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Should You Chase a ‘Dream Job’ To Feel Like a Success?

Should You Chase a ‘Dream Job’ To Feel Like a Success?

Almost everybody has an idea of their ‘dream job’ or what success should be like.

For a lot of people, becoming a billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg is their standard for success. For others, a ‘dream job’ includes unlimited paid vacation, while you close deals at the Bahamas. Think: Richard Branson of Virgin Group. Right now, you probably feel like you’re not living your passions. You may even feel like quitting your job to chase after a dream career.

But what if you knew that ALL of us can, in fact, have our dream jobs AND feel like a success?

The answer isn’t winning the lottery or becoming a freelancer. It’s actually simpler – and less sexy – than that.

Success by the Numbers

You don’t need to search the deep Web to find ‘success stories’ about people who quit their jobs to chase after their dreams. These tales occupy every blog and news site nowadays. You’ll read about dreary work environments, not fulfilling inner passions, and then finally being set free from these troubles with a letter of resignation.

It’s all good. After all, dreams shouldn’t die just because you’ve become an adult. But if there’s one thing these stories don’t tell is WHAT you do afterward.

You’re not an awful person for wanting to be successful like Bill Gates, or to wish for a career like Tim Cook’s. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself WHY you want these things? If you suddenly become Apple’s CEO, what can you bring to the table?

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chase-after-success-suit-tie

    Some people believe that successful businesses and personalities attained their status overnight. But even Facebook, during their first year, encountered financial troubles. If we truly dissect the path of successful brands and personalities, we’ll see striking similarities in their journeys:

    • Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975, but didn’t strike a major deal with IBM until six years later
    • Amazon broke the online shopping bubble seven years after it was founded in 1994
    • Apple didn’t take off until the launch of Macintosh eight years later
    • The famous Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, started selling his chicken as early as 1930, but didn’t earn him recognition until after six years
    • Google beat other search engines for supremacy eight years after it was founded

    Numbers don’t lie: real success takes time.

    Just because you’re Bill Gates doesn’t guarantee that your life will be smooth sailing. Opening an online retailing business is no assurance that you’ll be financially free. And joining the restaurant bandwagon won’t immediately land you 200 franchises around the world.

    The Problem with ‘Dream Jobs’

    In a survey by National Society of High School Scholars, it’s no surprise that millennial participants cited Google, Apple, Starbucks, and Walt Disney as the top companies they’d want to work for. Not only do these businesses boast great company culture, they also offer social responsibility programs.

    To a generation that grew up during the recession, working in an environment that provides purpose, great pay, and flexible scheduling is a dream job.

    But what if you don’t have the necessary skills for the openings they have? Will securing a position at any of these companies really make you happy?

    What if it doesn’t?

    Licensed therapist and Professor of Human Behavior at The City University of New York, Melody Wilding, LMSW, suggests keeping it real when it comes to your ‘dream job’.

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    ‘There is no such thing as a model career. No job has zero downsides, and it’s unrealistic to expect perfection from a particular role, employer, or yourself. There will always be tradeoffs and compromises you’ll need to make in any position no matter how great the organization is or how awesome your boss is – and that’s OK.’

    Assuming you’ll instantly be a success or that you’ll be absolutely happy once you work at your ‘dream job’ is a myth. Like in other occupations, there are good and bad days. One of the main reasons people who acquire their dream careers incur big regrets is because they didn’t align it with their skills. How could you be happy in a job you’re not good at?

    chase-after-success-zenith

      Take it from author, speaker, and consultant Simon Sinek. A ‘dream job’ is not exactly a high-paying career or that sleek office with a view of Manhattan. If you keep chasing a ‘dream job’ in the hopes that you’ll be happier or successful, then you might end up on the wrong path.

      ‘And so living your dream job has nothing to do with the specifics of the job. It has to do with the fulfillment that you get from that job.’

      If you’re a writer today but your dream is to become a nurse so you could help others, who says you’re not doing the same thing now? By being a writer, you’re helping to give readers a new perspective. Who knows how many souls your pen has already inspired?

      In Pursuit of Success: What To Do Instead

      Chasing dreams is not bad. But keep an open mind and try not to jump in with both feet in the water.

