How many of you remember the book, The Secret? It came out many years ago and it was a bit controversial. But it had, in my opinion, some valid points. What I found helpful from reading the book was the notion that we can attract that which we hope to see in our lives. We can dream and someday see that dream become a reality.
Honor Your Calling
One of the most influential people to me is Oprah. Oprah spends her life encouraging us to be the best self that we can be. She is a staunch advocate for following our dreams and passions. She overcame the adversities of her childhood and followed her dream. She helped launch successful careers and most importantly, to me, she became a philanthropist and gave back to the universe. While I will NEVER be anywhere near to becoming Oprah, I have learned valuable lessons from her.
One of my visions for LTD7, even when I did not know that was going to be the name of the store, waaaaaay back in the dreaming stage, was a dream that years and years in the retail business began forming in my head. I spent years dreaming of having my own store. I experimented with small niche stores. I got my feet wet and I got soaked many times. But still I dreamed. I was not afraid to try and some of my best lessons came from these attempts.
My dream was not only to bring you a store that fulfilled my passions and goals, but also, and perhaps more importantly, it was to encourage and be available to budding entrepreneurs.
Living the Dream is my personal mantra, but it is also the store name and vision. As it turned out, my dream shaped up over the planning stages into a venture that saw me working alongside and with others who have a dream and who have taken the plunge into the waters of this business endeavor with me. Working with other vendors who share a like passion is so rewarding and I still learn something new every day. Oh, sure there are failures, and bumps in the road and many changes as we grow at LTD 7 but every step along the way keeps me challenged and wanting to do more to bring you our dream and vision in the shape of LTD 7.
What is it you would put on a vision board or write as a one sentence goal if you took the time to do it? Begin with one sentence. Branch out and make a vision board.
What is your dream? What is on your bucket list and what can you do about it, even if it is only one small step in the right direction? Every single step takes us closer to our goals, even the small seemingly unimportant steps. What better day to start than today.
Would you retire early and sail the open seas?
Would you write a book?
Would you change jobs?
Would you open a store?
Would you go back to school?
Open a gym?
Learn to fly?
Buy a vacation home?
Travel to Italy?
Open a restaurant?
Get into politics?
Run a marathon?
Move closer to your grandbabies and extended family?
Travel to Italy and maybe never come back?
The list could go on and on. What I found helpful as I asked myself these questions and created my visions for LTD 7 and the future was to make a vision board and always have a rough plan, in a notebook that I kept in my purse. On my vision board I had fabric swatches, ideas for the store, what I hoped to earn, and quotes to motivate me.
Buy a piece of poster board or foam core board or some thumb tacks and a bulletin board and begin to create your dream…where you can SEE it. Buy number stickers and count down the days until you set “sail.” Change your password to your dream…you will see it every day and be reminded. Carve out a special place in your home…even if it is in a closet to make small steps in the direction of your dream.
One Small Step for Mankind
It helped me to take one small step towards my goal, every single day. How you ask? Well, it can be a teeny weenie step. It can be something as small as a trip to the library to read a book on the subject. It can be a Google map that you look at and dream. Other small steps could be something like signing up for realty websites to see what comes available as a workable space or new place to live. I signed up for online classes and webinars. I read all I could read. I went to see stores that were similar in concept to LTD 7. All of these things taught me (and still do) and brought me steps closer to my dream of owning LTD 7.
I still have notebooks chock full of visions and ideas that were generated by attending these hour long web casts and spending free time on Pinterest, and in stores looking for ideas, which I then filed away in more notebooks. I treasure them and look back at them frequently for ideas as I realize more and more parts of my dream for LTD 7.
How to Eat an Elephant
Sometimes I just knew my dream was way too big. At other times I knew there were a million ways I could fail. But I also knew that the only way I could dream was to take things in small chunks. After all, that’s the only way to eat an elephant, right?
One fun exercise for me was giving my passion and my dream a name. It can be a book title you want to come up with or a store name or the name of your new business or the name of your future beach home. Pick something that speaks to you and really moves you. Only you know what that is. And don’t forget to write it down as we all think we can remember those thoughts as we fall off to sleep, yet most things are forgotten by the light of day.
All these seemingly small steps really do move you closer to your dream. And don’t forget those vision boards. There is something to be said for visualizing what you want. It plants seeds in our minds and in the universe. It gives you a dream to think about on walks, at night before you sleep, or during a long car ride.
From time to time over the next year, I will share with you more of the steps I took to realize my dream of owning LTD 7 after thirty years in the retail business.
Dream until your dreams come true.
Living the Dream,