2019 was such an intense year for me. I started the year as a full-time teacher and ended it working full time on Lapapo. The journey to this took a lot of courage and faith. Crowdfunding started with a push from NatWest Back Her Business. This is a program that aims to support female founders. I’ve written lessons that I learned along the journey to raising £10,000.
You will have to get out of your comfort zone
I grew up in a single-parent household where you can’t always ask for things, so the idea of raising money by asking was completely out of my comfort zone. I am also someone who tends to hide instead of being in the public domain. Again, a fear I had to overcome. By the end of the campaign, I was confident enough to go and ask people face to face. Sometimes you will have to do things that you do not like but it will make you a stronger person.
You will have to put in a lot of time and dedication
Persistence is so important. This is something that I’ve really learned so far in this journey. My experience of crowdfunding is that it takes a lot of time to personally message, manage the social media campaigns and promotions while maintaining the business. You really have to be dedicated to reaching the goal.
Focus on faith rather than fear
I can’t stress enough how important mindset is. I think it is important to focus on what you want to see. Having faith that I would be able to reach my target really helped me to stay focused. I realised that when I was afraid, I put in less work. Fear has a way of making you procrastinate or focus on other things that are easier but less progressive.
It’s alright to step back to step forward
Originally, I wanted to raise £20k. The thought of doing this started to really make me stressed and I started to lose that faith in my ability. Again, I refer back to the importance of belief and faith in yourself, an area I’m currently working to increase. I thought and realised that as long as I can raise £10k, I will be able to get Lapapo to make a decent amount of progress.
Look after yourself
Sometimes everything can feel like it’s a lot. I relate it to feeling like being in a pressure cooker. I think it’s so important to know yourself and your limits. I have daily routines that help me get in the right mindset. There were times that I had to step away from the campaign. This always allowed me to come back in a better frame of mind with a new strategy. Even when you feel like you’ve tried all options there will always be a new strategy.
Anike is founder of Lapapo Special Needs (https://lapapo.co.uk/), an online marketplace dedicated to connecting parents of children with special needs and suppliers catering to their comfort, growth and development with specialised products.