Zach Horvath Common Vandal LIVE A GREAT STORY


Let’s chat about the rollercoaster of life and how amazing it is to be on the ride

[LESSON] Going ALL IN on Kickstarter and coming up short. Now I'm asking for your help

[LESSON] Going ALL IN on Kickstarter and coming up short. Now I'm asking for your help

Tuesday 11/13 at 10:00 CST I hit launch on The LIVE A GREAT STORY Guide Kickstarter.

What should have been a moment of celebration was instead a sinking feeling of fear, regret and a ton of lessons hitting me right in the face.


Within minutes of clicking that “Launch Now” button I realized the idea our team had spent the last eight months bringing to life was not going to reach Kickstarter pre-sale expectations. Not even close.

Considering we pushed all the chips in expecting certain results, the realization that it wasn’t going to work created a very sobering “Oh shit!” feeling

What happened?

“WE’RE SO SCREWED...BUT WE DID EVERYTHING RIGHT!!” me in this picture at the launch

  • We tested The Guide over 400 times, every step of development (or so I thought)

  • We followed the step by step guide to Hacking Kickstarter

  • I talked with their leading launch strategist THREE TIMES (thanks Spencer!)

  • Master brand strategist Clay and I systematically double checked the Kickstarter page

“It’s going to work! We have a highly tested product that people love AND we have a solid list building Facebook Messenger plan that’s going to crush it.” - me in this picture, 2 weeks to launch


But despite our absolute best effort, we made some mistakes that now leave us in the red with quite the financially strained situation.

So I’m asking for your help in supporting the LIVE A GREAT STORY “Why”

LIVE A GREAT STORY is a huge mission of inspiring you (and millions of people) to do the one thing that’s the absolute most important task of your life : be the hero of your story

“Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman

LIVE A GREAT STORY inspires people to come alive because when you come alive, that inspires other people to do the same.

Now with The Guide, we’re amplifying that impact with a tool that does more than just “inspire” : it directly empowers action. Thinking is one thing but doing is totally different. I’m stoked that The Guide helps people actually do.

And it’s going to have a serious impact when it arrives in mailboxes around the country on December 29th, helping 271 people start 2019 feeling unstoppable. But 271 isn’t enough when we estimated way more than that.

So I’m asking for you help in amplifying the ripple effect by backing The Guide on Kickstarter.

  • Has LIVE A GREAT STORY made a positive impact in your life?

  • Has your sticker encouraged you in a tough time?

  • Did your LIVE button spark an engaging conversation with a stranger?

  • Have you taken a picture with LIVE A GREAT STORY somewhere out in the world?

  • Has LIVE given you a burst of inspiration when you needed it most?

If your answer is yes, can you help us keep giving that same experience to others?

We need your help to keep going. I’m asking because we’re deep in the red with credits cards. I’m asking because you know LIVE A GREAT STORY makes the world a better place. I’m asking because there’s more inspiration to spread and we need your help to keep spreading it.

3 Ways to Help

  1. Click here to back The Guide on Kickstarter. Whether it’s for you or a gift to someone you care about, each pledge helps a huge amount.

  2. Bulk orders : inspire your team, company or community to start 2019 with clarity, alignment and inspiration by ordering 10, 25 or 50 of The Guide

  3. Share this link : The Guide might not be for you right now but most likely you know someone that could benefit for a boost of inspiration.

Here’s My Guarantee

  1. You’re going to love The Guide. For real for real. It’s an amazing product that will help you gain clarity on what’s important in your life and then manifest conscious action to bring those ideas to life. I’m personally stoked to start using it and I know you will love it.

  2. I’m going to share lessons I’ve learned from my entrepreneurial journey to help you not make my same mistakes. A big reason I started writing on Common Vandal is to talk about specific business lessons I’ve learned over the last five years to help entrepreneurs and creators avoid my mistakes and amplify my lessons. And ohhhh boy, there’s some good ones!

  3. LIVE A GREAT STORY is going to keep inspiring people to be the hero of their story. In spite of our setbacks, we’re going to move forward. We’re not going anywhere :)

It’s kind of crazy admitting all of this.

I’ve never shared something so publicly before, especially when the truth is exactly the opposite of what people think.

Daily people tell me, “Congrats on the Kickstarter! You’re crushing it” but that’s not qutie the case. We had a big idea, brought it to life but came up short.

But isn’t that what it’s all about? Trying new things with full effort? Pushing toward new boundaries? Testing our limits? Believing and trusting ourselves? Falling down and getting up to try again?

Sure, a win isn’t always guaranteed but that’s not why we’re doing this. We’re not in this to game to “win”, we’re in this game to play the game! The game of life.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

If nothing else, I hope this lesson encourages you to join us in the arena :) it is way more fun than watching from the stands.

P.S. When you’re going through this same gut wrenching feeling, I can’t wait to return the favor.

Vision + Strategy

Vision + Strategy

[STORY] How I Met the Dindr Guy

[STORY] How I Met the Dindr Guy