Finance Friday

There is an excellently written post from  on Salon.com that is very popular. However, the post struck a chord with me. On one hand, I could empathize with David in many ways, as I thought about my journey when I decided to become a stay-at-home mom. But on the other-hand, I was troubled to hear how an intelligent person, could make such a poor decision. The article is entitled, “I never should have followed my dreams.” Intriguing, isn’t it. I fell for the bait and now I am sharing my thoughts about it with you. The article infers that it may not have been a wise decision to follow his dream; I argue though, that following his dreams wasn’t the problem. His main problem is that he stopped with dreaming and did not adequately set goals and plans with real deadlines and a timetable.

I think in America, some people are a little delusional from hearing a myriad of stories about self-made men and women. We often hear about their fruits, but we aren’t well versed with their journey. There is nothing wrong with following your dreams, but their are some rules that should be in place. Below are 5 steps to making wise decisions about your future.

#1. Set aside funds

If you have not saved at least 2 years of income, don’t jump into the fire. Tapping into your 401K should not be a sensible option if you can avoid it. The moment you realize that you have dreams outside of your current situation, start putting money aside to fulfill your dreams. Start a dream account at your bank.

#2. Never quit without a real fall back

You always need to have several streams of income. Even if you don’t like the job, having some money come in is essential. Money shouldn’t run our actions, but it is necessary.

#3. Make sure your goals have deadlines

After we speak our dreams audibly, we can get ourselves into trouble when we try to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Stop dreaming and start setting real goals with a real timeline. When you set your goals make sure they include feasible plans that you have shared with a knowledgeable person. A day of planning would have saved this guy a lot of heartache. 

#4. Volunteer

There are times when we may need to offer free labor in return for resumé boosters. Resumes matter in our society, so it is important to approach a new career with some related skills. Volunteering, is also a great way to network and meet people who can open doors for you.

#5. Be humble

If you want to be seen as a great candidate for a new job, come into the interview room with most of your ducks in a row. Rarely in life can companies afford to take a chance on a dreamer who hasn’t fully thought out or planned their life. Many employers will hirer the goal setter for being a forward thinker and planner, but deny the dreamer for being too hasty.

I wish David the best as he sells his memoir, and I am glad that he had the courage to share his story. I hope that as the future progresses he will make wise decisions that will change the course of his life and he will fulfill his dreams and achieve his goals. 

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