To Ask, or Not to Ask?

Is it a problem to ask your friends and family to help support your dream/project/life?

There is a strong sentiment that certain tasks are worth more money and certain contributions to society are of more value.

So what about crowd-sourcing? Is it okay to ask for money to stage a play? To pay medical bills? To write a book? To take a dream vacation?

I was self-conscious about asking people I care about for financial support to follow a dream. “Do I deserve their hard earned money?” I wondered. But then I realized that I truly enjoy supporting my friends’ projects. When I can give someone I care about a little money for something they have created, are creating, or helped create it makes me feel great. That money is going directly to them. It’s why I like to sit at my friends’ tables where they work as servers and make sure to tip them well, in cash.

I think there are also misconceptions about crowd-funding that abound. For instance, that many people who ask their friends/family/fans for financial support are being “lazy” and just don’t want to get a “real job.” Most people who utilize platforms like Patreon and Kickstarter aren’t doing so in lieu of a job. They are doing so in addition to a job, and possibly several jobs. Instead they are saying: “Hey friends, I’m making a thing, if you think it is worthwhile and might be able to spare some money, it would be great to have your support.” And you know what, the people who are asking are also giving.

Do you have a project you are working on? A play you are mounting? A trip you’ve always wanted to take? Ask me! I just might want to help you out. Because that is what I love about crowd-funding, you aren’t required to participate. It is opt-in. And sometimes you can and want to give, and sometimes you don’t.

So I’m asking for your help, without expectation. And look forward to helping you, too. Because that is what I believe in. My friends and family and our willingness to help one another out, and our understanding for when we can’t, won’t, or just don’t want to.

(If you’d like more information on what it can mean to ask for support for your art/dream/life, I highly recommend Amanda Palmer’s Ted Talk and gorgeous memoir The Art of Asking. You can get the book on Amazon here, or even better, buy it from your local bookshop.)

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