The Power of Patrons

Shortly before the new year began, while I was in the midst of celebrating my holiday birthday, I received an unexpected gift.

It was unexpected not only because of the gift itself, but also because of the giver. It came from someone who I have never met in person, and had only spoken with on the phone for the first time after receiving the gift.

When we spoke, she shared her story. We both grew up in the city. We were both lucky to take advantage of opportunities that now present to us the privilege of being able to give back. When she learned of my pursuits, she became one of my earliest supporters. I learned that in supporting me over the years, in as many ways as she has, she knows she is paying gratitude and opportunity forward through me and on to the community.

Since receiving her gift (which I’ll get into the specifics about soon), I’ve been thinking about the other types of support I receive. I admit, I often struggle with asking for more support, more help. I look at the slow growth of my book reviews, my news mailing list, my social media likes, comments, and shares. I worry that if I can’t even compel my circle of family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to take these kinds of non-monetary actions on my behalf, what chance will I ever have of truly growing my base?

I am of course thankful for all of those who have gone out of their way, amidst the chaos of last year and uncertainty of today, to add those priceless stars, likes, and messages that help me keep making progress stepping closer toward my goals. These actions are as important to me as any monetary gift I could receive.

That said, sometimes someone proves to be the kind of patron who leaves you crying happy tears on the floor of your entryway as you unbox 100 copies of your books, mind racing with ideas of how you can use them to spread your message and make a difference. At a time when I was letting my lack of reviews and engagement weigh heavily on my work and self-worth, she picked me up, reminded me of my purpose, and renewed my will in an enormous act of generosity.

I was floored, literally. And I am humbled. And… I think I’m ready. Ready to begin 2021 in earnest, propelled by this gift and the others that trickle in. Believe me when I say, I see and feel them all. Never underestimate what your act of kindness, however big or small, can mean to an independent entrepreneur or artist. Our network of patrons are everything, and we can never thank you enough for showing up.

So thank you to my patrons — all of you. Thank you for thinking of me, for taking action on my behalf, for believing in me.

If you ever have any thoughts or questions, please do not think twice about reaching out. My word of intension this year is: Connect. Your thoughts, wishes, and nudges are always welcome. Never before have I felt the struggle of an independent creative and businessperson as I do now. I have a lot (A LOT) of behind the scenes work to complete to get ready to take advantage of this massive book donation, and of the connections I’m lucky enough to have already made.

I promise you that I will be working hard to make you all proud, even if I’m not posting as much here or on social. Even when you don’t hear about any new projects for a while. I will try to do a better job of keeping you in the loop and thanking you for all you do. I’m looking forward to a doozy of a new year. I hope you are, too.

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Published by Shawnta Smith Sayner

Daily Checklist: Love. Positivity. Gratitude. Hope. Fun. Happiness.

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