Dreaming While Awake

“A dream without a plan is just a wish.” – Katherine Paterson

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I remember being a kid wanting to be a singer and entertainer just like Michael Jackson or MC Hammer. I was glued to the screen every time one of their music videos was on tv and would spend countless hours studying their dance moves and lyrics. I would light up at the chance to perform in front of an audience, whether it be my family or a crowd of strangers. I was determined to be a star! Like many dreams, that one started to fade as I got older, and the hope or possibility of it coming true began to wane, along with my wild imagination.

I was often told there is no security or stability in the entertainment business. I would be better off getting a “real job” and should pursue a path with a greater chance of achieving measurable success. While that was hard to hear, I began to believe that “they” were probably right. And so, my journey into the real world began.

It’s been years since I danced in front of the tv watching Michael Jackson, but the dreamer inside of me refused to stop moving his feet. I realized my dreams were too big to pretend as if they weren’t real anymore, and it was time to set them free. But how? I work a full-time job, am a husband, father, own a home. I have major responsibilities! The “how” required a plan, persistence and practicality, something entrepreneurs and anyone wishing to succeed must have.

What is one thing dreamers and entrepreneurs have in common? We’re creative. We are wired to think outside the box and present ideas in fresh and innovative ways.

Dreamers and entrepreneurs must be “creative” with their time or else we’ll spin our wheels all day long, without getting anything accomplished. My supervisor shared a link with me from Canva called 11 Morning Habits That Will Change Your Life. Planning my morning the night before really helps me so that my days are more productive. This is especially important for anyone who hasn’t transitioned into a full-time entrepreneur role. Proper planning provides enough space and time to accomplish required work tasks and make room for fun.

A great plan requires that one be persistent. Doing good things sometimes won’t cut it. As a musician, it’s imperative that I practice weekly or else my “chops” become weak. As an entrepreneur, it’s very important we rehearse the processes that make up our business often until it becomes second nature.

I’m a communicator, so small talk comes naturally to me. But there are times when “fluff” won’t cut it. Making daily, practical choices such as working on priority tasks first or learning to say “no” to opportunities that won’t help you reach your goal can be life-changing. Scary, challenging, sobering…I know. But think of the reward at the end.

Dreams are great. They keep our minds active and give us hope during the difficult moments, but they were never meant to take place of reality.

If your dreams are to become a successful entertainer, stay-at-home mom or entrepreneur, what are some things you could do today that would put you one step closer to seeing them fulfilled?