I’ve always been the kind of person who has taken this kind of stance about asking…”He/She didn’t offer so I shouldn’t ask.” Amanda Palmer’s book, following her infectious TED talk, takes a totally different approach. How did she do it? How did she fund the MASSIVELY successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over a million dollars?
I started reading The Art of Asking expecting to learn about how to ask, how to be comfortable recognizing what you need and entrusting someone else to give you a nudge if they can. This book totally covered that, totally. But from a perspective that caught me off guard.
First, you love people. You show them the best, brightest parts of you, and also the parts that are a little broken (and the parts that you’re embarrassed about). And then after you’ve done that, you can ask.
Your asking has to come from a place of vulnerability. It’s kinda like: I’d like you to share a piece of yourself with me, and in return I will share me with you. Like a real piece of me. Not just some casual pleasantries.
And if you do that with someone if you show them all of you, not just the “outside” safe part, they will root for you. They will fight for you, and then ultimately after years of that kind of commitment to your fans they might shell out 1,000,000 to fund your album. It makes absolute sense.
Amanda writes: “Throughout my career, the fan base has been like one big significant other to me, a thousand-headed friend with whom I have a real, committed partnership…I cop to my mistakes. They ask for explanations. We talk about how we feel. I twitter to say good night and good morning, the way I would a lover. They bring me tea when I’m sick. I visit them in hospitals and make videos for their friends’ funerals.”
Where so many people have become skeptical about “strangers” and creating walls around ourselves to keep ourselves safe, Amanda lunges in the opposite direction. She has even gone so far as to let her fans write on her naked body with markers. Seriously.
I did learn about asking from this book – but I also learned about the giving and love and the “net” you tighten around your people and your crowd when you do need to ask. She has been mocked, ridiculed and the social media presence she maintains with such expertise has been the source of terrible cruelty. She keeps going.
If you have a gift and someone has made you doubt it, Amanda’s can’t-hold-me-down take on all the naysayers will kick you out of that rut.
1.) I have given myself permission to focus on myself the past few months and have stayed away from posting on my blog. I can’t emphasize this enough…this is so that I can come back and write and give 100 times stronger. Maybe it won’t be here. But I will be writing more when the time is right. I feel happier than I have in a long time. It’s working.
2.) I’m officially Wanderlust bound for Stratton, Vermont in June. Psyched doesn’t even cover it.
3.) Lord Huron’s coming to the Paradise on Saturday, May 3rd. Thinking of buying a ticket!