      If you believe you have what it takes to bag a job at Walt Disney or Google, go for it! However, do it because you know you possess the skills the job will need. Chasing a ‘dream job’ because you want to escape the challenges of your current career is NOT the way to go.

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      Pursue success with both eyes open by:

      1. Identifying what you’re good at.

      Say you want to break into the healthcare industry, but your current experience doesn’t match anything in that sector. But you really, really want to take care of people. First off: be honest with yourself and identify your transferable skills.

      It’s possible to get the job you want even without experience – but you need to at least have the capability. Are you patient towards others? Can you practice grace under pressure? Are you up-to-date with the latest healthcare trends?

      If you’re having trouble, enlist the help of an objective friend or family member to help you. You can also consult a professional career adviser. Looking for online resources? Try the interactive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) toolkit from Jobs.ac.uk.

      2. Putting in the required hours.

      Now that you know what you’re good at, it’s time to sharpen those skills. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos didn’t become successful by just being good. By working long hours, learning from their mistakes, and observing trends, they became great.

      Excellence, after all, is a habit. Something that you repeatedly over long a long period of time that it’s become automatic to you. Consider the example above. Once you’ve established that you have the skills needed to become a nurse, the next logical step is to learn what you can.

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      This may require you to go back to school. Or maybe you need to take a few courses along with your day job. What matters is that you put in the hours needed so you don’t jump into your dream empty-handed.

      3. Steering slowly in the direction you want.

      Finally, don’t chase dreams head on. This is especially true for people with dependents. If you quickly leave your job or jump into entrepreneurship without a plan, you might end up hurting your loved ones more than yourself. Instead, bide your time but steer slowly towards your goals.

      So if you want to enter the healthcare industry, for instance, try a few volunteer opportunities first. For people looking to enter the business sector, look for apprenticeship from companies in the industry you’re targeting.

      Doing so will help you get a feel of what it’s like working at your ‘dream job’. From there, you can assess whether or not it’s a right fit for you.

      chase-after-success-sun-city

        Nabbing your ‘dream job’ is just the beginning. Like the success stories of Oprah, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling, you need hard work, failure, and time. You don’t want to become a one-hit wonder. You deserve more than that.

        Go after success that lasts a lifetime. Success that you can give to your loved ones and to your community long after the chase is over.

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        Cris Antonio

        Content Strategist, Storyteller

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        Published on December 13, 2018

        How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

        How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

        If you’ve ever thought about starting and running your own business, you’re not alone. Being your own boss, having flexibility with your schedule and keeping more of the financial rewards that come with business ownership are all good reasons to own your own company.

        But as you might expect, it’s not all vacations and fat bank accounts. According to the SBA, 2/3 of businesses survive at least 2 years and approximately 50% survive 5 years.[1] So why is the failure rate so high? At least for the businesses that fail early on, lack of, or poor planning can be a major factor.

        So how to start a company?

        Starting a business from scratch doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, but it does take planning and work. Here are the first and most important 9 steps to take when your are starting a company from scratch.

        1. Do an Honest Evaluation of Yourself

        Do you work better in a structured or unstructured environment? Does a daily routine reduce your anxiety? What kinds of things are you good at? Does public speaking or making presentations make you nervous? Are you good at accounting and numbers? Can you handle the rejections you’re bound to get when selling or cold calling?

        These are all important questions to ask yourself, in fact it’s a good idea to get other peoples opinion about their perception of you in each of these situations.

        Whatever the answers you come up with for your evaluation, remember that’s all it is, an evaluation of where you are now. Think of it as a way to identify both your areas of strength and weaknesses.

        You maybe good at public speaking which can help when raising money, but bad at accounting which just means that you’ll need to find some kind of help with that area of the business.

        2. Evaluate Your Idea

        If your business idea involves a new product or service (or even an enhancement to an existing product or service), it needs to be evaluated. This is technically called market research.

        There are firms that specialize in doing market research for new products, but if you are on a tight budget, you can do this yourself.

        First, if you can build a prototype for people to use, touch and look at that’s the best option. If a prototype is not possible or it’s a service business, then offer a highly descriptive presentation of the business plan complete with it’s unique benefits and how it’s different from the competition.

