A few years ago, my manager gave our team this book called Dream Manager. The purpose was to help us be more engaged in our jobs. She told us another manager had quit her job after reading the book and started a tie store. We all smirked a little. A tie store? It sounded funny. Quit a six-figure job to start a tie shop? What a stupid financial move! After I started reading the book, though, I realized I wasn’t living my dream. I had climbed high up a ladder, but I was on the wrong wall. Have you ever felt this way? Why do we work so hard doing what we know we are not called to do? In the back of our minds, we’re haunted by the American Dream. Advertising, music, and even our parents have convinced us that being rich and comfortable is the key to a full life, happiness, and significance. Yet, once you get to that peak, you realize that fulfillment is an illusion. If anything, you’re just hungry for more because that kind of success never satisfies.
My hope is you go for a big dream, a God-given dream. If you find yourself on a carousel of anxiety, panic attacks, and trouble sleeping, maybe it’s time for a change.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
The insanity stops here. Here are 5 steps to managing your dreams:
1. Be yourself
In order to be yourself, you have to know yourself. What are your talents, your passions? What gets you excited? What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about money? When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up? Take some personality tests. I’d recommend the Myers-Briggs, DISC profile, or the Four Temperaments tests. Then, find an industry that is going to fit you. Why change yourself to fit in somewhere you don’t like?
’Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Timothy Ferriss.
Stop being concerned if you’re qualified or if you have the right resources. The timing, organization, and setup is never going to be perfect. Be willing to start with imperfection. Some of the biggest revolutionaries weren’t ready by typical standards. Take David in the Bible, who defeated a giant. He was young and too small to fit into armor, but he still kicked ass. Or how about Bobby Jones, who became an overnight golf sensation as a teenager? It doesn’t matter how old you are, start somewhere!
3. Focus on your strengths
David didn’t defeat Goliath with his fists or a sword. He defeated him with a sling. You were created with unique skills that separate you from everyone else. For me, I know I’m not the best salesman in the world, but I really enjoy getting to know people. I’m an excellent networker and I’m more creative than the typical salesman. There’s been a few times I’ve taken my guitar into a sales call. Use what you got!
4. Be courageous
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” Face your fears. I think everyone should do sales at some point. My personal turning point came when I started making sales calls to doctors. I realized if I could have conversations with some of the most intelligent minds on the planet, why would I be nervous talking to anyone else? “
Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. WWI aviator Eddie Rickenbacker
5. Don’t give up
“Ain’t nothin’ goin’ to break my stride. Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no…I got to keep on movin’.” These are some great lyrics from the 80’s. Of course it’s going to get tough. No wonder it’s called the road less traveled. Have some faith in yourself. When the going gets tough, do you find yourself reverting to old habits? Are your dreams defeated by logic? Believe something extraordinary is about to happen. Your prize could be right around the corner.
The premise of Dream Manager is that if you help employees pursue their dreams, they will take better care of customers. The truth is, we all need a dream manager. We all need someone to keep us on the straight and narrow, and help us formulate short-term and long-term plans. Write your plans down, but have a friend or a group of friends keep you on the right path. Good luck!