So what does it take to build a career that you’re proud of? Well, at least a career that you’re proud of and that pays the bills. What is it going to take to live fully, not paycheck to paycheck, or off of the endless supply of plastic cards? There’s an ongoing notion that we can spend more than we have – or that we can have a life that we want by spending money and creating a lifestyle that makes us excited. But the problem is that these expectations elevate our anxiety levels, make us feel like we always need to more, and stress us out.
Building a life and career that you’re proud of takes grit, patience, and careful curation. There’s no short cut or fast pass to getting more money, more fame, or more happiness. And for each one of us, the journey and the dream is different. Some of us want freedom from the corporate life while others just want a steady paycheck with health insurance. We need to take the time to get to know ourselves, be honest about what makes us happy, and go after those goals. People talk about their dreams, plan pursue them “someday” or when they feel ready. Here’s the truth – you’ll never feel ready for a dream come true. That’s the point of a dream in the first place. Dreams symbolize what you are working towards and when it’s finally time to take the leap, it seems surreal. You’re going to be uncomfortable when you start, you’re going to wiggle and squirm under the awkward moments and bask in the mini highlights. You’re going to cry, scream, and pound the kitchen counter. And let’s be honest, if achieving your dreams were so realistic, don’t you think you would’ve already done them?
Think you’ve got a good excuse for why you’re not pursuing those dreams? Here’s a reason for each of those excuses that’ll make jump up and start pursuing those dreams:
1. I don’t have the time: seriously, people? Don’t ever think you don’t have time to pursue your dreams. Dreams don’t require huge chunks of time or quitting your day job to realize. They take consistency, progress, and patience. If you really care about something – you will find time to do it. Wake up 10 minutes earlier, do stuff on your lunch break, and maybe don’t sleep 12 hours on the weekend. You can do this and yes, you do have enough time.
2. I don’t have enough money: Let me tell you something – successful entrepreneurs never had enough money when they started out. Richard Branson lost his money several times, but he believed so steadily in his dreams that it didn’t deter him. If you’re building an actual product, use sites like Kickstarter or fundraise from your family members. If there’s a will, there’s a way, my friends. And oh yeah, if you feel like you aren’t earning enough money from your current job, find new ways to make some more. Babysit, pick up extra shifts, hussle. It won’t be permanent anyways.
3. I don’t know where to start: Research, research, research. Your dream is likely not the first of it’s kind, and there should be lots to learn from people before you. Think, write, and do stuff that gets you closer to your dream. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time, or the second time. Talk to your friends, ask for introductions to people who have done something similar and then learn from them. Once you’ve acquired enough facts, go out and start. You won’t ever get anywhere if all you do is talk. Experiment, iterate, and enjoy the process.
Dreams are fun and exciting and terrifying. Everyone should have dreams, no matter how famous or rich they are. Dreams are what make life awesome and you should go chase your own. So much is possible if only you believe in yourself and go after what you want. There are rarely overnight successes, but there are the slow and steady wins and it’s not that bad to be in that camp either. Go get em’, tiger.