Tuesday, April 12, 2016

10 Ways to Turn Dreams Into Actions

Life is full of uncertainties and our dreams are uncertain too because they aren't real life. It's easy to get lost and consumed by fear for your future but, you have the power to eliminate that fear and take control of your life. For me, everything was uncertain. School was always a struggle for me academically and socially and I often was my own enemy. There was no guarantee for my future, I almost didn't go to high school, it was not in my plan to go to college until my senior year of high school, and I wasn't sure how college would go. Despite my limitations and struggles, once college came to a close and I earned my BFA, I discovered that I wanted to do more than just drawing (which was my major in college and all I did throughout my life). The important thing was, I wanted to do MORE.

From the time I was young, I loved art and as I got older, I became more fixed on it. Every day in my childhood from the moment I learned to draw at age six, I was never without pencil and paper. Art was my closest companion and helped me through tough life situations and circumstances. Being truly creative put me in an entirely different world and still does.

It was always a dream of mine to be a designer and I couldn't let it be just a dream. That little voice at the back of my head (all throughout college kept saying), "Do fashion, Do fashion, DO IT!" So, one evening in 2008, towards the end of college, I did one small thing to turn my dream into an action. I took a sewing class that defined me and gave me hope for a future in fashion. Now I am thriving in it and am making a living off designing clothes, doing tailoring and alterations, and a whole lot more. Every skill I learned all stemmed from my early love of drawing which led to taking that sewing class, taking photography classes, sharpening my illustration skills, and perfecting my sewing abilities. Now, I'm going to share with you the 10 ways I turned my dreams into doable actions and give you insight as to how you can too.

1. Started Small: When I first began pursuing fashion, I didn't know where to start. One day, my mom bought me a magazine she had found while staying at a hotel, and in this magazine, I discovered a teacher that taught people how to design clothes. I made a small action and took a sewing class to see if I'd enjoy doing it. The sewing class was as basic as can be, but it taught me everything about how to operate sewing machines, a variety of brands and types of machines, and I fell in love with the design process.
2. Researched and studied fashion: Though I didn't go to school for fashion, I did go to art school where I learned the principles of design. These teachings inspired me to take the step and take sewing classes and really get educated on how to make everything from shirts, blouses, dresses, pants, reversible clothing, and more. I researched extensively how the biggest designers got where they are and was stunned by many of their stories and how simple it was for some to get launched. It's really all about timing and the hard work you are willing to put on the table.
3. Learned the craft and perfected Skills: It's one thing to learn something, but it's quite another to actually perfect a skill. First, I had to be taught how to sew. Just like the first time you got behind the wheel of a car and learned to drive, I got behind a sewing machine and learned to sew. Once I mastered the craft of sewing straight, perfect seams, I started creating things.
4. Allowed and then initiated change in life: I was always slow to change...everyone said it to me again and again. This may still be true but now, I've learned the importance of allowing and then initiating change in my life so I could get to my dreams. If you are scared to change, think about how boring your life will be if you remain stuck in the same spot or unhappy place. I would have woken up at age 80 with loads of regret and I refused to let that be me. That idea forced me to take the plunge, dive into sewing full time, and go solo creating my unique one-of-a-kind fashion brand. It was a tough but exciting transition when my business first took off.
5. Sought out growth: By constantly improving my skills and challenging myself in new projects, I had sought out growth. The only way to grow in life is to challenge what you are doing and do something that scares you-really scares you! Doing things that scare you only makes you stronger and better at your craft. Before I knew it, I was designing coats, corsets, prom dresses and more complex clothing items and expanding my knowledge base on types of outfits and materials.

6. Leap out of comfort zone: On numerous occasions, I find myself leaping out of my comfort zone. Just in this past week, I've graduated from making little dresses to prom dresses, gowns, and now leather handbags, tote bags, and clutches. I went from only knowing how to sew select fabrics to more advanced fabrics like special occasion materials and leather, the toughest to sew. I can do it well and love it. I have a new passion now for making bags and I completed my first one yesterday. Did you catch yesterday's Snapchat (user: tessakoller). I dish my secrets of my creative process and how I can produce the most challenging items snippy snappy!
7. Show up in life: The most famous of quotes (one my mom always says to me and still does) SHOW UP IN LIFE! Go to events. Work with organizations. Collaborate with people. Show up for other people and help others. This was another way I turned my dreams into reality because people helped me and I helped them. I learned the importance of building a network of trusted people, surrounding yourself with positive energy, and working with people that have lots of passion. It's important to surround yourself with positive people that share similar passion for things in life as you.
8. Stop listening to those down-cutters: Not everyone in your life is going to agree with what you are doing or what your motives are. In someone else's eyes, you are always doing something wrong, but focus on what you know and apply yourself. Hush that noisy peanut gallery! It's important to not let others cut you down or tell you you can't, no matter what their views are. When I stopped listening to those people, my life changed. I started only listening to myself, researching the fashion industry inside out, understanding my limitations, and how I can go beyond them and produce WOW work. While I do value the opinions of others, I do not listen to nonconstructive negativity or nonsense commentary blasts.
9. Every day, set and work at goals: It's important to identify what your goals are and this was a struggle for me. I was always asking, "who am I, what do I want to be, what do I want to do?" Today, I know the answers to those questions and am able to write daily goals to get where I want to get in my life. Think of this like climbing up a ladder: each little step gets you closer to the top.
10. Be Yourself/put all of your passion into it: When you have a dream about doing something big, it's important to not lose yourself in this dream. I'm sure you know that the dreams we have are not real until we turn them into doable actions like taking a class, learning a craft or about an industry, and much more. It's important to be yourself and to put all of your passion into this dream you have to make it real. Nothing can become real in life without taking action, doing the hard work and doing it with tons of dedication and consistency. Not sure if you've noticed, but I've been upping my marketing game a great deal and will continue with that.

Did you like this post? Did it give you insight on some things maybe you've been having issues with? If you are reading this now, know this: you are tougher than you think you are, smarter than you realize, and you have a purpose. For me, fashion use to be a dream and for a lot of years it only was that until I took action. After that first sewing class I enrolled in, I found my purpose and became a heart survivor advocate, and a mentor for those with genetic disorders and disabilities. Everything in life is possible and nothing is out of reach, regardless of how much people will try to convince you that it is. Be sure to subscribe to my blog if you have not yet done so for more insightful posts like these!

Now though, I want to hear from you in the comments below. How have you turned a dream into an action? How did that manifest for you in terms of finding or discovering what you are passionate about? I love hearing about other people's stories so do share! Enjoy your Tuesday and stay tuned here for more inspiring posts!

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