The Jabiru” which is trending to raise over 120k in 60 days.
· I have 4 other products in the pipeline.
· I’m currently negotiating large distribution deals
· And the list goes on….
If there is one thing this year has taught me, it’s don’t be scared to put yourself out there. My new mantra if something scares me is, bring it on. I actively seek out things that scare me and face them head on. Example, I love to play guitar and sing, I do this at home alone but the thought of doing this in front of other people brings on an instant level of discomfort, increased heart rate, basically a whole lot of anxiety. My solution to this was to sign up for weekly vocal lessons with a goal of doing an open mic night at some bar in the near future. I was drenched with sweat and lost in a sea of anxiety during the first few lessons but somewhere in there I also found a little magic, a blissful joy from singing.
It’s been a popular activity for people to create bucket lists, a list of things to do before they pass, well I have my own list, a list of fears to confront. I also don’t plan on taking a lifetime to complete this list. I'm actively crossing off items as fast as my stomach can handle them. Here are just a few of the items on my list.
· Letting go of trying to do everything perfectly
· Surrendering to the unknown
· Allowing myself to show vulnerability
· Not being afraid to made fun of
· Letting go of control
This one leap of faith has changed my life and the life of my family and for this I am extremely grateful, to that end I’m happy to announce that I’ve found a way to pay it forward. I am setting aside a portion of all profits to help those most in need. Since I launched this product a year ago I have received hundreds of emails from individuals and organizations all over the world asking me to donate some bottle cutting equipment so that they can try to earn a living form this craft. Many of the places where we received these emails from don’t have official recycling programs in place so there is no shortage of bottles. They also all seem to have some sort of tourism industry. Up-cycling bottles is a great way to create some income especially when great looking bottles are rampant. I will also be launching a new page soon where individuals and organizations can apply to be a part of this program.
Stay tuned, be fearless and watch for the magic…