A lesson from my children on getting back up, grit and doing it together.
Hi, this is Marie-Claire. I'm the owner of SO Awesome. I spent the entire month of April running our third Kickstarter campaign. And it wasn't funded.
Even when I publicly insisted "Work Kickstarter And it Will Work For You!" and talked about how well it worked for my business, it clearly didn't for us this time.
For perspective, here are the last three Kickstarter campaign progress charts layered on top of each other:
Blue is year one, green is year two, and that flat line at the bottom... yup, is this year. Granted the amounts were vastly different, (this year's goal was more than double the last) the percentages tell the story the best.
It doesn't mean that people didn't want our cards.
You all pledged about the same amount of money as last time, the most popular support level was $45 for all four decks of cards. You're writing to me, you're ordering, you're praising. And you're reordering for friends and relatives.
It doesn't mean that our company is a failure.
It means that it was an experiment (like the other two campaigns were) but this one just had a very different outcome. And it's good because I actually learned a lot from this experiment. It was a very worth-while experience and I'm glad that I did it!
It means I've learned something new.
But it's something that also I see in myself because of what my failures have taught me.
I also see it in myself every day when I wake up and put my feet on the floor, when all I want is sleep. I see it in my hands when I wash and fold mountains of laundry. I see it in the things I make. I see it when I'm so tired that my eyes cross and I can't make sentences, but I have to work now (at 12 am) because I don't want to spent all the daylight hours away from my children.
I see it in my husband in working so hard to support us and who is currently with our children hosting "Boys' Night!" so I can write this. I see it in my parents every day.
Failure. It's something that my boys will face, and it's important for them to get back up and try again. I instinctively want to protect them from failure and the hurt that surrounds it, but I would be doing them a great disservice to shield them from it.
And while I know the boys won't always flail on the floor for an hour because they don't believe that they can invert their sleeve themselves. Perseverance is something that we'd like to help instill in them now.
How do I help my children get grit?
First, I'm going to start with talking to them about my failures, about setting goals, about challenges and not being afraid to fail, and finally about getting back up, adjusting and trying again.
I plan on telling the boys about this failure.
I plan on telling them how it was so big, so exciting, how everyone just believed it would happen the way the others did, and then how it just didn't happen in the way we planned.
This afternoon, I was carrying an overloaded laundry basket through the house towards the basement, and Owen looked up from his Lego work to watch me walk across the living room. With wide eyes, he said "Momma you're really strong!" I said, "Thank you buddy! It's really heavy, watch out!" he scooted to the side to let me pass. As I stepped over one of his bins, my foot caught the edge, tossing the entire contents (read: a thousand tiny lego pieces) across the wood floor in a glorious mess.
"Whoa!" They both said in unison as they stood immediately to help me. "It's okay Momma, we'll help you!". I put down the laundry basket on the table and bent over to scoop up the tiny pieces right along with their small racing hands. "Thank you boys, for helping Momma clean this up. This is a big mess huh?"
Owen looked at me and said something that I'll never forget.
It instills in me that he's well on his way to achieving his own personal kind of grit, empathy and teamwork skills already. He looked up at me and said, "It's a challenge, but we're doing it together."
My intension is to regroup, adjust, and to produce these decks another way for you. They'll add value to children's lives, and that's what's important to me. I'm not going to stop.
Thank you to all the of the parents and educators who inspired and suggested these new decks who supported us on Kickstarter, who shared our project with their friends and spoke from the heart. It really meant the world to me that you cared enough to say such wonderful things. And thank you, reader, for reading this and for being here.
Thank you for coming along on this journey, let's keep on keeping on.
Have a "failure" you'd like to share? I'd love to hear from you here on our blog. It's time we talk about these things so we can move on, make ourselves stronger, and help our children do the same.