I just spent an amazing weekend in New York for the Make Sh*t Happen Weekend of Genius, and I am so energized and inspired by the others who attended. While I learned MANY things from them (and there is more to follow about the experience), I kept thinking that you are never too old… or too young, to start.
Until this weekend, I was usually the youngest person in the room trying to prove my experience and credibility to an older crowd: “listen to me, I know what I’m talking about;” “I have a new perspective, I’m not being juvenile;” “I have the pulse on the market you’re trying to target – listen to me!” But the tables finally turned on me, and I experienced feeling too old or too experienced to blaze a new path. My peers in the room were much younger than me and having the same thoughts, concerns and questions: “am I on the right path?;” “is it too soon to follow my dreams;” “will people take me seriously?”
You are Never Too Old or Too Young to Follow Your Dreams – BE BOLD
Following your dreams is not about age, it’s about being bold enough to put your thoughts into action. When in doubt, remember to BE BOLD!
- Being brave enough to question your path and follow your dreams, does not follow a specific timeline. Asking difficult questions and being strong enough and give words and action to your inner most desires and dreams, allows you to plant the seeds to follow any career dream.
- You do not have to have 10 years of corporate experience before you are considered an expert. You do not need to be a recent grad or a millennial, to go after a career that fulfills you. Expertise does not come with age – in either direction, it comes with knowledge, skills, hard work, and the drive to make yourself into an expert in something that you enjoy.
- Believing in yourself and your dreams is the single most important step in the journey. If you do not believe that you are capable of your wild path, then why would anyone else? Great leaps in our society have always come from people whose ideas were doubted and ridiculed – but they believed in their idea and never gave up. You are not silly/crazy/ridiculous/unrealistic for wanting something different – believe in YOU, even if it feels like no one else does. You are not alone in your desire to change, and your belief in yourself will help you find others on the same journey.
- No more excuses – eliminate all of your excuses. Never again fall back on that crutch of your excuses: being too old; being too young; having a family (or not having one); starting over; not having enough/too much experience; not enough money saved up; not knowing where to start. Own your dream, just like you would any other object. You have to put gas in your car and water your plants for both to work – treat your dream like something that needs to be nurtured, and do not let excuses get in your way – keep watering it.
- Learn everything you possibly can about your dream and then learn some more. Objections are more easily assuaged when we have facts to negate them. Learn about the facets of your dream, learn who the key players are and connect with them for advice, learn about the many paths to fulfillment, learn the skills needed to do your dream job. Turn your inner naysayer into a supporter through knowledge – and then apply your knowledge as part of your differentiation package.
- Never give up on your dream. I’m not going to lie to you – it’s hard to stay on track and keep at it when you are going against the “normal” path. Following your dream takes all of the things above, but without determination and perseverance, your dream will never turn into reality. This is the action step – this is the differentiator between people who are dreamers versus people who are doers. You don’t have to be the best, the smartest, the youngest, the oldest, the most creative – you have to be the most determined. You have to continue to focus on your dream and not lose sight that your dream is worth pursuing; your personal path is meant to have some bumps – or you wouldn’t appreciate it as much once you arrive.
Photo Credit: By sakocreative