IL
Business & Social Media

What on earth is Self Funding?

Iskra is wearing a floral pattern dress and looking at the Self Funding Planner she is holding with both hands.

November 4, 2022

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might have heard me talking about Self Funding. I’ve created videos and posts talking about investing in myself in the past, and even a video series with Philip where we made about a dozen episodes. But it wasn’t until the global pandemic that I realized Self Funding needed to evolve and become a brand.

For many years, people told me that I would think outside the box, or that I worked really hard to get what I wanted even when people told me no, and for me it was simply the fact that I knew I would always be my greatest investment. Even through the recovery community, I feel like my main message was to let people know that they are enough and that they are their greatest superpower. They will unlock their full potential and only you can do that for yourself – that’s why Self Funding Planner means so much to me because it’s about putting time, energy and intention into investing in yourself. I really doubt anyone who invests in themselves has ever regretted it… if you are wanting greater things for your life, it all starts with you, your ambition, your vision, your motivation, and executing those ideas while staying consistent.

The global pandemic made me question just a couple of things including who the F am I, what the F am I going to do now, and what the F the world is going to look like. I needed Self Funding more than ever. As modeling work essentially evaporated and I was in this beautiful but intense newborn phase, I realized I wanted to work on something for me. I wanted to continue Self Funding and I knew exactly what it had to become.

Iskra is holding her Self Funding Planner down in front of her, wearing a brown athleisure outfit and standing in front of a colorful mural with a Loteria card game theme.

I told my family, I have this idea to create a planner – not just a basic planner, but like a real planner that helps you invest in yourself, and I’m going to call it the Self Funding Planner. I think they were confused, like why wouldn’t the product be clothing or something I already have experience in. But I wanted to create a physical product that I would be able to share with the world, since I knew I wouldn’t get to meet or speak to anyone IRL, so this is how I could start helping people invest in themselves. There’s a bunch of wonderful planners out there, but they knew that the Self Funding Planner had to be unique, so I started sketching the layout from scratch. Trust me, it definitely wasn’t easy and I surely messed up numerous times. At one point I only had four double pages for the month, when obviously there are more than four weeks in a month… there was a lot of learning. There were lots of details, so even when I had the structure of the month view down, I added monthly reflections, long-term planning, goal setting overview pages, and even a “thank you note to self” at the end for you to treasure.

Meanwhile, I had to make sure that the brand not only cared about its customers but also cared about the planet, so we researched ways to create all the planner components from recycled materials or recyclable materials. We ended up working with multiple certified factories and created 13 unique components to put together something that’s never been made before: a planner with a vegan leather cover, recycled gold ring binder, FSC recycled paper (which is the highest quality paper), and printed with environmentally-conscious inks. The entire process took much longer than I ever would’ve imagined, and it really required so much love and energy – when I held the final sample of the planner, I was just blown away. Like I said, I’ve been using the term self funding for years, but then suddenly I was there with my family, my assistant, and a physical manifestation of the Self Funding Planner in my hands, something that I built from scratch and figured out from square one. I also knew that this process was something I now had to share with people to support them if they had a dream to create a unique product. It’s like another level of like, oh my goodness, I was creating Self Funding and I was also self funding at the same time by learning all of these new skills and really challenging myself.

Self Funding Planner is open to one of the front pages asking the user to sign their name to commit to being kind, living in gratitude, and more. There is a pair of glasses laying on top of the planner.

And it wasn’t just about creating this product, but also actually launching a business, understanding Shopify, creating an Amazon store, understanding distribution… we hear entrepreneurs talk about how hard it is but it’s not until you’re in the thick of it that you’re like, wow there are so many different challenges and they just pop up out of nowhere! Like when we had launch day and for some reason the PayPal simply did not connect with a bank and displayed an error message to our customers saying that all their orders were cancelled – of course we were panicking because we didn’t want to let people down. It was a super stressful week, and we couldn’t easily call someone for help; there were different loopholes to go through to try and get in contact with someone at PayPal, which unfortunately was not easy…but we figured it out as you do. There are surely challenges and difficulties but at the same time, I definitely don’t want to put anyone off, because clearly it’s possible, we’ve done it, and we have a product that means so much to me and is impacting so many people in positive ways. Of course it was worth it, but the reality is you cannot do it alone, and I want to create courses to guide you in this process – I’m still growing this business so stay tuned! I’m already planning courses, guides, and information about everything I’m learning to really empower you, if this is something you would like to do too.

I would love for you to go check out the Self Funding Planner – and feel free to give me some feedback of course. If you’re ready to invest in yourself, grab a planner and grab some Boosts: we have five different types that focus on different areas of life: Social Butterfly (social media growth), Finance, Self Care, Health & Fitness, and Pregnancy. They’re all helpful in their own way, but the Pregnancy Boost is close to my heart; although there were so many journals to keep track of the first year of having a newborn, there were none out there that helped me track and cherish my pregnancy the way I wanted to. It’s the perfect gift for a baby shower, really something I wish I had to help support and track my own pregnancy, and later on be able to look back and remember all the sweet little moments. Even though those nine months feel very long in the moment, it all just happens so quickly and makes me a little sad that I can’t remember a lot of the details already – it has only been two years since my baby was born!

Iskra is holding her baby on her bed and flipping through the Self Funding Planner.

I’m excited to expand the Boosts and include new focuses and themes. We’ll be partnering with experts and other people in their fields, and hopefully maybe even with you! Because Self Funding is all about sharing and giving tools, and how to invest in yourself, so I want to listen to what YOU have to say and what you feel like would be helpful for your own personal growth and development. Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I’m so appreciative for all of you, for all the support, and I’ll see you in the next blog post.

Love,

Iskra XOXO

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