"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work."
--- Colin Powell
This week we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, and most of us should know what he stood for, but if not, he was basically fighting for racial equality among all men and women. His famous, "I Have A Dream," speech is known throughout the world. He repeated the phrase, "I have a dream," in that speech over and over again to stress the point that he knows we can have equality and that it all starts with a dream. Though there has been some progress achieving racial equality, we are still a long way off from full equality.
Though separate in importance, (some may say that it isn't), business dreams are needed to propel a business to higher and more profitable levels. All goals, all missions, and all to-do lists must begin with a dream. We must have a vision in our mind's eye about where we are heading and where we want to go. It all begins with a dream.
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."
--- Harriet Tubman
Unfortunately, many of us begin as dreamers, making grand plans and plotting our path to providing signage and sign services to the entire world. We bask in looking at our first business cards and we make a copy of our first check from a client. We dream and then dream some more. But then, we get caught up in the busy-ness of business and forget how to dream. We may even see dreaming as a childlike activity better left for the millennials of the world when they design the next peanut butter crusher app.
"Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not clichés but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path."
--- Phillip Sweet
But dreaming should be a part of our daily activities. I know some business leaders who get to the office earlier than anyone else and sit with a cup of coffee and simply dream. They may doodle and may get distracted from time to time, but they still put forth the effort to dream.
Dreaming is a necessary part of business planning. Without dreams, we have no direction. Without dreams, we are swayed by the way the wind is blowing or the way the media tells us to think. Without dreams, we are simply doing a job, neither growing personally or expanding our businesses.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
--- Walt Disney
Make it a point to dream in 2018. Set aside time with a dream book and write down your dreams, any dreams. In fact, don't hold back on writing down the dreams you think people would laugh at if they saw it (it's your dream book-tell them to butt out!).
Your business mission, purpose, and vision cannot exist without first having dreams. You can't have goals without dreams. First dream, then set goals, then go succeed!
"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort."
--- Jesse Owens