is it really impossible?

colleen wainwright
a freshly-shorn colleen wainwright, image: josh ross creative

i don’t know what you were doing two months ago, but i was checking out my friend, colleen wainwright’s, bold venture to raise $50k in the 50 days leading up to her 50th birthday. it seemed like a tall order, indeed, but i do remember thinking that if anyone could do it, colleen could. once the fundraising efforts got underway, it was off to a great start, which was my first indication that maybe, despite the obvious hurdles of time constraints and recession, this could really happen. we refreshed the page early and often. even though it lagged at times, she always stayed at least at her $1000/day average amount, if not ahead of it. but then, a great surge happened, and the $50k marker was reached 10 days early. this gave colleen even more fuel to continue to $60k and start talking matching funds with bigger organizations. at last count she was up to $130k and i don’t think she’s stopping there!

at day 50, we found ourselves at the much-awaited head-shaving party ready to celebrate. colleen has this great way of pulling a string of events together into a powerful story. she talked about this journey and all the amazing energy that crawled out of the woodwork to make it possible, and how its main lesson was that you really have to ask yourself if your crazy ideas and big plans are really impossible. they may seem that way, but you’ll never know if you don’t give them the life they deserve, shout them from the rooftops and tell everyone you know how much you believe in them. she did so much more than achieve this goal, it’s like the original idea of raising $50k was the starting fuel needed to really go big with it. i’m very proud of her and very interested to see what’s next in this ever-evolving work with

i watched the pitch video after the party was over, and it’s amazing to me how much it’s changed now that we know how this part of the story ends. there is this exuberance for the unknown, this little engine that could, and she says “we will do this great thing!” with very little attachment to the done part and much more to the doing. reaching goals, milestones and markers are really brief moments in time, but we give them so much more weight than where we spend most of our lives, in the doing of things on the way there. it’s a great reminder to mind what you’re doing, every day on the way to wherever you’re going.

if you’re free tomorrow and want to learn more about this whole crazy process, colleen will be at the apple store on 3rd street promenade talking about fundraising on the mac with indiegogo!

my friend and colleague, josh ross, set up this awesome photo booth at the party, and shot many fantastic photos of colleen and friends. he does really wonderful work, if you are looking for a photographery, i highly recommend him.

One thought on “is it really impossible?

  1. What a wonderful writeup, Heather! I mean, it’s complimentary, of course, and that’s great, but it’s full of insight and reflection that make it easier to “see” what happened. Because frankly, I still don’t have nearly the distance (not to mention energy!) to process everything.

    It was such an honor having you play a significant role in this. And FUN. You are FUN to work with, girl!


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