How I Made My Dream a Reality… and You Can Too!

By Jane Atkinson

With coronavirus and all of the change in the world, it’s easy to forget about the dreams for your business and your life. 

Many have been in survival mode.  Some hanging on by a thread.

But what about your dream? Is now the right time to bring it back into your view?  

I say, heck ya!  

It certainly can’t hurt to focus on something inspiring and positive. In fact, I think it can help. 

Today I want to share with you a bit about my story, hoping that it might inspire you.

Back when I decided to leave my Speakers Bureau VP job in Dallas to return to Canada to be closer to my parents, I made a deal with myself. If I were going to live in London (a pretty city, but no water or mountains), I’d have a vacation property near Lake Huron about an hour away. The vision was relaxation, peace, and quiet. It would be a place to write books and unwind after a busy work week.  And it had to have a beautiful view!

Once I got back to Canada and settled in my condo near my parents, I started to look for my dream lake property. It didn’t take me long to realize I was looking for a Champagne property on a beer budget. I would’ve loved a water view, but that wasn’t in the cards, so I went shopping for a… wait for it… trailer. Yep, a trailer.

My first vacation property, as a young single woman, cost $16,000. I immediately set about fixing that place up and making it my own. And you know what? It turned out to be quite a fabulous getaway. At the time, I was just starting out as a coach, and a vacation property of any kind was a big deal to me!

A couple of years later, I met my husband. We enjoyed that teeny property for another eight years. But, I had made a deal with myself many years ago – and I wasn’t giving up the idea of being on the water!

About a year after selling the trailer, our best friends, who had a cottage at a lake about three hours away, invited us up for a visit. We sat on their back porch looking out at the lake, watching a mama loon feeding its baby, and I had never felt quite so relaxed. After that weekend, my dream was revived and started to take shape. 

When their elderly next-door neighbor talked about selling his property (a tiny lakefront fixer-upper), they let us know about it right away. But we weren’t ready, and we already had three mortgages; one for the house that my handicapped brother lived in, one for the condo my mom was living in, and of course, our own. Getting a fourth mortgage was a stretch. And I mean a stretch. 

But that dream was in sight, and the opportunity was there, so we did some careful budgeting, and we decided to go for it. That first year was so scary. I was really worried about how we were going to afford everything. But today, 4 years later, we have stepped fully into that dream.  

In 2019, we completed a renovation that has turned what was once a fishing and hunting shack into a beautiful, relaxing getaway. It’s a place where I can work, write, and coach clients from, all while watching those same loons, boats and kayakers drift by.

So what’s your dream? 

And what are you going to do this year to move closer to it? 

It’s very easy to give up on things when surrounded by chaos. But when you can look out into the future at your dream and take steps, no matter how small, towards it, you’ll be glad you did.  All those baby steps will add up!

It’s true, we have a long way to go before our industry is back to full strength. Incomes have been impacted – some more than others. But focusing your thoughts on where you want to go, on your big picture dream, will keep you from falling into the abyss.

I hope my story brings you some inspiration to keep moving forward!

I’ll see you soon, Wealthy Speakers!