In 1996 my speaking colleague, Lori Kleiner Eckert, published the book, With This Ring. Excerpted from the forward of her book: “Upon her grandmother’s death, Lorie inherited her grandfather’s ring. Recently, separated herself, she slipped her grandfather’s ring on and slipped off her own wedding band. Feeling that some sort of vows were appropriate, she decided to make vows to herself — to become a quilt lecturer and teacher, to trust her inner voice, and to love herself.” This is the dream Lorie pursued. The beautiful book is filled with photographs of her quilts, that include powerful and inspirational words. My personal favorite is the one you see to the left with the words, “If Not Now, When?” This picture lives on my desk, in my car, on my desktop, in my journal, etc. These were words that rang in my head often, in the month of July, when I landed in the hospital quite ill. Many of the followers of this newsletter know about my bizarre bout with being sicker than I have ever been in my life. This experience gave me a lot of time for reflection and a perspective shift. My thoughts shifted to career dreams that have been conceived but not come to fruition. I know I am not alone in dreams deferred. This newsletter is dedicated to YOU my clients, followers, friends, and colleagues. If not now, when?
There are soooooo many things that may cause you to put off career/business dreams: fear of failure, fear of success, perfectionism, money, time, life stage, lack of clarity, opinions of others, etc. My hospital stint reminded me of the fragility of life and that no more days are promised. My dear readers, if not now, when? Let’s take a leap into moving your career dreams into reality!
Let’s focus on the obstacles before we move to my four-step process of getting these dreams out of your head and into reality. Some of your obstacles are quite real. Let’s say you are currently in a job that is not using your talents and strengths to the fullest, but you have a side hustle that you love. You have a dream to expand your side hustle into a full-time business. Money may be a significant stumbling block for you. There is no doubt, there is gender disparity when it comes to lending. Data from the annual Federal Reserve Banks “Small Business Credit Survey” shows that women-owned businesses apply for financing at similar rates to businesses owned by men, but women-owned businesses, on average, seek out smaller amounts. They also are less likely to receive the full amount they sought (43% vs. 48% of men). Women still have a long way to go to gender equality in the lending market. The Biz2Credit research found that the average size loan for women-owned businesses was 31% less than for male-owned businesses ($70,239) in 2018. There may be several legitimate challenges to your dreams, that doesn’t mean they are insurmountable. The dream starts the process but the action brings it into reality. This process below will help you get that ball rolling. You don’t want to suffer the regret of unfulfilled dreams.
Here are the four steps I use with my clients, let’s explore each:
Dream: There are plenty of people in your circle more than available to squash your dreams. Some of those Debbie Downers are well-intentioned, trying to keep you from pain and failure. Often these people are closest to you – parents, spouses, siblings, closest friends. Listen and sift. Perhaps in their warning framework they have some valid concerns. There are also people who have never allowed themselves to dream and can’t conceive of going for it. Unfortunately, there are people likely in your circle that want to keep you right where you are. Your very success may be threatening to them. Learn what you can from these people but stay focused on the dream. You know your needs, talents, and strengths best. You know if these unfulfilled dreams will be soul-crushers for you.
Decide: This quote from author, motivational speaker and business strategist Tony Robbins is powerful. “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” You may plug along dreaming for years and suddenly something shifts, and you finally decide. From my perspective this is the most powerful component in this four-step process. After you decide, there is a weight that lifts, the conundrum is gone, and you often move forward with a rapid pace. Honestly, sometimes external experiences help you decide. I currently have a client who had been passed over multiple times for a promotion and raise. She is skilled, hardworking, and dedicated! After hearing of another person’s promotion, that she saw as less deserving, she decided THAT day to seek out a career counselor. She spoke with a friend who she knew had used a career counselor and asked to be connected. Obviously, the counselor was me. Within three months, she had taken dramatic steps to be more visible and valuable to her upper management and received a promotion. Decide and dramatic things happen.
Dedicate: Dreams take dedication. Sugar coating the dedication process is unfair to you. Perseverance is key. Your dedication may mean some sacrifice of time, money, leisure time, etc. When you want to quit because it’s hard, having someone to encourage you along the way is essential. Often my clients say next to the skill sets they learn with me, my belief in them is one of the things they value most. You likely will remember someone in your life that kept you persevering when you were ready to give up. We all need those people who believe in us when we have faltered.
Do: Another favorite quote of mine, from author Joel Arthur Barker, focuses on the doing. “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” You DO have to take action on your dreams. You must have an action plan, otherwise you will be overwhelmed, scattered, stuck. Action plans are an important part of career maximizing with my clients. Do you need an additional credential, do you need to know more about what it takes to succeed with your dream job, do you need to bolster your LinkedIn Profile? Without a clear action plan, your dream may only stay a dream.
There you have it, my four-step process for guiding clients into their dream job. There is so much more to do, but this information will get you started. Are you convinced you need more help? It would be my honor to guide you in fulfilling your career dreams. Call High-Heeled Success, LLC, (513) 561-4288 or email me Kay@highheeledsuccess.com and we will get the dream machine into gear.