In this episode Ben Arment shares his insights on turning your dreams into reality with his book Dream Year. Over the course of 11 chapters, Arment gives you a practical guide for defining your dream, creating a business model, and a financial plan so entrepreneurs like you can market, grow, and sustain your new idea as a business. This is not a book about pursuing a hobby, this book is about helping you turn your passion into something that can be monetized.
I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the book showing people how their passion or their ideas are rooted in their past. I don’t know many business books that start that early on in an entrepreneur’s journey but I really do believe that the greatest ideas come from experiences when we were children.
I don’t want dreamers, makers or entrepreneur’s to believe that you have to be special in order to work for yourself or launch your own business. I think what Dream Year will do is it will demystify dreaming and it will break down the process of bringing a great idea to life in to very actionable, practical steps.
The first chapter is called Daring to Dream and it is dealing with all of the issues that keep people away from pursuing their ideas. It talks about fear, risks and all of the things that frighten people about pursuing an idea.
The next chapter is called Defining the Dream and that is really about looking back at your history and realizing your dream didn’t just start now but it’s something you can trace back to your childhood.
The third chapter is called Your Idea Model and I call it that because not everybody wants to start a business. It’s helping people understand that the world is too full of ideas, what you need is a new idea model. It’s basically taking an idea that other people might be familiar with but flipping it on its head. When you create a new expression of that idea or new offering, it removes the competition, it reinvents the industry and it offers a really unique experience to the world.
Chapter four is called Your Financial Model and this is the backbone of the book. This is not a book about pursuing a hobby, this book is about helping you turn your passion in to something that can be monetized. I have this expression that goes a great idea is a spreadsheet with skin on, and that is really about helping people understand what the financial model of it will be long before it launches. The goal is to make a profit and to make sure that the effort you put in to it is worth it financially.
Chapter five is called Executing the Dream and it’s the notion that every dreamer, every entrepreneur is made up of two people. You got ordinary you and you also got CEO you. Most of us go through life living as ordinary you. We have bosses who tell us what to do or we have teachers in school that guide our learning and there really has to come a moment in our life when we decide that we’re going to take the reins. We have got to turn ourselves in to someone more capable in order to achieve our goals.
Chapter six is called The Big Ask and it is all about rain making. It’s about the idea that revenue is important to bringing your dream to life and the only way that is ever going to happen is if you get in to the business of making asks of people.
Chapter seven is called Branding the Dream. Branding the Dream is about crafting what you are offering to the world is. Not just what the idea is but how it will engage with the world and what kind of experience will you give your customers. It’s not just the logo, it’s not just the website, it’s how you answer the phone and it’s the total user experience. Steve Jobs once said that branding is not just your logo, it is customer service.
Chapter eight is called Building your Platform and it’s the fact that if you have a great idea, it doesn’t really matter if no one is aware of it. It’s important that we as entrepreneur’s, we as dreamers, build a platform of people while we are also constructing our business.
Chapter nine is called Marketing the Dream. Marketing is about creating demand for the dream, sales is about trying to convince people to buy something that they don’t really want. We talk about how you create demand for your dream, how you frame it in such a way so that people really want it. The goal of this chapter is to help people craft a property that excites people and builds demand for what you do.
Chapter ten is called Growing the Business. It’s about building the business and for a lot of people to get their business to work, they have to continue to adjust it, adapt it and change it.
The final chapter is called Sustaining the Dream and it’s about encouraging the entrepreneur to not quit. I think some of the most successful businesses in history have been those who have suffered early failures and they just didn’t quit. This chapter is where I feel like my gifts as a writer shine.
“From 30 thousand feet creating looks like art, from ground level it’s a to-do list.” – Ben Arment
“If it doesn’t work out quite the way you want it, you can always get another job, you can always rebuild your savings, you can get your dignity back but you can never recover what you never tried at all.” – Ben Arment
I am the founder of an organization called Dream Year and we coach people in pursuing their passions and helping them turn them in to businesses.
Years ago I was blogging and actively logging my experiences, starting businesses and launching projects and I began getting a lot of e-mails from people asking how I did it. I found myself answering all of their questions in the exact same way and realized after a year of this that there was a need for someone to lay out what it looks like to bring a business to life. I began coaching people for about 4 or 5 years and all of my writing, e-mails and research yielded this beautiful book. It’s the combination of nearly five year of work and I am excited for people to read it.
The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Buy Dream Year by Ben Arment on Amazon today
Visit DreamYear.net to learn more about Ben’s company and his book
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Download the full transcript here
Related books: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland | Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow | Own Your Future by Paul Brown
Relevant advice and tips: 5 Important Things That Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know About Starting a New Business
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