How To Dream Big Between Hauling Sports Equipment and Packing Lunches

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Mrs Fields Dream Between Hauling Sports Equipment and Packing Lunches
I know we should expect dream setbacks every now and then. Obstacles help us gain experience, for without challenges success wouldn’t mean anything at all.

It’s the rising above our shortcomings, our humanness which makes us proud of what we are able to accomplish towards our dreams – against the odds.

Kids, husbands, work, being a mom can be a great obstacles to working on our dreams if we let them.

Debra Fields motto is “The biggest failure in life is never trying.”

Who is Debra Fields you might ask? In 1977, in a small kitchen Debra Fields started Mrs Fields cookies. It ultimately grew into a $500 million company. She accomplished this in spite of the lack of support from her parents, husband and the many disappointments she encountered along the way.

She persevered by finding people who would want to invest on her business. She did all of it without a formal education or any support.

Can you imagine starting a cookie business in your kitchen with children underfoot and a husband with parents who think you are crazy and want you to stop what you are doing?


I think I can handle hauling a little sports equipment and packing peanut butter sandwiches in my life.

In 7 Secrets of Successful Women: Success Strategies of the Women Who Have Made It – And How You Can Follow Their Lead, author Donna Brooks has interviewed hundreds of professional women and discovers “seven secrets” that successful women share – regardless if they have family or peanut butter sandwiches to pack.

The 7 Secrets of Successful Women are –

1. Successful women realize the importance of having a mentor/coach/advocate/cheerleader.

2. Successful women know how to increase their visibility.

3. Successful women know how to develop an effective network.

4. Successful women have learned how to communicate effectively.

5. Successful women have learned how to balance work and home.

6. Successful women know when to take smart risks.

7. Successful women understand the politics of the organization.

I would say that the 7 Secrets of Successful Dreamers are –

1. Successful dreamers realize the importance of being part of a support group that holds them accountable to their dream goals.

2. Successful dreamers realize the importance of stating their dreams openly to people who can help them – like on a blog, in video on YouTube, at Toastmasters – any place where the public can get involved and help.

3. Successful dreamers know how to develop an effective network of people living their dream who can show them the right path to success.

4. Successful dreamers have learned how to communicate their dream needs effectively and be open to all types of feedback — especially feedback that tells them when they are off track.

5. Successful dreamers have learned to balance working their dreams with enjoying their families and “down time.”

6. Successful dreamers know when to take smart dream risks.

7. Successful dreamers understand the politics of achieving their dream — what type of training and development they must work through to be considered a master at what they dream — then doing it.

The best way to persevere through times when we seem overwhelmed by obligations that are getting in the way of our dreams is to set goals – and break the goals down into small manageable steps so that they can be accomplished between peanut butter sandwiches and car-pooling kids.

Write these goals down on an index card, or the back of a business card and carry them with you. Glance at them whenever you are waiting for your child to walk out of practice and see what one thing you might be able to squeeze in before you drift off to sleep that night.

And finally remember the 4 p’s of Success by Donna Brooks when you are dreaming big–

1. Performance

2. Perseverance

3. Practice

4. Patience

Maybe we should add a number 5: Peanut butter.

What excuses do you use for not working on your dream?

Catherine Hughes