5 HARD LESSONS I’VE LEARNED (FROM MY HUSBAND) SINCE FOLLOWING MY DREAMS
It’s not easy. But thank God I’m not traveling this dream journey alone. My husband is not only my companion, but he’s teaching me some difﬁcult lessons on the way. I love the dream, but the process not so much. I was naive about the blocks that I would stumble over as I skipped merrily along the dream-brick road. Truth is, following my dream is the best decision that I’ve made for my life. But even after creating my vision board, I can’t say that I was completely prepared for the path that was ahead of me. Here are ﬁve very HARD lessons my hubby taught me (and in some cases he’s still teaching me). I’m passing on his souvenirs of wisdom that I’ve collected on the road to my dreams. My hope is to inspire you to stay the course and be ready for what you may experience as you’re making your dreams come true.
1. Get Ready for a Rollercoaster Ride of Emotions.
The thrill of following your dreams can be outright scary at times. One moment you feel empowered and fearless. Next, you’re confused and having an “ugly” cry episode. With all the ups and downs, you’ll think about giving up. You’ll convince yourself that you’ve tried and may even entertain the thought of going back to a more stable and “secure” career.
The Lesson: Your feelings will be unreliable. My husband says that my mixed emotions are deﬁnitely making me more resilient and humble. Despite how you feel, remember your purpose and the passion that you had at the beginning of your journey. What made you start your own business? Why were you inspired to follow your dreams? Take the uncertainty in stride and allow prayer, meditation and powerful afﬁrmations to get your through the uncomfortable ride.
2.Your Savings is Your Cushion for When Money Gets Tight.
Money will go quickly, so be sure to have some cushion saved for at least a year. I was sitting pretty on a strong savings before I stopped teaching. But that money quickly dried up. The problem? I tried to maintain the same lifestyle I had before I took my leap of faith. Big mistake. This behavior placed large holes in my safety net or savings account and caused ﬁnances to get tight really fast.
The Lesson: Spend wisely. Your savings will be your main income until your dream starts to make money. Be prepared to live on the basics and I mean the basics. Determine how much money it takes to run your household and how much it will cost to invest in your dreams. Learn to live on a budget and create multiple streams of income to help keep your savings aﬂoat.
3.Hustle, Hustle, Hustle … HARD.
“If my clippers don’t cut on, I don’t make any money.” My hubby used to say this to me about his 20-year hustle as a master barber. He had to build his clientele one hair cut at a time and he didn’t do it by reclining in his barber chair waiting for a walk-in client.
The Lesson: As a dreamer, you will work harder than you ever thought you did at your traditional 9 to 5. In fact, you don’t clock out. You’re always on the grind. I had to understand that the books in the trunk are not going to sell themselves. Potential clients will not rush to my website to buy my products and services. You have to create opportunities by having a “go get it” mentality. Discover creative ways to get your hustle on to attract new customers.
4. Your Dream is Seasonal. It’s not always harvest time.
There is a time to reap and a time to sow. Some months your schedule might be packed with engagements and you feel like you’re well on your way. Then you’ll look around and wonder what happened. The momentum slows. The phone stops ringing. No emails in your inbox and no text messages on your smartphone.
The Lesson: Instead of thinking your season is over, use this time to sow into yourself and your brand. This may be a good time to offer your services for little to no cost in exchange for invaluable testimonials and exposure. Study your craft and make observations. Listen to powerful teachings and read books that will promote your spiritual and professional growth. When the season changes, you’ll be ready to reap the fruit from your labor.
5. It Takes about 15 Years to Be an Overnight Celebrity or Success Story.
Four years later, I ﬁnally understand what he was trying to tell me. I just knew it would happen sooner, but hubby knew better. Yes, people have written great reviews about my books and have genuinely supported my work. I’ve even had a number of guest appearances on television and radio shows, but that’s just a small piece to the bigger picture. Although I could clearly see the image of success, I didn’t take into consideration that even pictures need time to fully develop.
The Lesson: You’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s true. It will take time for your dreams to unfold. Look back at how far you’ve come and celebrate the progress you’ve made. Only God knows what you need in order to fulﬁll the desires of your heart. Enjoy the journey and learn to trust the process. The process is preparing you for the promise. And then one day: lights, camera, action. You’ll wake up to your dream and realize that you were living it all along.