Investors Business Daily | February 14th, 2014
Bust Down That Locked Dream Door
By Amy Alexander, FOR INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY Posted 02/14/2014 01:19 PM ET
Imagination, the brain vitamin that kids love, is still in stock for anyone who wants to bust locked dream doors. Stuck? Wind up your mental punch.
• Build it up. Midcareer? Retired? Recent grad? It’s not too late for your field of dreams. Focus on what jazzes you, says David Howitt, author of “Heed Your Call.”
• Stay at work. Ready for career change? Don’t toss out the salary. Tilt your mind-set. Find a middle way that satisfies your need to be renewed and buy groceries.
“It’s not either-or. It’s the power of and,” Howitt, CEO of marketing strategy firm Meriwether Group, told IBD. “That’s where we are all headed. The future belongs to the people who embrace and.”
Many of the most successful executives got that way because they figured out how to be dreamers and doers. Result: innovative, stylish products that pack a profit.
• Sail. Howitt calls it the abyss — that sudden feeling of terror that grips even the most ambitious goal-seekers just after they get going.
He reminds worriers: You’re smarter than your anxieties.
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Practice due diligence. Say thank you to those who are looking out for you — including your inner critic, who can list a hundred reasons you should quit — and embark.
“Every one of us is going to have a part that is about safety and security,” Howitt said. “It’s important that we have that part. That’s the part of us that sets the alarm clock and balances the checkbook. But it is only a part of us.”
• Anchor. Lost? Look for mentors, Howitt recommends. They can lend you priceless advice, support and key contacts you’ll need for reaching that distant shore.
• Flex. Tough afternoons go down easier if you think of your ambition as being a collaborative effort. “We alone do not create our future,” Howitt noted.
The way up has countless bumps — the market, your personal life or the occasional mistake. Cure: Maintain your mission. Tweak it as you progress. Scan for opportunity.
• Pounce. Case study: As a youngster, Denise Bevers envisioned a distinct path for her life. “I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she said. “I was one of those kids who had mice and hamsters and turtles and hermit crabs.”
Fresh out of college with an undergrad degree in zoology, Bevers was on that vet track. She aimed for the jungle, where she could tend to elephants. To pay the bills, though, she took a job as a medical assistant at a research hospital. She rocked that gig. It turned into leadership posts at pharmaceutical research companies. “I never made it to vet school,” she said. No worries. “It was about following whatever was in front of me at the time.”
Now Bevers is the chief operating officer of Kindred Biosciences, a pharmaceutical firm that changes human medicine into formulations for dogs, cats and other pets. She gets to take care of the animals every day. It’s a dream come true — in a slightly different hue.
• Go for it. Bevers’ message to mentees: Trust your instincts when you glance at job descriptions. If you have a passion for the work, but lack a few skills, go ahead and apply.