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3 Secrets to Making a Risky Bet on Your Dream

Do you have a dream that seems like it will never see the light of day? Here we are as a nation swimming in uncertainty. It seems like the worst possible time to take a risk. So much is beyond your control. Wouldn’t it be better to wait until you had more information? Yes, that would be most peo…
By Seth Barnes

Do you have a dream that seems like it will never see the light of day? Here we are as a nation swimming in uncertainty. It seems like the worst possible time to take a risk. So much is beyond your control. Wouldn’t it be better to wait until you had more information?

Yes, that would be most people’s response. But it is precisely because so many people are operating out of a place of fear that this may be exactly the right time to take a risk.

I’m betting that many of you reading this have an idea that the world needs, maybe an idea that God gave to you. If your dream were to become a reality, many people would be helped and the world would be a better place.

Here are three secrets I’ve found to betting on your dream.

Dreams take time

22 years ago, my friends Mike Price and Hulet Smith had a dream of starting a company that would help people when they were fighting illness. They called it Rehabmart and worked on it part-time. I invested some money and have served on the board ever since. 

Along the way, we had so many challenges. But now that Covid has hit, Rehabmart is making a difference! We are helping people find the equipment they need to stay healthy. For example, new technologies like electrostat sprayers can quickly disinfect whole buildings.

Mike and Hulet look like geniuses now, but if they had not taken a risky bet on their dream years ago, they wouldn’t be able to make a difference as they now are.

What we all learned is that dreams take time. Like human beings, they go through stages in their growth. Initially they are fragile and need a lot of care. At some point they begin to function. And with perseverance, they can become something tangible that makes a difference.

Dreams hit obstacles

Two years ago, Josh Owen and I had the idea, “There must be a better way to educate young Christian entrepreneurs.” We looked at the student debt bubble and the industrial model of education that colleges use featuring a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Where others saw an impending crisis, we saw opportunity. 

We felt like we would need at least a couple of years with students to adequately prepare them to make an impact. They would need to be strong followers of Jesus with an entrepreneurial flair. We wanted to raise up young leaders through a mix of ministry and mentorship.

All along the way, we faced obstacles. How to find staff? How to fund it? How to do a training camp when many couldn’t make it? How to meld a class with such different ages and experience levels? What to do when students couldn’t meet fundraising obligations?

We began trying to recruit staff and students who were compelled by their faith and driven by curiosity and work ethic. By the time we were done, we had our first class and seven staff. Most came from existing relationships.

And when Covid hit us in Nicaragua, we brought the class back to America to finish. 

The obstacle is the way

Ryan Holliday has written a book, The Obstacle is the Way. Each obstacle you face actually will show you the way forward. What we learned this last year in starting Global U (and what I’ve learned in a lifetime of creating startups) is that usually new challenges show up with doors to opportunity built into them. The trick is to look at each challenge and figure out how to open the door. 

Craig Groeschel says in his podcast about innovation that innovations usually require a problem to solve and limited resources. When you choose not to quit, but to commit to potentially fail, innovation becomes possible. Old ways don’t work. Without a new approach, you just won’t accomplish the dream.

What is your dream? If it seems risky in this crazy world we find ourselves in, maybe this is exactly the right time to commit to it!

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