For the last two years – since graduating from college – my son has been working as a financial analyst for a healthcare consulting firm in Dallas. And it’s a great firm… fast-growing, profitable, a leader in its niche, beautiful offices, takes great care of its employees, and so on.
But he hasn’t been happy… he wants to be in New York and he wants to change industries (from healthcare to music/entertainment). So, he’s saved his money, quit the firm and is moving north! Next week!
As his father, I’ve not at all been in favor of this idea. He’s walking away from a great start to a career… and I just don’t see him as a New York kind of guy. But he’s been up there many times and he loves it.
In addition, as an employer, I’m concerned that he quit his job without first having another one lined up in NYC – even if it’s just temporary. You know the old adage, “It’s easier to get a job when you have one.”
But after calming down, I stepped back and tried to put myself in his shoes. And then it hit me. He’s pursuing his dream! And he’s so committed to it, in fact, that he’s throwing all caution to the wind and just going for it. He has “burned his ships in the harbor” as the old saying goes. I actually have to admire him for that!
This whole event also got me to thinking about us business owners and executives…
- Do we have a dream (or a vision) for our firms… or are we just plodding along?
- Is it clear and can it be articulated… or is it just some wishful thinking?
- Are we willing to do whatever it takes to achieve those dreams, to throw caution to the wind, to burn our ships in the harbor?
- And if we are… are we truly committed to it or will we revert back to the old way at the first sign of trouble?
- Then most importantly, are we turning those dreams into plans (business plans, marketing & sales plans, operational plans, etc.) and executing on them… or are we just stuck in the idea phase?
There are no easy answers here. But one clear takeaway is this… a genuine and compelling dream can be a powerful driving force for success in your life and in your business. As the man walking across the street in the movie, Pretty Woman, says, “What’s your dream?!”