Turning Your Dreams Into RealitySaturday, February 28, 2015
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Thinking about how to make a dream or a goal happen can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. In order to put a foundation under your dreams, you need to put together a workable to-do list for them. This is not as difficult as it may seem.
First, write down your goal. Then, work backwards to create a list of all the things that need to happen in order for that goal to materialize.
Since many people want to write a book, I'll use that as an example:
The majority of publishers these days will not award a book deal to an author unless the author has a minimum of 5,000 active, organic Twitter followers. They'll ask to see the Google Analytics for your blog as well. Why do they care about a blog? Because it's a platform you own. Yes, they also care about your reach and influence on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, but they want to know that you'll still have a base of fans that are actively engaged with your brand if all these free services go away tomorrow. A blog allows you to have this to a degree that no other platform currently does. (By the way, Google Reader is a perfect example of a widely-used, well-liked, free web platform that gets shut down.)
So what needs to happen in order to gain a large blog following and 5,000+ Twitter followers? Well, first you have to both blog and tweet. Seems like a no brainer, but where most people fail is not in creativity but in their refusal to do the work required to make their dreams a reality.
How do you gain followers once you're using the services? By producing compelling, useful content on a regular basis. The key word here is useful. A blog or Twitter feed filled with announcements or Instagram links is not useful. Depending on your goals, brand and boundaries, it's okay to mix personal updates in with business on these accounts. In addition, sharing inspirational content can be useful because it can recharge a person both creatively and emotionally as well as provide a mental break.
Creating compelling content is not easy but it is not rocket science, either. What perspective do you bring to the table? What can you offer that's different than the eight zillion books currently on the market? If you feel you have nothing to say, think again. You make a living because of the point of view you bring to your professional skill set. What do you know that would help others in some way?
This obviously isn't an exhaustive list of everything you'll need to do to get a book deal, it's simply an illustration of how this practice of creating a to-do list out of an end goal works. If you want your dreams to come to pass, create the to-do list and then show up and do the work.
Originally published April 2013