02/25/2013 11:05 am ET Updated Apr 27, 2013

The Adventures of Zelza Zero -- a Race to the Finish

I've been closely monitoring the Kickstarter project of the Adventures of Zelza Zero & Friends. I have a personal desire for this project to reach its goal because I care deeply about the foundation attached to this educational brand for children. This has been a real learning experience in the ways that social media works and the ways it absolutely does not. I decided that whatever the outcome, I will have gathered priceless lessons for future projects. It's felt like a marathon, and below are a few lessons I've learned while supporting a Kickstarter campaign I believe in.

Plan ahead. There are still 10 or so days left in the Adventures of Zelza Zero & Friends Kickstarter campaign. This is a journey for the strong-of-heart. Like a marathon that takes months to train for, a Kickstarter campaign needs lots of preparation before it begins.

Stay the course. Forty-five days seems like a short period of time to raise thousands of dollars, but in reality it's a long way to the end. You must have a plan for maintaining your energy, and a backup plan for when you don't meet your goals.

Stay neutral. Just do the work. Like running a marathon, it's one foot in front of the other all the way to the finish line. Some steps are going to feel strong and effortless and some will feel like drudgery. Some campaign days are full of commitment and vigor and some are barely off the ground. Regardless of what type of day it is, you just keep on moving towards the destination.

Crowds come and go. At times during the 26.2-mile run, spectators are cheering, handing you water, and even running alongside you to help you stay inspired. That is a great feeling, and it really helps when the run gets long and difficult. The same is true for a Kickstarter campaign. There are days when social media is abuzz about the project. Many of your Facebook friends are sharing and tweeting about it; they might even pledge and ask others to do the same. But there are a lot of days when no one is paying attention. You can tweet and post to your Facebook page and all you hear are crickets. Silence. During stretches like these, you feel lonely and the size of the effort feels big. Although you don't know what's just around the corner, in the meantime you must simply rely on your own commitment.

Like Zelza's adventures themselves, the Kickstarter campaign is teaching me more than I would have imagined about life. Every effort is worthy; it doesn't matter whether the most perfect outcome is attained. But your chances are a whole lot better if you have people who are willing to lend a hand toward your success. For more information, please visit The Adventures of Zelza Zero Kickstarter Campaign.