What it REALLY takes to make your dreams come true

I always appreciate when people are real with me. Genuine straight talk. Tell me the down and dirty of how they got started in pursuing their dreams and what worked for them and what didn’t.

Not just “Rah, rah, you can do it!” but the actual reality of how they did it.

Recently, a fellow coach asked if I would share with her client about my personal experience attending coaching school and building my business. Her client has an interest in going that route and wanted the nitty gritty details of what it really takes.

I’m always game to share. So I did, and I wrote it out below.

I know there are tons of articles, self-help books, gurus and advice on following your dreams and passion (I know because I’ve invested in them all), but I’m going to give you some practical tips that helped me personally.

Disclaimer: I’m NOT a financial advisor (but I have a damn good one), and what I share is based on my own experience.

There is no one right way to go for your dreams. But take what you will and hopefully this gets your creative entrepreneurial juices flowing.

1. Don’t quit your day job until…Don’t quit your day job until you can support yourself financially without it (pay your bills, have food on the table, roof over your head, provide for your family of two and/or four-legged), from your dream career or another income stream, savings, etc.. I’m grateful I did NOT end my real estate career when I started Beyond the Arena.

I worked full time in real estate and maintained that income while I built my Equine Gestalt Coaching business simultaneously. I never did strike a pretty “balance” between the the two. It was more like chaos and winging it, but well worth it. Three years and four months after hustling my a&* off in both “arenas”, I cashed my last commission check and cut off the golden handcuffs of my real estate career.

Pic of a realtor (with shoulder pads) turned ranch woman (with a real smile).

I was scared but I was prepared enough to know I wouldn’t be homeless or starving if everything completely flopped (worst case scenario). I knew in my bones that it was time to see what I’m made of.

“First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down.” -Ray Bradbury

2. Eliminate ALL the nonessential costs in your life and sell what you truly don’t need. I love this because I made it into a game. What do I truly need to pursue my dreams and what “stuff” can I get rid of/sell/donate? When I left the city life behind, I pawned jewelry, sold furniture on Craiglist, eliminated cable and started watching pre-owned DVD’s (Heartland is my favorite), got rid of my gym membership, and started working out outdoors (lifting hay bales, doing squats around the barn). My non-negotiable stuff I kept, such as important files and my beloved books.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people cant.” – Warren G. Tracy’s student

3. Invest in your personal growth and your business. In the beginning years of Beyond the Arena, every penny I made that didn’t go toward basic needs, overhead, or the occasional splurge on a pedicure, was invested in my personal growth and went right back into my business. I consider this the key to the continued growth of any business.

If I’m not growing, learning and expanding on new skills and honing my craft, then Beyond the Arena becomes stagnant or backpedals. I’ve invested tens of thousands into business coaching, my own life coach (every coach needs a coach), workshops, trainings, continued education, marketing, and horse upkeep.

For me, it was worthwhile. My dad, a successful real estate agent, likes to say, “For every dollar spent, you will get two back.” He says this in relation to new carpet and fresh paint when preparing a house for the market. I believe the same is true for our personal growth and business growth. If we don’t invest in ourselves and our business, then why should anyone else?

“Whatever your dream is, every extra penny you have needs to be going to that.” – Will Smith

4. Find supportive people who GET IT. I’m blessed to have wonderful friends and family in my life and I love them dearly. But few have firsthand experience in what it’s like to build a vision/dream career from the ground up. It’s my established entrepreneurial friends I call when I’m hit by a tidal wave of self-doubt, have questions about marketing, or feel stuck.

These incredible mentors and coaches have walked the walk themselves. I would not be here today if I didn’t lean on these people big time. I call them. I email them. I cry to them. They GET IT and they also believe in me and my dream, my vision, and my passion. That means more to me than anything. They offer sage wisdom, advice, and tell me like it is, similar to what I’m doing for you here. You might think I’m crazy at this point…I am…it’s called being an entrepreneur.

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”- John Irving

Are you willing to make changes to go for your dreams? I hope so…it’s SO worth it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

The realtor turned ranch woman,


P.S. Please share if you know someone who would benefit from this blog.

9 replies
  1. Loree Eliot
    Loree Eliot says:

    I love Ray Bradbury’s quote “First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down.” The first step is the most difficult one to take….

    • Devon
      Devon says:

      I agree, Loree…the first step is the hardest because it requires great risk and uncertainty. What helped me take the first step was having a mentor who had been there. asking for support, and knowing that I wasn’t alone. I’d love to hear your experience with this…what’s a step you’ve taken that seemed difficult at first?

  2. Mary
    Mary says:

    I’m doing the opposite, it feels! Instead if pursuing my career ( of 30 years) I’m preparing for retirement. So confusing and the idea that I won’t be bringing in an income anymore is scarey! Thanks, Devon

    • Devon
      Devon says:

      I love your honesty, Mary, and thank you for sharing. That’s powerful that you are willing to acknowledge your fear and confusion, and the first step is to listen to it. It may be a ideal time to go within and do some soul searching. A great book about retirement that I suggest is “It’s Never Too Late to Discover Creativity and Meaning” by Julia Cameron and it may be a benefit to you. The horses and I would love to support you through this transition and help you get clarity. We are sending you lots of love and horse energy.

  3. Doreen
    Doreen says:

    Hi Devon, I always enjoy reading your emails! I’m at a stage in my life where change is inevitable! Two of my children moved out at the same time (the last one is never home) so I was catapulted into the empty nest syndrome (I’m single which makes it very empty) and depression kicked in. I’m not sure of who I am (without the labels of mom, daughter, boss etc) and where I belong (very disoriented). I’m setting small goals and just moving in the direction I think I should go (paying careful attention to my intuition) and believing the path will unfold. Coming to your Beyond the Arena retreat in March is one of the first steps on my journey and my depression has turned into excitement!

  4. Janet
    Janet says:

    Good advice… in my case I don’t have a career now and am living off savings. Know some next steps but not all about what I want to do. Am getting nervous as $$$ lessens. Need to create income on the way.


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