Donations are weird to me.
Not that I don’t like them or appreciate them. I really do! They can seriously make my day and let me know that you guys are having a great time.
It’s just that, for me at least, I feel like I don’t deserve to get donations. Like, do you people seriously like me and what I’m doing so much that you’re willing to, for lack of a better phrase, pay to see more?
It doesn’t really matter how many people say, “Yes! You are worth that, stifflered!”, that’s a pretty hard idea to wrap my mind around and really, truly believe.
The strange thing is that even though I have felt the rush of joy that comes with donating to someone who’s really entertaining, I forget that other people might feel that same joy when they donate to me. Call it imposter syndrome or self-doubt, it just is what it is, I guess.
Well, I’ve been looking for some solutions to this for quite a while, and I think I’m finally landing on a solid idea.
Before you get assuming the opposite, donations will always be a thing that exists on the channel. You guys really enjoy breaking me in the middle of my most serious moments on a live stream. I couldn’t take that away from you! 🤣
I just think it’s time to open up some new doors to see what else might work better for me, you know?
That brings me to the store….
I’m bringing all of this up as an awkward way to explain my reasoning behind creating an online coffee shop and selling bags of coffee through this website.
No streamer or YouTuber should ever rely on donations to create a sustainable career, IMHO. Even the largest channels with millions of subscribers know better than to make future plans based on donation estimates. It’s just not a good business practice.
Plus, and this goes back to my whole “moral dilemma” I’ve touched on before, I really don’t like feeling like the burden of responsibility for keeping my creativity alive is on my community. It’s the same reason when I ran a coffee shop I made sure the baristas were paid a higher wage and didn’t have to rely on tips. That burden of responsibility for paying a living wage should never be on the customer.
You guys should likewise never feel like the channel is going to go down if you don’t donate more often. You should never feel guilty or obligated to donate, but having no alternatives and no sustainable business model doesn’t really help pull that burden off of you, does it?
That’s why I’m doing something that I’ve done very well in past years to help keep us going strong without putting the burden on you: I’m selling coffee.
Coffee is something that a LOT of people buy on a daily basis, and most of the time it’s made with beans at home. By selling bags of coffee (and other related stuff in the future), I get to provide those people with something of value, skipping over my fears of imposter syndrome and self-doubt that comes with donations, and taking any burden or guilt off your shoulders.
Plus, to be completely transparent, people are a lot more likely to buy coffee multiple times than they are to buy multiple shirts. That’s why I’m not selling the standard merch that most creators do.
The burden of responsibility for keeping my projects moving forward is, well, on me!
I like that a lot more.
You guys should have the freedom to join in on the projects, streams, and videos that you enjoy the most, while kicking back and relaxing with some coffee (or whatever you love to drink), and not worrying about whether or not I can pay my internet bill.
You shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not the servers I run are going to be online again in a month because money got tight for me.
You shouldn’t have to wonder if I’ll need to quit streaming so that I can spend more time on freelance web dev jobs.
You should just enjoy what the café has to offer you, especially all the free stuff and gaming-related activities, and not have a care in the world about what’s coming (or not coming) tomorrow.
That’s my goal, anyway, and I hope we’ll get to reach it together soon.
Thanks for all of your amazing support over the last two years. I am really, truly grateful, and now I’m looking forward to providing value that makes it worth it for all of you to stick around for so long. Cheers! 🙂 🍻 ☕
Photo Credit: Pexels