Some say that the waiting is the hardest part. Waiting is no fun, but the hardest? I don’t think so. Since I submitted the
Growing Gratitude project to Kickstarter for approval, I’ve gone to a party, breakfast with my friends and a pumpkin patch with my family. The waiting is not the hardest part. The hardest part, in business as in life, is that which is out of our control. I can fill the waiting time up with all kinds of activities and forget, even for hours at a time, that it all hangs in the balance. But taking something which contains a piece of me inside it and handing it over to be measured, judged, perhaps dismissed altogether…it’s excruciating.
That feeling of helplessness could do me in if I let it. It helps me understand the choices that some students from my school would make. Why suffer the discomfort of putting yourself out there when you could make a joke, play it off and check out? The prospect of embarrassment and judgment is a lot to ask from kids who don’t have the life experience to illustrate the payoff of taking such risks. I’ve got that experience and am still losing sleep and needing to write about it and checking my email every ten minutes!
Ok, so that side of me has had its airtime. My other side (the one I amplify to drown out the other) is celebrating already! Of course the Kickstarter folks will “get” the idea, “get” that behind the idea of my project are dedication and commitment to follow-through and that hosting our Growing Gratitude project on Kickstarter will be mutually beneficial.
The optimistic part of me that has allowed me to get this far on this adventure (into my fourth month with no income-earning job and having invested what must be at least 200 hours into fleshing out the vision and the practical steps to realizing that vision) has always believed. She knows that the job at this point is to help people see what I see and feel what I feel about Growing Gratitude. She knows that I can and that they will.
I am beyond excited to get the Growing Gratitude app out and on phones across the country, to see what becomes of this idea and how the vision gets stretched in other hands. I had a daydream the other day. It took place in this place called Colt State Park in Rhode Island where I lived for a while growing up. I remember part of it being a strip of grassy park next to a seawall of big, white rocks where waves would glide up and explode. In the daydream, I’m standing in that park and handing kites out to people standing in line. They’re trying them out. It’s tricky doing something new, and it’s windy out there, so there are some brilliant crashes. Some of those folks give them back, but just as many try again. I’m giving advice and sharing technique tips, but I end up listening more than I’m talking. They’re doing things with the kites I’d never imagined. It’s my kite, and they’re showing me how to use it.
And as we all get better and the show more spectacular, the line is getting longer. But it doesn’t feel like a line anymore. It feels like a party—or a festival. And then I get it. One of those moments like in the movies when the noise around you fades away and everything slows down so you can see it clearly and take in the whole of a scene, how the pieces fit together. In that moment I get that they’re our kites, not mine. And that when you supply the raw materials, like this app, part of the job is being a partygoer, stepping back and taking it all in.
Because it’s more about learning than teaching and more about sharing than selling. And remembering that is just what I need to silence that other unwelcome voice. If the folks at Kickstarter don’t “get” it, someone else will. Giving up on this would be like giving up on us, turning off the wind and letting kites spin into oblivion. And this party is just getting started.
Wondering what the Growing Gratitude app is all about? Good! Stay tuned, friends! In the meantime, sign up for updates on our website and check us out on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter! You won’t want to miss what we have in store!