Before you label me a dream killer, hear me out…
It’s inspiring to pursue your passions, but it’s not practical. I’m not trying to sound like your parent(s), but a voice of reason.
The more important question you should be asking yourself is: “How can I monetize my dream?”
Shark Tank, Pitch Fests and Startups have us obsessed with chasing what we love, yet the problem is the pot of the gold at the end of the rainbow is usually empty.
I’m as guilty of this as you. I think of a great idea, my mind (and heart) starts racing. I think of all the possibilities, but rarely about the obstacles. I chase the future, but am not always rooted in the present.
Only in the past 10 years have most professionals started saying: I want to do something I love. That’s awesome, but not realistic. If I can teach you anything, it’s to study how to make money from your idea from the beginning. There’s enough information on: TV shows, You Tube Videos & social media to get you started (no, you don’t need to go to school for a degree…experience beats education every day).
You learn by doing. Make mistakes. Ask experts. It’s smarter to launch your idea as a side project initially and if it takes off, make it your main thing. If not, lesson learned and at least you’re not depressed and unemployed. I’ve seen too many people chase potential only to be living at their parents house into their 30’s waiting for lightning to strike.
If I could go back to college, I’d give myself the following pieces of advice:
– Intern to learn a sales model then try to better it.
– Sell something, a product or service because it doesn’t matter how great your idea is until someone else sees the value in it and buys it
– Network like your life depends on it. The world is about who you know, not what you know. Remember that.
So my message to you for 2016 isn’t to settle for a corporate gig, it’s to find work that can support the lifestyle you desire. Success is defined by you and you only. Chase your dreams, but work relentlessly at the process.