As you read this, with nine days left we are 70 percent of the way to our Kickstarter goal of $30,000 in 30 days. Successful? So far, but we find out for sure in nine days. Smooth sailing? Far from it. I’ve had to make my way over many a wall during the past 21 days.
The whole experience takes me back to a story from my past career. Read carefully because in a way you’re in this story too.
When I was coaching, I would start each lacrosse season the same way with my teams. Every year I would take the entire team down to the racquetball courts on campus, lock them in one of the courts and give them one directive: Get out together without using the door.
It was a teambuilding, communication and problem-solving activity all rolled into one. You got to see who did the talking, who took action, who sat on the sidelines, who led and who followed. They had to figure out how to boost someone up high enough to access the balcony along the back wall of the court (12 to 15 feet high). Then they had to figure out the order in which to get each and every team member up there — even a 6-foot-7-inch 265-pound defenseman one year — all in a matter of minutes.
They didn’t realize it, but I would time them. Over the years, there was a positive correlation between how fast they accomplished this and the team’s chemistry. The years it took them longer to get out of the racquetball court were the years the team just didn’t seem to gel so well on the field. I knew on day one, that if my team scaled the wall quickly, they had some good chemistry.
The message for them that day is the same message for each of us, every day.
Walls aren’t built to keep you out, they are there to see how badly you want to get in.
The barriers we run into are a test. A test of your resolve, creativity and faith. Our faith must be greater than our fear, otherwise “the wall” wins. I believe the solution to scaling the “walls” in your life is to have goals and dreams so big, they intimidate your problems.
It’s a lesson I’m learning first hand. Here’s the short version of the problems I’ve had since we launched our Kickstarter campaign:
- Kickstarter accidentally deleted our video the night before the launch
- Computer broke
- Router broke on launch day
- Wi-fi went down at my home office on day two
- Other computer broke (yes, even Macs can break)
- iPhone died
- Broken windshield on the way to New York and Philly tour stops
- Credit card compromised
- Website compromised
- Replacement card compromised
- Got sick
Here’s the funny thing, all those problems were temporary and were all solved because I refuse to let the wall win. It’s my life’s purpose and calling to make this movie, which makes it too important to let obstacles stop or even slow me down. Look at your goals and the tests that life is throwing at you the same way.
A colleague of mine once shared an inspiring story about a client of his, a CEO who owned a luxury suite at a stadium. Each week he’d enter the stadium with his VIP pass and tickets, he’d go up to his suite, leave his pass and tickets there, then go back down and exit the stadium before the game began. He would then try to re-enter the stadium without his pass or even his ticket.
He did this each week as a reminder to himself that the “walls” (security, ticket takers, gatekeepers, ushers) aren’t meant to keep him out. They are there to test his ability to get back in, again and again. I thought it was pure genius, and is probably what helped him keep his edge, think on his feet, speak persuasively and creatively problem solve.
I’m 70 percent of the way over a big wall in my life right now — the Kickstarter campaign. I’d sure appreciate it if you’d give me a little boost up the wall. After all, I’m being timed.