What I’ve Learned From Indiegogo, A Crowdfunding Platform to Raise Money

SupportAfricaCover3

Some of you may be late to the tea party, so here is an update: Be Awesome raised 10K with Indiegogo.com. 30% of our funds will go towards products and merchandise awarded to our backers. The other 70% will go towards Africa. This article will sum up my summer, campaign and future plans  with the movement.

Have you ever tried to Raise Money?

It took 4 months of thinking to figure out a fun way to raise money. I brainstormed ideas and thought about different concepts. I had no idea what to do.

We have all tried to raise money before. And if you are like myself, you understand that asking for money can be really hard and uncomfortable. How do you convince a stranger to support you? A smart idea, an easy concept and people who back you. Using  Indiegogo.com a fresh way to create a campaign, helped enormously in raising money and gaining global exposure!

How does Indiegogo work?

Indiegogo is an easy crowdfunding platform that ables others to donate funds easily. You create and idea or cause, describe it in detail, use images and or video to explain more and offer perks/rewards for your generous donors.

The most important part of creating an indiegogo campaign is a video and/or clear concept and idea. I was somewhat able to do this with my campaign: Be Awesome Africa . Our idea was to take 200+ t-shirts to a selected country in Africa. (My thoughts on this below)

Ups and Downs

After launching the campaign, I created time to sit down and really think about my idea. My mind started to wonder, “holy crap this idea is all wrong”. Why? Well why would you send 200+ t-shirts to a third-world country? I started to do a little research and ran across this article: The 7 Worst International Aid Ideas. As I scrolled down my heart skipped a beat and I see at number one 1. One million t-shirts for Africa. Was I shocked, not even a little.

Now usually number one is a good thing, but in this case it was not good at all. My idea and thoughts rapidly changed and my concept to take t-shirts to Africa (though my heart was in the right place) was entirely wrong. Sure I do believe these shirts can help others become motivated and live a happy life. I also believe they have the ability to make others follow their dreams as well. Did I plan to take 1 million like the company in the article above? No. But the point is, these countries need more than t-shirts.

Having the opportunity to speak with NGOS that are based in third world countries I started to realize my excitement overshadowed a bigger purpose. Like all people, I made a mistake. I quickly went to indiegogo and updated my message, telling everyone my new plan: To raised money to take a limited amount of t-shirts and use the rest to support families and groups in need. Such a relief.

How did I find support?

It was very challenging to find people to support my cause. I was extremely lucky to have really good friends and family members that helped out a lot. After thousands of tweets and facebook post and messages (Sorry) I continued to find support from everyone. I reached out to a number of newspapers and television stations, unfortunately I was unsuccessful. Finding publicity  is extremely important when trying to run a campaign. Television and newspapers only amplify the buzz and word of mouth about your product or campaign.

What I would have done differently

Research, research, research! It is so important to have a solid idea and concept before running a campaign. Talk to friends about it, share it with family, and do some serious research on how it is going to make the world a better place. If could change anything about my campaign it would be my pitch (main focus) and products. Though my products were good, I would offered less to keep orders less confusing.

What’s next for Be Awesome?

I have two goals by 2014. 1. Visit Rwanda and volunteer with children and families 2.  Be Awesome website up and running.

On October 8th-18th I will be traveling to Rwanda. Myself and a friend will be visiting local families and helping a local NGO: GraceRwanda with a variety of activities. We will spend our nights with a local family, explore and visit with a youth group and learn cultural and historic values with a women’s group from a local church. Once our schedule is confirm I will gladly post it online so you can keep track of our journey.

The website is coming (I Promise). I have been working with some  awesome designers and some new ideas and concepts to bring the Be Awesome idea a new taste. I am excited to show you what we’ve come up with. My idea is to launch before the end of November. More details about this will come later.

PS: Keep real friends close, be careful with everyone else..

Until Next Time,

Thanks again for all of the support!

Continue to #BeAwesome and give as much as you can!

I’m outta hurr!

Peace

 

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What Women Look Good In

BeAwesome: #324 What Women Look Good In

#ladies

#ladies

I am not a fashion expert. I think I dress pretty nice and I try to stay up to date with the latest trends. I usually never follow them but I think I know what is in and what is out. A lot of people call me a hipster (And I am okay with that), for those of you who are unsure of what that is:

Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

(Urban Dictionary)

Fashion for Women

Some women are very trendy. Some women kind of roll with their own style (I like that). You can see it in their personality. How they carry themselves and what they take pride in when they dress. Over the pass couple of years (2011-2013) I’ve noticed a shift in fashion and women. And maybe this is just me. Maybe I am the only one that thinks this way, but it seems as though women now believe that less is good, and more is bad. Confused? Yeah me to. This is what I am talking about:

#More

#More

#Less

#Less

#More: 🙂

#Less:-( 

Ideally, how you dress is going to determine who approaches you (and how). What they say and how they say it. Let’s be real here. If you are half-dressed, don’t be surprised if some dude is trying to get your number with a pick up line from the Fresh Prince of Bell Air (Nothing against Fresh Prince , Will had some nice pickup lines.ahah) But do you really want the first thing a guy’s says to be a pick up line? If so? Again, that is your personal preference, and maybe, just maybe he is a nice guy as well. But again, this is up to you.