        Then listen! Remember that this is not about others liking your product, this is not your baby that they are talking about. You want honest market research that gives you the best chance for a successful business. Take notes, when someone tells you that they didn’t like a feature or some aspect of your idea tell them ‘Thank you”.

        After several rounds of market research with different groups of people, you should see patterns emerging about things that they both liked and didn’t like. Use this information to tweak your product or service and do another round of market research.

        Keep in mind that you’ll never come up with a universally loved product, your job is to produce a product or service that appeals to the broadest range of your target market.

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        3. Make a Business Plan

        I know, I know this isn’t the “fun” part of starting your own business, but it is an very important step in creating a successful business!

        Basically, you can think of a business plan as an outline or blueprint of your business. A good business plan should have the following elements:

        • Executive Summary – This should lay out the businesses product or service and the problem that it solves for the consumer.
        • Market Evaluation – This should talk about the market you are serving. Is it an expanding market, and how does your product better fulfill the consumers in that market.
        • Market Strategies – How are you going to penetrate the market and sell your product.
        • Operational Plan – How will the company run from day to day? Who are the key employees and what are their specific rolls. Do your key players have specific goals set for them in advance?

        A final word on making a business plan: while lying is never acceptable especially when you are using the business plan to raise money, it is acceptable to “put your best foot forward”.

        Playing up the positives while minimizing the negatives is almost expected in a business plan.

        Besides, banks as well as professional investors will both do a more in-depth analysis before investing any money into your idea.

        4. Decide on a Business Structure

        You have many options here, and discussing them with your accountant or financial adviser is really the only way to know what’s right for you. But just to give you a quick rundown of the types of business entities and their pros and cons we will briefly go through them:

        Sole Proprietorship

        This is a common way for small businesses to get started.

        The pros being:

        Relatively low costs to set up (usually a business license and sales tax license).Owners normally do not have to set up a special bank account, they are allowed to use their personal one. Any income earned can be offset by other losses (check with your state!). You as the sole proprietor have complete control over all decision making. 

        Finally, sole proprietorship’s are relative easy to dissolve.

        The cons of using a sole proprietorship include:

        You as the sole proprietor can be held personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the company. Some benefits, such as health insurance premiums, are not directly deductible from business income.

        If you need to raise money, you are not allowed to sell an equity stake in the company. In that same vein, hiring key people maybe more difficult because you cannot offer them an equity stake in the company.

        Partnership

        A partnership is formed when two or more people decide to start a business. Although there is no legal requirement for any documentation to form a partnership, it is my advice that you never enter into a partnership without having a partnership agreement. (Remember, spending $1500 now can save you $150,000 in legal fees later!).

        The pros of a partnership include:

        Being relatively easy and inexpensive to start. Hiring key employees can be easier as you are allowed to give equity ownership to as many partners as you want.

        For tax purposes, partnerships are relative simple as any income is treated as “pass through” meaning that each partner pays tax on their individual portion of the partnerships income (As of this writing, always check with your tax adviser).

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        As far as the cons go:

        It can be difficult for some general partnerships to raise capitol. Because it is a partnership, the actions of one of the partners can obligate the entire organisation. All profits must be shared according to the partnership agreement regardless of the amount of work done by any single partner.

        Some employee benefits may not be able to be deducted on income tax returns.

        Limited Liability Company (LLC)

        This is a very popular business entity for small to medium sized businesses. The reason for this is the cost of set up is not prohibitive and there is a separation between the owners and the company.

        The pros of an LLC include:

        Limited liability for the partners, unlike sole proprietorship’s and partnerships where the owners are held responsible for all of the companies debts and liabilities, an LLC provides some protection against certain debts and liabilities that are solely the companies.

        Simple taxation, just like the sole proprietorship and partnerships, income is considered “pass through” and is only taxed once on an individual level.

        There is no limit on the number of shareholders in an LLC. An LLC requires fewer fillings and administrative requirements than a corporation.

        Corporation

        A corporation is much more complex and expensive to set up. And a corporation is legally considered an independent entity that is separate from its owners.

        The pros of a corporation include:

        Complete separation between the owners and the company. Because the corporation is considered its own legal entity, owners can not be held personally responsible for any debts or liabilities of the company.

