How to Survive New York and Launch a Kickstarter Campaign

Launching a Kickstarter campaign is an exhilarating, terrifying experience. In one sense, it’s the most exciting rollercoaster ride I’ve been on. In another, I want to punch it in the face. It’s stressful and nerve-wracking and everything is scary, different, and new. Putting my passions and myself out there in such a real and raw way makes me feel stripped down and naked in the middle of Times Square. Much like being in your twenties and moving to a big city and starting your ‘real’ life for the first time. Something my co-author (Corinne Barlow) and I are very familiar with.

In our book How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week, the two protagonists, Emma Grace and Lizzie Blackwell, quickly learn that if they want to have a fabulous, fun, rich life while earning little money in one of the most expensive cities in the world, they gotta surround themselves with people who are connected. It’s all about networking, baby.

Funnily enough I’m finding out that launching a Kickstarter campaign is the same. You have to depend on the support of your friends and family and you have to dig deep into your network.

Like Emma and Lizzie unwittingly learn in How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week, you can’t be greedy. Even if the rewards for your Kickstarter campaign are pretty fabulous (ours rock the Casbah) and the project is amazing, you still need your network working for you before and after you launch. As long as you aren’t a crappy friend, it shouldn’t be hard.

When I was a bartender in New York City I was happy to give away free drinks here and there or connect my friends with club owners and promoters I knew from working in the late night industry. And when I worked for a record company, I gave away CDs, t-shirts, music downloads, tickets to concerts, and other goodies. In return, my friends gave me nice swag like a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses, a Prada bag, VIP tickets to a Katy Perry concert, or a cheap room in a beautiful house in the Hamptons.

I didn’t give away drinks and concert tickets to get anything in return. I did it because—like most decent people—I like to help out my friends. It makes most of us happy human beings when we make our friends and even strangers happy. That’s why crowdfunding is such a success. People like to help people. They also like to feel special, involved, and on the cusp of something new. Like having your name on the VIP list of a hot new club or being one of the first to read the next big thing.

My favorite quote from How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week is, “Year one, New York will kick your ass. Year two, you recover. Year three, you kick its ass right back.” That’s how I feel about our upcoming Kickstarter campaign. Month one kicked our ass, month two we recovered. Month three, here we come! 


From real life to fiction: The conception of How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week

It’s been a long and wonderful journey from the conception of our novel How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week to the writing of it and now the publishing of it. My co-author and bestie, Corinne Barlow, and I came up with the concept after our first summer living in New York City straight out of college. We were doe-eyed and new to the whole dating scene. Real dating. NYC dating. Yeah, we’d dated before. If you count hanging out in dorm rooms, going to a frat parties, house parties, or some other venue where playing games to get shit-faced and end up face planted on your mattress (sleeping! Usually sleeping…), dating. But after we moved to NYC, we were being taken out to Michelan star restaurants, clubs, fashion shows, and galleries in the world and it sent our pretty little heads spinning.

What we didn’t expect (we should have drank less Cosmos and watched more Sex in the City) were the amount of crazies that showed up in our life in NYC. Not just the guys. The friends, roommates, and co-workers, too. I know. I know. How could we not know this? Everyone knows the craziest people in the world live in The Big Apple.

So when the latest freakshow, lay asleep in one of our beds, refusing to leave, Corinne and I stuffed our faces with mini donuts from the bodega under our five-floor walk-up (too hungover and broke to venture out for anything else), and realized he was the latest in a long line of misadventures we’d experienced.

But we didn’t care. We laughed so hard that morning recalling everything we’d been through so far that we dropped the whole box of donuts in a heap on the floor (and continued to eat them- did I mention we were broke… and hungover). We were having the time of our life: hopping to the front of the line at clubs, getting free swag from the hottest labels, dating rich men and poor men, and everyone in between, surviving in comfort and style even with our starter-jobs.

And so sprouted the seeds for our book, How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week. It only got bigger, better, and crazier from there.