by Barbara Austin
We all have dreams. But how few of us actually have the chutzpah, not to mention the determination, to reach them? We say things like, “Oh, I’d love to be a millionaire, but I’m not a celebrity, a sports star, a lottery winner, or fortune-500 CEO, so that will never happen”. Or, “I want to become a sought-after public speaker, but no one will ever want me to speak at their event when I have so little experience.” It’s all that negative self-talk, ill-conceived notions, and the tendency to quit if traditional methods don’t work, which prevents us from breaking past the barriers and achieving our goals. You know that old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”? It’s true!
Take flying for example. I’d love to fly a plane, but obtaining a traditional pilot’s license is simply not a viable option for me. But there is another way, as I learned this past July, when I attended the Osh Kosh AirVenture show with my family. It turns out that there is a whole class of recreational aircrafts called “ultralights”, which fly at low altitude and speed, and therefore require NO PILOT’S LICENSE whatsoever. Score! For $5K to $15K, I could have my very own ultralight airplane, and experience the joy of flight just as easily as driving a car.
So I must ask, what brick walls have you run into in the pursuit of your dreams? Sometimes the solution is so shockingly simple, all it takes is a bit of research and shifting your perspective to see what’s possible:
1. Is there an underlying belief or self-fulfilling prophesy that is keeping you from reaching your goals? Perhaps you want to become the first in your family to obtain a college degree, but you think you can’t do it because you’re not “smart” enough. Is there a chance you’re selling yourself short? That all you need is a bit of confidence, and the right resources? Don’t give up before you even get started; look into financial aid, grant assistance, tutoring, and the many other support systems that could enable you to become a college graduate.
2. What alternative pathways exist that could help you reach your destination? Just because the traditional route is unavailable to you, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams. Maybe you wish to open a business, but you don’t have any savings to get it started with. So why not use crowdfunding, take out a small loan, or “bootstrap” your business by building it from the ground up and working your way towards profitability? Or maybe the thought of dealing with physical product inventory and shipping doesn’t appeal to you, in which case you could sell services or digital products instead.
3. Have you allowed yourself to get boxed in by (not-so-great) advice? Different things work for different people, so just because Janie says you must labor 80 hours a week or take out a second mortgage in order to have a profitable business, doesn’t mean that’s true for you. Think outside the box, and create your own reality!
Whatever you dream of doing, don’t let the brick walls keep you from it. The alternative entry you need may be right under your nose (or inside your mind!). So stop trying to bust down those walls with a golden sledgehammer, and find a silver shovel or a bronze jackhammer to dig your way to the other side. And please, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible. We both know better!
Barbara Austin As Chief Design Officer of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara Austin works with small business entrepreneurs to capture the heart and soul of their brand, using a sweet combination of integrity, creativity, and thoughtfulness to reach their target audience through great design.
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