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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Dream! You Can't Afford Not to Dream!

Fighting Povery & Saving Landfills
How Can You Make Music From Broken Bottles?

Thought for the day: You can't afford not to dream.  In the current economic climate many people have survived several lay-offs only to find themselves overwhelmed by a workload they simply can’t manage. They drag themselves to work every single day, both fearing & hoping for a lay-off to occur. They feel stuck, but are truly afraid to consider leaving a steady paycheck behind. You may be thinking, “Dreams cost money & I’m already struggling financially.” Or, “I can’t afford to follow my dreams.” In this day & age, financial concerns are weighing on everyone’s minds. I read a billboard recently, which said: “Recession 101: Bill Gates Started Microsoft During a Recession.” There are creative ways to accomplish aspirations even when financial resources are tight. Visionaries, like Bill Gates, don’t let finances stop them from working toward their dreams. Instead, they find creative ways to finance them. Do financial constraints keep you from following your dreams?

People say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I believe, “Where there’s a dream, there’s a way.” Creative problem solving skills which foster innovation even when challenged by financial restraints are related to another Dream Quotient (DQ) ability which enables people to follow their dreams. There are multiple ways to start working on your dreams even with limited financial resources. In my book, some of the creative solutions used are presented like the inventor of the cute buttons, jibbitzes, that you can buy for Crocs, the colorful rubber sandals with holes. These decorative buttons that fit into the holes you see on Crocs were designed by a housewife, Sherry Schmeltzer.  Jibbitz is a company founded by Rich and Sheri Schmelzer.  Sherry initially made them for her daughter, but when her daughter’s friends suddenly wanted them too, she began making them out of her garage. To make a long story short, this previously unknown housewife’s idea became an overnight success & Crocs bought her company for a 20 million dollars,. Unfortunately, not every idea will lead to a million-dollar business, but every million-dollar business began with a creative idea. What creative talents & activities do you enjoy? Don’t ignore them! Find a way to incorporate them into your life.

Another way to finance your dreams is to continue working in a job while you develop your dreams on the weekends or evenings. I saw a woman on television who works during the day as a construction worker. At night & on weekends she spends her time making chocolate floral arrangements. Her creations are simply beautiful, very tasty, & very time consuming. With hard work & determination she has turned this into a small business. It is her passion—a true labor of love—& since it’s something she enjoys, it enhances her life until she can attain the wealth necessary to leave her day job far behind. There are many ways to learn the skills necessary for a new career before leaving a steady job. Nowadays, there are innovative weekend & night schools for most professions. You can even take courses online from the comfort of your own home. There are scholarships for working mothers & fathers, as well as internships & apprenticeships that are available. You can also volunteer in a new field in your spare time to see if the work is to your liking. As you investigate these types of exploratory experiences, you will also be building a resume that will help you land employment in the new field if you choose to pursue it.

Two of the Dream Nonprofit organizations, Music From A Bottle & Rock & Wrap It Up, featured in & benefiting from my book exemplify how you do not need a lot of money to follow your dreams.

The founder of Music From A Bottle was unemployed & trying to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life before the idea for his organization came to him. He had been working as a counselor with a non-profit organization which assists youth infected with HIV, but he had recently been laid off. He was also a musician & wanted to get back into the music industry, but wasn’t sure how to just yet. Suddenly, the sound of breaking glass at the end of a concert became music to his ears. He saw how to turn those broken bottles into a way to bring music into his life while supplying music education to enhance the lives of underprivileged kids. In addition, he would be saving America’s landfills at the same time.

It is Music From A Bottle's goal to donate one instrument a month to K-12 school music programs, provide music instruction & music business education. Millions of beverage bottles, both glass & plastic, are disposed of annually. By collecting & recycling bottles from music festivals & restaurants, he would help clean up our global waste & find a purpose for those bottles by encouraging the musical development of children around the globe. To purchase The Wake Up And Dream Challenge & donate 1/2 of the profit to Music from A bottle, click here

It took Syd Mandlebaum several years to develop the idea of Rock & Wrap It Up. In the the summer of 1991 that Syd Mandlebaum started the recovery of food from Jones Beach Theater. This “rock star’ quality leftover food was recovered & brought directly to the soup kitchen Syd had helped found in 1987. Syd realized that if food was left over at one venue where rock bands played, food was potentially available at every concert venue in the United States & around the world. He dreamed of recovering all of it before it was dumped in landfills. This food could then be distributed to the hungry instead. His dream, Rock & Wrap it Up! was launched nationally Labor Day 1994.

Since its inception in 1991, Rock & Wrap It Up has: Donated to over 43,000 shelters & places of need; Collaborated with 60 sports franchises, 150 bands, & 200 schools; Collected more than 250 million pounds of food; & Fed more than 500 million people.

Rock & Wrap It Up! is an anti-poverty think tank. Using greening tactics, Rock & Wrap It Up! recovers food & other assets to agencies fighting poverty, increasing their operating budgets. This allows the agencies to hire more services such as tutors, social workers, job placement counselors & mental health counselors to attack the root cause of poverty. To purchase The Wake Up And Dream Challenge & donate 1/2 of the profits to Rock & Wrap It Up, click here.

Are financial constraints keeping you from following your dreams? Have you found creative ways to move toward your dreams? I'd love to hear about them.
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