My name is Damir and this is my story.
This is a story about a dream, an idea, a passion so strong that is still burning. But what if that passion inside of you is not enough?
It was Friday, November 6th,2015. I told my friend at work, “I am going to San Diego in a month and I am going to have my book, The School of Greatness signed by Lewis Howes himself.” My friend was in shock. He said,” How are you going to do that? We haven’t received our paychecks for 3 months.” I replied, ” I am going to tap into the power of crowdfunding and raise 1500 dollars online.” He still didn’t believe me.
I was so excited. I’ve always wanted to meet the person who has been the catalyst in my life for 2 years now.
For those who don’t know, Lewis Howes is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, former professional Football Player and the host of the famous podcast, The School of Greatness. Actually, he has a new book out called The School of Greatness.I read it several times so far. It’s amazing. Let me give you a brief reflection on how I got involved in Lewis Howes’ content and podcast.
My life changed completely in November 2014. I just got back from the States where I worked and traveled the Eastern United States. I’ve met so many people from different countries. I partied in Ocean City, Washington DC, Miami and eventually New York. When I got back to my little country, I was depressed. It was like, yesterday I was living in New York and watching the Yankees (my favorite baseball team) but today I am in this crappy room in Porec, Croatia.
That first day after I got back, I made a commitment to myself that I am going back next year (still working on it). My plan was to find a job in Zagreb while sending my resumes to US employers hoping to get hired. But that wasn’t the case.
Long story short, after finishing the college I ended up in Zagreb with no job, money and no purpose. I didn’t know what to do. At that time, I was staying at my friend’s apartment and he told me to check out new podcasts on iTunes. He said, “Check out this guy Lewis Howes, he has some good stuff which you can learn from. I have been listening him for 2 months now.” I said, “I don’t need some damn podcasts, I need money.”
Before November, 2014 I had no vision in life. All I did was have fun with the girls and enjoy life. But after I started to learn from these successful people on School of Greatness podcast, my habits changed. I defined my vision. I came up with my morning routine. I started to meditate, read self-improvement books. In a nutshell, Lewis introduced me to this beautiful world of successful people and showed me how to lead a meaningful life.
Now, let’s get back to the morning after my sleepless night. I woke up excited about my plan and the thing that I am going to San Diego to meet Lewis Howes in person. My heart was beating fast. Have you ever felt excited and uncomfortable at the same time? I am sure you did. It’s the most incredible feeling. That’s the sign for taking action. I immediately phoned my friend to come to my apartment and help me record a video for my campaign.
He came ASAP and we were soon at the main Plaza in Zagreb in the crowd filming a video. I was so terrified. Each time I would recite my prepared campaign speech I would stutter. We took about 30 shots and came with 30 different videos but none of them was fluent in my opinion. I wanted to be perfect. I went home frustrated. My head was buzzing. I laid down on bed and fell asleep.
When I woke up, I told myself at loud in the mirror, “I am not giving up.” The next day, I recorded my campaign video alone in my room (taped my iPhone to the wall and recorded myself). I was happy and satisfied.
Again, negative thoughts came to me but I shook them off and posted the video on my campaign page at fundmytravel.com. I conquered my fear of putting my recordings online. Boy, I was so elated. Later that day, I wrote a brief description of my campaign and posted it on Facebook.
I was doing a Periscope every other day. Other than that, I posted daily on facebook, google+, twitter and instagram. I sent about 100 messages to my friends and I was letting them know what I am about. E-mail marketing was active as well. I blew up my twitter acount. I decided to follow the followers from Lewis hopefully they will follow me back I and I will send them my own prepared message. They followed me back but rarely answered my message. All my friends promised me to pitch in with donations but somehow they didn’t take me seriously.
I asked them 2 times and had enough because I didn’t want to appear like a beggar. But that didn’t discourage me at all. I was facing my fears and just pushing forward. Then, first donation came in, it was 10 dollars and then another 25 dollars…. I thought, here we go, I am going to San Diego. My campaign took off, finally. I was learning so much about online marketing. By the 10th day of my campaign, I raised 90 dollars. I kept promoting my website and e-mailed strangers and friends.
You must be saying now, “cut the b… and tell us did you raise enough funds” ?
Unfortunately , I didn’t succeed in my mission to go to San Diego and to meet Lewis Howes at his Book Signing but I ‘ve learned a lot in the process. I’ve learned how to fail forward (according to John Maxwell) and that I am very proud of.
There is a lesson in my story that I want to share with you.
And the most important principle I’ve learned from my experience is this :
If you want people to give something to you, first add value to them without expecting anything in return. By adding value to people first, they will give you anything you want before you even ask them.
I know that I will meet Lewis soon but this was an amazing journey. Journey of opportunity, overcoming fears, perseverance and boldness. Don’t give up on trying new things. Be brave and remember to enjoy the journey because the journey is what matters.