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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Seeking a Dream

We’ve all been there at some point in our life… flipping burgers, bagging groceries, bank teller, babysitting. Not that there is anything wrong with these jobs. Let’s face it, if people didn’t do them, then life would be much more of an inconvenience. And, though there are some that enjoy working the drive-thru at the fast food joint, many of us accept these jobs as a means of getting by, whether it be working through school or even because we have no other options and must simply earn a paycheck.

But, deep down inside, we all have a dream to do and be something else. Many of us want to work for ourselves. The ambition to be an entrepreneur is usually in the back of everyone’s mind. And though the numbers of entrepreneurs out there continue to grow, it is far too often that people have dreams and do nothing to pursue them.

You have a couple of options. The first is that you can be one of those people who has a dream his entire life, but never makes anything of it outside of an occasional hobby. Such people typically claim that life has thrown so many obstacles at them that it would be impossible to pursue their dream. And they are full of excuses, such as not having the means to get started.

The second option is that you could actually pursue your dream and at least give it a chance. Now, I am not necessarily talking about doing whatever it takes to get there. You don’t want to find yourself in bankruptcy or sacrifice your family or friends. After all, part of a dream is having people to share it with, otherwise it seems worthless. There is a proper way to pursue your dream, and it starts with asking yourself a few simple questions:

• Do I have experience or training in the area I would like to pursue?
• Do I know what is essential for success in the area I would like to pursue?
• Have I ever been successful in that area?
• Do I know anyone who has been successful in that area?

Now, this is not one of those tests where you have to answer “yes” to every question in order to proceed. What these questions do is help you to understand what your process should be in order to pursue your dream.

To clarify, if you have a passion for something, but have little experience or no professional training, then you need to look at the possibility of getting a degree in that field, or becoming someone’s apprentice. Which leads to the fourth question. But if you don’t know someone in that area, don’t just give up here, seek someone out. For example, if you want to build houses, but have only renovated a couple of rooms, then get a job with a contracting company and learn the trade.

The goal in seeking a dream is to do something with your life that you enjoy doing. To have a career that isn’t a mundane, day-to-day, broken record of a life. To enjoy doing something so much that you would gladly do it for free, just for the love of it. And then, to get so good at it that people are happy to pay you for it.

The photography business I have started is a perfect example. I love to take pictures. I have lots of experience and some training, and I am working to learn more about the trade. I know what it takes to be successful. My success in photography thus far lies in the pleased looks on friends and family members faces when they see the finished product of the pictures I took for them, usually for free. And I have been in contact with several professional photographers and made acquaintances so that I could go to them for advice any time. I’m taking steps to answer all of those questions posed above.

And, though my photography business is not off and running just yet, I know that I am well on my way to accomplishing my goal. And I won’t give up. Why? Because I love it! Because I look forward to every moment of it. Because it is never a “job,” but a passion. A dream coming true right before my eyes. That makes it worth it, no matter the outcome. And that’s what each of us who have a dream should be able to say.

• Leadership Wired e-newsletter: Career Advice & Three Types of Jobholders

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By Michelle Cramer
Friday, August 31st, 2018 @ 12:00 AM CDT

Motivation, Startup |