4 Ways to Follow Your Dreams

View as Slideshow

The key to getting out of any hole is realizing that you haven't just fallen; you've fallen into something. In fact, if there were such a thing as an opportunity index, it would stand at about 7.5 out of 10 now, says Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur and author of The Art of the Start and Reality Check. Despite the recession, he claims it's a better-than-average time to be entrepreneurial and pursue your dreams. Not only is there less 'noise' in the marketplace because of fewer competitors, but resources are relatively inexpensive. Plus, if you've recently been downsized, you have time to develop your idea and perhaps even a bit of severance money to help fund it.

'Successful entrepreneurs generally ignore the numbers the government puts out on economic growth and unemployment,' says Kawasaki. 'I'm not advocating sticking your head in the sand, but what do those numbers really have to do with you? Listen to the reports, know the landscape, plug your ears, and go on ahead.' Ready to get started?

The Dream: Opening a business
The Scheme: The biggest challenge here is consumers' current hesitancy to spend. If they were more willing to spend, the opportunity index would be closer to 10. But even in a choosy environment, Kawasaki says, there's always room for better and best. 'In times like these, people cut back on the frivolous, and there's a flight to quality.' And while it's important to have a business plan, he advocates crafting a business mantra too. In addition to the product or service you're providing, think about what kind of meaning you're making. Having a true mission in your mission statement is another way to rise above the competition.

The Dream: Selling an idea
The Scheme: Maybe you can't risk opening your own business but have an idea for one you'd like to develop and market to someone else. How do you get attention in this economy? 'Choose a name with verb potential,' says Kawasaki. For an example, look no further than Google. A name that connotes action and is a little quirky has a better chance of being remembered. Test your name in this sentence: '_____ it.'

Content continues below ad

The Dream: Going back to school
The Scheme: If you're out of work, invest in your future by expanding your existing skills or acquiring new ones. The value of knowledge has never been higher. Community colleges and online courses abound, and the Lifetime Learning Credit entitles anyone below a certain income who is taking classes (for a degree or not) to a tax credit of 20 percent on the first $10,000 of expenses.

The Dream: Giving something back
The Scheme: When times get tough, write your obituary. You heard us. Sit down, think hard, and list three things you want people to remember you for. This will help prioritize your life. Then find ways to follow through on your goals. If you can't contribute money to charity, give time. A bonus is that volunteering is a great way to network. You'll meet new people with new ideas, plus the effort will freshen your spirit.

Learn more:
5 Winners Teach Us How to Learn From Failure
How to Make Up Your Mind to Succeed

Content continues below ad

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes
Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane. Dennis Miller
Funny Jokes
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.” Kevin Nealon
Funny Jokes
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram @kristencarney
Funny Jokes
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water. Comedian Greg Davies
Funny Jokes
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous. @sixthformpoet
Funny Jokes
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral. From clientsfromhell.net
Funny Jokes
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.” @NicCageMatch
Funny Jokes
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol @yoyoha (Josh Hara)
Funny Jokes
My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that's the law. —Jerry Seinfeld
Funny Jokes
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse's mouth? A: A mechanic.