In our last post, we discussed how Carolyn’s dream was born, and how this led to our starting Reason to Bake, a gluten free cookie company.
Today’s post is the second part of our five-part series, entitled "Giving Wings to Dreams–Creating Career Opportunities for Your Special Needs Child." In this post, I will talk about foundational truths from which we operate our business.
What we decide to believe about ourselves and the world around us will determine how far we go and what we accomplish.
1. The Sky is NOT the Limit!
Don’t put your dream in a box. Carolyn dreamed for years of being a dancer and in her mind that meant being a ballerina. But she is not built for ballet so that was more wishful thinking rather than a pursuable dream.
Rather be open to new expressions of the same dream. We found for Carolyn that she has a natural gift for dancing with flags in worship. She loves what she is doing and it brings satisfaction to her soul. We don’t always see clearly in the beginning what a dream will look like but as we walk it out more things become clear.
2. Own the DreamYour dream needs a voice and that voice is yours-your child’s and yours. No one is going to carry the vision like you do. Others will come along side to help and give wisdom but you maintain ownership of your dream. So don’t ever apologize or minimize what you carry in your heart for you and your child. Stay true. SPEAK UP! Write it down!
3. Change “Can’t” to “Can”
Change your vocabulary. Work from the idea of what could be possible rather than what could go wrong. Make” YES” your first response rather than "No, I can’t." There is a solution to every problem.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Hard Work
Embrace the process. Hard work, excellence and diligence are not things to avoid. Rather they are character traits to be learned.
We do a great disservice to our children if we look to make life easy for them. Of course, we don’t want to discourage them by demanding things beyond their abilities. But learning to not fear taking on a challenge and risking failure is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.
Carolyn really learned the value of hard work and perseverance through participating in the 2014 Special Olympics National Games, where she went on to win gold medals in the 400-meter and 1500-meter racewalks. She also won a silver medal in the 800-meter race walk.
Carolyn going for the gold at the 2014 USA Games.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Help is always available-even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. All around you are people who have the answers to your questions. They want to help you! They want to see you succeed.
Community colleges and national organizations likeSCORE, a free small business mentoring organization, have wonderful resources all designed to help you build your business. Also, there are many wonderful books out there to help you go after your dream. Dream Culture by Andy MasonandVision Map by Joel Malmare two of my favorites.
If you know someone already succeeding in the field you are interested in, ask them for an interview. Ask lots of questions!! People LOVE to share what they have learned along the way.
6. God is Interested in Your Business
If I told you that you can have immediate access to the most creative innovative help on the planet, would that give you courage to step out? It did for us. Our business runs on the premise that the God of the universe wants to do business with us. He wants to work WITH us.
That one amazing truth has under-girded all our decisions these past 3 years of business. It is an amazing thing to realize that all the resources of heaven are available to you for pursuing your dream.
Your turn: list your dreams now!
Every journey starts with that first step. Start the discussion with your child. Make it a fun time coming up with all the dreams you can think of. Give your child opportunity to try lots of new experiences. Let me challenge you to sit down tonight and start your dream list with your child. Andy Mason talks about making a list of 100 dreams. That is a great place to start. I would love to hear your ideas so please let us hear from you.
No one is an island to themselves and we operate best when in community. Others are watching and you give them courage when you step out. They won’t remember your mistakes as much as they will remember your courage.
Carolyn is all smiles after winning her first-place medal at the 2014 USA Games.
We want to hear from you. What are you finding works for you? How can we encourage you?
More important than what they do in life are the people our children become! That is our ultimate goal. Be blessed today.