The Three Simple Things You
Need to Realize Your Dream
Nothing pumps me up more than
hearing about someone else's success. And when I know the person? Well, I
literally get goose bumps. I'd no sooner arrived home from last weekend's Work
at What You Love workshop in Ventura, California when I already received our
first "success story." By the next morning there were three more.
You can make it a whole lot
more complicated, but I think going from dreaming to doing takes three simple
things. I could just tell you what they are but that would be too easy. Like
most powerful lessons it's best if you learn them for yourself. So as you read
the following success stories see if you can pick them out:
Steve Robinson is the author
of a self-published book called "Why Stevie Can't Date." (ChangingCourse.com/bookstore.htm)
In a word, it's hilarious. On day one, participants who had already taken steps
to start their business were asked to stand up. Since after all a published book
is an income stream, a reluctant Steve was encouraged to rise and shine.
On that same afternoon, two
Los Angeles area friends dropped in for a visit. One was a childhood friend
named Susan Merzbach. Susan is former VP for a major Hollywood studio with
production credits on such films as Ransom and When a Man Loves a
Woman. She currently has a great gig working as a script consultant for
Twentieth Century Fox. Susan thought Steve's book was so funny that at the
Friday afternoon Group Think! session she not only encouraged him to write a
screen play but outlined some specific tips to get started as well.
I'll let Steve take it from
"I just wanted
to let you know that, much to my surprise, I've already secured the domain
This was in great part inspired and necessitated by the fact that when
we spoke on the phone last night, my girlfriend Marsha Lenox (the
I-want-to-live-in-Paris-and-work-with-refugees-gal, who introduced me to you
by inviting me to be her Bring-a-Friend-and-Save partner) had already
secured her own domain name for an idea she'd told me about only yesterday
over a drink on the pier after the seminar.
I was thrilled
for her grabbing the horns so quickly, and shortly after, I took my own
first baby step! And for me, all the more yippee/hooray because I am
literally (a word I don't toss around lightly) a card-carrying member of the
Procrastinators Club of America, which I joined about thirteen years after
hearing about it.
And it's only
I was hoping
to gain specific information and courage on how to start a business
(roughly, historic tours of remote Nevada pioneer/mining areas). What
happened was that I realized as Valerie (and previously, Marsha) insisted
when you made me stand up in an early exercise that I already have [a
business]. I'm just running it poorly (if at all).
fact that I made a living for 24-plus years in a (pardon me) j-o-b doing
technically writing, I haven't really taken myself seriously as a writer.
And that was perhaps the most beneficial part of the workshop, with a ton of
subsets, not the least of which was meeting and getting specific
encouragement from Susan Merzbach.
Also, I was
(most happily) laid off in December, but my time since might have been
better spent (um, research?), and Valerie's warning about using the time
wisely was a needed wake-up call. In awakening me to the fact that I
am a professional writer,
the workshop exceeded my expectations (though I'm certainly not abandoning
my Nevada-tour idea).
definitely recommend the workshop to friends. I'd describe it as liberation
of one's mind to recognize and accept possibilities. I didn't meet everyone,
but I really enjoyed everyone I did, and [Marsha and I] already have plans
to see [several participants] this Friday at a spoken-word performance a
friend of ours is doing."
Great story huh? Did you pick
out the key things Steve did to move his dream along? If not, read on.
Michelle Hill's goal for the
workshop was to gain, "Inspiration to motivate myself to propel forward in
bit-size steps into my perfect vocational world." Michelle had already put
herself on the entrepreneurial track when with her first business, Michelle's
Cookie Kitchen (MichellesCookieKitchen.com).
Her latest vision is to launch
Willie's Spicy Nuts. "Although it was tough going back to my j-o-b today," she
says, "I took several steps to propel myself forward toward my goals."
Here's a short list of what
Michelle accomplished in the two days following the seminar:
~ Listened to your "10 Steps"
CD 3 times already and plan to once a day
Read Barbara Winter's "Make it an Adventure"
Emailed 20 nut processors all over the country to see who can do high-volume
processing of my Willie Spiced Pistachios
Called one processor today that is willing to do business with the "little" gal
Emailed another workshop member and we agreed to encourage, motivate, and keep
each other accountable to attain our goals
Found out that I can work 20 hours a week at work and still retain my health
Ordered a few of the books mentioned at the workshop on Amazon.com
Saved the domain name
Michelle is positively
driven. "Everything in me wants to be a success story." Adding, "I can taste it.
I know it can happen and I know it WILL happen. I will continue taking steps
everyday to move closer to my desired goals."
