As a kid, we heard about ‘following your dreams’ and no profession was too far out of reach when asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’. To this day, we all have dreams and aspirations—whether personal or professional. Hiking a mountain, taking the international vacation, starting a business… the list can go on and on. But how many people actually follow through with making their dreams a reality?
Sujan Patel, VP of marketing at When I Work, works with companies to help grow their business and increase revenues. He shares his insights about the most common reasons why you may never have ‘taken the plunge’ and followed your dreams into reality—along with how to change that:
- Fears of the unknown: One of the most obvious reasons that people don’t follow their dreams to fruition, the unknown can be daunting. Even if you hate your job, it’s more comfortable to stay there rather than taking a risk and trying something new. It can be tough to think about leaving the stability and security of your current job. Try working on your idea/business after work hours a few hours a week and see how far you get.
- You don’t know what you’d do: More people find themselves in one of two situations—too many ideas, or lack of one. And if individuals don’t have experience in starting a new venture or a business background, that could also be part of what’s holding them back. If this is the case, try testing out your product/service in the market. If you make crafts, try selling them on Etsy and feel out the market. If you have an app, do beta testing before you seek funding. There are solutions and resources out there for you!
- You don’t have enough savings: With student loans, credit cards, mortgages, rent, and weekly expenses, many people live paycheck-to-paycheck and can’t save tens of thousands of dollars as startup capital. Seek funding from others (loans, crowdfunding, etc) and bootstrap what you can—make the little you can save go a long way!
- Fear of failure: It doesn’t matter whether a personal or professional dream, the biggest reason most people don’t follow their dreams is because of fear of failure. Most friends and family will support your dreams—whether or not it becomes a giant success. Failure doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road—use what you learned and try again! The majority of new ventures fail—learn from your mistakes and try, try again!
The decision to pursue your dreams is ultimately that—YOUR decision. You are the only person who can decide if moving forward is right for you. Think about the above and think about the timing, rewards, and what you want. If and when it feels right, go for it! Though fears and failure play a role in holding us back, following your dreams and realizing your potential can be the ultimate reward!
Thanks for reading and until next time… stay WISE!