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Written by: Mary Smith

When I was little, I always thought that growing up and following my dreams would be a cake walk. I have always been taught to follow my dreams and to do what makes me happy, but as I get older I’ve found that it’s easier said than done.

This is a good place to start if you are ready to start following your dreams! Tweak these steps as it relates to you:

Step One: Finding Your Dream

This should go without saying, but in order to follow your dreams, you need to have at least one in mind. If you already have your dream in mind, great! You’re ahead of the game. If you don’t and are still searching for it, take some time to evaluate yourself. What are your likes and dislikes? What aspects of your personality are strong or weak? What environments do you thrive the most in? At a desk, helping others, outside, etc.? What do you want out of life? Yes, the last question is a huge one, but it’s important to ask yourself. This is your life, so what do you want out of it? Once you explore these questions, and any others that may come up during your brainstorming time, you will be ready to move on to step two.

Step Two: Building Your Foundation

To follow your dream, you must build a base for yourself. Personally, my foundation has been built by arcades, bowling alleys, bars, counseling centers, senior centers, retail stores, and (my personal favorite foundational block) consulting. I have been with IA Business Advisors for three years this summer and although it still hasn’t surpassed my longest held job at a snack bar in a bowling alley, it has taught me the most. You need to evaluate how you have built your foundation and determine if your foundation is ready for you to pursue your dreams. Only you can decide this; no one else can determine this for you.

Please keep in mind that your foundation doesn’t necessarily have to fit perfectly with your dream. My dream is to work in the cosmetic and esthetic realm. Way different from anything I have been doing so far, but I have built a solid foundation for myself. I am now equipped with real life experience from such a wide variety of trades and have learned from so many different individuals in different walks of life. Learning and growing in other areas of life will only help you gain experience and be that much better at whatever your dream may be.

Step Three: Executing Your Dream

Once your dream is found, and you have built a good foundation for yourself, you are ready to figure out how to obtain your dream. Your dream may be small or big, and depending on the extremity of your dream, could take years to achieve. But don’t be discouraged. You have to go for it. Remember that big question you asked yourself earlier? Well now you must give yourself what you want out of life, no matter what it takes. Don’t settle for anything less than your dream. Research how others have obtained your dream, make a plan, and begin executing. Start with small steps and work yourself up.

The most basic plan for following your dreams could look something like this:

-Go to school to obtain the correct licensing/degrees

-Try to get into a position where you can learn more about your dream and gain experience.

-Research. Research. Research. (Most of my job includes research so trust me when I say this is important)

You may find that your dream evolves and grows as you learn more about the field you have chosen. Let it evolve! It’s okay to let your dream grow! Growing your dream along the way is half the fun. See where it will take you. You never know! You may even find one day down the road that your dream has done a complete 180, or maybe you have found a new dream, and that is okay! Just keep pursuing your dreams; always make a plan to achieve your dream, no matter what.

Life is all about what you make it. Whether you want to write a book or travel the world, figure out how to do that and make money. No, your dream doesn’t HAVE to include you making money, but wouldn’t it be nice to be living your dream and making bank? That is probably the ultimate dream.

© Individual Advantages, LLC 2017
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Mary Smith

Mary has been with IA Business Advisors for 6 years. She graduated with a bachelor's in English literature with a minor in psychology, and is currently working towards her master's in organizational leadership. She enjoys writing and produces blogs for IA and several of IA's clients. Her favorite aspect of writing is the research.

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