Everybody's gotta dream, right?
Dreams are what drive us, after all. If adults just abandoned their dreams automatically at 18 years old in favor of good ole common sense....well, great strides and discoveries would never be made. Amazing music would remain unsung. Incredible advances in technology would be non-existent.
Dreams are wild, sometimes, but WILDLY important.
However, when you are in the midst of trying to get your financial footing, chasing rainbows with possible pots of gold at the end can easily lead you back to square one if you're not careful.
So, when do you make the leap into writing a book, becoming a singer, or starting a business without worrying about the bottom line so much that it stops any dream in it's tracks?
DREAMS NEED COMMON SENSE TO WORK
Here's the brutal truth: Some people SUCK at things. Let's take me, for instance. I am ridiculously nonathletic. I run like Phoebe from Friends (if you haven't seen that running episode, just imagine a Muppet running at full speed). I get winded really easily. I can't see for shit so catching things like balls is nearly impossible. My arms are like bumpy white twigs that couldn't pull off a pull up even if my life depended on it. I am just not meant to be sporty. (Saying nothing of the team aspect of the whole thing....which is just far too people-y for me).
It didn't stop me from really falling in love with Crossfit....I'm just really not very good at it. I'll probably never enter any sort of competition or anything. But, it's a fun way to keep me fit, when I do it, and that's enough for me.
If you have something that is your DREAM you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone can be anything. Our kindergarten teacher done lied to us.
As a side note, having common sense is not the same as being self-depreciating and negative. If you feel you have the skill, endurance, and support to attack a dream, by all means....keep chasing it.
CASH FLOW THAT STUFF
It's really important to start small. If you go full boar and start putting equipment for your new window washing business on a credit card or start credit flowing voice lessons or whatever, you're going to find yourself in a mound of debt before you even get off the ground. And that's going to hamper you. Maybe for good.
When I started my photography business I was straight up un-em-ployed. So I didn't really have the luxury of "side hustling". I needed to make some bank immediately. So, I did a lot of stupid things. Things went on credit cards. They did. And I regret it. In a huge way. Because I don't even OWN any of those credit-purchased things anymore.
Cash flow what you can. Reinvest back into the dream. Take opportunities that get you closer even if they don't get you there all the way. And start VERY. SMALL. You'll be happy you did. Inch your way into what you want to do.
I know internet stories of overnight fame and fortune are super fun, but often they don't tell the story of the YEARS of sacrifice, blood, sweat, and CASH that went into making it happen.
DON'T LEAVE YOUR LOVED ONES IN THE DUST
Now, here's some tough love to add to the bit of a bruising I gave you above: If your spouse or partner is not "supportive" of your "dream", it doesn't automatically make them the world's biggest asshole.
It ALL depends on what you dream is, your level of common sense, and the type of PERSON you are.
I will, again, use my own example.
I am a very determined person. Typically, when I say I want to do something....I do it. Eventually. If it's an idea I can't get rid of, I make it happen. I wanted to go to college and get a degree....so I did it (even though it took me 10 years). I wanted to start a volunteer project for hospice patients.....I did it. I wanted to start a photography business....and even though I didn't know squat about business (or really photography for that matter).....I did it.
I remember sitting on our couch in our little starter house as I feverishly worked on my first photography website. It was chock full of somewhat fuzzy pictures of my then 9 month old baby. My husband sat next to me and said something to the affect of:
"So, you're...like...making this a real business?"
"Yes, why?" I replied. Not taking my eyes off the screen.
"Well...don't go too crazy. It's like you're hiring employees already....."
I wasn't (still haven't) but I was determined.
I still kind of like to shove it in his face that he was initially not supportive of the business that took off and had kicked ass for 10 years.
Jokingly, of course. He is super supportive now.
But, if your spouse has some real, tangible reservations to what you are doing.....you are a team. You have to talk about your plans WITH them....and what affect they will have on your budget.
INCLUDE YOUR DREAMING IN YOUR ZERO BASED BUDGET
Even if it seems small. Like notebooks. My notebook budget is pretty stupid huge. I have a dream of writing a book someday. That requires lots of notebooks to write the ideas I'll probably never flesh out.
Because that's what writers do.
Write a bunch of shit and then abandon it.
DON'T STOP DREAMING, BUT MAYBE STOP DOING IF IT'S DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR HAPPINESS AND HEALTH
Dreams are wonderful. They're healthy.
One of my BIGGEST and BEST dreams....that I often call upon if I need to escape....is retiring in Prince Edward Island, Canada. I see us in a little farmhouse. I'll write and make portraits and he'll....I dunno....listen to lots of music and maybe play again.
I've even looked at PEI Real Estate.
But, I'm well aware the difference between a big dream like that and realism. Realistically, PEI is in a completely different country that isn't all that easy to immigrate to. Realistically, PEI is a tiny island with not a ton of opportunity for jobs. Realistically.....I'm probably okay if the dream never happens if it would be a hardship.
But, that doesn't stop me from investing (literally) and hoping that someday we have enough financial freedom to seriously consider it as an option.
That's what acting on dreams in a real way can give you: freedom.
So bust out a notebook (I have extras if you need one) and start making lists. Lists of HOW you can achieve something in short time. What can you do in 2 weeks time to get you closer. How about 2 months? Where do you want to be in 2 years and WHAT is that going to cost. Research like crazy and take notes.
And then, get to work, dreamer.