I used to think that the best ideas came to fruition while you’re taking a shower, going for a run, or tipsy from a glass of wine. I’ve come to realise, however, that these moments are just the beginning: the seeds before the tree starts to grow.
This reminds me of when I first learned to write my name. Mastering my own name only opened the floodgates to the words that cluttered up pages of children’s books. Now I was up to the challenge of constructing sentences, recognising and correcting spelling mistakes, and learning grammar. My name was just the welcome mat into the world of words before me. The same can be said for the ever-evolving online world. It offers an abundance of ideas and opportunities, but to be prosperous, we must be quick to learn and grow with it.
When my idea for Dreame first came about, it was a completely different concept than what it is today. I am not the first CEO to change the direction of my company. The creators of Odeo (today Twitter), Burbn (Instagram), and Dodgeball (Foursquare) had very different visions initially.
I’d like to share how my business evolved into what it is today: a platform where you can commission an artist to turn your dreams and memories into masterpieces.
At first, I was working on an idea called Unravelin, and one of our features was related to dreams. A friend asked, “How cool would it be to turn your dreams into a comic strip?” Something about this idea jolted my brain and caused my heart to flutter. I disappeared for a few days, did some research, and brought the idea back to my friend.
“This is it! This is our app!” I said. My friend was immediately taken by the idea of a company that creates one-of-a-kind works of art made from dreams, visions, and aspirations. We shared the idea with friends, family members, designers, and other app creators, and our excitement was infectious.
Now, about 2 years later, we look back on the seed that began it all. To put it simply, a lot has changed. If we had recorded our early conversations about the concept, we would be laughing right now — particularly about how sure of ourselves we were. Whether it is Day 1 or Day 456, the one thing that remains is the belief and passion driving the idea.
On the spreadsheet I call my “Dreame Belief Counter,” I have been recording my feelings on a scale of 1 (“What on earth am I doing?”) to 10 (“This is going to rule the world”). It allows me to assess and understand where I am and how I can improve.
I try to stay positive about the company, and keeping a chart helps me monitor those unavoidable doubtful days. When I’m feeling down, I turn to this spreadsheet with its various comments, and it helps to lift my mood: “It’s not as bad as you think,” or “That day was so much worse, so lift the number up.”
Although the Dreame Belief Counter was created to measure my feelings about my business, I believe it can be used for many journeys, from training for a marathon to tracking a blossoming relationship. The quantification of feelings may initially appear paradoxical. However, I believe these small moments are the ones that require the most acute mindfulness.
We must always dream big, even when our dreams don’t come to fruition. Our dreams are driven by our passions, the purest manifestations of our self. An unfulfilled dream is not a failure, but rather, a spotlight on our essence, our internal compass. We can only learn from the risks we take. There is no right or wrong; there are only the actions we take based on where we are right now. If we don’t move with our goals, we won’t move at all. Knowing our dreams and being familiar with them is being connected to who we really are.
Whether you count your daily, weekly, or monthly dreams remember to be aware of your passions. They entered your life for a reason.
Originally published at medium.com