Suddenly Marketing

Brand Messaging | Content Strategy | Writing

The importance of chasing dreams

Taking a quick break from my usual #marketinggeek fare to say a little something about dreams.

I’m not talking about nighttime wanderings through strange yet familiar settings where we have conversations with talking dogs and suddenly find ourselves in front of the board wearing nothing but heart print underwear. I’m talking about the dreams we hope to bring to life one day – dreams of the personal, professional, and spiritual kind – dreams of meeting someone special, creating a successful business, bringing a community together, traveling to a distant country.

We all have dreams, but we don’t always talk about them. Sometimes sharing an unfulfilled dream is too scary. Sometimes even when we achieve our dream, we stay quiet about it because we don’t want to toot our own horn or we’ve moved on to the next dream and don’t want to take time to look back.

Most dreams lie at the other end of a long, bumpy road. There are many obstacles to overcome. We have to find a way over, under, or through a bevy of troublesome speedbumps and potholes: financial constraints, obligations, fear, educational short-comings, a lack of confidence, a lack of support … so many troubles.

What if you could learn how other people made it through these troubles? What if you knew some people – some women just like you – who had already cleared the hurdles you’re facing? What if they were willing to pause and share with you some insights about how they brought their dreams into the world and made them real? My friend and colleague Dianna Huff asked herself those same questions, and then she decided to create her own answers. She began talking to women she knew about the dreams they’d achieved and how they made them come true. She invited these women to share their stories in a collaborative E-book called Women Achieving Dreams – Stories of Courage and Faith by Extraordinary Women.

Though I consider myself definitely ordinary, I’m grateful that Dianna asked me to be one of the women included in the book. It gave me the chance to be part of this collection of stories that we hope will inspire other women to push forward in pursuit of their own dreams, or maybe revive a dream that has lain dormant for too long. There are so many women mentors and friends that have helped me on my journey. I think of this project as a way to help “pay it forward” – a chance to offer someone else a hand up by helping her see the road ahead a little more clearly.

Women Achieving Dreams – Stories of Courage and Faith by Extraordinary Women is a 76-page E-book that is available for $9.95. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Girls Fight Back Foundation, an organization that teaches girls and young women self-defense. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy of the book as a gift to yourself and also a gift to the GFB foundation and all the girls they help.

I also encourage you to check out the women who contributed to this project – each one is a heroine in her own right, just like you:

Thank you. And feel free to share your dreams – percolating or achieved – in the comments section. 

  • Sarah Blumenstock Girrell — Not happy with the schools she encountered, Sarah built her own school where she helps children build healthy self-esteem through early childhood education.
  • Amy Clark (@CrkdFaceCheese) — Amy achieved her dream of saving her parents’ dairy farm by teaching herself cheese making at night — cheese she now sells to rave reviews.
  • Carolyn Clayton (@EthicalSEOuk) — Left alone at age 15 and a single mom at 19, Carolyn now runs her own thriving SEO business.
  • Andrea Cohen — Andrea learned that achieving a dream sometimes means saying goodbye to someone you love.
  • Crystal Coleman (@CMColeman_OBM) — In order to help her young son, Crystal quit her secure government job, moved to rural Canada, and started a whole new career.
  • Mary Cullen, (@M_Cullen) — Mary found the courage to create the life she wanted despite what others’ expectations were of her.
  • Elle Draper — Elle found her true value and achieved her dream of living and working abroad.
  • Maura Fine — Maura ditched the fear of failure to become the artist she was meant to be at age 48.
  • Lois Geller, (@loisgeller) — Lois met an old man at Burger Heaven, quit her exec job and started her own agency in New York.
  • Debi Hammond, (@MerlotMarketing) — Lois went from poverty to running her own 10-person ad agency in California.
  • Sarah Henderson, (@ShendersonIA), who was the youngest person — and a new mom to boot — to win a run for office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • Clare Hovan (@clarehovan), who used lessons from The Secret to ask for what she wanted – and got it.
  • Karen Jones, who knows that men are great – because she wrote the book.
  • Sandi McCann, (@SandiMcCann) — Sandi formed Sister Summit with her sisters, to support each other.
  • Susan Nolte, (@MayCookieCo — Susan founded May Cookie Co., and now sells her healthy cookie mixes at Whole Foods Markets.
  • Terri Rylander, (@BIMarcom) — A breast cancer survivor, Terri got out of her rut and into her dream life of working for herself.
  • Gwen Thomas, (@gwenthomasdgi) — A single mom working hourly jobs, Gwen focused on opportunities wherever she landed and subsequently built an international business and name for herself.
  • Wendy Thomas (@WendyENThomas), tri-athlete and mother of six, who does not let anyone define who she is or what she can do — despite having dozens of leg operations due to a bike accident at age 16.
  • Jamie Wallace (@suddenlyjamie) — Jamie learned that if you have faith in yourself, others will too.
  • Belinda Wasser, (@BWRocketGirl — Belinda used visualization to become pregnant – despite being told she couldn’t (her friends ended up giving her the very stroller she used to visualize pushing her baby)..
  • Erin Weed (@erinweed) — After learning of the brutal murder of her college friend, Erin went on to found Girls Fight Back, a non-profit that teaches young girls self-defense.
  • Judy Young — Judy experienced the trauma no parent ever wants to face when she lost access to her four year old son; instead of dying inside, she kept herself strong for the day when she would see him again.
  • And Dianna Huff (@diannahuff). I faced my fears and became the mom, and the success, I’ve always dreamed of by ending the cycle of abuse.


