Last updated on January 19, 2015
We tell dream stories.
Our intention is to make you believe that you can achieve your dreams too. It is our sincerest wish — through the sharing of our personal experiences — that we will inspire you to pursue your big dream.
Even if you are sick, overweight, over age 55, under age 21, married, divorced, rich, without a high school diploma, unemployed, or striving to make your next meal – you can – because many dreamers started where you are.
Each day one of the eight women writers featured on this blog offer dream stories through compelling advice, humor or research to help you dream big. Sometimes guest bloggers like to share an inspiring dream story. Each dreamer typically shares their dream story once a week for a year and then moves on to live her dream. Some dreamers have stayed longer because they love writing about living their dreams.
Our contact information is on our Contact Us Page.
We are looking for your dreams! Would you like to tell us about them? Be a guest blogger or contact us if you would like to tell your dream story for a year on 8 Women Dream.
ABOUT 8 WOMEN DREAM
FOUNDER OF 8WD | BE A SUCCESS ONLINE – CATHERINE HUGHES
BIG DREAM: Make 8 Women Dream one of the premiere blogs on the Internet encouraging women from all walks of life (and all over the world) to go after their dreams. She would ultimately like to see 8 Women Dream featured by Oprah in some way (because it’s hard keeping up with Oprah) or appear on Ellen for achieving some amazing dreams.
I have a belief that if we help other people acquire their fondest dreams, then our own dreams come true in the process. Five years ago I had the knock me over the head idea to form a group with seven other women with the sole purpose of helping each other achieve a monumental dream and teach the world to do the same in the process. In Sept. 2008 I formed this group to help the world achieve their dreams.
I am first known for my once popular mom blog, A Week In The Life of A Redhead that I started back in 2003. Sometimes I still manage to find time to work on that site project. One of my big dreams came true in that I am now a freelance writer, author, copywriter, content development authority, and professional blogger who speaks regularly to groups about dreaming big dreams and how to utilize the Internet to achieve them. I became a member of Toastmasters and found a world of lovely people who like to listen to other people talk. Wow. Who knew. My dream story post day is Sunday evening.
I can be contacted directly: catherine(at)8womendream.com or pr(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Launched 8 Women Dream. In March 2013 the 8 Women Dream website visitors passed 1,885,761 and 3,042,308 views (original dream was 100k — further proof that you need to dream bigger); launched an e-book; presented at Ignite; obtained advertising relationships for 8 Women Dream; participated in the Bay to Breakers marathon; became a paid freelance writer; became VP in Toastmasters, became the editor and publisher of several online publications, went back to dancing after 20 years, started a Yoga practice, and landed work in the publishing industry.
For more about Catherine Hughes, click here.
CO-FOUNDER OF 8WD | GET HEALTHY – HEATHER MONTGOMERY
BIG DREAM: Teach women how to get healthy and fit through online workshops, great products, and public speaking engagements. She dreams of ultimately being called a “triathlete.”
So here’s the scoop – I’m over 40, married, and have a wonderful son from my previous marriage who is already in college. Two cats fill the house with lots of fur and fun. I love managing several creative ventures at one time. I was deeply unhappy in my business so I decided to start walking, which turned into running and now I am a triathlete. I’m sharing my fitness journey with you in the hopes that you will join me. I want to teach you how to change your life through making just a few small adjustments to your daily habits and how you exercise.
My dream story post day is Monday. I am a product marketing expert; a keynote speaker, and I am constant training to compete in triathlons after losing over 100 pounds. You have to be brave to put on a wet suit in public.
For 8WD healthy product review pitches or speaking requests email: heather(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Launch of a jewelry line online and in a retail outlet, launch of 3 entrepreneurial websites, obtained 3 successful affiliate relationships for 8 Women Dream, participated in the Bay to Breakers race, launched the 8 Women Dream product line, lost 100 pounds through diet and exercise, landed my dream career, facilitated several business training workshops and became a triathlete!
For more about Heather Montgomery, click here.
PHOTOGRAPHER | HOW PHOTOGRAPHY CAN HEAL YOU – IMAN WOODS
BIG DREAM: To help women around the world say, “I am beautiful!” Through a unique therapeutic process she’s spent nearly a decade perfecting, she helps woman and girls undo the damage of negative self-image and unrealistic expectations. Part of that dream includes teaching a new generation of photographers how to pursue their dreams and help women in the process.
