Before the title of this post alone has you sending me hate mail, let me tell you what this article is NOT about. I'm not recommending that you go it alone, refuse to ask for help, or isolate.
Let me set the stage for what this IS about: you have done something or created something of great significance to you. You've written a book, recorded an album, gotten a gallery show, run a marathon, launched an e-course, performed in a play, or raised money for a non-profit. This is a great accomplishment for you, and now you're ready to share it with the world.
"Come support me!" you say.
And we will. To a point.
To a point, your mom, your friends, your community, and even people that know you peripherally will recognize that what you've accomplished is meaningful and worthy of support just because you're you and you are rejoicing in a victory.
And you deserve that. You deserve recognition and celebration. Period.
But… if this "support" you're asking for involves opening our wallets or committing our time… if you want us to come to the theatre, or donate to the Kickstarter campaign, or spread the word about your book… don't make it just about you.
Make it about us.
Instead of asking us to support you because you've worked hard, because you love the project, because it will be fulfilling for you, inspire us to join you.
Want our support?
Explain how this is bigger than you, and we will feel included.
Tell us about your vision, and we will want to tell others.
Give us something. Give us so much we can't help but give back to you.
We want something to believe in. Can you give us that?
We want to participate, to co-create. Make it easy for us.
We care about you. We want to support you.
But more than that, we want to belong.
Give us a way to belong.
And then you will have our support, our loyalty, and our hearts.
And our money. Do this and we'll give you our money, too.