“Happy are those who have dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.”

This was my senior year quote in our high school year book and it is my mantra for how I try to live.  I truly believe anyone can take an idea and develop it into something if they work hard at it. The key is to have a vision of what you want to do, a mission statement on how it will work and how it will impact others, a plan  and timeline to make it happen and a passion to give it your all.

I have come to know several inspirational women who are following their dreams. All are rebooting their lives to create new businesses and a new identities. Their dreams can be nightmares at times, as can any start up, but they remain focused, have a vision and believe in what they are doing which are the fundamentals of any endeavor.

Here are five examples of women who acted on a dream:

A) An investment banker specializing in health care who cared for friends with cancer starts a business to deliver nourishing customized meals to cancer patients.*

B) A mother of three sons starts a distillery in North Carolina to make refined American whisky. The CBS Morning Show features her as “The Moonshine Mom,” one of only four women distillers in the U.S. A.*

C) The owner of one of the country’s most revered French restaurants, now closed,  launches her own label of premium Champagne and now sells in  over a 100 leading restaurants and retailers*

D) A public relations agency owner specializing in food, beverage and hospitality rebrands herself and becomes a television personality, author and tastemaker.*

E) A former U.S. civil servant becomes enamoured with French cooking while living in Paris with her diplomat husband.  She enrolls in Le Cordon Bleu, and  goes on to become one of the world’s most beloved TV chefs and writes best selling cookbooks.*

So, what does this mean to you? Nothing really if you are doing what you love and content with the way things are. You are a lucky person!  And it means everything if you are still dreaming of the next stage of your life. You can make it happen. You just have to BEGIN:

Believe in yourself and your concept.

Envision what you want to do and write it down in a plan

Gather information on how others are doing something similar

Impact: How will what you do impact others and be perceived?

Never lose focus or determination.

Watching the Summer Olympics this past week is enough to inspire anyone to pursue a dream.  While almost all of the athletes are training and winning at a young age, pursuing a dream is ageless and timeless and there are no limits unless you create them or allow them to settle around you. Look at Julia Child, who would have turned 100 August 15th. Julia started cooking at age 37 and published her opus, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” after she turned 50. She became a best selling author and television personality for the next three decades. 

For many a life change, a health crises or other major challenge becomes the wake up call to pursue a dream that has fallen by the wayside. Being diagnosed with cancer three years ago August 6th, certainly was my wake up call. But it should not take something as dire as that to make anyone pursue a dream.

So, the next time you say to yourself, “I have always dreamed of doing (fill in the blank).” Ask yourself next, “What is holding me back?” Is it a legitimate reason or an excuse?

Winning 22 Olympic medals this year, Michael Phelps’ quote sums it up:

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.”

Five women who inspire: A) Susan Bratton, Founder www.meals-to-heal.com, B) Troy Ball www.troyandsons.com. C) Rita Jammet www.lacaravelle.comD) Karine Bakhoum www.Facebook.com/Karine.Palate  E) Julia Child www.juliachildfoundation.org