My Kickstarter Failed Today

Today is the day. The day I’ve known has been coming for weeks. Today, my kickstarter fails. 

And it doesn’t fail by a little. It fails by over 75%. I didn’t come close. And honestly, I’m fine with it.

Since starting Republic of Camberville all those months ago, something has shifted inside of me. Something surprising. I don’t fear failure. For the fist time in my life, I genuinely don’t care what other people think of my decisions. And it has made taking risks easier. 

I can’t tell you how this has happened. In Adam Bryant’s book, “The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How To Lead and Succeed,” I recall interviews with CEOs on their unwavering belief that their decisions, to either declare bankruptcy or restructure their workforce, would eventually lead them to the success they saw for themselves in the future. With their heads filled with confidence, there simply wasn’t space left over for doubt.

And while I don’t know if my future choices will lead to my goal of funding Republic of Camberville Season 2, I am no longer afraid of failing, or making bad choices. During the course of making RoC Season 1, I had to make countless choices and somewhere along the way, something amazing happened. My decision-making decoupled from my sensitivity, or some would say, my humanity. I approached each situation with the curiosity of a six year-old deconstructing a toy. What would happen if I rip out this wire, or cast a different actor for this part? What I believed would be the most challenging parts of the project — saying no, demanding a better deal, and, in one case, firing an actor — were as easily as deciding what music to play at the end of an episode. 

I’ve often thought I couldn’t make it as a boss. I thought I would be too empathetic to my employees, that some would take advantage of my heart. I believed some people became a boss because they owned the characteristics of a leader. But being a boss, actually doing the job, changed me into a person like those CEOs. And I’m so thankful.

When I began Republic of Camberville, my mantra was “failing in the right direction.” I wanted to try as hard as I could and not leave anything on the table. And while I dream of success, it is no longer my goal. I’ll find the pleasure, pain and purpose in the doing, which includes the failing.

Thank you to everyone who gave in support of my kickstarter. Please consider supporting me on Patreon.