Will in Action:

I hear it all the time: Women: I always attract the bad guys. Women: I can’t find Mr. Right. Women: He was nice for the first few months. You cannot help who likes you. But you are responsible for who you let in the door. Sure, you may have had some so-called “bad luck” but what are you doing to better the opportunity the next time:

Double Check:

Before you leave the door. When you are going out with friends. On a date with a guy. What ever it is, ask yourself (honestly), would your mother wear this? What you are thinking: My mom is 45 obviously she wouldn’t wear what I am wearing. What you are thinking: Obviously not, my mom is too old to wear what I wear. What you are thinking: No way. It wouldn’t make sense, what are you talking about.

Think about it: Would your mom wear this?

You do not have to go and ask your mom what to wear. Or is this okay. It is about being respectful of yourself and your body. Guys will be guys (trust me I know, I am a guy) And some of them, simply do not care, what they say to women. Some of them are very selective, and they know (or think they know) what or who you are by what you wear. Do not get me wrong, I love when women dress up and look nice (When it comes easy). I hate when they try too hard. Or go to far over the top.

What women look good in:

#LiveByIt

#LiveByIt

Women look good in respect. Confidence in their body. And a dignity they carry when they present themselves to the world. Women look good in a smile. A laugh. Smart. Understanding of what looks good and what it means to be sexy.

Women are the most beautiful living things on earth. Don’t ruin it by trying to be someone you are not. Or making the obvious wrong fashion choice.

Remember: Would your mom wear this?

-BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #316 Schedule (Tips on how to make a successful Schedule)

BEAWESOME: #316 Schedule (Tips on how to make a successful Schedule)

WhatComesFirst

WhatComesFirst

Scheduling (for me is great) it is something I use daily to keep track of what I want to complete and what I want to start the following day. A lot of us hate to make schedules because they are reminders of the things we technically “ do not “want to do. It does not have to be this way. Create a schedule of things you like. And look forward to as well. But never put things on the back burner that are important.

Do you need a schedule?

It depends how busy you are. And rightfully so, do you want to start it. Anyone can create a schedule, but not everyone is going to follow through now are they. Schedules depend on life and responsibilities, priorities, interest and commitments. You may not need a schedule. Some people simply have no matter worth keeping track of.  They like to do what ever they like when they like and it often never affects anyone.

Benefits:

Those who are successful (often/not all the time) use schedules. Why? When using a schedule you are able to organize a variety of things at once. It helps you coordinate a variety of activities with the rest of your life. For starters, remember to write down important dates. When you see important dates, you are reminded of how much time you have before this date will arrive, and what you can do in between before this date finally comes.

 What really matters vs what kind of matters

A schedule takes away the surprise of forgetting and remembering (followed by panic or hyperventilating) It gives you time, or and outlook on what you need to do in this amount of time.

When creating a schedule you often run into conflict or trouble. Things do not always go perfectly. The good thing is, you’ve already thought about this conflict 10-20 days before it has happened (if you created the schedule). The juggling, mixing and matching, the perfect order is tough to manage and put together but it works when done correctly. The fact of the matter is, sometimes you cannot do everything you want. Sometimes you forget and spend too much time on something that should only take a few minutes. Creating a balanced schedule is not easy.

WhatIsYOurGoal

WhatIsYOurGoal

How to create an AWESOME schedule:

–       Write down what is important (On your schedule-Circle/Highlight/Underline)

–       Needs vs Wants (On your schedule-Circle/Highlight/Underline)

Do you need to get this done? Or is this something you want to get done?

Understand the differences and what is important to you at the time.

–       Remember within your schedule you have to eat and sleep

(How much and how long is entirely up to you) I will be different for everyone

–       Make sure your schedule is full of things you love to do

If your schedule is created and you see that the “don’t want to do’s” out weigh the “love to do’s”, you need to really think more about your scheduling

–       If you cannot do something, say you cannot do it

A lot of people will take on too much, and find themselves in a jam by the end of the week or month. Do enough to be satisfied. But leave enough to keep you motivated.

