My friend Ben Arment sent out an email recently that was really powerful… not just for authors but for anyone who is pursuing a dream. I asked Ben if I could share it and he obliged. Read his words below..
Want to know something?
One of the best outcomes of pursuing a dream is showing people what you’re capable of.
Until then, they think they’ve got you figured out. They put you in a box based on what you’ve done before. You’re not capable of what you haven’t already achieved, they think.
But the minute you bring your dream to life, it awakens people to your true potential.
And here’s the kicker – no one will ever pay you for what they have no idea you can do. It’s not even on their radar. You can announce that you’re going to do it on twitter, but until you actually deliver it to the world, you’ll be defined by what you’ve already done.
Like right now.
I have no idea that you can write a novel, or produce a feature film, or lead a big church, or host your own television show. I don’t think you can raise a million dollars, or speak at TED, or write a best selling business book, or launch a global brand.
I am completely underestimating you.
So there is some work you’ll have to do for free… for now. It’s work that expresses what you’re capable of but remains unseen by the world. You can’t get paid for it… yet.
The goal is someday.
But for now, you may have to spend two years on that novel without seeing a single dime. You may have to self-fund that short film with a second job. (Now, the rest of the work? That stuff you’ve already proven you can do? You should charge for that.)
But for now, you should spend as much time as you can doing work for free that brings your dream to life… and shows the world an unseen side of your capabilities. This is going to sound cheesy, but “the free work is the key work to unlocking your potential.”
Did you know that Walt Disney paid for the initial drawings of Disney Land with his own money because no one else believed in him at first? (You’re in good company.)
I know some talented individuals who only use their talents for paid opportunities (It’s terribly humiliating to do unpaid work, isn’t it?) So they only deliver the things you’d expect… the things they’ve done in the past… the things you already know they can do.
And they remain the same people they have always been.
Among being a swell guy with really insightful ideas and perspective, Ben is the author of Dream Year: Make the Leap from a Job You Hate to a Life You Love. It’s a book I HIGHLY suggest you pick up and read. But don’t just read it, do what it says. Ben has helped many people realize their dreams and if you follow his lead… your dream could be a reality as well.
In Dream Year Ben guides you, step-by-step, as you identify, plan, and launch your dream career—in just one year.