For the first time in years, I am facing my own dream wall . . .
It’s the art of asking.
It’s time to move 8 Women Dream to the next level. And when I say the next level, I mean offer more to our readers and offer more to the world. I’ve got some incredible women dreamers writing here now, and finally, everything is clicking into place. After four years and burning through more than 12 dreamers — dreamers as crazy as me are now completely “in” with me on my dream journey.
They are one very committed bunch.
So my heart now whispers, “Catherine, it’s time to do the ‘asking’.”
By now you are probably wondering, asking for what?
I have no problem asking companies for products to offer 8WD readers, or asking other popular bloggers for endorsements, or asking bloggers to come write with me on 8 Women Dream, but the kind of asking to which I am referring to scares me from my very Irish widow’s peak to the tip of my oddly-shaped baby toes.
The need to begin “asking” presses daily against my heart and hits me like a cold breeze sneaking up under one ear and flying quickly by — each and every single day.
“Start asking Catherine…” It shouts. “It’s time.”
My 85-year-old mother almost left us at the beginning of this year, and although she is better, my brother and I can see her time coming to a close. It’s been unexpected and has turned a big part of my life upside down. Yet, at the same time it’s brought even more into focus.
She wanted to see this 8 Women Dream publishing dream of mine come true. Her sudden illness has slapped me hard across the face and reminded me that time is a precious gift indeed.
Start asking for what you want.
Start asking for what YOU need.
To understand what I am about to very personally share with you in this post, I implore you to watch this amazing video by Alternative rocker, Amanda Palmer, so that what I write below makes sense. I promise you that this is possibly one of the best TED talks and videos you will ever watch, and if you are on a device that has trouble with the video, click here to go to Ted.com. (If you have to leave to go watch the video on Ted.com, please come back after you’re done ’cause I need to ask your advice…)
There it is.
Why do we fear asking for what we need? Amanda says that it’s because asking makes you vulnerable.
My dream dilemma is the fact that asking makes me fear being vulnerable to the world, and that fear is getting in the way of asking for what I need. It’s getting in the way of making 8 Women Dream into more.
Asking has become my firewalk.
The fear and vulnerability – my hot coals.
My next step on 8 Women Dream is to ask people about funding sources for 8 Women Dream to allow us to expand the site and create an online magazine. I need to look at creating start-up capital and talk with an attorney I’ve worked with in the past at another start-up. I need to create greater income opportunities for the dreamers who write here because, well frankly, they need the income.
They deserve it.
They’ve sacrificed their own security to help empower women of the world to go for their dreams.
The quandary I’ve had with more traditional money-raising ideas is that I don’t like a lot of the Internet Marketing campaigns out there that everyone online does and tells you that they will make you this big online success. I don’t want to treat our readers that way. SO much of it seems cold and superficial. After a while don’t you get tired of receiving emails with marketing double-speak like, “That’s right – exclusively for you, we’re providing a DOUBLE-your-money-back guarantee with this…”?
I want something more “real” that offers a greater connection to our readers. I want something that touches our readers in a very real way.
I want our readers to feel that what we offer is of such value to them that we don’t need to send them 6 weeks worth of scripted emails pretending to be their best friend to get to a place of asking.
There’s got to be another way. There’s got to be a better way to ask.
The Internet has driven down the cost of content and changed publishing the same way it has changed the music industry. I started 8 Women Dream with the idea that, like Facebook, we would share our dream stories for free and work hard each week to make this the best dream story site on the Internet — something that adds immense value to reader’s lives.
Now I am at the place of how to ask for money, how to create money for 8 Women Dream, and how to do it in a way that adds value to our readers while helping to change their lives.
I am at the place of asking.
And I am searching for answers.
What would you do? How would you do it?
I’ve set 8 Women Dream up On KickStarter… but what project do we pitch… what do we offer… in what time-frame…would a dreamer’s magazine be enough? Would exclusive access to pre-screening the magazine as we develop it be enough for people to invest $25.00 … would people do this from around the world… would people help us translate it into other languages…?…
Would strangers want to fund that?
See… I’m asking.
That’s right. I’m asking you.
Catherine Hughes is the founder, content director and editor-at-large of 8WomenDream. She is passionate about helping women step out of their own way and strike out into a world waiting for their special talents. She’s a published author and a former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine has helped companies both large and small create engaging web content, social media narratives, and unique blogging platforms. She claims to be a redhead, but don’t hold that against her.
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