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Learn from Barbara Sher, Barbara Winter, and me…


Need Help Going After Your Dream?
Then Ask for It!

By Valerie Young

You may get by with a little help from your friends, but when it comes to changing course, you can positively soar by actively seeking out the support of others. One of THE very best ways to make your dreams come true is by tapping into the collective wisdom of your fellow dreamers.

I got so jazzed by an exchange on the Changing Course Bulletin Board that I have to share it with you. With their permission, I’d like to share with you a virtual Barbara Sher style Idea Party between Marjie and Kris, two participants in the Making Dreams Happen discussion forum.

Since this is a private forum set up exclusively for people who are taking the Making Dreams Happen program, I knew most of you wouldn’t get to read it. Thanks to Marjie and Kris for allowing me to allow you to “listen in” on their conversation.

Marjie began by laying out her interests and asking other members for ideas. Here’s what she wrote:

Hi, I am writing to get some ideas about how I might make a partial living with my interests and resources in nature/outdoors/gardening and environmental causes.

I am fairly good at: * camping * snowshoeing * hiking * building campfires * outdoor cooking * gardening * identifying things in nature (e.g., trees, wildflowers, animal tracks, constellations, wild edible foods, and so on).

I don't really want to go back to school but I wouldn't rule it out Forest ranger-type jobs would seem like a natural choice, but often involve more law enforcement tasks than I want to deal with. We own 100 acres of forested land in the Adirondack Mountains of NY State on which I could pursue this dream.

Any ideas would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance.

As you’re about to see, Kris was all too willing to help:

Marjie, are there any living facilities that you could rent out? Or, could you build a small cottage? I'm thinking I'd love to come and have my own little artists retreat in a place like that!

Do you like working with kids? Maybe you could offer some kind of nature walk for kids and parents in the summer?

Or, how about something for women... like a modified survivor experience? Ok, maybe I'm getting a bit silly... I just know that there are a ton of people that are hooked on that show!

That's all I can think of for now but I'll keep thinking! Kris

The ideas Kris was able to offer Marjie were just enough to get her own creative juices flowing. Suddenly she saw possibilities previously unexplored. But I’ll let you read Marjie’s response for yourself:

Hi Kris,

Thanks for writing back with some terrific ideas!

We are planning to build a log cabin on our land next summer. I hadn't thought of it before, but it could be a cool retreat to share with or rent to others. We were planning (for our own use) to keep our cabin really rustic – wood stove, composting toilet (more environmentally friendly than an outhouse), no electricity, hand pump for water.

There is a facility a couple of miles away that rents similar cabins (with wood stoves, outhouses, hand pumped water, etc.), but they are reserved solely for alumni of a particular university. They do get a fair share of guests. I could be offering the same sort of thing to a wider public.

I had been thinking of providing nature tours. I'm primarily a self- taught amateur naturalist - still with much to learn – but I attend every class/group/nature walk/lecture I can on those kinds of topics. So I could definitely try that.

One catch is that I get very nervous speaking in front of public, but I am working on that. And I could start with younger kids, since I am less self-conscious with them than with teenagers or adults.

I *love* the survivor for women idea (minus the part where someone gets “kicked off the island”)! I had not thought of doing that as part of an income stream, even though my one life-long dream has been to be able to live off the land for a period of time – consuming wild foods, making fire with a bow drill (i.e., rubbing two sticks together), etc. I do not know enough yet to teach many of those skills. BUT... I do know people who have those skills and I could possibly offer them our land as a place to teach classes (which I could then attend and develop my own skills until I could teach them, too.)

This also makes me think that I could teach camping to beginners, especially women who might otherwise feel intimidated by the whole outdoorsy thing.

Wow! Thank you so much! You really got me thinking along a whole new line!

Can’t you just “hear” the excitement in Marjie’s voice? Can’t you see her mind just buzzing with ideas? There is something so incredibly stimulating and motivating about getting help AND giving it. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you were able to take another person’s dream and build on it in a way that makes them say, “Wow! Thank you so much! You really got me thinking along a whole new line!”

As Barbara Sher wisely points out, “Isolation is the dream killer.” Whose dream can you support today? Who can you turn to for help, ideas, resources, or information that will help move your dream along? No one gets there alone.

If you haven’t yet checked out the Changing Course Bulletin Board, I encourage you to do so today. It’s the perfect place to ask for a little help with your own dream. It’s also a great place to offer information, ideas, resources, advice or perhaps just a word of encouragement support to your fellow dreamers. Join the discussion at 

P.S. Click here to learn more about how you can join Marjie and Kris as part of the growing the Making Dreams Happen community.

Did you like this article? Read more free articles about Changing Course.

About the Author

"Profiting From Your Passions" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.

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