The time it takes to trust in your dreams can take awhile. At least that was the case for me.
Especially when you’re the type of person who wants to know what to expect; someone who’s a planner and aspiring foreseer like me.
Over the past several years, I’ve continuously learned to let go, do the work and not worry as much.
I’ve reached the point where I feel like I’m more able to embrace the uncertainty that comes with our household being fully independent from full-time work. While it doesn’t mean that our goals for this year will come easily, I can sense this current section of road we’re on is different from when we didn’t have the foundation and experience that we have today. This feeling coincides with the typical life cycle of a new business, of having more things set up to live the lifestyle that we began working towards back in 2015.
Some of you may be thinking that we wouldn’t have even started if we didn’t trust in the dream. And to some extent, that’s true. It takes a certain level of trust and faith to take the initial leap in getting started.
It’s a whole other challenge to keep on going though—month after month, year after year.
Between my husband and I, we’ve held various full-time and contract gigs during the past three years to get to where we are today. For most of last year, I worked full-time as my husband continued building up our businesses. In hindsight, each step along the way has paid off—even when it didn’t feel like it at the time.
But as with any worthwhile endeavor, it’s been far from easy.
It’s been fraught with doubt, anxiety, tradeoffs, patience—and topped with thousands of hours of hard work.
There were certainly times when I wondered about what we were doing. Whether I was making the right choice. Whether everything we were doing would work or be for naught.
There’s still quite a bit of uncertainty in getting to the level we’d ideally be at. But with the leaps we’ve taken and work we’ve put in already, it’s become easier and easier to trust that things will work out.
Trust in your dreams doesn’t come overnight.
It definitely didn’t for me.
There’s no magical confidence pill that you can take during the time achieving your dreams will likely take. For me, it was a gradual build with varying highs and lows. Each dip would be followed by a high that would lift my confidence slightly more than it was before—until I (recently) got to the level where the dips were no longer as deep as they used to be.
I share this to encourage anybody who is working towards what seems like an audacious goal or dream to keep on going. Whatever happens, keep working towards your dreams—no matter how slowly you need to go in order to manage other life commitments and priorities. No matter what the immediate results look like, the work you put in now will accumulate impact over time.
Just focus on doing the work—however small or slow.
There will be unexpected detours and steps that seemingly go backwards. There may be some financially tough times, setbacks, or difficult decisions made to forgo purchases, dinners out or vacations with friends or family. In moments of vulnerability, you may experience paralyzing symptoms of imposter syndrome. Confusion may set in as you change your direction or vision on the project yet again.
The most important thing is to stay strong, sane and persistent over the long-term. If you consistently do that while being flexible enough to make things work amidst the difficulties, you will (eventually) reach where you want to go.
There were several times when I needed the additional security of part-time or full-time work in order to fully trust the journey. And who knows—perhaps there will be another time in the future when that is needed. I’ll be open and willing whenever that time comes to ensure that we continue building towards what we want.
The process of the build is a marathon, not a sprint.
Building a sustainable business is really about who’s still putting out the work year after year, rather than who’s going the fastest. It favors those who can strike the balance between making continuous progress and not burning out on the trek. Many of our friends with similar types of businesses have been steadily building for the last five to ten years.
Reality is, most businesses don’t find their footing until year four or beyond.
Coincidentally, we happen to be in year four in the build phase. It may take another several years to get close to the optimize phase. Knowing us, we may well be in to the process of building another project by then.
So for those of you who are considering taking a leap or in the midst of the chaos of it all, know that the trust in your dreams will increase as you continue doing more of the work. It may take time to trust in your dreams, but it’s well worth it—trust me. 🙂