Marketing Copy Secrets: How to Make “Less” More


Does your brand stand up?


  1. Jamie,

    Thank you again for being part of my project — and for the write-up.

  2. Sounds like my kind of book Jamie – treating myself to it now!

    • Jamie Lee

      Hooray, Sabrina!
      Thank you so much for supporting the project. I hope you enjoy the book and are inspired to chase your own dreams.

  3. My dream is a walk along the beach at Les Portes on Ile de Ré, France, with my bassets followed by lunch of fresh fish and lots of salad with tomatoes that taste sweet like tomatoes used to taste.

    I would drink a glass of Pouilly Fume white wine and then snooze the afternoon away in between reading a book about a man who, after successfully being treated for bipolar, left the rat race behind to potter along with dogs in the south of France and live a simple life.

    The early evening walk would be cooler, the fresh breeze blowing in off the Atlantic coast, and the salty air would settle gently on my face.

    After feeding the dogs I would cycle across the salt marshes to Ars en Ré and eat a light supper of fish and vegetables, drink espresso after the meal and cycle the 5 km home again.

    I would fall asleep with the sound of evening rain falling, my body aching gently from the cycle, but vibrant from the simplicity of my life.

    • Jamie Lee

      Wow, Jon. That’s beautiful. Makes me want to live that life myself.
      Good food, good friends (including our canine ones!), simplicity, and a sane pace – sounds divine.
      Thanks for coming by and sharing.

  4. Hi Jamie,
    Sometimes what holds people back from reaching their dreams is not fear of failure but fear of success.

    Maybe they don’t know what to do once they achieved their dream.

    • Jamie Lee

      So true, Justin. Often, it’s not our worst fears that keep us stuck, it’s our highest hopes. Change of any kind – even the good kind – is hard.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Dreams v. Goals? That’s what I thought when I read the above — are dreams really goals. When I dream about what I might do, want to do, I often squash it quickly and get back to task. The luxury of dreaming…it almost makes me sad. Hmmm, interesting reaction; didn’t know that!

    Fabulous project, Jamie and Dianna. Inspirational to be sure.

    • Jamie Lee

      Hello, Jayme!
      Thanks for swinging by.
      Yes – I agree that goals and dreams are often very different. In a perfect world, our goals move us toward our dreams, but sadly they sometimes get out of alignment. The “practical” takes priority and our goals pull us farther from our dreams instead of moving us closer to them.
      Dreaming can feel like a luxury, but I believe it’s actually a necessity. We need to dream in order to be fully ourselves. Our dreams are our most intimate expression of who we are. Without our dreams, we can forget who we are.

      I hope you get to spend more time with yours. :)

  6. Really lovely post.

    Off to purchase the ebook.


Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén