Planning the Launch of You and Your Big Dream

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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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The Launch of you: Toxic Mom ToolkitI should really call this post: “An Ode to Rayne Wolfe, journalist and published author…”

After four years of writing and sharing my dream success thoughts on 8 Women Dream, today I can offer you a “this-is-how it’s-done-dream-come-true story” right out of the pages of 8 Women Dream.

Yesterday, former 8 Women Dreamer, Rayne Wolfe’s freshly published novel, “Toxic Mom Toolkit” arrived on my doorstep. Rayne spent a year writing about her dream on 8 Women Dream.  Her plan was to write and publish a book.

Why is this dream story important to you?

Because Rayne made all the right moves to make her dream a reality.  Based on what Rayne did, I want to share with you how successful dreaming works. Accomplished dreamers advise that you find a formula that works (either your own or someone else’s), follow it, then you can be successful  at dreaming big too.

Here’s 8 Ways Rayne is a Successful Dreamer:

1. She has the right attitude.
Rayne came to 8 Women Dream with a specific goal and mindset. She likes to share the story of how we turned her down when she first applied to come aboard 8WD, but I honestly don’t remember that because why wouldn’t anyone not want Rayne? It’s more likely that someone else beat her to the spot.

She then did the one thing that successful people do: she didn’t take the no as her final answer.  Within the year, she had her coveted spot writing about her book publishing dream on 8 Women Dream.

Rayne came to 8 women Dream with a plan. She’d already spent years writing as a journalist, so she had mastered the discipline of committing to a regular writing practice. She understood what’s involved with publishing content and understood the importance of feedback.

Rayne once told me, “I never miss a deadline.”

True to her word, Rayne never missed a post on 8 Women Dream.  She couldn’t imagine not showing up for her readers of her weekly column. She brought her game face.  She was a professional.

2. She has the ability to plan and carry out said plan.
When Rayne first told me of her dream, she shared how she had been collecting stories for years from women about dealing with their toxic mothers.  She decided, after much contemplation, that she was going to write a memoir as a toxic mom survivor.

She told me that she needed to interview more women, develop a community and test what future readers would be interested in reading as part of a memoir. She also had the idea that she might want to feature some of the reader’s stories in her book.  She told me exactly what she needed from me and from 8 Women Dream at large.

She came up with a questionnaire for survivors and mapped out how she wanted to spend her year on 8 Women Dream.  She planned it right down to how she was going to end the year by taking a road trip to where she was brought into this world and adopted.

3. She accepts feedback and is willing to change.
Without a doubt, successful dreaming will change you.  You must be willing to go with the changes and allow the process to guide your way. What started as a memoir, Confessions of an Undutiful Daughter turned into a book about toxic mother survivor stories and how to deal with them under the community name, “Toxic Mom Toolkit.”

Rayne further solicited advice from friends and from relationships she had built over the years.  She asked for feedback on the project name, book covers, where to publish, and how to use the Internet to crowd-source a dream project — to name a few.  She wasn’t afraid to admit that she didn’t know which step to take next. She asked for help.

I’d be the first to tell you that some dream advice can be difficult to hear — I know this personally from my own experiences — but over time, feedback can become the projectile that catapults you to greatness. Rayne understands this and is comfortable being vulnerable enough  to ask for feedback, then adjust her course of action.

4. She created space for a dream.
Rayne made time available to her dream. She set aside a year to launch her idea. During the year, she laser-focused on her story, often emailing me to ask my thoughts on a post she was about to do, or help her get the toxic mom questionnaire formatted into a pdf, or a simple request that an image wasn’t working in her post.

She used all of the resources available to her and she asked a lot of questions — much like a reporter on assignment. She was never late with a post and always had her story ready to go 48 hours before it would be published.

Rayne will be the first to tell you that she writes every day, whether she has a story for publication or not. 1,000 words is the daily goal.  She knows this is the mark of a professional writer.  It’s a part of who she is.  Writing has become like breathing to her.  It’s important, so she makes time for it every day.

5. She was prepared like an Eagle boy scout.
Spending a year writing for 8 Women Dream was the first part to Rayne’s dream journey. She let everyone in her circle know that she was writing this book.  She had lunch with friends, emailed past co-workers and reached out to anyone that was willing to hear about her project.

