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Build it Anyway

By Diane L. Dunton, M.S.

As I sat entranced in the audience of a Martina McBride concert, she came out on stage dressed in a white gown with a brilliance of light that radiated around her. Her country voice spilled the words from a song that was soon to be released on her new album. I was mesmerized. The rest of the concert was fine and uplifting and traditional, but this song attached itself to me in a way that a song had not in years.That concert was almost a year ago and the song is still resonating in my mind. As a career coach, I find the words are words that I wish many of my clients would keep as a mantra. These are the words from the song “Do It Anyway” that caught my attention a year ago.

“You can spend your whole life buildin’
Something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway.”

I have listened to many clients who have dreams. They are dreams with possibilities. They are dreams of passion. They are dreams that are possible to achieve in this life time. So many of us dream and then let our dreams go because of fear. Fear of taking the first step, fear of believing, fear of trusting. Build it anyway... Strong words that illicit emotion in me. There have been many times in my life when I have started to build, only to have a storm come, and I have had to build again. Build it anyway. I married in my early 20’s filled with the possibilities of dreams. I had two children and then my first storm came. A marriage that struggled. I found myself alone with 2 small children who were depending on me. There were dark days when I did not think I could get up, but I did and I built my family in a different way. My next storm came when my mother, who was my mentor and had instilled in me the confidence to go after every dream, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. As I faced that storm, I knew I had to keep going. I had just started a master’s degree, was still a single Mom and was working full time in a job that required a lot of travel. I had a lot pulling on me and knew she would need me to care for her. One day, as we sat on my back porch and knowing I had precious little time with her, I asked her, “What do I do?” She replied, so matter of fact and knowing, “You continue taking classes and get your degree.” She left this earthly world within ten months of our conversation and six years later, I received my degree. She was smiling down on me. I did it anyway. At the time, I thought it was the biggest storm I would have to face and then I had another dream. “Dream it anyway.” My dream was to start my own consulting business. Then in 1996, only six months after my mother passed, I opened the doors to my business, Potential Released Consulting Services, with the desire to help individuals, groups and organizations release their potential and like a hot air balloon, Take Flight. Five years into my business and all was well. I was married to a wonderful man, my daughters were growing to be lovely young women and life was very good. I certainly had some anxious moments when I first started my business. I had questions like, “Can I really do this?” and “Will people find my services valuable,” but the business took off and I was passionate about the work. Then just when I thought my dream life had been built, another storm came along. My husband was diagnosed with cancer. He passed eight months later. During his illness, I let my dream of my business go. And I spent (with no regrets) time with him.After he passed, I still had my dream. I had no business or income but I had my dream. I rebuilt my business. The storms still swirled around me… a sister died of cancer, a brother with a benign brain tumor and another sister with cancer…. storms swirling and I was in the eye of the storm holding onto my dream. “Build it anyway. Dream it anyway.” I have been building... My consulting practice is going strong. I started painting and had a dream of an art studio. I opened the door to my studio two years ago. The storms have come and gone. With each passing storm, a gift comes. In the midst, I have not always known what the gift was, but a gift did come. When my mother passed, I left a company I was with for 20 years, and started my own business. That was 12 years ago. When my husband died, I rebuilt my business. While I have been building my dream, I have witnessed and assisted others in building their dreams. I am privileged to listen to others and be able to create an environment for them to make their dreams a reality. One woman started a business offering planned vacations for professional business women connected to the arts all across the country, another man started a soap and candle business after leaving a distribution position that he held for years, and another woman left a corporate position to become a teacher and work with kindergarten children. All had dreams and storms along the way. They built it anyway. Yes, Martina, dream anyway. Build it anyway. The storm will pass. We must remember to hold on to knowing the storm will pass. Dream anyway. Build anyway. I continue to support people who dream and know that if they dream they can build. They may have some storms along the way but they can make it through the storms. Build it anyway. What is your dream? What do you want to build? Storms will come and they will pass. Begin to build today. Thank you, Martina.

Diane L. Dunton M.S. is President of Potential Released Consulting Services which offers executive leadership programs and strategic planning. Her work has been published internationally in business and management publications.