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?”
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?“