Many times we’re told that in order to pursue a dream we must breathe, eat and sleep according to that dream. Pursuing one’s dream is not easy, it is a commitment that requires sacrifices and most importantly time. However, most of us have responsibilities like paying the bills and providing for yourself or a family.
While many of us may think the ideal dream pursuing scenario does not involve a full time job, the fact of the matter is most of us cannot afford to quit. What many people don’t think about is that, with the right attitude and determination, it is surprisingly simple to follow your dreams with a full time job.
Here are ten small things you can do that will enable you to hold on to your job and still work towards that dream:
1. Self assess.
Admit the dream. Singers sing, writers write, entrepreneurs build. Keep in mind that a dream is something you simply cannot keep yourself from pursuing. Ask yourself how badly do you want it and what sacrifices you are willing to make. In my book, Start from Success, I advise, “Start with the end in mind, and you will always know where you are going.” If you know what you want, you will never lose direction.
2. Stop lying to yourself.
You don’t have to become a starving artist to follow your dreams. It’s easy to psyche yourself out thinking your family or your boss won’t support you but once you get the ball rolling, you’d be surprised who will be there to cheer you on.
3. Think of your job as a sponsor, not an enemy.
No matter what your dream is, chances are, reaching it costs money. Writers have editor costs and being a musician will cost you until you are paid to be one. Even entrepreneurs have to spend a pretty penny to get their ideas to reach the right investors. How will you pay for these things without a job?
Forty hours in a job, many more spent in other responsibilities and how many left to pursue your dream? The answer is up to you. There are two things in life that determine your freedom, Time and Money. Maybe you won’t be able to go out three nights a week, or you won’t be getting that new pair of shoes each week. No matter what it is, something will have to go but whatever it is, it will enable you to follow your dream.
5. Set specific goals and deadlines.
You know what you want, you’ve found the time and money, and you are ready to go. Sadly, this isn’t enough. It’s difficult to do something significant when your goal is simply “sing more” or “think more.” Challenge yourself; give yourself a deadline for a certain part of a project. Write five thousand words each day, e-mail some possible business partners a week. Up the ante each time you reach a milestone and watch as things slowly fall into place.
6. Use free time wisely.
Use your free time to gain related experience. Find articles published by other professionals in your field, look at their work. If you are an artist, practice, free-write, don’t be idle. No matter what your dream is, one thing you cannot afford to do is waste time. Use it wisely.
7. Meet motivating peers.
You are not alone in your search for success. Countless of people are in your situation and these peers can help motivate you. Use your social networking accounts (Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc) to find like-minded individuals. Search for online forums or attend group meetings; company is always motivating.
8. Develop your network.
While peers in a similar situation may be motivating, they cannot provide vital industry connection. It is important you connect with experts in your field, find a mentor and learn as much as you can from their experiences. While online communities and meet ups may be a great way to meet other people, remember to keep your eyes open. One of my best business connections came from another dog owner at the dog park.
9. Make adjustments
Live at the financial level that both your job and your dream allow. Take your dream into account when making future plans or big purchases. Make the necessary adjustments to follow your dream without burdening anyone else.
10. Give up the “I made it” myth.
Success doesn’t have a taste or a smell and once you reach it, it means nothing without people to share it with. Likewise, you will never reach a point when you ‘ll get to stop working. Living the dream is also working the dream. Give up the myth of making it, and remember not to slow down at the end of the race.
Take a moment and in the comments below start your journey now by writing what your dream is…