Startup Diary, I

Crowdfunding, Crying and Classes

Photo by    novia wu    on    Unsplash   , text by    Brianne McGuire

Photo by novia wu on Unsplash, text by Brianne McGuire

Given the timing of where I am in the building-of-my-media-empire, why not document the mix of extreme highs, lows and intermittent plateaus that come along with such an endeavor?

If you’re on my email list, or if you read the daily blurbs, then you may already be aware that I’ve been working on launching a crowdfunding campaign. Well bitches, today [galentine’s day 2019] I’m shooting my official marketing video so I can look like, super duper legit when I ask you all to show your love with dollars.

Right now the campaign is a lot like the sex podcast, still just talk till it actually happens. And then I’ll feel the same way until I actually raise some money. And then I’ll probably continue to feel like a fraud till anything actually changes as a result. Jesus Christ that sounds real pessimistic seeing these words in print but it’s the truth. But! At least now I have the sex podcast as a reference to know how unbelievably fucking sweet it feels when it all DOES happen. When I’m standing in the harsh light of day with a real foundation under my feet, able to see it in the palm of my hand, on the web, in someone else’s life, and any myriad of other ways things may crystallize into existence.

In the meantime…

I listen to business podcasts for hours a day: Being Boss, How I Built This, Creative Empire, Freelance to Founder, and on and on… In Being Boss the lady hosts have coined the term “fraudy feelings.” Hells yes I have those. And while I do, I listen to these shows as a counterpoint. I take myself to the church of the entrepreneur and I nod my head and tear up and make notes and say amen to the inspiration and testaments.

I sleep in my fucked up “segmented sleep cycles” and ride the flow of my body rhythm. I get busy as soon as I wake up; the first round starts about 7am, the second following my mid-day awakening, around 4:30pm, and that continues on until I go to bed, anywhere between 3:30 and 6am. I’m not so keen on this schedule but when I quit my job and wrote my vision list, one of the entries was “live and work in line with my natural rhythm” so I got just what I wanted.

I remind all the conventionally employed people in my life that hey, I’m busy too; there’s a persistent impression that I’m sitting on my ass all the livelong day just because I’m not working for someone else. I may not be employed at a company or making any money or seeing any concrete results from any of my efforts but I’M WORKING ON IT. I say that emphatically for my own benefit as much as yours because all of this is exhausting, and frustrating, and tough on the soul.

I’m learning the ins and out of using a Risograph machine so I can start making some arty zine-type publications authored by me and the wealth of other creatively kooky souls I’ve been connecting with over the last year. I just finished an online class on marketing my startup idea and building a crowdfunding campaign. In the last few months of 2018 I took a 2-month small business accelerator course. None of these classes have resulted in tangible change but it is there on the inside. The slow build of competency, or at least the belief in the existence or possibility of competency. The gradual clarification of purpose, of direction, the language, the next steps. I might also just be keeping myself extra busy to distract from all the fear that settles in the second I sit still.

And later…

I hope to read these entries and smile at the naivety, the fear, the doubt, the blindness; all from a place of accomplishment and success — from that place of crystallization. I imagine myself in the near future, my faith and work stronger and more consistent than ever; with the tangibility I seek, the foundation I crave, all right there in front of me. REAL.

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