–       Go through with it

If you create a schedule, follow through with it. It is giving you the responsibility and ownership of what goes on in your life.

– Find time for friends and family

Very important

       – Remember to be nice to people and believe in yourself

BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #312 Fearless: Stages of Fear

BeAwesome: #312 Fearless

To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death- Taylor Swift 

LittleKids

WeCanLearnAlotFromKids

One thing I enjoy about life is fear. The anticipation of not knowing what may or may not happen is something I like. I find it intriguing. It is something I learn from everyday. Through conversation with family and friends. And growing up. I believe that fear has shaped a lot of my life choices. It started at a young age. Interested in playing the piano. Trying out for baseball and basketball teams. Taking part in contest. And really putting myself out their as a person.

Stages of Fear

Kids are usually not afraid of anything (Ages 3-12)

When you are a kid it is often easy (not all of the time) to find friends or try something new. Or do something you are unsure about. You don’t really care about what others think. Quite frankly you don’t really care what your parents think either. You’d go to school dressed up as spider man or SpongBob. You’d bring a cheese and peanut butter sandwich for lunch. You’d dye your hair bright yellow if you were allowed. At this point in your life, you are unaware (most kids) of what people think of you (technically you don’t care). You just want to have fun. And try new things.

Teenagers are afraid of some things (Ages 12-19)

Being a teenager is difficult. Especially in today’s society (2013), teenagers are becoming more and more afraid to try new things. Bullying is a usual cause. Personal image. And Acceptance. Teenagers today would rather be accepted then to try something with risk involved. This is not all teenagers. But many would rather sit back and follow the crowd then take the lead themselves. Some would rather hang out with the popular group and allow someone else to take the lead. Some don’t have a group. Some just do what ever their parents say (Which is fine of course, but remember you have an opinion, and if you do not ask you will never know).

Adults are often afraid of everything (Ages 19-99)

Adult’s are afraid of fear. Why are adults so afraid to do something that involves risk. Well I think it often relates to->job, security, money and again social acceptance. Adults can easily get wrapped up into life and forget about making themselves happy. Unlike kids and teenagers adults (majority of them) have a secured profession and a variety of commitments. This means you know longer have time for fun. Or do anything you really want to do. Right? Not really. That is what we think. And we decide to let happen. Adults enjoy fear at the bare minimum. Adults allow being comfortable to affect the importance of trying something new and becoming uncomfortable.

Marianne Williamson 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

In conclusion we need to be more like kids. Take a risk. Or run into fear once in a while and see what happens. Learn from these experiences and enjoy them. We do not have to stop trying new things. We need to continue exploring and pushing our own buttons. You never know what you will find until we start to search. You will never learn about yourself unless you challenge the normality of you. Be more like a kid. Be Awesome.

-BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #309 Selfish

BeAwesome: #308 Selfish

Sometimes you need to be selfish enough to believe that you deserve an equal chance at success..

vintage-selfish

ChooseYou

Sometimes we have to look out for ourselves. Being nice. Allowing other people to be apart of your life. Making friends. This is an essential part of living life to the fullest. But there will come a time in your life that you have to do something FOR you. Being selfish does not mean. Shutting others out of your life. It does not mean. That you have to stop caring. Or being responsible. It means. Doing something because you want to do it. And being proud of that achievement or accomplishment while doing so. It is that simple. A little selfishness can be a good thing.

I remember when I use to play basketball (Still got a little left in me). All of my coaches use to remind me about being selfish. Why? Well I was a passer. I loved to set others up for the score. It was a passion. Something I enjoyed doing. At the same time, I noticed that is was starting to become un-beneficial at times during the process. You know. Trying to please everyone. Is not possible.

After a while I started putting these traits into my real life. I was a helper. I always wanted to help others and be there for them. I’d do anything for a friend if I could. I’d be there. And a lot of my friends know that. It was something about seeing others smile. And helping them through a situation they needed help with that really got to me. I still do not understand what it is. But it is still there.

BEMORESELFISH

I have a hard time saying no. I usually say yes. Even if I no I really do not want to. It is a bad habit. It is something I continue to work on to this day. But one thing that stood out for me throughout the course of my life, is that no matter how much you try, and help others, you will always remain responsible for what you do and the reasoning behind it. So what do you do to be more selfish?

  • Take more responsibility into the commitments you make with other people. Do you really want to go to dinner? Do you really like that tv show? Be responsible for what happens next. Stop allowing others to do it for you.

