It's been one year since Ladies Got Sued
On this day last year, we were on the brink of bankruptcy. We'd been sued by a group of men's rights activists (don't laugh), and had spent almost all of our money on legal fees. Because we weren't allowed to talk about it, we spent more of the year seeming fine on the outside, while having internal meltdowns almost daily. It got so bad, I had to be prescribed anti-anxiety medication.
We realized that in order to stay in business, we needed to launch a crowdfunding campaign (shoutout to iFundWomen!). Asking our members for money like this was one of the most terrifying things we've done. Pretty ironic, considering we're all about ladies getting paid...
In addition to the fear of not making our goal, I was worried that by asking for money, I was bothering people, or that I was asking them for a favor. I was concerned they would judge me. And the possibility of a public failure was real.
As Ashley can attest, when we sent out that first email about the campaign, I almost passed out. I laid on the floor and prayed that our community would be open to supporting us.
My prayer was answered: in less than three weeks, we raised over $116,000 from more than 2,000 people. (And if you were one of them, THANK YOU.)
Despite overwhelming evidence, I still carry that fear of failure. Every time we launch something new, I wonder, will people support us? When we host an event, will they come? And no matter how many times I do it, it still feels uncomfortable to ask for money.
For anyone who also grapples with this, here's my challenge to you: how much is your discomfort worth? How much money are you willing to lose because of your silence? If not asking or talking about money will lose you say, $20,000, will you stay quiet?
In our case, we didn't just raise the funds to cover the lawsuit, we used it as an opportunity for gain exposure, increase our membership, and connect with brands who are dedicated to celebrating women. We were served lemons, but we made lemonade. We couldn't let ourselves be passive in response to this shitstorm, so we challenged ourselves to find a way to leverage it for our benefit. And yes, that meant asking for money.
And besides, we couldn't let those fuckers win.