Attention, dreamers!

By James E. Mattson | 02/26/2016

Take that first step. Write it down.

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In communicating recently with a potential author for Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), I noticed this quote by Farrah Gray below her email signature: “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” The sentence structure of that quotation suggests that being hired to fulfill someone else’s dream is a negative thing, but that’s not necessarily true. Employment beats unemployment, and if that employment is in a positive work environment with good compensation and benefits, it’s worthy of inclusion in any “count your blessings” list.
 
JEM author imageAnd employees are beneficial to society. As one hand washes the other, employees need the jobs entrepreneurs provide, most entrepreneurs can’t get along without employees, and everyone needs the contributions of both groups. That said, dreams need to be nurtured, and if you have the soul of an entrepreneur, you probably won’t be happy if you don’t act on them.
 
Whether you think you have the soul of an entrepreneur or not (you might be surprised at the potential lying within you), don’t miss the RNL “I took a risk!” series in which three successful nurse entrepreneurs tell their stories—the fears, the pitfalls, the rewards. In the first installment, Diane Sieg, RN, CYT, CSP, critical care and emergency room nurse, identifies key steps that brought her to her present full-time career as speaker, author, and consultant.
 
In the second installment of the series, Denise Waye, BSN, RN, critical care and flight nurse, writes: “My passion and vision were to start an air ambulance company that would surpass all others in delivering the highest quality patient care, comfort, and safety.” Today, Waye is owner of AirCARE1 International, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. With a fleet of three Learjet 35A’s, her company serves clients on four continents.
 
In the third installment of the series, Ken Dion, PhD, MSN/MBA, RN, former ER nurse, founder of Decision Critical Inc., and recently elected treasurer of the board of directors of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, identifies three essential elements of a successful startup—a good plan, good legal counsel, and good advice—and generously shares some of the latter with us.

The title of this column is “In my own words.” I’m not an entrepreneur, but as editor of Reflections on Nursing Leadership, I find fulfillment in finding creative ways to improve what someone else has written and am gratified when authors express appreciation for my work. In writing this column, I find another kind of fulfillment—telling my stories my way. Entrepreneurship is writing your own story.
 
Maybe the time has come for you to take the step you’ve been dreaming about and begin writing your story. There’s no better way to get started than to write down your dream. It may not be easy. Just as it’s sometimes difficult to describe in the morning light a dream that had your REM attention just moments earlier, you may find it challenging to describe in detail the future you envision.By the way, writing down your dream for yourself will be good practice for that business plan you’ll need to obtain funding from others.
 
Tiffany Montgomery had a dream—to earn her PhD. Five years ago, when she started blogging for Reflections on Nursing Leadership, she named her blog “Taking hold of my dreams.” Today, she’s not far away from fulfilling her dream and, in this post, counts some of the costs. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a PhD student, fulfilling dreams doesn’t come cheap.
 
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James E. Mattson is editor of Reflections on Nursing Leadership.
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