I taught myself lighting and posing when I was 80 pounds heavier. So when women say, “I can never be that beautiful.” I can firmly tell them otherwise. I learned that the human eye, heart and mind work together to show us how beautiful we are in a sophisticated way that a camera can never capture. Clients constantly tell me that having positive photos of themselves has changed their outlook. My work has been featured in television, print and online worldwide.
My dream story post day is Wednesday. In between posts you can find inspiring images of real women just like you at my website www.imanwoods.com and blog imanwoods.com/blog.
For photography requests or public speaking inquiries email: pr(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Built a beautiful portfolio using real women not models, created a process that changes self-esteem for the better, created self-esteem seminars for teenage girls to stop the damage early, featured in Professional Photographer Magazine, featured on television, got divorced and moved across the U.S., had a baby and joined 8 Women Dream!
For more about Iman Woods, click here.
AUTHOR | FINDING THE SECRET TO STARTING OVER – KARIN FISHER ALANIZ
BIG DREAM: To build a writer’s life and find her voice while restoring her “new” 100-year old craftsman style home.
I had a plan for my life. At the ripe old age of six, I already knew what I wanted to be when I grew up – a teacher. I’m a list-maker, a goal-setter. I even draw little boxes next to tasks so I can check them off.
And it worked for me. I met nearly all of my life goals. I was married, had three wonderful kids, a teaching career I loved, and vacations to the coast every summer. It was my American dream. My life was mapped out. My future was set. But then everything started to slip; my personal life, my health, even my beloved teaching job.
Illness, injury, and colossal unhappiness in my marriage took it’s toll. And when I finally landed at the bottom of the pit, I was divorced, unhealthy, and completely ill-equipped to live my life alone. I’d literally gone from my parent’s home to my husbands at the age of 19. I’d never been on my own, and I was terrified and excited all rolled into one. The first step toward freedom was to figure out where I would live. When I came upon a house I loved that was 100-years old, I took a giant step and bought it. One of my new neighbors even questioned why I didn’t just get an apartment – it would have been much easier. And I agree, it would have. But this house is the foundation for my new life. I love it and in time, it will love me back.
I want a life as a writer; published books in my own voice, telling my own story. That’s my big dream.
My dream story is published here every Sunday. So, come on in, pull up a chair. Let’s share our dreams!
For information or media requests email: pr(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Published first book, “Breaking the Code: a Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything“, featured on NPR, bought craftsman style house, and joined 8 Women Dream!
For more about Karen Alaniz, click here.
COMEDIAN | BE A SUCCESSFUL SPEAKER – KELLY SWANSON
BIG DREAM: Book 150 gigs in one year’s time as a motivational speaker–- five of them being national conferences – stay on the first page of Google for motivational speaker(s) – while publishing my first novel while teaching you how to be a successful speaker.
I was the kid you threw things at on the bus. I spent most of my life trying to get a seat at the cool kids’ table – only to realize that there are cool kids at every table – and the things that made me weird turned out to be the things that made me great. Turns out that telling stories, making people laugh,and encouraging others, would become more than life skills, but would turn into a successful business. So here I am, owning my own quirks, and helping you embrace yours. I want to make you laugh – a lot.
My dream story post day is Friday. You can also read more about my life as a motivational speaker and comedian on my website. You can watch some funny videos on YouTube. Hang out with me on Facebook or Google Plus. Or read my motivational speakers blog.
For speaking inquiries and post sponsorships email: pr(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Turned a storytelling hobby into a career – Won two storytelling awards – Published four books, a DVD, and several CDs – Finally published my children’s book, hardback with illustrations – Performed on a cruise ship – Went from doing this as a hobby, to one employee, to incorporated, to family business – Booked 80 gigs last year – Hit the first page of Google for motivational speaker(s) – Finally figured out how to make these hair extensions look natural – Completed another year of home-school without losing it.
For more about Kelly Swanson, click here.
AUTHOR | FINDING HAPPINESS IN LIFE – LISA POWELL-GRAHAM
BIG DREAM: Publish first best-selling book and teach women how to find happiness through writings, workshops and public speaking events.
