Funny enough, with all the excitement surrounding my transition to full-time design, I completely forgot that January 1st marked my 5 Year Blog/Business Anniversary! Five Years! Five years since I sort of haphazardly said, "What the heck, let's give it a go!" Five Years? The thought of doing what I loved as my sole career seemed so far off in the distance I could barely make it out. But the more time passed, the harder I worked and slowly but surely the dream and the ultimate goal came into view. In fact, by this time last year, it was crystal clear. It seemed so close I could almost taste it. And today, it's here.
Well today, I want to briefly share my thoughts on what to do when your dream becomes your reality. I'll be honest, it's a bit strange when you achieve a goal you've worked so long and hard to reach. For a goal-oriented overachiever, you immediately feel as if you need a new goal. Sounds crazy, but it's true.
So what do you do when your dream becomes a reality?
Honestly, I guess I don't really know...yet. What I do know is that for the past five years, I dreamed of nothing more than awaking today and feeling that amazing feeling of being ecstatic that it's the start of a new workweek. This morning, I experienced that feeling (though I'm writing this the evening before I've experienced it) and it was all I dreamt it would be. (I'm sure of it!)
What I also know is that I'm throwing everything I have into making my new reality a successful and lasting one. I'm wise enough to know that THIS will be the challenge, to not just "succeed" but to be sustainable. I've signed on to work with a business coach for this very reason. Like I said, I'm throwing everything into this. I guess that's the first thing you should do when your dreams become reality...throw everything you have into winning at it.
I'm also vowing to not give myself any less than I gave my employer for fifteen years. So every morning, I will get up, I will get dressed, I will report on time and I will work as hard (who am I kidding waaayyy harder) as I did when I worked for someone else. I will maintain the same type of structure I've become accustom to. I'll still use Outlook, I'll still schedule conference calls (and show up 3-5 minutes early), I'll return all emails within 24 hours and I'll even observe the 11 corporate holidays each year (only I'll call Christmas, Christmas and Good Friday, Good Friday instead of Winter and Spring Holiday Observances). Let's face it, this Type-A person needs that type of structure and that's ok.
You see, much of what has gotten me to this point is not just the creative aspects of what I love to do but also (and maybe more importantly) the discipline I've had in doing it. So, I suppose the second thing to do when your dreams become reality is to continue what you've done to get there. Seems pretty logical, right? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
It's strange, when you make this sort of pivot in life, everyone has something to say about it. Thankfully, the response I received was overwhelming encouraging and positive. However, you still encounter a few closet skeptics along the way. They ask questions like, "Do you have clients?" "So, you've gotten to a point where you feel like you can maintain your standard of living?" Now, the smart aleck in me wants to shoot a side eye and respond with a sharp comeback, but I've resisted. However, the experience of these well-meaning naysayers leads me to my final thought.
The bottom line is I set the goal, I did my homework, I put in the work, I planned, I saved, I invested and ultimately I did it. There's nothing left to do now but walk it out. I intend to do just that.