I am plagued with self doubt. I always have been. Not believing in myself is sort of what makes me, well, me really. Am I am good enough mother? Wife? Colleague? Friend? Blogger? I want to be good at all those things and it is hard to know if I achieve it. I guess compliments every now and again mean I must get some things right.
When Penny, Annie and I went to Comic Relief to do a bit of a debrief on what Team Honk had done, the Twitter reach of the #GoodWork, and the funds raised it was great. It got rid of the doubt I had that we had done what we set out to achieve for Comic Relief that year. To raise £10,000 and awareness of the Good Work that had been done with 25 years of donations to Red Nose Day.
Then we launched our grand plan for Sport Relief in 2014. Well it was half a plan. Actually it wasn’t even half a plan. A half arsed plan, yes, but a proper plan? Not so much. It was a map with a start and end point. And a belief.
A belief that if we said to bloggers “this is what we want to do, will you join in?” they would. A kind of “If you build it, they will come” idea. The problem was, we doubted ourselves. We kept talking about this master plan. The #TeamHonkRelay as it became known. The trouble was the more we talked about it, the more people signed up to be involved, the longer the route became, the longer it would take. We doubted ourselves again.
The logistics were huge.
How do you do something that everybody can join in?
How do you do something that actually raises money and complies with lottery / gambling laws?
How do you get a physical thing from one end of the country to the other, covering a route of 3000 miles?
How do you organise 160 people who have not met?
How do you plan a route with a paper map, 160 dots and no clue about geography?
The three of us had a Google hangout in December and came close to saying “we can’t do this”. We doubted ourselves beyond all reasonable doubt. But the doubt that other bloggers would pull it off never waned. We resolved to get the Team Honk Relay up and running. To get the route nailed. To set up 40 Facebook groups, one for each area. We knew if we just said “We are doing this and we have to achieve it, failure to get this baton up the country is not an option”, bloggers would do it. That even as we were starting we still hadn’t finalised the route but that somehow it didnt matter. If we doubted ourselves but believed in everybody else it would all right.
We set a target, again doubting we could do it but doubling last year’s total seemed the logical step since the time frame was double last year’s.
“Can we seriously raise £20,000?”
“I doubt it, no we can’t”
“But 40 groups can each raise £500”
It was cold, wet and windy on January 12th when Cornwall set off from Land’s End with the baton. There were 3000 miles ahead for that baton. 10 weeks. 160+ bloggers, their families, their friends, their colleagues. Fancy dress. Scooters, buggies, wheel chairs, skate boards, Little Tyke cars, speed boats. Onesies, tu-tus, T-shirts, Speedos. Elephants. Okay, not plural but one. Unicorns. Definitely plural. Joggers, walkers, swimmers. 750 children in a human chain. A Lady Mayor.
It has continued to be cold, wet and windy.
The forty Facebook groups have all talked to members of their own groups. Members of the groups either side to liaise over hand overs. The three of us have done as much as we can on social media, in the groups, our own legs, talking to sponsors, just generally, slowly, letting #TeamHonkRelay take over our lives.
And the sponsorship has continued to come in. Hour by hour the total has gone up over the course of the past six weeks it has edged closer and closer to our target.
We doubted we would get there by the end of week ten. There is, after all a recession. Charity donations are down. Nobody has any spare cash. We were asking for £20,000 for crying out loud. An enormous amount of money, in anybody’s book.
Not blogger’s though.
We never doubted the bloggers.
Which is why, on Tuesday, at the beginning of week 7 the above happened at 10.48am.
We smashed the £20,000.
And maybe, just maybe, eroded a bit of the self doubt.