Build Your Own Dreams

Or Someone Else Will Hire You To Build Theirs

I think about this every day.

To give a little context, you mainly hear this among entrepreneurial networks. It’s one of many hypermasculine mantras meant to serve as words of warning for founders to capture on a poster or in a motivational Instagram post.

It’s pretty straightforward; this idea that if you aren’t actively pursuing and building your own dreams, someone else will eventually come along and give you enough money to build theirs.

What a weird, binary thought.

According to this sentiment, life is explicitly black or white. Either you’re proactive or reactive. You either grab life by the horns or it grabs you.

Usually, I don’t believe in absolutes. There is always gray area; wiggle room to push conventional boundaries. In this specific case, I can’t help but agree.

After all, this is one of the few reasons I’ve never committed to a full-time position.

I truly believe in my ability to realize my own dreams and provide value for others on my own terms.

This has nothing to do with ego. I’m not smarter, better, or luckier than anyone else. Hell, as hard as I work, I know for a fact there are others out there who work even harder.

I don’t mean to sound romantic, but for me, this has never felt like a choice.

Let me rephrase that. It hasn’t felt like a choice until now.

I came across an unusual opportunity that has thrown a wrench into things.

Not too long ago, a friend and I began collaborating on a few projects, both personal and professional. After a few months, we realized this partnership could turn into something even larger.

Soon after making this realization, another opportunity popped up. A startup reached out in need of design and development help, looking for a few more people to add to their team.

Fast forward through two weeks of conversations, meetings, and negotiations, and here we are today:

They want to offer both of us full-time positions including very attractive salaries, benefits, and the potential for personal growth.

Don’t get me wrong; I am fully aware this is a good problem to have. To many, I may sound like yet another white, millennial male (with a beard) complaining about working for a startup or continuing to build my own. Not the most novel, first world problem.

Nonetheless, it is my problem. A problem that may seem like a no-brainer to most people.

Not to me.

Money has never been a priority to me. Not because I have it; because I value time way more. The time to explore, experiment, and proactively find my purpose.

My purpose. Not someone else’s.

I have spent my entire professional life pursuing my own dreams and I don’t see this stopping anytime soon.

During this time, I have sacrificed financial stability for more time. Time to move the needle forward. Time to learn valuable skills and explore new projects.

Using what I now know, I can always make more money.

Time, on the other hand, is finite. I can’t use what I know to create more of it. It’s the only nonrenewable resource that actually matters.

This is why I have to build my own dreams.

When I die, my dreams will turn into legacies. These legacies will be infinitely more valuable than the remaining balance of my bank account.

Are you building your own dream or someone else’s? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter at @williamfrazr.

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