Tuesday, June 26, 2012


“Take out a piece of paper, girls and boys. Today I want you to write a paragraph about what you would love to do with your life. What is your dream?” said Mrs. C to her fourth grade students.
Browse any book or movie rental store and you’ll undoubtedly see various titles such as, Find your Dream, and Follow your Dream, Unleash your Dream, and Stay True to your Dream. Shelves are overfilled with inspirational books and movies about Gathering Resources for your Dream.
So what ever happened to our fourth grade paragraphs we wrote to Mrs. C?  Did any of those girls and boys fulfill their dreams?
We graduated high school and started college. But what happens if we realized after a couple of years that college wasn’t for us? If we realized we wanted to pursue our dream from fourth grade.
Do we quit college? Do we quit our current job? Most people don’t. It is socially unacceptable to do either. But I knew a brave twenty-four year old young man who didn’t listen to society.  He was courageous and decided to change his lifestyle to live his dream.
Quitting college was easy for Bob because he always hated school. Working as a server at a casual fine dining restaurant for five years, he made 70K a year. The money was good, but not the job. He wanted so badly to quit and pursue his dream. He tried to do both, but found it impossible. Never enough time to  devote to his music, he devised a plan to work until he saved enough money to be unemployed for a year or so to pursue being a songwriter, play guitar, and perform in different cities.

Bob owned a townhome which provided a monthly income. He had already saved money to buy a self-contained van to live in while he traveled. He and his friends drove to San Diego from Las Vegas to check out a van advertised on Craig’s List. A little too eager, with a lesson learned later, he bought the van and drove it home. He lived in it for six months, parked it at different venues around the city and at friends’ homes. Obviously he didn’t hook up water during this time, so he showered at friends, his mothers, and the local Athletic Club.
Being thrilled with the van at first, Bob later realized it was too expensive to maintain. He put money into it and lost money when it sold. A hard lesson learned, but through life experience vs. a textbook.
Feeling prepared on the day he quit his job, Bob felt anxious, but very, very excited. Coincidently, shortly after he quit his job, his tenant asked if he would mind if he got a roommate. Bob figured it made perfect sense if he moved in. He saved money from renting a studio room where he practiced and kept his instruments.
From day one, Bob worked on fulfilling his dream. He played guitar and wrote songs to sing. He had friends in the music business that helped him record and create artwork for his album and merchandise. He titled his album, “We Are the Blues We Write,” apropos describing Bob’s new lifestyle.
None of this was easy, but Bob had the time of his life. He loved the music world. Recording his album was a learning experience that took him months to perfect.  Failing numerous times before he succeeded, he remixed and remastered, until he completed the album goal before his first Living Room Show.
Spending countless hours until he learned how to create a website to promote him and his show was well rewarded. The site was well done and The Living Room Show was a huge success. He and three other musicians played for a local crowd of fifty. He sold some merchandise and was thrilled. Selling items on the road for an income in unfamiliar venues will be the challenge.
Bob networked and followed musicians who traveled and performed on the road.  He learned a great deal from them. Many musicians couch surfed to save money.  He worked on a list of people and cities and mapped out a route to have a plan. He already participated by having musicians couch surf at his home.
With upfront expenses for the album, maintaining a car and townhome, and life’s necessities, he is close to flat broke. He thought his savings would last a bit longer. He admitted to being scared.
Did he give up? No. He wanted to follow his dream regardless of how poor he’ll be, how hard it is, or how many times he’ll fail.
He’ll be ready to travel the country when he sets up his venues. My son fulfilled his dream he wrote about in Mrs. C’s fourth grade class.