Do you have big dreams? Maybe you want to be a chef someday or start your own business. Your dream could be to simply get out of your dead end job or be able to retire near your grand kids someday. Are you getting any closer to making your dreams come true?
Many struggle with making progress toward their dreams. Our mothers told us that we could do anything we want, but the older we get the less it seems that it’s true. We get entrenched in the way things are, and while we seriously want our dreams to come true, they always seem just out of reach.
There is a lot written about overcoming the psychological and emotional barriers to making progress on your goals. But there is one very tangible reason why you aren’t making that progress. You aren’t prepared.
By prepared I mean knowing what is involved, understanding what trade offs you will make and determining if those are worth it. Then taking steps to make those dreams come true. How else would you make any progress?
Say you want to start your own business. You probably already know what product or service your business would sell, but do you know who would buy it? How many of those are there in your area? How will you tell them you are in business? How will you deliver what you’re selling? These and the answers to many more questions will help you create a business plan that answers the question “what is involved”.
Once you have your business plan, what do you have to change in your life to make it happen? Will you need to quit your job? How will your family make ends meet until your business starts delivering an income? Do you need to save some money so you can pay your bills for a time while the business is getting started?
Where will that extra money come from? What will you cut back on to raise the extra cash? Is it worth it?
Thinking through and planning for your dreams in this way accomplishes several things. First, your dream becomes more tangible. As you flesh it out, you understand it better, and it will either motivate you or allow you to let that particular dream go.
Second, you can’t gather this kind of information and not write it down. You will also likely tell others about your dream in pursuit of the information you need. Writing down your findings and the actions you need to take and telling others what you are up to are a form of commitment.
Third, you’ve created a road map of what needs to be done and how to do it. With a road map, you are much more likely to succeed than if you go after your dream with no preparation. There are too many who have lost their life savings and/or gone deeply in debt because they went after a dream without a good plan.
Finally, you will understand what you have to give up to make your dream come true. While you can do anything you want, you can’t do everything you want. If your dream is your priority, making the sacrifice it requires won’t be hard. You’ll have a hard time succeeding if you try to do too many things.
Your financial goals are intricately interwoven with your dreams. There isn’t much other reason to have financial goals. Few want to accumulate money for money’s sake. Money is only good for what you can do with it. Preparing to make your dreams come true means preparing financially.
There’s that old adage that success is 90 percent preparation and 10 percent perspiration. Whatever your dream may be, it won’t come true unless you are prepared to make it come true. If you really want something, it is still possible. But you have to take the first step.
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