The year was 2008. I knew I had something inside that I needed to get out. I couldn't sit still and I was ready to show the world what I could do. I was on my own. My "mentor" was providing empty promises, I had less than $5,000 in assets to my name, and I knew nothing except I have a degree that's practically worthless.
Even with the chips stacked against me, I had really grand visions. The dreams at night were quite vivid. I often thought about being dressed in an all-black custom tailored suit, waiting confidently backstage at some business conference. I would have my speech written down on high quality paper, tucked neatly in my jacket pocket. My hands would be steady without an once of sweat. The callouses from all of the ditches I've dug throughout my life and from the immense amount of weights I've lifted would impress anyone's hand I shook. I would hear the MC call my name and hear the applause of the crowd.
In another consistent dream, I envisioned going to pick out my dream car. I would walk up to the salesman, dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans, hand the guy an envelope full of cash, and say "That one. I'm taking that one. Thanks. Bye."
Another dream was of me finally getting enough confidence and gumption to ask the prettiest girl I ever saw out on a date. I envisioned picking her up in my dream car, blasting Tom Petty, and hearing her laugh at everything I say.
These were all just dreams. Just visions. Just ideas.
Anyone who knows me personally, knows I am huge Tom Petty fan. There's something about his deep lyrics and simple 4/4 3-chord patterns that touches my soul. One song in particular, Deliver Me, reminds me of when I first began this entrepreneurial journey. The lyrics are:
Every women and every man, Knows the feeling so well Those times when the heart just can't understand, The times when you never can tell I was born with something down inside of me And it's carried me over, delivered me Yeah delivered me, I'm standin' at your gate Just out of reach of the hands of fate
So deliver me, deliver me Baby take this heart, set it free Take this chance, take this dream Baby take this heart Deliver me
I believe everyone can relate to this song. We all have those grand visions in our heads and we look up to the sky and say "I know I have what it takes. Help me get there. Please, Deliver Me".
Confusion will constantly try to cloud our minds, but those grand visions we have never leave us. Only once they are accomplished is when we plan the next set of grand visions. If you can't picture exactly what you want, how will you know when to be fulfilled or not?
Most entrepreneurs are very similar. We all know how important it is to get as close as possible to that picture in our heads. It's an entrepreneur's job to bring our ideas, visions, and dreams to LIFE.
Of course, it's never going to happen EXACTLY like we want it to happen, but we try. It's just not living if we don't try.
It's been 9 years since I first had those visions. And I brought every one of those visions to life. Maybe I wasn't a wearing a tailored black suit. Maybe I didn't pay the salesmen in cash. Maybe she didn't laugh at everything I said. But, the rest came true. I got pretty close. And no matter what anyone says about those visions in your head, close is always good enough.
Now, I'm onto the next set of grand visions :)
So, as you lay in bed at night and think about your own grand visions, just remember it's your job (and yours alone) to make them come true. Of course, you will need to find the people to help your vision come to life, but that's going to be the fun part. You see, not only will you be building towards your ultimate vision, you might be able to help them get to theirs. Maybe, if you're lucky, you might end up in their story too.
Summer is about to begin and the days are getting longer and longer. Put on some Tom Petty and sing it with me: "Take this chance, take this dream, take this heart and Deliver me".
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