Investing in the Dreams of Others

This post isn't a typical one for me. Today I want to talk about crowdfunding, why I invest in the dreams of others, and hopefully inspire you to invest in the dreams of others too. Just so we are are on the same page, crowdfunding is raising money for a project through small donations by many, instead of the traditional, large donations from a few.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two most commonly known crowdfunding platforms out there right now. They allow people to launch dream ideas with help from people just like you and me. By getting relatively small donations from a large population, vast sums of money can be raised to get a project off the ground without any angel backers. I have a passion to empower the creativity of others, and crowdfunding allows me to tangibly put that ideal into motion.

Not only do I get the satisfaction of knowing I helped create something good in this world, but when I help launch the dreams of others I too get inspired. I have received tactile pieces of inspiration and gratitude including postcards, books, and actual products I have helped bring to life. But the most inspiring piece of swag was a conversation with someone I look up to, Sean Astin.

Vox Populi Radio project I backed.

 Calendar featuring reading inspired artwork I received for backing Reading Rainbow.

 My amazing KitRex!

Sean Astin is a renowned actor who starred in The Goonies, Rudy, Lord of the Rings, and even voices Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT 4 LIFE). He is also a dedicated long distance runner and creator of #Run3rd, a political supporter, and hosts a political talk show called Vox Populi. His success in so many areas makes him a poignant example of passion driven progress. My reward for supporting the Vox Populi Kickstarter campaign was a skype call from Sean.

I had a whole spreadsheet of questions to ask to prove my intelligence. But when I heard the ring of the call I threw them out. I decided to not worry about how scholarly I sounded and instead soaked in all the inspiration I could by listening. We talked mainly about Sean's Kickstarter campaign. His team started with a spreadsheet plan and then the campaign blew up like an "atom bomb," said Astin. The team pulled off a successful campaign with hard work and hustle, something you can't find in a spreadsheet. This reaffirmed my pre-call decision to be my authentic self, spreadsheet be damned.

So is backing someone's project all about what you get in return? "Absolutely not. Except when it is 100% of the time," words of wisdom from Sean Astin. We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and by being part of someone else's success gives us courage to pursue our dreams. Who knows, maybe someday I will write a blog post about my skype call with Steven Tyler.