Thursday, January 15, 2015

3 Things I Learned from an IndieGogo Project

It's hard to explain my connection to Michelle Welsh. She worked for Seth Godin for a while, which is how we connected, but all of our conversations have been virtual - phone, email, Facebook. Yet she is awesome.

She moved to Nepal to teach. Then she had this idea to open an Internet cafe + Community Center. She raised funds for it on IndieGogo, a crowd-funding site like Kickstarter. She dreams big and is tenacious (both of which you need to succeed and live large, I think).

Lesson 1: It's about Passion & Story-Telling.

Crowd-funding is about telling a story about passion that connects with the viewer/audience. Michelle did that on her IndieGogo page, even describing the dream, the benefits, the problem. She knew it was a big leap (especially to sign the lease for 6 years!).

Lesson 2: Your Tribe Will Support You.

People talk about their network. Screw that. Have a Tribe. A tribe is better than a network because a tribe will support you as you support them. Networks are loose. Tribes are connected. Michelle's tribe supported her dream in 83 days. Her tribe of just 100 people!!! It doesn't take millions. You build your tribe (or even your customer base) one person at a time, but it doesn't need to be millions. I have often said that 1000 customers willing to pay your price can make you a good living as a service provider. My consulting business is closer to 125 people.

Lesson 3: We Live in a Global Society.

The Internet connects the world. It's no joke that the Internet has torn down the walls allowing anyone to communicate with anyone on the planet. Michelle lives in Nepal where the Internet is at best spotty (and expensive). Yet she was able to communicate with her tribe around the globe - and they helped her fund this project.

It costs a lot less than we think to start a business and get it up and running. And the Internet is a utility, despite what one attorney says. Next to electricity and running water, I think Internet and a device are the next set of necessities.

Thanks for listening!

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