"It is better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what's left?" - Jim Carrey
You CAN pursue your passion without cash on hand. Does money make it easier? Hell yeah. We all want to have a spouse that pays the bills, a nice nest egg, or an angel investor, but that’s pipe dream stuff for most of us.
J.K. Rowling was a single mother on welfare when she began her writing career. The fact is, money is only ONE of the tools you have on the journey to follow your dreams. Think of it this way. Most things are possible. Many things are probable. And achieving our dreams is a moveable peg on a sliding scale in between. The peg moves forward or backward according to our skill sets, mindsets, discipline and, yes, resources.
If you’ve got food, shelter and decent health, you can absolutely start your journey right now. Ditch expectation of ideal beginnings and just begin, right now, in your messy reality. Dreams all take shape in an uncertain world.
Here are 4 things you can do, right now, to begin pursuing your dream without money:
Start Planning - Just work towards starting. Make a timeline where you slowly crawl toward a more solid start. Craft little steps you can take to build up to the next bigger step. This can be as simple as a plan to spend 20 minutes a day thinking about creative marketing ideas, selling unwanted housewares on eBay for cash, or reading a book about others who have achieved their dreams.
Get Experience - Replace TV, social media, half the housework and obligatory family events with learning. Volunteer somewhere relevant to your future dream project. Spend time on discussion forums. Launch a mini-version or pilot project for a test audience, etc. Network and make connections with the like minded at meetups, events and groups. Speak your dream out loud to those who can help you with their wisdom or resources.
Be Creative - Ah yes, the ole think-outside-the-box advice. But it’s true. When you think there is only one door, or only doors, you may miss a plethora of open windows. For example, if you’d like to start a business, and believe you need $10,000.00 (for an office space, supplies, staff), there may be a less than ideal way to begin. An online store with a template based website might work. Working from a home office and just renting a room for meetings or events could be an option. Just be willing to start slow and tackle a goal step at a new angle. Divergent thinking is your friend.
Cut Expenses - If pursuing your dreams really needs cash up front, or eventual cash, and there’s no creative way to shoestring the project through sweat equity, then you will need to start collecting and saving money. Two options: Earn more of it. Spend less of it. Cutting expenses is typically easier.
Start slashing the unessential and questioning the way you live. Could you move from a single family home to a duplex (make your renters pay the mortgage)? Could you move from an expensive town to more affordable town? What if you sold every single thing you don’t need in your life? Never eat out again. Never buy new things. Stop vacationing. You get the idea.
If you read all this and think, “Ha! Yeah right. I have a family and there is no way they’re moving to a trailer and giving up the leased car and vacations.” We hear you, but label this obstacle for what it is. You don’t have a money problem. You have an obligation and shared values problem. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe, if you sit down and talk with loved ones about what they’d be willing to sacrifice for your happiness and vice versa, you’d be surprised.
Just begin to begin. Today. You’ll thank yourself later.