We all have dreams, but how many of us spend time focusing on making our dreams a reality?
Martin Luther King’s illustrious ‘I have a dream’ speech of 1963 asked for everyone to be judged by their personal qualities and not by the color of their skin – and for “all men, yes, black men as well as white men” to be guaranteed “the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as promised in “the magnificent words of the [American] Constitution and the Declaration of Independence”.
Now, over 50 years on, whilst racism hasn’t been totally eradicated, the rights and prospects of black Americans (and Europeans) have certainly improved; to the extent that the current U.S. president is African American.
If that’s not an inspiring realisation of a dream then I don’t know what is!
But why all this talk of dreams on a marketing blog?
The answer to that comes from my desire to shape my business around my dreams – so that the work I do is focused on what I am passionate about, and not simply something I have to do to earn a living.
I want to share that experience with my clients too – as I’m passionate about helping others to enjoy the same freedom and happiness that I crave for myself.
So in my marketing business I endeavour to help my clients to realise their dreams of attracting their ideal customers and running a business that isn’t just successful in monetary terms, but also enables them to achieve their own sense of freedom and happiness.
But in order to help others in achieving their dreams, I need to achieve my own. I need to learn how to make my own dreams a reality and to share that experience as widely as possible.
As I said in the title of this blog post – I have a dream … well actually I have a few, but writing this post has made me realise that they are rather too hazy to make a reality right now, so the first step I need to take towards realising my dreams is to focus on seeing them more clearly.
Fortunately, I recently discovered someone with a similar passion to mine – who is helping people to realise their dreams in a far more significant way. That person is small business oracle Judith Morgan – who has provided the inspiration for this blog as, together with her business partner, Nicola Cairncross, Judith is running an internet summit on 18th June about people who are living “beyond the laptop lifestyle” – full details at: ownitthesummit.com
Judith’s work (as my online business coach) is helping me to realise my dreams for the future. But to realise those dreams they need to be properly examined – which I’ve recently discovered I haven’t done closely enough for a while.
I have achieved my dreams, in part, in my life so far – as I am fortunate enough to have attained the goals I set for myself as a teenager of obtaining a degree, working in London to gain experience in my chosen field – of PR and marketing – and then working part-time from home whilst raising a family.
But having achieved those goals, I now need some new ones. Why is that? Surely I should be satisfied with where I am now?
Except the reality is that our dreams don’t always turn out quite the way we expected. What appears from a distance to be a perfect life isn’t always so idyllic when we experience it up close and personal.
For someone like me, I need to have clear goals in order to feel motivated in life. I need to feel purposeful and certain about what I am doing everyday and where I am heading. And that’s where I feel something has been lacking recently – my dreams have changed, my horizons have broadened and now there is more I want from life than simply juggling the repetitive challenges of work and family responsibilities.
But unlike when I was a teenager, my dreams for the future, beyond this ‘mid-life’ point that I’ve reached, are rather more hazy.
So this post is, deliciously, affording me the opportunity to examine my dreams more closely. It has come at the ideal time too – as having embarked on a passion-led business a few years ago, my dreams for that business weren’t realised, so I’d popped it on the back burner for a while, to watch my ideas simmer, until I felt ready to start it again – which I’m delighted to say is now.
So when Judith’s invitation came to share my dreams for my “beyond the laptop lifestyle” I saw this as a great opportunity to spend time defining what I really want in the next phase of my life.
Like many people who like to travel and live life to the full, I’ve often wondered whether I’d like to live what’s referred to as the ‘laptop lifestyle’ – where you earn a living from your laptop and run your business from anywhere in the world. In theory I could adapt my current business to achieve just that, but I’ve never felt committed to that dream as whilst it sounds nice in parts, I wonder (as a person for whom close friendships and meaningful face-to-face connections are important) wouldn’t I feel a bit lonely and removed from the people I really want to help?
One version of this dream, which I’ve held for a while, is to live in a ski resort for 6 months of the year and a scuba-diving resort for the other 6 months – as they are two activities I’ve discovered that I am most passionate about.
Combining that lifestyle with my marketing experience may not be the easiest thing to achieve … but who said anything worth striving for would be easy? So I may still explore that option when I don’t have the added complication of 2 children to consider. Some people would attempt it with their children in tow (as I know at least one family in the Own It interviews has done) but I guess I don’t have the necessary commitment (or support from other family members) that would be required to make it happen. That dream isn’t clear enough … yet.
The other dream I’ve held for a while is to develop that passion-led business that I referred to before – or my ‘passion project’ as I’m calling it now. It’s all about creating an online magazine, not just a blog, but a fully fledged magazine. It was a food magazine, but has now morphed into a lifestyle magazine, about experiencing and sharing what I call the ‘Feel Good Factor’. Where everyday you wake up feeling positive, purposeful, empowered and energised to live the life that makes you ‘Feel Good’.
It’s work in progress, which is why it isn’t live yet – but hopefully, soon, this blog will be on that website as well as my Marketing Mechanics site (as I’m not planning to totally stop my marketing work – but instead to combine the two).
This may be too ambitious a dream, but we will see. So far my clients seem pretty happy with what I’m doing for them, alongside my passion project, so long may that continue.
What I do know about my future ‘beyond the laptop lifestyle’ is that it’s all about balance.
It’s about having a perfect mix of excitement and calm; time with others and time alone; time working and time where I set myself free, doing things that really ‘feel good’. Travel will certainly come into it, once the kids are older and need me less on a day-to-day basis.
Meanwhile, to develop my dream, I need to be strict with what activities I do when and how long I spend doing them. So I hope that with focus and practice I will find the right balance … so watch this space …
Meanwhile, I look forward to listening to Own It – The Summit on 18th June and learning from those people who have already achieved their perfect balance in their ‘beyond the laptop lifestyles’.
I will write more after the summit about what I have learnt from those interviews, how that has helped me to see my dreams more clearly and how I plan to move forward.
Exciting times, eh!
If you too have dreams and would like to keep in touch to share thoughts and ideas about marketing and / or our respective dream-focused journeys then please sign-up here.