Funding Your Dreams
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Guest post by Dominique Elise of morethandreamers.com
So, you’ve got a dream. You want to use your gifts and talents to pursue the things you are passionate about and generate income at the same time. You have finally resolved within yourself that you are going to make it happen.
But there’s that one thing that you just have no idea how to piece together…the financial stuff. How are you supposed to go after this dream and also have a steady income?
Unless you grew up with parents who are accountants, you are just like all of us, and probably have no idea how this works. No shame there.
There are two different extremes when it comes to funding your dream: the go-all-out and get a gigantic loan, then hope and pray that everything works out OR the woe-is-me I will never have enough money to make this happen, maybe one day I will figure this out.
Obviously the best place to start is right in the middle. You really only need three things. A plan, action and everything you currently have available to you. I’ll elaborate.
Start with what you have.
Right now. Right where you are. With whatever you have.
For example: If you are wanting to start a handy-man (or handy-lady – no discrimination here) service, you do not need every single tool that exists. A handy-man will encounter all types of jobs that might require unique tools. Not every tool.
There’s no way you would have the foresight to know exactly what you need until you need it. However, you can begin to take on jobs that you know you do have the necessary tools for.
The point is, you can get started NOW.
You don’t have to wait until you have a truck full of equipment and thousands of dollars invested. Especially, since it’s likely that you hope to have some type of income stream from this endeavor. Starting off by spending tons of money is counterintuitive to making money.
Brilliant stuff. I know.
While we are at the point of starting with what you have, it’s very important to know exactly what you have. Specifically, how much money you have.
If you are anything like me when I was in my early twenties, you avoided opening your monthly statements because actually knowing your credit card balances could cause a slight ulcer and induce insomnia at night. Yes. It’s true. You’re not alone.
But guess what?
If you are on a true mission of purpose to pursue your passion, do yourself the honor of doing it the right way. You deserve to set yourself up for success. That means it’s time to be honest with yourself and where you are at financially.
Read also: Take a Financial Needs Assessment blog posts.
When you know this very important information, you have a much better understanding of what your needs and goals should be. This cannot be understated.
So, in getting started by looking at your finances, here are a few must-ask-yourself questions:
- How much debt do I have?
- What are my current living expenses?
- How much do I currently make?
- What are bare minimums I need to survive?
- How much will I need to get started?
- How much do I want to make this year?
- What is my dream income?
- How much do I want to invest over time?
- How much time will I need to invest to make this happen?
You will need a budget for your finances. If you don’t have one now, it’s time to learn to open up your mind to the “B-word.” If you want your dream to be a reality and eventually be successful at it, a budget is necessary. Start with your personal finances.
If you’re really struggling to start, sign up for the free BeardedBudget 7 Day Budgeting Course.
If you are hoping to get investors and hope others fund your dream, what makes you think you will be more disciplined with somebody else’s money if you aren’t currently disciplined with your own hard-earned income?
Take control now. You will not regret it later.
Or you could just learn the lesson the hard way, like Dave Ramsey did when he went broke after becoming a millionaire because he had no idea how to manage his finances. Luckily for him and for us, he finally got it together and told others how to do the same (Check out the Total Money Makeover if you need some guidance).
Ok. Now that you know what you have it is time for step 2.
I grew up with a Business man. I learned early in life, that if I were to have a desire or venture and needed my Step-Dad’s support (and by support, it was probably money or for him to pay for something I couldn’t afford) I had to present it to him as a plan.
I’m not kidding.
A breakdown of what I needed, why I needed it and its potential return on investment. He never asked me to present it in those terms, but the questions always led to that sort of information.
So eventually, that’s how I would always bring it to him and when I had clearly thought out all of those things on my own and still knew I needed/wanted it and articulated it with clarity, he generally supported me (as good Dad’s do).
Investors are the same.
They tend to also work off of probability. Your likelihood of success probably isn’t high if you have not mapped out your plan yet (your actions, or lack thereof, demonstrate that you’re just not that serious about it).
Somebody is not going to just give you money for a great idea (unless you actually go to have your ideas patented), they want to see the skeleton. They want to see its purpose, why it would be successful or beneficial, how long will it take to get a return, who your target market is, how you will get it out to the world and even who is doing something similar.
These are all things you should know about your dream. If you don’t, you have work to do. Put a plan together. If you need help, here’s a simple template to start.
Also read about: Starting a Side Business blog posts.
Ok, you’ve mapped out a plan. Now it’s time for action. I’m going to be very upfront with you.
This is the hard part.
We can talk about pursuing our dreams all day long, but what separates those who are living their dream from those who are just dreamers, is this.
The action. The hard work. The failure. The moments of hopelessness in the midst of uncertainty. It will take grit, consistency and getting up again and again after being knocked down.
A very important thing to keep in mind is that the Big Break mentality is a unicorn. Real life looks a lot more like, “gradually and then suddenly.” Gradually you will try, fail, learn over and over again. And then suddenly, when you put best practices into place, find consistency and utilize persistence, you will arrive at your mapped-out goals.
Resolve within yourself that it is going to take hard work and discipline to achieve your dream.
If it’s anything other than that, it will be a wonderful surprise. Although, don’t forget that the long-paved road to success is necessary to build character. Don’t anticipate it happening overnight.
Don’t waste your energy and resources looking for a break when you could be investing it into your dream and building an actual plan. That brings us to one last point.
Don’t quit your day job.
Sure, dumping your day job will give you more time to focus on your big dream. But it also may cause you to settle.
Let me explain.
If you have kids, (in my case, cats and dogs) and a mortgage and a car and health insurance and need to buy groceries, keep the power on, use AC in the summer time, you are going to need to fund these expenses. They don’t go away when you quit your day job to pursue your dream.
So when things get tight and it’s nearing the 1st of the month, you may settle for the quick (and not so fulfilling) jobs to sustain your living. Keep your day job, fine-tune your craft, have margin for error in your finances and when you have surpassed a consistent and sustainable income, then maybe it’s time to part ways.
Also, your day job could give you the financial support you need now to fund the beginning stages of your dream. Don’t take that for granted.
At the end of the day, your biggest commitment will need to be to yourself. You either want to pursue the dream or not. Yes, financial support is necessary and there is plenty you can do to take control and get to where you need to go. But for now, start with what you have.
Have you followed a dream that lead to success or failure? Let me know in the comments.
Being disciplined with your money is hard but trust me, it's worth it. -Brandon
I’m Brandon and that’s my bride Ariana and our first born. We listened to age-old wisdom and paid off over $100,000 in debt from college, credit cards, vehicles and an underwater mortgage in under two years. We now we live a debt free life. Now we’re able to spend more time at home with our kids and prioritize our life.
With BeardedBudget, I have developed a number of financial and merchant relationships; some of which are affiliate relationships. The opinions expressed here are mine alone and should not be construed as professional financial advice but honest reviews and recommendations based on my own experience. For more information, read the disclaimers and disclosures.