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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 September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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