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5 Reasons Why It Is Alright If Your Dream Changes

5 Reasons Why It Is Alright If Your Dream Changes

I find myself in a different country, a different city and a different culture. This was always the dream: To come to the United States, pursue my life-long dream and change the world for the better – I literally flew across the ocean, that’s how big that dream was. Maybe you also made some huge decisions and sacrifices for your dream, and if you still find your heart being blown out of your rib cage with excitement and passion, then I am really happy for you. My advice to you is to go for it, don’t hold back and be happy and grateful for all the steps in your journey – don’t make up excuses not to do it, the article 5 Terrible Excuses For Why People Let Their Dreams Go might help you with those excuses created by fear.

However, if you have found yourself being pulled into another direction or even a few directions – this article is for you. In it I will show you why it is alright if your dream changes and why you shouldn’t fret all the time spent and the sacrifices made on your previous dream – it was, and is a part of you that you shouldn’t disregard as nothing.

Different stages of losing an old dream and finding a new one:

Let’s be honest, it’s not an easy venture to accept the loss of the thing you prized most in this life – it can be something that shakes you to the core. A dream is something you nurture, love and believe in with your whole heart, and to find it slowly or perhaps suddenly evaporating can be quite scary. As with any loss you find yourself going through the different stages of it: Anger, bargaining, denial, depression and yes, eventually acceptance. It might take you a while to move through these stages or it might be something that happens in a blink of an eye – but whether you like it or not, this is what you will have to go through in order for you to move on to your next dream.

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And then? Then you allow it in. Let it take over control – don’t try and keep it at bay because of fear. Fear brings you nowhere and only puts you in a state of paralysis where you can be of no use to yourself or to others, and there is too much potential and promise in you to allow that to happen. There is something great in all of us that is begging to be set free from its cage of inhibitions and it’s our responsibility to make sure we break that cage and allow it to fly free.

3 Ways to set your greatness free from its imprisonment:

1. Move Past the Fear of Change:

Change is inevitable and the only constant thing in life. We have to accept it, otherwise we will never be able to move on to new horizons.

2. Move Past The Fear of Rejection:

Who are you living for? In the end, despite everyone’s opinion – this is your life, you have to live it your way. It’s important to remember that everyone else are so caught up living their own lives too – that they really pay no mind to you and what you might think. This sounds harsh, but unfortunately we live in a generation that is a little too self-involved to really care. With regards to your family and friends: If they truly love you, they will accept it no matter what.

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3. Move Past The Fear of the Unknown:

Yes, that big, scary and very foggy place known as the “unknown.” Do we really have to fear it that much? If you think about it, all of life is really unknown territory until we step out and try it – how bad has those little steps of faith really turned out? Granted, it might not always turn out as you have expected it to turn out. However, more often than not, it turns out to be the best adventure you went on – where you learn more about yourself and what you want than you would have learned by being stuck in the same position and dreaming the same dream that no longer serves you.

Now that you see that there really is no reason to fear the greatness of a new dream inside you, let us move on to why it is alright if your dream changes and what you eventually get out of that decision of acceptance.

5 Reasons why it is alright if your dream changes:

1. Freedom:

You are no longer bound by a dream that doesn’t serve you and only steals your peace of mind.

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2. Wisdom:

You have now gained more knowledge about yourself and what is really important to you. Accept the fact that your old dream taught you a lot of lessons on sacrifice, patience, hope, faith and many more life lessons – carry it with you in your new dream and grow a little more.

3. Strength:

You are strong enough to let go of the past and embrace the future, as well as the unknown. This is something that will help you in all aspects facing change in your life, for you will know that you are not only wise enough to deal with it, but also strong enough to go on.

4. Self-knowledge:

We as human beings are constantly changing – yes, we remain the same at our core, but our ever-changing views and perception of life influences us. Consciously and subconsciously we are evolving into beings that bring us closer to our core beliefs and what we really want to do in this life. If we are constantly changing, is it not a given that our dreams will also change with us? This is sure to happen until we eventually reach a point where we know exactly who we are and what we stand for.

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5. New Horizons:

Be ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime, seeing things in a way you never imagined you could, meeting people you never thought you would and exploring life in a way that you always knew you should. Make room for excitement, passion, roads less traveled and hidden treasures. For this is what being bold does – it opens up a whole new world for you.

Conclusion:

In conclusion I leave you with the words of the very wise author, who with these words inspired me to dig deeper within myself and allow me to let go of the dream that had become nothing more than my safety net, allowing me to open my arms wide for the unknown – despite my constant battle with the fear that it brings along:

Never too old to Dream a new dream

    Featured photo credit: Théo Gosselin via flickr.com

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    Bianca Gouws

    Freelance Writer, Director and Actress

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    Last Updated on May 28, 2020

    How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

    How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

    Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

    To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

    1. Digital Savviness

    As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence and to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

    Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and more are a testament to the disruptive impact of technology and the new image of what it means to be a skilled, successful professional. Think about today’s Mark Zuckerberg versus a banker from the 90s.

    Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, like cloud applications and collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

    For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

    How to Develop This Skill

    For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

    From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will, eventually, slowly but surely garner more traffic.

    Note, however, that an increase in search traffic does not immediately imply an increase in revenue. But it’s a start for delving into customer conversion rates in the future.

    2. Financial Forecasting

    Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business and is not just reserved for the likes of listed companies providing financial guidance to shareholders.

    Largely, forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required and ways to measure success. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done when included in business plans.

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    However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses, which could potentially result in financial teething problems. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Generally, it is easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It is a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how adjacent your operations are to what you have forecasted.

    Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

    3. Video Production Skills

    The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

    If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

    In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, by 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5]. With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Some ways to get started with using videos for your business would be:

    • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
    • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
    • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

    4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

    As far as you get into achieving endeavours on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place.

    Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout and may manifest in an unhealthy interaction between partners and employees as well.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

    Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly to maintain a balance between growth and your personal values.

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    5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

    Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

    Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

    For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it hit the right buttons of consumers being tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from incumbent retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

    Apart from lifting off from what could have been your second-mover advantage, solidify your place with your business’ own first-mover advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region, unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that proves more viable than others. There’s always room for improvement in business from mature markets to newly emerging ones.

    6. Honing Pitches to Investors

    Stand out in a broad mix of budding entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch that can determine the acceleration of growth for your business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

    The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition and its market viability for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression and move on to another meeting.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

    You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

    Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

    7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

    In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition. From aesthetics to the body of clients you’re associated with, these contribute to how you’re perceived by prospects looking to buy.

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    Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned to these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction. By knowing what makes your target customers tick, their values, ideals, and behavior, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to be utilized into a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

    8. Automating to Your Advantage

    The need for efficiency is often the general problem new businesses aim to resolve across all markets and industries. Assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to instill the need for it.

    Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the holistic advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

    9. Managing Millennials

    Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

    In leaner small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

    Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[8]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing t-shirts to work.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

    A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

    Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

    Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

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    Offer Constructive Feedback

    Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

    Being constructive with feedback ensures that we don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

    10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

    Instead of proposing a business that’s ambitiously and entirely disruptive to the supply or process chain in a respective industry, foster connections with other companies that cater to the same target customers as long as they provide a different service.

    By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously through creative avenues for customers to utilize your products and services for a holistically improved user experience.

    Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

    How to Develop This Skill

    Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

    As the African proverb goes:

    “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

    Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

    More Tips on How to Succeed in Business

    Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

    Reference

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