Way back in 2003 I got stuck in a traffic jam on 77 in Mooresville, North Carolina. This traffic jam changed my life for the next 5 years.
The reason why this particular traffic jam changed my life is because it was on a bridge overlooking Lake Norman. Being trapped on 77 for over an hour with this beautiful lake surrounding the car, I started to think what it would be like to live with my family.
A dream was born.
The very next day, I began thinking about buying a home on the lake. I started researching different areas around the lake. I started researching home prices and school systems. I subscribed to the local newspaper and paid to have it mailed to me in Ohio. I even planned a future vacation by renting a house on the lake for that following Thanksgiving.
Based on this research, I came to the conclusion that the lakefront home I wanted to own would be around $1,000,000. Fortunately, I didn’t have a $1,000,000 at the time and I couldn’t qualify for a mortgage on a $1,000,000 home. This meant I needed to figure out a way to change my financial situation so that I could afford to buy a $1,000,000 home. My plan was to build my real estate brokerage into a profitable business worth $1,000,000. I would then sell the business and use the proceeds of the sale to buy my dream home on the lake. In essence, I would trade my business for my dream lakefront home.
This dream was so strong for me that I was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish. I would work 24/7. I would take risks. I would pursue every idea that would lead me closer to this goal. I hired Dan Kennedy. I joined expensive mastermind programs. I made relationships with other successful business people and learned from them. I studied marketing like a lunatic. I tested dozens of marketing strategies. Every challenge big, or small, was conquered all in pursuit of my dream to buy a beautiful lakefront home on Lake Norman.
In July of 2007, I sold my business for $1,200,000 and began looking for our lakefront home. We eventually found our home and made an offer in early 2008. The seller countered our offer. All we had to do was accept this counter offer and my dream would have been realized. I was literally one initial away from my dream.
For some reason, we held off on accepting this counter offer and someone else bought our dream home.
A few months later the magnitude of the market crash became apparent as things turned south quickly. The buyer of my business defaulted on the payments due and the million dollars I had created to buy our dream home evaporated.
All of this was bad, but the worst thing that happened was that I let my dream go.
It has been seven years since all of this happened and I’m just now realizing the impact of this decision. My dream to own a beautiful home on the lake literally compelled me to take massive action in my business. I worked through limiting beliefs. I took risk. I saw challenges as an opportunity. I faced my fears and became a different person in the process. This dream changed who I was as a person.
When I let the dream go after the market crash, I was no longer compelled to fight, work, and grow.
Little by little, I stopped pursuing opportunities. I unplugged from my mastermind groups. I stopped reading, studying, and learning. I closed several businesses. I stopped facing my fears. I stopped being optimistic. Letting my dream go changed who I was as a person, too. Nothing seemed to be worth the aggravation anymore because I had no dream to accomplish.
Losing the million dollars when the market crashed was nothing compared to what I lost after letting my dream go. Letting my dream go has been the most expensive mistake I’ve made in my entire 44 years of life.
On a high-level, a million dollars isn’t a big deal. It only took me a few years to create and I have the skill set to do it again even faster. I could have created another million dollars fairly easily after the crash using the skills I developed building my business the first time. The same is true for you too.
The problem was I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it because I let my dream go.
I’m thankful that I now finally “see” this because I didn’t for many years. Dreams change lives. (In both directions)
Underlying every great success story is a dream.
We cannot have our own success story, if we don’t have our own compelling dream. Not someone else’s dream. Our own dream for our own lives.
If you’ve been struggling in your business, could it be because you don’t have an awesome compelling dream to fight for?
Right now, the Cleveland Cavaliers are fighting for a championship title. This fight may end tonight. 🙁
The saying here in Cleveland is…”All In!”
What dream are you “ALL IN” for?