 

  • Say what is on your mind. Be careful, but if you really want to say something say it. People will never know unless the hear it or physically see it

 

  • Care about yourself. Take the time out to enjoy you. Do things you like once in a while. Encourage others to do things you like or are interested in.
ItsUpToYou

ItsUpToYou

  • Figure out how to say no. If you disagree with something, let the person or individuals know “right away” . The worst feeling is allowing something to go on and on, knowing you do not want to be involved what so ever.

 

  • Enjoy something you like. Do it and talk about it. If this is what makes you happy. This is what you should be doing. No break for in-between hard work.

BEAWESOME

Those who are AWESOME are selfish. We love our friends and family. But. Understand some things need to be done on our own.

-BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #294 Classy

BeAwesome: #294 Classy

I see myself as sexy. If you are comfortable with it, it can be very classy and appealing-Aaliyah

WellSaid

WellSaid

GIRLFRIENDS

I have a lot of girl friends. Not in the way that some of you are thinking. Sorry not that type of guy. I’m not sure what it is but I get a long with girls really well. Some of my best friends are girls. And I am going to go on record and say the closest of them are very classy. What do I mean by classy. Well..Walks with confidence and carries themselves with an untouchable manner (not full of themselves, just confident) Has an idea or plan that they want to put in place. Thinks about the future and what is next on the agenda. They help out. They care about others. They dress nice. I repeat they dress nice. I am not going to tell anyone how to dress. But if you can wrap your entire outfit up in a ball and put it into your fist and close it, your outfit is probably to small, and will possibly (just possibly) bring you negative attention. I am by no means a fashion expert. I am not a woman. But being a male and talking to other males my entire life, has given me an idea of what they are looking for. At the same time (they may act like they want something else) But check 4-5 months after the fact. And they will possibly be uninterested in you again. Don’t be fooled by one night love, when life time love is around the corner. Girls if I can give you any sort of advice (which is very hard for me, because I am not a girl, nor do I know what it feels like to be a female) is to never sell yourself short because of a kind word or a sweet gesture. Stay classy. And take your time with love and any relationship. Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.

CLASSY

Having or showing class. Having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior. Admirably. Skillful and graceful. Believing in your self. Walking with meaning and trusting your look and confidence. High quality and stylish. Pleasant to be around and easy-going. Make others want to model your behavior. Well mannered. Chin up.Always bringing your “A” game. The word classy is not strictly for females. Yet it is normally used in reference to girls and not boys. Boys need the same type of meaning. They need to walk with the same ideas and cherish their thoughts about their confidence. And its level. An individual will get out what they put into anything. That starts with how you treat other people. Everything you do and say will be returned to you in some way. Stay classy. And all these returns will be positive experiences.

Words2LiveBy

Words2LiveBy

BEAWESOME

Those who are AWESOME are classy. We take pride in ourselves. We understand the difference between confidence and over-confidence. Respect and disrespectful.  Every encounter is treated with the same regard. Every person and experience is considered a road. We are careful of what we do. We are sometimes picky. And continuously take our time when presented with something new or challenging.

-BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #269 Translate

BeAwesome: #269 Translate

Create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place, and then translate that vision into a reality- Warren G. Bennis 

Translate

PORTUGUESE

Understanding languages and dynamics of a voice is extremely difficult. The different tones. Pronunciation. Speaking a different language is one of the most difficult things to do in the world. Watching someone start and begin to understand a different language is fascinating. It is something that takes an enormous amount of persistence. Patience. Focus and desire to make right. You cannot wake up and learn another language. This year I’ve been able witness the process of a student who is translating a different language. It is amazing how fast young kids can pick up on words and sentence sounds. This student made me think. What is the purpose of translating anyways. Why do we only translate words and languages when life is about translating itself. Why is it that we stop in translation when things get tough or when things don’t go the way we want them too?

TRANSLATE

To render in another language. To put into simpler terms. Explain or interpret. To express differently. Take something make it your own. Translate your dreams and wildest hopes into something real. Everyone always talks about doing. And making things happen. But who is willing to translate those thoughts into action. Who is ready to  take a risk and try something worth trying. When one becomes older, and confident. One will sooner or later become comfortable. Translate that comfort into hunger. Translate that comfort to expression in another medium. Go from one place to another.Take the time to really think about life and its ways to translate your feelings and thoughts towards something/someone. Life is often about seeing who can translate when presented with different challenges. And those who are able to do so. Usually prevail.

BEAWESOME

Those who are AWESOME translate. We take the challenges that are presented to us throughout life and translate them into meaningful experiences. We use every aspect of life to lift ourselves up. To encourage ourselves to do better and make a difference. We translate our thoughts when we want to anger. We translate our hands when we forget to give. Translate

-BeAwesome