I often focus on educating retail business owners about the business side of things, the numbers, and the data that I sometimes have to remember to bring out the “softer” side of me. The side that says: it’s okay to dream. It’s okay to take risks. And it’s okay to nurture our souls.
This is dedicated to all the dreamers, the risk-takers, and anyone being nudged or pulled to listen to their intuition. I imagine that’s many of you.
Why We Should Allow Room to Dream
This episode was prompted by Amanda, a member of Master Shopkeepers. Amanda attended this year’s inaugural Savvy Shopkeeper Retreat. She posted in our Facebook group afterward and said she was inspired by Frügthaven Farm and April Petersen’s interview during the VIP Dinner Event at this year’s retreat.
Here’s what Amanda said:
“I’m not saying the numbers don’t matter. Of course, they do. I’m not saying your profit margin doesn’t matter. Of course, it does.
But where does the dream fit in? I can close my eyes and see the dream—the big, fat, poop-in-your-pants-scary, dream (I blame/thank you, April Petersen!).
I don’t think I can ever unsee it. I just really, really, really want it. It’s making me really happy to think about. I don’t know if our numbers are ever going to show that we can support it, but I believe that would change when we took the risk (or am I just dreaming?).
Do you also have dreams for your shops? Do you take risks when it isn’t the perfect time, but your gut tells you to do it anyway? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever dreamed about for your shop?”
This post and everything that followed in the comments warmed my soul so much. I think I mentioned in the retreat recap episode that I intentionally chose the word “Dream” because I wanted to soften the event’s tone. I wanted attendees to feel empowered to dream. Asking April to share her story with attendees was intentional, as I knew they would be inspired.
I personally know how important it is to DREAM. I spent many years dreaming. Many! But I also ignored my dreams for many years. I suppressed what I really wanted: to be a full-time entrepreneur.
So I decided to share my own story. And this is how I kicked off the retreat. In my opening presentation, I was extremely vulnerable and shared things I don’t usually share. It was raw, it was real, and yes, I cried. You know, that ugly kind of cry.
My opening presentation was titled “Dare to Dream.”
From Dreaming to Believing
My second presentation was a glimpse into how we can go “From Dreaming to Believing.” Once we dream, the next step is to start believing.
Another group member commented on Amanda’s post, saying, “I have a need to work towards a bigger picture. I’ve learned that I need to honor that need.”
I can’t agree more. I think we all need to honor that.
Believing means working on our thoughts, and working on our thoughts is no easy feat. We all have so many programmed thoughts. Choosing new thoughts takes work!
We have to work on thoughts like…
“Who do I think I am?”
“I can’t do that!”
“I can’t afford that.”
“What will so-and-so think?”
Yep, all of THESE thoughts.
I had to believe I could leave a nearly 20-year career, and I would be okay. I had to believe that I could change careers AND still be successful. I had to believe that money was abundant and would flow to me without the security of a regular paycheck.
Designing our Dreams into Reality
Once we dream and start believing, then it’s most likely time to do some work. It’s time to map it out.
For me, this involved setting myself up to live comfortably or safely without the security of a government job with benefits. I paid off debts, paid off my car loan, and created a nice cushion in my savings. This was years in the making. I’m not saying that your mapping process has to take years or that it always involves finances, but that was my process!
For you, maybe it’s doing the things you need to do to start changing your business model, like going from all vendors to no vendors and going all-in on YOURSELF.
Maybe it means starting to set boundaries so you CAN follow your dreams.
I think we often feel like people dream and then snap their fingers to make things happen. But out of all the shopkeepers I know that have taken risks, each one had a bit of road mapping/designing to do.
What’s beautiful is that we can design these roadmaps ourselves.
We just don’t always do it, though. We don’t instantly change our thoughts and then immediately take the action needed to make those dreams happen.
I know this because I spun my wheels for two decades—actually, probably longer.
Time to Take on the Risk
The next step is to take the leap, to take on the risk.
Another member commented on Amanda’s post and said, “each time I’ve taken risks, it’s paid off in more ways than one.”
And it’s true, I’ve seen this particular group member take HUGE LEAPS and become more successful with each big move she made.
Listen, I want to be the numbers/data ogre…and yet, I don’t. I can only hope that this podcast episode conveys how much I want all of you to allow yourselves to dream.
I’m also the person who personally knows that there are a couple of steps to take before taking risks. Otherwise, it’s reckless, and I don’t want anyone to be reckless.
You Get to Say When
So when is it time for shopkeepers to take RISKS? That, I can’t answer in this podcast episode. It’s truly an individual decision. Just know that YOU have the power and the intuition you need.
Since the retreat, I have worked on giving myself grace for being so vulnerable in that opening presentation—heck, all weekend!
If anything, I’ve worked on patting myself on the back and giving myself lots of high fives! Because I can only hope that my vulnerability, my story, April’s story, and the connections and stories everyone shared is what is now inspiring the shopkeepers that attended the retreat to dream.
So when is it okay to dream? ALL THE DAMN TIME.
We don’t give ourselves time to dream often enough. We just suppress and stifle them, shoving them into the back of our minds.
But our stores started as a dream, right? Well, at least for most of us. What we’ve done with our businesses and what we have accomplished probably started as a dream.
I see so many of you making progress, investing in yourselves. I see you growing both personally and professionally. Just don’t stop there!
What’s next for you? What do you really want? Even as the numbers ogre, I want to be the person to tell you that it’s okay to open your heart to what you truly desire.
I had to figure out how to go from dreaming to believing to designing to risk-taking for myself. I’m proud of the work I’ve done. And I realized after this year’s retreat that THIS is why I’ve been led this way. THIS is where my intuition was taking me.
Taking the steps I mentioned in this episode is how Savvy Shopkeeper came to be. I am more confident than ever that I am here to be your guide. To save you years of frustration and angst. And it all starts with dreaming.
The conversation that Amanda started in Master Shopkeepers was so IMPACTFUL.
Another member wrapped it up perfectly by saying:
“I love everything about this thread! I laughed, I cried. And it reminded me that it all starts with our dreams. Let your daydreams wrestle you awake.”
- Join the waitlist for Master Shopkeepers
- Frügthaven Farm
- Ep. 37: Shopkeeper Stories with April Petersen of Pink + Frillos
- Ep. 92: Community Matters: THIS happened at the 2021 Savvy Shopkeeper Retreat!
- [00:39] Why We Should Allow Room to Dream
- [05:54] From Dreaming to Believing
- [07:44] Designing our Dreams into Reality
- [09:41] Time to Take on the Risk
- [11:11] You Get to Say When