4 Ways to Fight the Fear “You’re Too Poor to Accomplish Your Dream”


Have the little voices in your head ever said, “you’re too poor to go after your dream?” Oh, you don’t hear voices? Um, I mean..

You probably don’t have the salary you’d prefer. You might not have a savings account. Maybe you don’t own a computer. Maybe you can’t afford a car.

..You might not even have a job!

For a very long time I didn’t work on my dream because I believed the lie that I was too poor to accomplish it.

You see, in 2009 I had already written my first book, “Money C. Counts 1, 2, 3” when I decided to hole myself in a room for an entire weekend (waking up at 7 am and going to bed at 2 am) as a big push to complete the graphics and finally send it off to the printer. I worked really, really hard and got the work done. I was ready to ship.

A few days later I woke up, got my coffee and went to grab my beautiful, shiny, silver Apple Powerbook that I had bought in college. I was in for a big surprise! My computer was so HOT that I actually burned my fingers! I couldn’t even pick it up. I had to go to the kitchen and get my oven mitts in order to carry the computer over to the window ledge where the crisp winter air could cool it down. My precious computer was fried, literally. Even the Apple geniuses couldn’t fix it.

And my book… was gone.

Now, I still had the original watercolors but I didn’t have my computer. I didn’t have Photoshop. And I didn’t have any money to buy either. My dream was dead. For a couple years my dream was deferred.

A Dream Deferred

by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

For a long time, I felt very sorry for myself.

Then, one day, my husband was reading some Seth Godin gems of wisdom out loud to me, as he often does (and I wish I could remember exactly WHICH gem it was this time) when he turned to me and said, “what can you borrow to make your dream happen”?

And that was it, dream revived.

1. What can you borrow?

I was embarrassed to do so but I asked one of my lesson families if I could borrow their extra laptop. When they needed it back eventually, my friend lent me her computer. She’s a good person & friend and was more than happy to let me use her computer… for a couple months! I wanted more than anything to just go out and buy one. I mean, that’s the American thing to do, right (put it on a credit card)? But borrowing builds trust (as long as you return the thing). It’s humbling. It brings other people into your dream.

2. Can you get family, friends & fans involved?

When I finally left the pity party and did some hard work on a borrowed computer, I didn’t have the funds to actually get my book printed.

Cue the next pity party…


I went searching for solutions. I did what Michael Hyatt suggests and asked, “what does this experience make possible?”

There’s this thing called Kickstarter. You may have heard of it. Or Rocket Hub. Or IndieGoGo. These sites connect people with a dream with those who want to fund a good idea.

I funded the printing of “Monkey C.” through a Kickstarter campaign (you can see it here) with the help of many people who are dear to me and a few strangers too (who are also dear to me 🙂 )!

3. Can the buyer fund the project?

You wrote a song, recorded it on a borrowed computer but can’t afford to get CDs made? WAIT… no one uses those things anymore! Use CD Baby to sell your music to the masses. Maybe consider giving it away (gasp) to gain fans. You can give it away on Noise Trade and raise money for a worthy cause while you’re at it.

You wrote a book? You can publish eBooks through multiple sites with little to no cost to you: Create Space, LuLu, Book Locker, etc. You can even publish/print physical books (I KNOW… who even uses THOSE anymore) through Lulu where printing costs are included in the buyers purchase price.

4. A good dose of perspective always helps!

Having a bigger worldview always helps me appreciate my own life more.

There are people who are actually poor. They aren’t reading this because they don’t have access to a computer. Ever. In fact, they might not eat today.

For the rest of us, there are solutions.

And you have a beautiful, big, creative brain. I mean, you thought up that great idea in the first place!

I’ve shared it before but I’ll share it again. Don’t defer your dream!

Instead, “Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive…then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Missed my last post on the lie #1? Here it is: “What Do Clown Shoes & Hushed Tones Have to do With my Dream?

7 thoughts on “4 Ways to Fight the Fear “You’re Too Poor to Accomplish Your Dream”

  1. Also, you may have assets that aren’t necessarily cash. I’ve parted with a few things from my collection of Rubik’s Cubes in order to purchase some stuff I need without my side business going “into debt”.

    If you’re (in a generic sense, not necessarily the author) serious about your dream, is there something you could part with that isn’t as important as your dream? What about looking at your budget and determining if you could fund your dream? How many months of “no cable” would result in that new laptop you need?

  2. Great job! BTW, I totally spaced getting back to you on that recording thing. If you’re still in need, I’m happy to take part 🙂

  3. Pingback: Lie #1 “That’s SOOO uncool!” (What do clown shoes & hushed tones have to do with my dream?) |

  4. Omg! Is this me writing!?! LOL. I could write a reply that’s waaaay too long but I totally get the POOR feeling. It overwhelmed me in the midst of some serious loss… Then I woke up one day and said I’m not poor like I am a woman, or daughter, or Christian, or friend… But I am instead poor like I am sleepy or hungry or too hot or too cold…all things that can change.Poor is Not my WHO!
    The borrowing IS humbling. As is the waiting in line at the public library for my fast 30 minute turn and the heat and stench of all those bodies pressed into that room of computers…life lines into my dream.
    Finding out how badly I wanted something was a great reward!
    I love the borrowing option… Which makes way did the sharing one too!

    • I love that! “Poor is not my who”! Exactly! I’m glad your finding the “possible” in circumstances that can seem impossible or frustrating! Keeping dreaming & working Isabelle! 🙂

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