*Note: This is a guest post by Kimanzi Constable.
That’s a tough question to answer. At this point, I can honestly tell you I’m living. It wasn’t always this way though.
If you would have talked to me three years ago, you would have been depressed. It was a cold Wisconsin morning and I was doing what I normally did at midnight, I was delivering bread. I had been doing this job for twelve years but still couldn’t get used to those hours.
More than that, I wasn’t passionate about the job. I wanted more – so much more – but with no college degree and no special skills, what could I do? I had so many doubts, so many fears, so many negative voices telling me I could never chase my dream. I simply existed.
Enough was enough. Three years ago I told everyone who would listen that I was going to make a change. After thinking about what I wanted to do, something kept screaming at me. A long lost love came back into my life: writing.
Writing? Are you kidding me? How can I make money writing? At that point I didn’t care; the dream was just too strong. I started a blog and took my journal that I had been keeping about work.
Ebooks were becoming popular so I decided to turn my collection of thoughts into an ebook, sell 10,000 copies and become rich and famous. As you can probably guess, things didn’t exactly work out that way.
The book came out in August of 2011 and for the next six months sold five copies. I was completely crushed. After two weeks of crying myself to sleep, something really woke up me up to my dream.
A young man who regularly read my blog contacted me and said he was inspired to quit his job. I asked him if we could talk and we did. Even though I wasn’t a life coach or anything like that, I wanted to help.
We worked through his dream job and over the next month, he got that job. At that moment my dream became clear: I wanted to help those people just like me – the ones who were existing, the ones who wanted more but didn’t know how to get it.
The rest is history as they say, right? Not really! At that point is when I truly became a writer. Instead of focusing on myself, I started writing to help people and add value to their lives anyway I could.
When I opened up, people responded and a few of them bought the book. Some shared it on social media and a few more people bought the book. I then researched how to get the word out.
I’ll fast forward for you: I released a second book, I guest posted on some of the largest and coolest sites around. Over the next two years, both eBooks ended up selling over 80,000 copies.
I don’t want to give you the impression that this just happened; it was a lot of hard work, sweat and tears.
When the books started selling, I got a little exposure. I was invited to speak at a conference in West Virginia. I never imagined I could speak, but once I did it, I wanted more. In the last two years I have spoken at conferences all over the world: 11 states and 10 countries.
I just got back from a three-week speaking tour in Kenya, London and Paris. My wife sure enjoyed the “perks” of my “job.” If all this wasn’t enough, on April 8th, 2014, my family and I are moving to Hawaii. One of our family’s main dreams is finally becoming true!
This can be your story
When people hear my story, they’re usually inspired. What I want to scream from the rooftops is that this can be your story too. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that your dream will never be your reality if you don’t believe it.
Experts will tell you that you have to change your “mindset” but I say you’re choosing to believe in yourself instead of believing those doubts and fears. This won’t be easy, but most “cool” things in life aren’t.
Once you truly believe, you can then do something about it; you can take action on your dream.
Figure out what your dream truly is. Research the heck out of that dream. Put a solid step-by-step plan together and take small steps.
Realize there will always be bumps on the road, have a shoulder to lean and maybe cry on. Above all, focus on your “why” and keep pushing forward. Do you want to do something cool in 2014? Stop existing and start truly living, you can do this!
How will you start truly living in 2014?
This is a guest post from Kimanzi Constable. He is a former bread guy turned best-selling author, international speaker and life coach. His mission is to help people figure out what their dreams are and how to make those dreams their reality. Be sure to check out #DreamYear, a project to help you live out your dream by the end of 2014 (it’s FREE). Be sure to also connect with him on Twitter.
photo credit: Nicole Pierce