Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Make The Dream Happen

As I approach the release of my first novel, Every Reasonable Doubt, in three short months, I can’t help but think back to the days when I was plagued with self-doubt. Being a novelist was my dream career and my dream is about to come true. Whether your dream is to write a novel, start your own business or go back to school, you can make it happen. Here are five tips that will help you begin your journey.

1. Find Time To Plan
With the demands of work, family, and other activities, you may think you don’t have a spare moment to even think about, much less pursue, your dream career. You’re wrong. It may not be easy, but you can find free time where you least expect it. The next time you’re walking on the treadmill, use the time to mull over the plot for that book you’ve been wanting to write or to think about possible locations for the day spa you’ve dreamed of opening. Instead of listening to your favorite CD during your morning and evening commute, use the time to work on the business plan for your new business. With your family’s support, you might even find an evening or two to run off to your local library or a nearby Starbucks for some business-planning time. Even if it’s only an hour a week, use it.

2. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
You may not realize it, but you have a multitude of resources all around you -- family, friends, colleagues, church members, and even strangers. Don’t be afraid to request an informational interview. People love to talk about themselves and most will be flattered that you want their advice. The Internet is also a valuable resource. You can enter a few key words on Google and thousands of helpful articles will appear right before your eyes.

3. Join An Organization
It’s a good idea to surround yourself with others who share your interests and passions. There are dozens of organizations whose sole function is to help their members develop their creative talents and realize their business goals. Find the organizations that can be most helpful to you and join them.

4. Understand That It Won’t Happen Overnight
Making a career switch won’t happen overnight. I read an article in Writer’s Digest about a writer who received more than 400 rejection letters before getting his first book deal. Now that’s what you call perseverance! There will no doubt be disappointments along the way and everything won’t happen in accordance with your time schedule. But if you remain faithful and focused on your goal, it will happen.

5. Ignore The Naysayers
We all know people who believe you should find a good job, work as hard as you can for 30 years, then retire. For them, the thought of leaving a secure position for the uncertainties of entrepreneurial life is unthinkable. That kind of limited thinking won’t help you realize your dream. You have to decide what you want to do and go for it. And don’t be surprised if you turn out to be your biggest obstacle. When that happens, just look your self-doubt squarely in the face and tell it to leave.

So don’t just dream your dream, make it happen!

Pamela Samuels-Young


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