Why Entrepreneurs Need to Dream

The word dream conjures up different ideas depending on the culture and language.
Apart from the thing you might do while sleeping or staring out of the window, the dictionary defines it as a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.  However, read a little further and there is a sub-meaning within this, which is an unrealistic or self-deluding fantasy.

The American dream is something you are reminded of many times when you visit any US city, with its skyscrapers and stories of immigrant success.  Or at least is was before Donald Trump shattered the myth.  Here in the UK we tend to be a little more pessimistic and downright cynical, something to do with the perpetual rain perhaps, and so we are probably more likely to see dreams as fanciful whims that never come true and only serve as a cruel, but temporary, distraction from reality.

In recent conversation with one of Birmingham’s most successful young entrepreneurs, I was reminded of the power of dreaming, aka visualising what you are trying to achieve.  Many years ago they wrote down the intro for their future self, which started out something like this: My name is Joe Bloggs.  I am 30 years old and I am successfully running my own business…  They still read it every day.

Tom Daley, olympic medallist, drew a picture of himself at the age of nine, winning a diving medal at the London 2012 games, with the heading My Ambition.

The 2016 TED programme was called Dream, and featured the most amazing innovators, thinkers, challengers and game-changers.

Because this post is about dreaming, some people might be reading it and waiting for the big BUT that says you need a healthy dose of realism, hard work and starting small.  There are already plenty of bubble-bursting posts about that.  There aren’t enough posts about people that have achieved way beyond the limits of their innate capabilities, talents or skills because their belief in a dream has driven them to actions that have led to success.  So, I’m ending on fluffy clouds and unicorns.