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Written by: Matt Wilhelmi

Too often, especially in business, we lose sight of why we do what we do. I mean that the hours tend to blend together and before you know it, months and years have gone by and you don’t remember why you starting doing what you do. You forget your dream.

What is your dream? For many Americans it’s owning a business, having a family, or buying a house. Just the other day during an onboarding session with a new client, we got to the topic of future goals and dreams. This client has owned her own business for more than 20 years and is, what most would consider, living the American Dream. She can take a month off of work without operations coming to a screeching halt and she plans to do just that by the end of this year.

What I found so fascinating is that she still doesn’t feel like she is living the American Dream. When I asked her what that would look like she took a long pause, as if she was choosing exactly the right scenario, and said, “I want to sit on a boat, in the middle of a pond, and read books from dusk till dawn. I don’t want to be bothered by text messages, political Facebook posts, urgent emails, or have to worry about making payroll, where my next client is going to come from, who’s going to run the business when I leave, or any other type of stress. I just want some peace and quiet.”

Sound like your American Dream?

As we’ve just celebrated Independence Day, I wanted to take the time to highlight this story and ask you if you’ve ever considered your American Dream. As the burgers are sizzling on the grill, or your enjoying a cold beverage with your friends, take some time and dream. Dream big! What would it look like? Who would be there? Who wouldn’t be? Why do you think that’s your American Dream?

For me, and many other entrepreneurs I’ve talked to over the years, the American Dream is more than houses, cars, and boats. Banks have made them pretty easy to obtain. No. What I’ve discovered is that many entrepreneurs want to have a balanced life so they can spend time with their families, doing their hobbies, and not really worrying about money, status, or stuff.

I would like to propose, no. I would like to challenge you to literally take some time and ask your spouse, your family, your friends (or your Facebook friends) what do they think their American Dream is?

But, how do we get there?

It takes foresight

You will never get to where you’re going if you don’t know where that is.

It takes fidelity

There will be obstacles and things in your way. You have to remain faithful to your dream. Staying true to who you are and what you’re striving for is part of what makes it worth it!

It takes fortitude

There will be distractions and only those who are focused will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

It takes family

Although not necessarily your actual family, but I believe that part of enjoying the journey is being surrounded by people who care about you and want to see you succeed.

It takes fortune

A little bit of luck is great and sometimes having just a little can make up for other mistakes.

I would love to hear from you! What’s your American Dream? How do you plan to get there? Are you living the dream now? How did you get there? Please share!

© Individual Advantages, LLC 2016
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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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