I wrote this topic down months ago as something I really wanted to address. I knew, however, that the best words would only come during a time of abundant get-shit-done thoughts and lots of positive action. Sure I feel positive most days, but every now and then I feel like the universe brings me powerful karma and places faith in me, reassuring me that what I work hard and invest will succeed.
This week feels like one of those times. My business in digital marketing has been alive and thriving for four years this month. I love every second of running and growing my business including the stress, the ups and the downs and the opportunities I am confronted with to problem solve and innovate, especially in a workplace that demands the most prestigious of work ethics. As the years have gone by, I realize that it’s not just digital marketing that I love, but taking something from nothing and making it worth talking about. I thrive off of creating and using my resources to make something great. I’ve known for quite some time that I would be a business owner to multiple businesses and in the recent weeks, I have launched my second business. WOOWOO!
That being said, I can’t help but look around at my peers and friends and feel some of their struggle. The questions about what steps to take, what career choices to make and “What do I really want to do forever?” After some thought, and absolutely no science to back this up, I have a theory. A theory that suggests my generation is filled with dreamers. You must think, “That’s great, we need dreamers!” Absolutely. The issue arises when dreaming becomes both the first and last step in our thought and action process. We have created an environment filled with “I’m unsure,” “Stay in school forever,” “Do lots of internships,” “Just travel,” and “Take some time off.” This is so problematic. Here is why:
Dreaming is necessary but pointless if we never wake up and implement. Dream on, friends, but dreaming is not doing, and not doing will get you nowhere. Let there be no confusion, I never recommend you stop dreaming. I dream constantly. I write down every dream I have and mentally work towards obtaining it (this blog is a great example). What good does dreaming do me if I don’t put plans together and make it come to fruition? There’s a few things to know including the fact that no one will ever accomplish your ambitions for you. Additionally, getting caught up in a dream and not acting on it can be quicksand. Ask yourself what you’re waiting for and get going. Before you know it, it’s been years since you’ve graduated and you’re still deciding what’s best.
As young children, we are taught to dream big and know we can become what we want. I believe this message is quite beautiful, infinite and also important as we grow up and imagine our futures as citizens, family members, workers and business owners. There comes a time, however, when we need to stop letting our dreams influence our do’s and let’s our do’s influence our dreams. Here’s what I mean: How will you ever know what you want or don’t want to do if you don’t get out there and DO? I talk to my college classmates and other friends often about it and I say it repeatedly.
You will never cross anything off your “I hate this” list or add anything to your “I love this” list if you don’t get your butt out there and start doing! This part is so crucial. It’s only once you start doing that you will be able to more clearly and more efficiently dream! What a thought huh? Starting my business has lead me to such beautiful dreams. I’ve learned that my dreams include things I really love and that are obtainable because I have a solid understanding for things I thoroughly enjoy and things I don’t. So instead of this: Dreaming → Doing or maybe doing, try Dreaming →Doing → Dreaming!
In addition to the note above, I think it’s important to acknowledge that a lot of your experiences to date have and will continue to mold your dreams. There are probably things you love doing now that you may not have ever imagined could be a career path. Side note: Once you realize this, prepare to have your mind blown and expect a beautiful life change. We are so caught up in what our degree is in and or our lack of certainty for our next career path we put ourselves back in school for something we have no desire to really pursue long term or rather wait around for something great to happen to us. Think about past jobs, past people you’ve met, internships and really anything that may give you a reliable idea about how to make your dreams actionable items that you can grow and learn from.
I want you to know that nothing I talk about above is easy, at least not for me. It takes courage, strength, passion and a relentless hunger for success and forward movement to be able to take action on your dreams and desires. Yes, it is easy for many people and we see them experience great success all around us. I have to actively focus on my ability to do in order to keep doing and I’m ok with that. I have no natural born special talents or sixth senses that allow me to do and you’ll learn that most people don’t. It makes the process even more beautiful and I encourage you to find out where you stand and figure out your next steps.
What is your dream and how can you make it happen? Remember, hard doesn’t mean impossible. Will there be dreams and endeavors you fail at? Damn right. Will it suck, be stressful and make you second-guess yourself? Absolutely. But then you get up, re-dream, re-assess and keep going. Again, no one else in the world will do it for you! Onward friends. No more waiting for something to happen to us. Opportunities come fro doing! Feel free to bounce your ideas off of me anytime, I love this stuff!