Are you chasing your dreams? Hard work pays off. Just remember to run in your work boots.
In 2014 I released an indie book, “Purple People Leader” on my own just for the sake of saying I did so, though the message is hugely important to me. At that time, I committed to pursuing whatever was necessary toward accomplishing my goals of becoming a writer and speaker, and making dreams like self-sufficiency and being debt-free a reality in the coming year.
2015 has been an interesting year, with some health issues aside, I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good start. I’m not debt free yet, …ugh…but I feel like with every action step I take toward my personal, spiritual, health, and financial goals, no matter how small the step, I’m still light years further along than I was before.
I’m sharing this with all of you because you’ve shared this journey with me and you’ve been incredibly encouraging. I am not sharing this to brag at all. I have plenty to work on and to work toward. I’m no better than anyone else. I just want you to know that if you’ll commit to taking at least one step everyday toward whatever it is you’re dreaming about, then your dream will become a reality eventually. I know you have valuable messages worth sharing, as well as purpose, and calling.
While I haven’t “arrived” yet, I’m still chasing my dreams and I’m on their heels. I believe I’ll get there because I refuse to live a day without taking at least one step forward. Sometimes I don’t get in bed until 2 or 3 or even 4 A.M and I typically set my alarm for 6:15 a.m. I have a day job I love and one I am committed to, but I’m just as committed to my side hustles.
Those include contributing to Edutopia, The Good Men Project, and Huffington Post, guest posting for Learning Ally, and submitting to other sites, (and being rejected by many) while also advocating to make environments more accessible for our disabled friends, speaking to organizations and groups, slowly writing a children’s book while working on book two, and trying to establish a presence within my niche “leadership, learning, and life” spaces.
I’ve stayed busy. I’ve joined mastermind groups. I regularly enroll in webinars and online courses related to all the things I’m working on. I’m constantly connecting with other people I trust in the field at conferences and online so I can bounce things off of them and learn from them. Iron sharpens iron you know. I also regularly try to help others launch their own books, products, or dreams.
You may see me at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or anywhere else there’s coffee and free wi-fi. I go there often to write, and to pursue networking and connections with people because…well, I love people. God’s given me a heart for loving people, serving people, and finding ways to use the platform I’m building to help people.
I remind myself daily of the first line in The Purpose Driven Life. “It’s not about you” (me). It’s a drive, passion, purpose or calling that I can’t put my finger on, and that there’s no name or term for—but ultimately it’s a need to serve. Every opportunity I’m given to speak, interview, or contribute in some way whether it’s for a cause, organization, etc. is viewed as an opportunity to give back.
In a recent interview, I was asked a question that led to a discussion on humility and being humble while in pursuit of purpose and calling. The fact is, one of the struggles for anyone pursuing a dream, especially a person of faith, is running the risk of seeming self-serving or narcissistic. Anyone pursuing a dream or a goal especially in the crowded and noisy “leadership space” as I call it, knows that platform-building requires a certain amount of promotion.
It’s crucial to stand up and take forward steps to get your message out there. So yes, that requires what some may see as self-promotion but it’s not about self it’s about others, and it’s about the message, and hoping to be able to make some tangible difference or to bring value to people’s lives.
To do that you’ve got to build what some call “social proof“…in other words, proof for the world (or those people other than your family or friends lol), that you’re accomplishing something, and that you might have some knowledge of what you’re talking about. Anyway, I’ve been working on that too and I’m pasting below a list of the outlets I’ve been either featured or quoted in this year.
I need 2016 to be even bigger. I’m pasting it so you’ll get a sense of the level of work it takes to construct a platform or build a dream. I’m also pasting it, because I see my readers, friends, and family as partners in this, and I need you to hold me accountable. I’m wishing big, BIG, AMAZING things for you this year! Go after your dream. Take at least ONE step every day no matter how small. Just one, (or 10) toward your goals, and never stop walking or running toward your purpose. And …Farewell 2015. Thank you for being so kind.
In 2015, I’ve been featured in or quoted in the following:
US News Money, INC.Com, Psychology Today, US News, UNICEF Innovation Stories, Reading Rockets, All Parenting, Schools.com, Topical Teaching, Good Call, Edutopia, Wall Street Journal, Augusta Family Mag, Monster.com, Forbes Leadership, Teen Life, Daily Parent, CNBC, Bankrate.com, Collegexpress.com, Zliving.com Len Penzo dot Com, CITE Online, NEAchieves, AccreditedSchoolsOnline, Deseret News National, MyWebRoom.com, Savingforcollege.com, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Positive Mom’s Magazine
Benzinga.com, Saving for College.com, Forbes, Wallstreet National, Yahoo Finance, The UN’s GOOD Magazine
Sparefoot, Gradschools.com, Simply K12, Good Call, Proctor &Gamble Parent, Y Scouts, Care.com, Attentiv
Skilled Up, Recruiter, School Links, She Knows, Yahoo Tech, About.Com, The Stir, World Wide Learn, She Knows
Online Degrees 360, Group High, Nerd Wallet, Mom.Me, Affordablecolleges, Family Taxpayers Assoc.Tennessean
PBS, Understood, Intentional Parenting, The Australian, and more…
If you’re still reading, what are you waiting for? Get moving! Take steps toward chasing your dreams and I promise someday you’ll catch ’em! Just don’t forget to lace those boots up nice and tight.
—-All my best, all the time, Chester
p.s. Happy New Year!