Clearly a fan of the multiple
income stream approach, Michelle says that her new nut business is only one of
her "spinning plates." In addition, she says, "I am completing my final
assignment from the course,
Institute of Children's Literature, and just mailed my
first query today. I also have the
6-Figure Copyrighting course and am
going to re-visit that when I calm down and catch my breath."
Wow, I'm out of breath too!
Okay so did you get all three? More perhaps? Add them to your list; then keep
Soon to be former teacher
Kerrie Bigham from Fife, Washington also arrived at the workshop with a clearly
defined dream. A big benefit of being there she says was, "meeting like-minded
people who don't think I've lost my mind entirely for leaving the security of a
classroom teaching job to start a business as a reading coach."
By the way, Kerrie came home
to the kind of serendipity that so often happens once you get the ball rolling.
"While processing my resignation papers, of all things, the assistant to the HR
Director e-mailed me to find out if I'm available this summer to coach his 10th
grade son in reading and language arts. It looks like I have my first client
already! Isn't life strange and delicious? :-)"
Did you pick up any more
The way I see it, making the
shift from dreaming to actually doing takes three things:
1) Accurate Information
I can't stress how much the
role of "accurate" information plays in achieving your dream. When everyone
around us is telling that most small businesses fail, or it's impossible to get
health insurance, or you can't make money as an artist or a writer or a spiced
nut purveyor accurate information is an instant fear reducer. Like the plate
spinning Michelle, the big informational aha that freed me from job jail was the
liberating notion of multiple income streams. Realizing I didn't have to replace
my entire income with one big passion made the entire process of changing course
infinitely more doable and less fear-filled.
Imagine, for example, how many
more of people would get off the dime if they knew, for example, that for as
little as $1.99 you can do what Stevie and Michelle did and use a service like
GoDaddy.com to just "park" a URL?
How many more people would
launch a specialty food like Michelle is doing, if instead of a bunch of
doomsday predictions, someone would say to them, "Hey did you know that a former
social worker named Stacey Madison co-founded Stacy's Pita Chip Company a
business she and her business partner launched from a sandwich cart in downtown
Boston - that went on to be a $60-million-a-year business employing 100 people
that was recently bought by PepsiCo, Inc.?" Now that's the kind of information
aspiring entrepreneurs need to hear!
Some of the benefits of information are less
tangible but nonetheless important. For example, "Learning that there are plenty
of resources and, most importantly, limitless opportunities for being creative
in business..." wrote Frederik Sisa was, "a confidence booster and eye-opener
about creating passion and purpose in one's life." There's nothing like a shot
of confidence to push a dream along. But confidence can wane. Which is why every
dreamer also needs this next ingredient.
2) Inspiration to Get
Lucinda wrote, "Thanks for an
inspiring and unforgettable weekend! There aren't very many weekends where I can
say on Sunday evening that I have experienced a shift in consciousness, but this
was definitely one of those weekends!"
Never underestimate the power
of a mental shift. Lucinda wrote to say that she's "already gotten the 'hook' I
needed for a product I have been contemplating for the past four years, came up
with three interim income streams that I can grow while still working at the
j-o-b, and I filled four pages of my idea book with lots of ideas."
3) Support to Keep Going
There's nothing like being in a
room full of enthusiastic dreamers on a mission to jump start your dream. You'll
also note that in most of the people you just met talked about the significance
of just meeting and connecting with like minded souls. And Steve and Michelle,
and no doubt many more, have already taken steps to continue to get and give
In fact, Lucinda is so jazzed
that she's already created a flyer announcing the first meeting of a "Dreamcubator"
group of fellow dreamers who are ready to take some steps towards making their
dreams reality. If you happen to live in the area, the group is planning to meet
Wednesday, July 19, at Latte 101, 5722 Telephone Road, Ventura. For details
email Lucinda at
So there you have it. Amazingly
simple isn't it? Yet, without the combination of information, inspiration, and
information, less than a week ago these same people weren't nearly as far along
as they are today. How can you seek out the kind of accurate information you
need to take the fear out of your dream and move you to action? What little
things can you do day to day to inspire you to shift your thinking from having a
boss to being your own boss? Where can you find a community heck, even one
person who can give you the ongoing support you need to stop dreaming and
start doing? It's all small steps folks. Which step will you take today?
To learn more about how you can
learn what it takes to quit your job and work at what you love,
Learn how you can Fast Track Your Dream of working at
what you love on your own terms.
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About the Author
"Profiting From Your Passions®" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com 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 iVillage.com. 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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