I’m a woman on fire. I’m a redhead – a firecracker – a fire sign (Aries). My life is a “phoenix rising” story of burning to the ground and rising from the ashes. I have chosen to live in – and love – two cities which burned down and rose again – San Francisco, CA and Troy, NY. I have always wanted to write books, ever since I was a very little girl. It will be a dream come true to get my first book out there in the world. I also want to inspire you to find happiness in your life right now.
For publishing inquiries email: pr(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Completed her memoir which is now in the editing stage, moved back to Troy NY from San Francisco, traveled to Spain, traveled to Hawaii, hiked the Na Pali Coast, embarked on a journey through India, became a certified Life Coach, created Women Empowerment workshops, met Eckhart Tolle at the Grand Canyon, and is living the freelance writer’s life.
For more about Lisa Powell Graham, click here.
TRAVEL WRITER | TRAVEL THE WORLD – NATASHA VON GELDERN
BIG DREAM: Make the pages of the atlas real as she travels the world; take her travel writing, photography and blogging to new heights of success and encourage women to get out there and travel!
Adding ANOTHER red-head to the 8WD family, I grew up in New Zealand and have lived in the United Kingdom and now Australia. Seriously bitten by the travel bug when I left New Zealand at the age of 25, travel has been a large focus of my life ever since. At first I traveled alone and with friends, now I travel whenever possible with my husband and daughter (who has visited 13 countries already in her nearly four years).
For 3 years I was the editor of London-based travel website Travelbite.co.uk but last year I became a freelance writer, editor and blogger, specializing in travel but also writing web content across a variety of subjects.
When I’m not traveling or caring for my family I’m a snap happy photographer and an arts and literature fiend. When time permits I can also be found at my local yoga studio or rock climbing gym. I love the great outdoors, especially when rock climbing, hiking or mountaineering, although sometimes I get more enjoyment out of physically challenging activities retrospectively!
My dream story post day is Saturday. I want to share my travel dreams and how to make them come true, as well as discussing the world of travel writing and blogging.
For 8WD travel sponsorship pitches email: natasha(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Joined 8 Woman Dream. Left behind an established legal career as a tax consultant to complete a post-graduate diploma in Journalism in London. Carved out a career as a writer and editor in the highly competitive travel journalism industry. Launched her own travel blog, World Wandering Kiwi and took it to PR3 and monetization within 4 months.
To read more about Natasha, click here.
SPEAKER & PHILANTHROPIST | EMPOWER WOMEN - SUE FAITH LEVY
BIG DREAM: To become an International motivational speaker and empower young women around the world. Sue is out to show the young women of her country and abroad that they can rise up from where they are and take on the world.
I am an international motivational blogger and speaker and I write from beautiful South Africa. Primarily an entrepreneur and creative media designer by profession, I am also the owner of the blog, “Just Pursue It,” a motivational blog that empowers woman and girls on a global level. As an aspiring author and philanthropist, my dream vision is to spread my message of hope: “Love to Inspire, Inspire to Love.” In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, entertaining with loved ones, and spending time with my husband and daughter.
My dream story post day is Thursday. You can follow more of my inspirational musings on my blog, Just PurSue It!
For public speaking inquiries in South Africa email: pr(at)8womendream.com
DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Getting married and having a baby; launching Just PurSue It, becoming the lead writer for an international publication, becoming a regular motivational speaker for colleges, setting up her own International foundation: The Inspirational Women Foundation, moving from the city she grew up in South Africa to a big city away from her family, and she joined 8 Women Dream.
To read more about Sue, click here.
Past Dreamers and Dreaming Big Guest Writers
To find these dreamer’s archived posts, go to the dream big guest contributor page on 8WD.
Maria joined 8 Women Dream for a year to launch her Real Maria platform on Facebook and her website of the same name. Maria’s dream was to expose the world to the realities of being a chef — the hardships and the joys, as well as what it is like to cook for the general public. Maria shared her Hurricane Katrina survival story and how it permanently changed her life. She enjoys teaching at-risk youth how to cook while running her private chef business. Maria relocated from California to the sunny state of Florida and is looking to be a featured celebrity cruise chef in 2015.
