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The Benefits Of Crowdfunding

The Benefits Of Crowdfunding

Having a great idea but not having the ability or opportunity to bring it to fruition can be frustrating. It can be difficult to get funds or find investors who believe in your idea or vision enough to bank on you and invest in it. This is one of the reasons crowdfunding is changing the way people get their projects and businesses funded. From education to technology and even solar energy, a lot of projects have gotten their start thanks to crowdfunding sites. These are sites that help get projects funded with the help of the masses.

If you have a new business or project, crowdfunding is one of the best ways for you to get the funds you need from well-meaning people who connect with the project’s story and are willing to help. There are lots of crowdfunding sites out there, and each specializes in different aspects of crowdfunding. Choose a site that meshes well with your idea and interests.

Although the main goal of a crowdfunding campaign is gaining funding, it can also serve as a medium to validate your business, gain interested customers, and generate ideas. Through a successful crowdfunding campaign, you can find lots of people who are interested in your project and also convince new people to become interested. This builds a fan and customer base of people who will follow your project as it progresses.

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Here are four benefits of crowdfunding.

It’s an efficient way to raise funds.

At this early stage of your business or project, you are faced with the difficulty of attracting seed capital, and you don’t mind exploring all the funding options available to you.

When you weigh your options, you may find that it is potentially more effective and efficient to start a crowdfunding campaign rather than pursuing other funding routes. For example, the procedure for applying for loans may be cumbersome, and then you would need to await approvals that you might not even get. The interest rates and terms of the loan if it is approved are also a major consideration. Seeking out investors and pitching your idea to them is a huge undertaking. By setting up a successful crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe or alternative platforms, you will be able to find and get your message out to people who are actually interested in your project. With the right platform for your project, you can tell the story of your business and enjoy the benefit of having potential funders find you. It’s more efficient than traditional fundraising.

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    It helps build interest, community spirit, and a customer base

    A good crowdfunding campaign can enhance your visibility, validation, and trust. When your campaign is discovered and funded by interested people, it enhances interest and trust in your project, as other persons are likely to buy into your idea too. This demonstrates that potential customers believe in your idea or vision, and that’s a good thing.

    It helps you gain loyal advocates

    A crowdfunding campaign helps you gain potential brand advocates and early adopters. These are the (early) people who believe in your idea, project or story enough to take a chance and fund it. They share in your vision and could even help share your story on social networks to promote your project.

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    Opportunity for critique, scrutiny, and idea refinement

    It also gives your ideas the opportunity to be scrutinized and vetted by would-be backers. One of the major interests of most startups is to identify important and unattended needs that customers have and do something about it. Thus, it is important to seize any opportunity for customer feedback by taking every criticism and suggestion in stride, then evaluating the feedback for relevance when developing your startup.

    Crowdfunding campaigns help you get close to potential customers and give you the opportunity to answer questions, hear complaints, get feedback, and consider ideas from potential customers. This could even be where you get your next great idea!

    In fact, crowdfunding brings with it many benefits, and it’s now a great way for people and startups to find capital, gain support, validate their business, and get exposure. Crowdfunding has made a lot of good things possible: it has helped unleash people’s creativity, saved lives by helping fund medical treatments for lots of people, and helped startups and projects get off to a good start.

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    Featured photo credit: Aurelie Coulon via nextrends.swissnexsanfrancisco.org

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    Kyra Taylor

    Writer and Lawyer

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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