You may be saying to yourself right now:

“I want to follow my dream but I have no money”

I know exactly how that feels.  I have been there.  In fact, most of my life I’ve had big dreams, huge dreams, that I never thought would come true because I had no money.  Or rather, I had just enough money, but never more than that.  In those days, I thought that money made things possible.  I thought that, without it, I would be destined to live forever in the world I was born in to, the world of paycheck-to-paycheck.  The world of watching other people take chances because they had something to fall back on, while I played it safe because I couldn’t afford a safety net.

After so many years, I’ve realized that if you have a dream that consumes you, a dream that keeps you up at night, a dream that sets you searching on the Internet for ways to make it come true, you’ve already got the thing that most people would kill to have.  And it isn’t money.  It’s a drive, a desire, to chase something bigger than what you are.  You have a dream.  You carry it inside you.  Without it, all the money in the world doesn’t matter.

There are two quotes from very wise people that I say to myself when the idea of following my dreams feels too overwhelming and I am stumbling around feeling ill-equipped and lacking even the basic tools to achieve it.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come true.” – Richard Bach

Remember that even though you don’t know how you’re going to get there, and even though you fear you don’t have enough money or talent or whatever, you have to trust that you were given your dream for a reason and at the same time given the tools to make it come true.   You have to show up and take a step towards your dream, whatever kind of step you can manage.  Some days, the step will be so small that no one else on earth knows you’re taking it.  Some days all you can do is keep the fire burning by saying your dream when you wake up in the  morning and before you go to bed at night.

After years of believing that money would give me the security I needed to follow my dream, I finally realized that dreams and money don’t have much in common.  In fact, money is the siren song that leads so many people away from their true calling.  It doesn’t take money to follow your dreams.  But I truly believe that if you follow your dreams, the money will find you, eventually.  Maybe not a ton of money, but it will be enough.

Here’s my advice to you: If you want to follow your dreams have no money, pursue the parts of your dream that doesn’t require any money.  Practice. Research.  Plan.  Study.  Give everything you can give to your dream.  You don’t have to see the whole staircase, remember?  Just take the first step. Remember, dreams are free.