If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got to dream big and then dream bigger.
Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks
My parents are both massive feminists and always led me to believe that I could dream big and do anything that I wanted in my life, almost to a delusional degree.
Jennifer Hyman, CEO, co-founder, Rent the Runway
Before you get too deep into the year and sprinting too fast each week from one place to the next, when was the last time you dreamed? While it’s socially acceptable to talk about goals, it seems that talking about ‘dreams’ has a bit of stigma. It can come off as sounding a bit fluffy and naive.
When I first started in business, I had this cassette tape by Brian Tracy called The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires. I listened to it endlessly in my car. The very first ‘secret’ was to “Dream Big Dreams”. This sounded rather fanciful to me as I desperately attempted to stay afloat financially, but it always inspired me. I was in my mid-30’s and didn’t know I was allowed to still dream.
Later it was Matthew Kelly’s The Dream Manager that I loved. He reminded me that we all need dreams to chase if we are to avoid empty, flat lives. And these dreams can be in any area of life.
It’s a terrific reminder that everyone needs:
a) Meaningful work
b) To feel that they are making progress
c) “The belief that they are moving toward the fulfillment of their dreams”
Yes, we will get to goals later, but I urge you to find up to an hour if possible on your own in peace to do the following.
a) At the top of a page, write: “I would love to…” and have at it! Make a list of dreams and, notes Kelly, “if you find yourself putting it off, ask yourself why.” Add to it over time.
b) Then, work through these terrific questions compiled by Clark Kegley in his e-book, 11 Questions That Will Change Your Life:
1. How can I do my 5-year plan in 5 months?
2. How do I get paid to do what I love?
3. If I had all the time and all the money in the world, what would I do?
4. What would make me most excited to wake up in the morning to another day?
5. How has being “realistic” or “responsible” kept me from the life I want?
6. What three things am I most proud of?
7. What have been the three most defining moments in my life?
8. What has been my greatest lesson learned from failure?
9. When do I feel most myself? When do I not feel most myself?
10. What’s the one thing I believe is true that others think is crazy?
11. What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
This last one has always been my favorite question. The mistake we make is only to answer these questions once and then not do it for again for years. Make a note to answer these questions quarterly or at least twice/year.
c) My favorite question in The Dream Manager is this:
“Isn’t one of the primary responsibilities of all relationships to help each other fulfill our dreams?”
This begs the question: are you clear about your dreams and your partner and your children? Your best friends? What about your clients? I suspect some of us fall at the first hurdle here (ourselves!).
The Dream Manager makes a compelling case to run this as a program for your employees. Move past initial objections to doing it because it won’t be a quick fix and understand that this will be far more effective than offering simple financial incentives.
Kelly argues that we all need a dream manager to hold us accountable and that we can all play the role of dream manager with others.
It is really important to keep dreaming. It’s not just for the children and the ultra high net worth. You deserve to do this too AND it will take you further.
To your dreams!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121