Jeff Bezos came up with the idea for Amazon while working as a successful senior vice president for a New York hedge fund. Fred Smith got the idea for FedEx after serving two tours in Vietnam and observing the logistical efforts of the military. Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google from their garage. JK Rowling’s manuscript for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was turned down numerous times before finally being published. What do all these people have in common? They all had a dream to achieve something bigger. They took a chance and began the journey from dreamer to doer.
You see, it’s not enough to have an amazing dream. To make that dream a reality, you have to transition from a dreamer to a doer. You have to put in the time and work to take that dream and make it come true. If you have a dream in your heart, don’t just let it sit and gather dust. Follow these 7 steps to turn your dream into a reality!
1. Envision the End Game
The journey from dreamer to doer begins with a single step. Envision where you want to end up to ensure you start walking in the right direction. Spend time imagining the big picture. What would your dream look like realized? This is likely the easiest step for a dreamer, as this comes naturally, but dig a little deeper. What defines success? What would your day to day look like? What benefits would occur- for yourself or others- if your dream became a reality? Write down your visions for the future so that you can reference them later for motivation and goal setting.
2. Map out your Steps to Success
Spend time researching the field you want to enter in to. There are many possible directions you can go within a given arena. By doing your due diligence, you can determine if the dream you have seems viable and how to best approach this new endeavor. Try not to get too bogged down in the details at this stage. Keep yourself open to new ideas as you develop a broad sense of steps to take.
3. Set Reasonable Expectations
Understand that following dreams is not for the faint of heart. While there are examples of overnight successes, many dreamers spend years pursuing their dreams before they become a successful reality. And while most dreams are a long game, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write down goals and set deadlines. Goals keep you motivated and accountable as you pursue the finish line. Motivate and reward yourself as you accomplish each goal on your journey from dreamer to doer.
4. Tackle New Skills
Don’t be discouraged by what you don’t know. Instead, develop a plan to update your skills and embrace new opportunities. When I started my blog, I had no idea how to blog for profit or create a website. It was definitely a foreign concept. But, I was committed to my dream, so I began taking courses to build my knowledge and gain experience. To move from a dreamer to a doer requires much personal growth.
A lot of people assume it requires expensive courses or fancy programs to learn a new trade or develop their skills, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! There is an overwhelming amount of free information at your fingertips online! YouTube can teach you just about anything (like teaching my husband how to change a diaper).
There are also tons of free materials at your local library. As a busy mom with two little kiddos, I rarely have time to sit and read a book. Instead, I opt for free audiobooks from my library that I can listen to as I work around the house. My library partners with Libby (by Overdrive), which offers an easy interface for reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks. Check it out. I bet you’ll love it!
Know that whenever you strike out to make your dream a reality, there will always be unknowns. Be willing to learn new skills or put yourself out there to gain experience. The more you learn and grow, the more confident you will become.
5. Surround Yourself with Doers
Find social media or mastermind groups to join that support your niche or business idea. Work with your local Small Business Association for guidance on how to best plan your steps. Find others in your field that are willing to come alongside you to offer insight or accountability.
Seek out a fellow entrepreneur ahead of you on the path that is willing to provide occasional guidance over best next steps. Read stories of successful doers in your field and be inspired to follow in their footsteps. Listen to podcasts- they’re a great way to learn and keep inspired!
The key is to surround yourself with stories of success and to be continually encouraged that your dream can become a reality.
6. Become a Master at Logistics
Be prepared to constantly assess and reassess as you journey from dreamer to doer. Know that the path will be bumpier than you anticipate. Unforeseen obstacles are bound to arise, and failures are almost guaranteed. How you handle and progress through these challenges will define your success.
Be willing to look at your processes and routines with a critical eye. Find ways to work more efficiently and be willing to try something new if things aren’t working. Challenge yourself to see routine processes in a new light in an effort to optimize your time. Efficiency is key, as dreamers are often working to become doers in the margins of life.
Rarely can someone quit full-time, gainful employment to pursue a dream. More often than not, they must build their dream in their spare time, which makes working smarter- not harder- a critical mantra.
7. Don’t Give In to Fear
Fear is perhaps the biggest reason people don’t journey from dreamer to doer: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of change. Fear is a great paralyzer. It lies. It robs you of your potential and your ability to use your gifts. Fear convinces you that you will never be successful, that your dreams will never become reality. Fear tells you that there are other more talented people in the world and that you are not capable of greatness.
In his book, The 4-Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferris recalls a time at the end of a semester of teaching at Princeton when he gave his students an optional, final project. Their task was to contact high-profile celebrities and CEOs and get their answers to questions they have always wanted to ask. He would reward the student who could contact the most hard-to-reach name and ask the most intriguing question a round-trip plane ticket anywhere in the world.
The students eagerly went off to accomplish the task, yet when the time came to submit their results, not a single student had accomplished it. Turns out any submission would have won the prize by default, yet the reward was unclaimed. Because each student thought more highly of everyone else’s ability compared to their own, they did nothing. They let the fear of not being the best keep them from attempting the task altogether. They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and in this case, joy came packaged as a free flight anywhere in the world.
While I can’t guarantee that your dreams will come true, I can guarantee that giving into fear is the quickest way to kill them. You might be the next successful entrepreneur, the next big influencer on social media, or the next famous philanthropist, but you’ll never know the reach of your dream if you allow fear to kill it before it takes root.
The Journey from Dreamer to Doer
If you are a dreamer, you likely have no shortage of dreams and desires buried in your heart. You desire to live a life of more and you have a vision for how to make that a reality. Don’t keep your dream buried in your heart any longer! Follow these 7 steps, be brave, and be well on your way from dreamer to doer!
Read more about Being a Dreamer in a Cookie Cutter World