Jayne spent a year exploring the financial meltdown and sharing on 8 Women Dream how it impacted her life. Her original dream was to change her relationship to money, but the longer she explored her dream to more she began to ponder if she could live sustainably and change the way she used her money and time for food. She explored the things about the financial crisis that disturbed her and her perceptions on how the world views money. She left 8WD to explore graduate school. She has since graduated and landed her dream job.
Remy came to 8 Women Dream looking to recover her passion for photography and along the way shared countless images that have grown to be visitor favorites over the years. One of her photography posts became one of the most viewed posts of all time on 8 Women Dream. While finding her dream, Remy also brought together Northern California photographers to create one of the largest Meetup groups for photographers on the West Coast. She is still a photography dreamer, but is on a hiatus from 8 Women Dream while she obtains her insurance license. The sound of Remy’s laughter can make your day.
Shellie came to 8WD to spend a year sharing her stories of hope and her truth that the American Dream of owning a home and having a loving family is still very much alive and thriving in the world. She shared her love of cooking, life on a vineyard, and the joys of homeschooling her two children while writing on 8WD. To Shellie, every day spent on this earth is a day spent living your dreams. She is working on launching her own website, and as soon as it gets going we will reference it here. Shellie is proof that with love, all things are possible.
Katie’s original dream was to live the travel adventurer’s life. Within her year of dreaming she moved from Chicago to Arizona — a state she had never been to before, hiked the Grand Canyon, skied in Montana, traveled to Alaska, partied in Las Vegas, and explored the small wine region that surrounded her home in Arizona. It was through these short weekend winery trips that she discovered how much she loves wine and the business of selling it. She then began to plan her dream trip to explore the wineries of northern California. Her plan was to travel in an RV through the wine country and blog about her trip as a way to end her big dream. A funny thing happened while planning her wine trip . . . she was hired by famous TED speaker and Wine TV guru, Gary Vaynerchuk. Suddenly she had to relocate to New York. Her dream life fell right into her lap. She now has to focus her time on her new adventure. We think she is one successful dreamer and we will miss her so very much here on 8 Women Dream. She is proof that if you put it out there, your dreams will come true.
Andi’s dream was to graduate from college, land her dream job, relocate to someplace she had never lived before, launch her own blog, and become a motivational life coach. She completed all her dreams 2011 on 8WD after 15 months living her dreams — with the exception of the life coach dream she is still working on. Due to her hectic life she rotated off 8 Women Dream in March of 2012. She has since become engaged to a wonderful man and is enjoying planning the next phase of her life. You can find her on her adorable blog, Polish My Crown.
Rayne’s dream was to write her first book Confessions of an Undutiful Daughter by the end of 2011. She completed her dream journey in 2011 on 8WD after a year living her dream. She ended up calling the book Toxic Mom Toolkit instead. She is still a freelance journalist publishing human interest stories. You can find her at Toxic Mom Toolkit on Facebook. You can find her best-selling novel on Toxic Mothers at Amazon, here.
Laurie always has several amazing dreams going on in her life at this time. She rotated off 8WD in 2010 to work full-time on Club B and her NIA dance studio. She ultimately went to work in Southern California as part of an international women’s organization.
Toni placed her dream to get her screenplay, “Divine Intervention” and reality show, “The Bitter Bus” produced on hold while she works on Club B. Toni rotated off 8WD in 2010 to work on Club B full-time.
Wendy’s dream is still to become a influential, international artist, but she rotated off 8WD in 2010 to complete grad school. Wendy has since graduated from grad school and is taking her amazing paintings to a whole new level. You can still see her amazing paintings at BraytonArt.com.
Kim accomplished her big dream by traveling to New York with her teenage daughter June of 2009. She lost 20 pounds and overcame her intense dislike (do we say fear?) of flying to accomplish that dream. She rotated off 8 Women Dream as a successful dreamer and has since seen her eldest daughter off to college and watched her youngest move through high school not far behind her. Soon she will be an empty-nester and exploring the new live that comes when our children have grown and moved out.
Dawnda’s dream of being a published horror writer were put on hold when she started her mobile restaurant business in 2010 and went back to school full-time.
Veronica rotated off 8 Women Dream in 2010 after successfully completing 2 dreams in a year.
Danelle rotated off 8 Women Dream in 2010, but continues to work on her equestrian dream.
To view our dream big guest writer guidelines, click here.
To download the 8 Women Dream Media Kit, click here.
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