By the time Rayne left 8 Women Dream, she had a place for her followers. She cared about them enough to fret over whether she was offering them the right platform to gather and share stories.  She created the Toxic Mom Toolkit Facebook Page and started her own personal Toxic Mom Toolkit blog.

6. It’s not all about Rayne.
Rayne consistently supported other dreamers.Toxic Mom Toolkit bracelet

She hosted a 8 Women Dream get together in her home. She helped me by choosing her replacement dreamer that she wanted to follow her (she actually wrote me an email stating her case).  It was our lovely, Andrea Taggart, a recent college graduate, who Rayne would ultimately open her home to and help find an apartment in San Francisco.

She asked former 8WD photography dreamer, Remy Gervais to take photographs of her so she’d have a professional marketing photograph, which you will find on the back of Rayne’s book.

She created wristbands that said, “Toxic Mom Toolkit – It’s not you, it’s her” and sent them out to any toxic mom survivor who asked for one.

The Launch of you: Toxic Mom Toolkit - BUY IT ON AMAZON HEREShe sent mini-chalkboards and offered advice to survivors.

She asked Iman Woods, current 8WD resident healing photographer (and artist) to design her perfect book cover.

She was giving before she even thought about receiving.

And ultimately, she changed her mind from simply a personal memoir to sharing the stories of other survivors, peppered with her personal stories and advice.

She wanted to provide a real toolkit for survivors like her for dealing with toxic mothers.

She wanted to help women.  She wanted her story to include them.

“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you have.” – Jim Rohn

7. She owned her project.
Rayne did not expect me as director of 8 Women Dream to make her dream come true or walk her dream journey for her.  She only expected me to guide her when she needed help, or be the voice supporting her when she was uncertain about how people would receive the fact that she supported disconnection from a toxic mother.

My job was to spread the word about her book and to have her back.

It’s a promise I made to her when she first sat next to me and told me about her dream. Rayne didn’t just accept my help though, she also helped me with 8 Women Dream (editing me when I’d mess up a word in something I had written online and telling me what wasn’t working on the 8WD site).

She made 8 Women Dream better for her participation.  She made me better as her professionalism changed me and how I looked at my dream.

8. She never gave up.
Through the difficult times (we all have them) Rayne never gave up on her dream — even when her book idea was first rejected. I believe she framed that first rejection and hung it on a wall.  Rayne always found a way around whatever obstacle presented itself.

Her book took longer than she had planned.  She had to work through some personal career adjustments, but she never stopped re-focusing back on her dream.  She didn’t hop from dream to dream.  She stuck with her subject and saw it through to publication.

And when it was finally time: She launched.

The key to successful dreaming is to commit to working your dream NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. You work on it when you are sick, when things are going poorly in your life (and when things are going good), through family tragedies, through financial difficulties, through raising children (and husbands), regardless of time constraints, in spite of all of the self-doubts and illusions — you carry on.

Truth be told, is there is never going to be the perfect time to launch your dream.

You have to launch and then stick with it, while remaining open to change so that you can grow with your dream.  Happiness, confidence and self-satisfaction come from showing up for the promises and commitments you make so that you don’t let people (including yourself) down.

You give up making excuses for why you aren’t taking daily steps to make your dream a reality.

You put on your big girl panties and just do it.

Planning the Launch of You: Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!Successful dreaming is about the launch of you. It’s about who you are at the core of your being.  You must face your demons and be willing to change. You must forgive yourself for not starting sooner. Dreaming is about getting to know yourself —  your strengths and your weaknesses and committing to doing whatever it takes — no matter where you are in life.

Because you are in charge of the launch of you and you can do it.

Just like Rayne.


Special note to Rayne: I couldn’t be happier for you, and yes, I squealed with delight when your book landed on my doorstep, fresh from the publisher.  It was magic, and the 8 Women Dream network at work.

Which means yesterday my dream came true.

  • ImanWoods

    This is a testament to both of you! Cath, you and Heather have built this network and Rayne worked diligently to maximize it. I am SO inspired, I think this has FINALLY helped me figure out my first book. Your readers (the blog or book!) are so blessed.

  • Congratulations Rayne – from all of us!

  • Marnie Clark

    This is such a wonderful post! I’m in my own dream pursuit and I must confess I was shocked at how much it became about learning about myself, not just accomplishing my goal. It’s probably been one of the hardest and best experiences of my life. Thanks for the post!