In 2003, Pamela Mitchell founded the Reinvention Institute, a personal development company that provides inspiration, knowledge and tools to people who want to re-create their careers, their businesses or their lives. She also created the company’s Reinvention BootCamp: Career, a popular program held throughout the United States. A certified life coach, Mitchell is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and earned her coaching credentials through Coach for Life, an ICF-accredited program. She is a monthly columnist at Inc.com—the Web site for Inc. magazine—and teaches a course in career management strategies for Mediabistro, a national company devoted to connecting media professionals to new opportunities and each other. Here, Mitchell shares her keys to success in pursuing a dream.
One is that it’s going to happen quickly. Wrong! Pursuing a dream takes a lot longer than you’d think. Another myth is about the level at which you’ll need other people. Building a dream is always a collaborative project, even when you think it’s not. A third myth is that as an entrepreneur you’re going to have a lot of time and freedom. I have less time in a lot of ways than when I was working in the corporate world. What I do have is more flexibility.
Seek information from as many people as possible. Look for mentors, not just personally, but also what I call shadow mentors. They don’t know me, I don’t know them, but I follow their lives. I use Donald Trump as my mentor, and that helps me be much more aggressive about how I manage things. I also use Oprah Winfrey for growing more into who I am. It helps me see my own dream from a more objective perspective.
I would tell someone facing that test to remember why you made the choice to pursue your dream in the first place. Think about sitting in your rocking chair, looking back on your now-self and seeing whether or not you will wish you’d decided to pursue your dream. Think about it from the perspective of reviewing your life, rather than from the perspective of being in the midst of how you feel, because that can be very scary.
If you don’t know who you are when you start pursuing your dream, you’re going to find out really fast! You have to be open to learning about yourself and to adjusting yourself, otherwise it’s not going to work. If you think that everything that goes wrong is outside yourself and you can’t influence it, then pursuing your dream is not going to work.
The life that you want to live is just outside your comfort zone. Change is an uncomfortable process, but in order to have what you want, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Starting this business. It’s been an awesome change. I get to take my talent and help the world. For that I’m very grateful.
For more information on Pamela Mitchell, visit www.reinvention-institute.com.