        A corporation can raise capital much easier just by selling more shares in the company.

        Cons of corporations include:

        Much higher administrative costs than any other business entity. Corporations generally have a higher tax rate. Dividends are not tax deductible for corporations. Income paid in dividends is taxed twice, once by the corporation and again by the shareholder.

        Again, this is just a short summary of the pros and cons, always check with your tax adviser about what will work best in your situation.

        5. Address Finances

        Again, not one of the “Sexier” parts of starting your business from scratch, but very important nonetheless.

        So, you’ve done your business plan and an estimate of your start up funding should be included. It should include the amount of funding you’ll need to get you through your first full year of operations.

        Now, how do you get that money?

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        Self Funding

        If possible, self funding is the easiest. You won’t have to go to banks and investors with hat in hand, or give up ownership or control of your company. But as we know, this is not a reality for most people. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available.

        Friends and Family

        They can be a good source of funding your business if they can see and understand your vision.

        Remember that business plan? Pass them out to everyone you know. Then follow up, be prepared to tell them the total amount of money you expect to raise, the minimum investment you are looking for and what you will give in return for the investment.

        For example, you give a friend your business plan and follow up with him/her a few days later. You can explain that you have secured funding for $80,000 of the $100,000 you need. You are selling a 2% share in the company for every $2,000 investment. How many shares would he like?

        And when he/she tells you no, thank him/her and ask if he/she can think of anyone off the top of his head who might be interested? Tell him/her you really appreciate his/her time and if he/she does come across someone who might be interested to let you know.

        Banks

        These guys are happy to lend you money when you don’t need it, but all of the sudden they get stingy when you actually need a loan! This is where preparation comes in.

        It’s a good idea to go over your business plan with an expert and maybe even have it rewritten by an expert before you approach either a bank or professional investor. Both will want to go over your business plan with a fine tooth comb, verifying all the numbers and data you provide.

        You should also brush up on everything in the plan so that you can answer any questions they have with authority.

        Crowdfunding

        Finally, there is crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Crowdfunding helps to build interest, community spirit, and a customer base. It’s also an efficient way to raise funds. You can take a look at these tips to find out more:

        6 Crowdfunding Tips To Get Your Project 100 Percent Funded

        6. Register with the Government

        As stated earlier, different types of business entities have different filling and administrative requirements. At the very least, you’ll probably need a business license as well as a state sales tax license.

        Unless you are forming a corporation, there are many good resources on the web that will do everything for you at a minimal cost.

        7. Assemble Your Team

        Remember when we evaluated your strengths and weaknesses? Here is where we fill in the gaps!

        Do you hate sales and cold calling? Great! There are people who love selling and wouldn’t want to do anything else.

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        Bored to death with accounting? There are a ton of small accounting firms out there that will take care of that for you.

        What about marketing? You can hire someone in-house or out-source that too.

        Your job is to keep on top of all the different aspects of the business to make sure they are all running smoothly and getting the results you need. If not, it’s your job to figure out the problem and implement a solution.

        Check out this guide and learn how to delegate effectively:

        How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

        8. Buy Insurance

        No matter what kind of business you start, you need insurance! Yes, I know, no one likes to buy insurance, but it can literally be the difference between having a minor inconvenience and declaring bankruptcy.

        We live in a very litigious time, even a minor slip and fall at your place of business could bankrupt you without insurance. If you need help finding a good agent, check with your local trade organizations or fellow business owners.

        9. Start Branding Yourself

        Has anyone ever ask you for a Kleenex or a QTip? We all know what they are because of branding, Kleenex is just a brand of tissue and QTip is just a brand of cotton swab. It doesn’t have to be as widely known as Kleenex or QTip, but you can make your brand a common name within your niche.

        I once owned a manufacturing company that developed a product that was so popular that my competitors started co-opting my brand name for their products.

        If you aren’t sure how to kickstart branding yourself, check out these ways:

        5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand & Make More Money

        The Bottom Line

        Starting a business from scratch can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.

        But do you know what’s even more rewarding? Having a business that succeeds, is profitable and provides a good source of income for you, your employees and their family’s.

        More Resources About Entrepreneurship

        Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

        Reference

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