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The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Pursuing Your Dream
After defining your goal, the next step is to carve out a dedicated time and space to pursue your dream. For some, this step is easier said than done.
“Most people who successfully pursue their dreams understand that they can’t jettison their responsibilities,” explains Levine. “A lot of people go bankrupt pursuing their dreams because somebody didn’t sit them down and say, ‘Don’t quit your day job.’”
Once you have your plan in place, you should structure your ambition by creating a calendar with small milestones to chart your progress, rewarding yourself for completing a task on time. “Set up a structure where you can’t lose,” advises Debbie Ford, bestselling author of The Best Year of Your Life: Dream It, Plan It, Live It.
Sure, we all want to walk out of the office or home and never look back. And it seems like it would be so much easier if only you had more money, or less responsibility. But until a miracle happens, you've got to build your dream into the life you have. Perhaps it's carving out one night a week to dedicate to your new business plan or spending your weekends at an extra job so that you have the funds for that course you want to take. Find the healthy balance and you'll be on your way.
Build a Dream Team
Successfully reaching your dream is up to you, ultimately, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Build a support system by asking all of your friends, family and acquaintances about who they know who has accomplished a dream similar to yours.
Author Jennifer Remling credits her success to asking for help in the right places. “People have been so generous, even people you think are not accessible,” she says. Jennifer dreamed of writing a book, but could never find the time until she left her nine-to-five job. She now travels around the country interviewing people who have redefined work and are pursuing their dreams. The interviews are the basis for an in-progress book entitled Carve Your Own Road.
If your dream involves a change in position or profession, contact your local Chamber of Commerce or trade organizations to see if they have mentoring programs. Another great option is the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), which offers free business counselors.
Contacts are created everywhere. Heidi Krupp, a former ABC executive, met Jan Miller at a colleague’s wedding. About a year later, when she decided to strike out on her own, she got back in touch with Miller. The confidence and coaching Miller provided helped Heidi become CEO of Krupp Kommunications Inc. “Having a mentor really helped,” she explains. “Jan encouraged me and gave me confidence.” Who can you get encouragement from?