Forget Your Dreams…Or at Least Modify Them

In today’s society of trophies and ribbons that are given out for just participating, there has been a growing epidemic throughout the business world and our culture: the feeling of an entitlement.

Just the act of showing up to work will not – or should not – be rewarded. Many college grads expect to be immediately hired to the job of their dreams and drink scotch in meetings “Mad Men style” while getting paid six figures simply because they possess a degree. In business the same thing could be said, many companies think that their one idea or ad campaign will send them into a world of expensive cars and supermodels. More often than not, it won’t.

The fact is that not everybody is a winner. To be a winner there has to be a loser.

Ad Campaigns

Good commercials have led classic water-cooler banter for years. With the good also comes the bad: the commercials that become annoying over time or just completely miss the targeted audience.

For example: ever single Geico commercial that has aired since I was a child. First it was the gecko, then the cavemen, then the gecko again, and now the resounding “Hump Day” commercial which has caught traction in the social media market as well.  Every Wednesday I see at least 10 tweets quoting that commercial. That commercial was good, but the constant overplaying has made it get old.

The best example of a company that just completely flopped with their ads is E-Trade. E-Trade has spent close to $36 million dollars on Super Bowl commercials and has seen little return. In fact, their share price has gone down 91% in the last 10 years. A talking baby might be better than a crying one, but not in this case. E-Trade needs to forget this dream to hit a home run every year and advertise in different manners than Super Bowl commercials and just start eating chicken wings like everyone else does for the big game.



There is a great idea every single day that could make millions or even billions of dollars.

Many start-ups need to realize that their fairy tale idea of how business is going to work is wrong. Many do, the hard way.

Having been a part of multiple start-ups, I have seen first-hand the work that has to go into developing a successful idea. My grandparents had a start-up and grew it to be very successful, they also told me that they didn’t take one day off – including holidays – for more than five years. In truth, it was probably longer.

These facts have made me realistic about the type of dreams that actually work. In a world where there is real money and real competition, you won’t get a participation ribbon just for playing.

Modify Your Plan

Plans in business oftentimes fall through so a back-up plan is needed. This seems like common sense but the amount of businesses that are unwilling to modify their approach to the market is astounding. Company values are something that should be held on to, strategy is something that needs to be flexible.

Giving up on your dreams for your current business plan or marketing tactics can be hard for some, especially those who have been successful in the business world. If you aren’t willing to modify things about your business, that stubbornness can lead you to bankruptcy very quickly. As far as your dreams in business go, modify them or they could become a nightmare.

I know that you got a trophy for your 9th place baseball team and you think you’re going to be a major leaguer, but you aren’t.

You should probably brush up on your academics.

There are rock stars and celebrities, but even Chad Kroeger growing up would’ve never imagined that he would be a part of the train wreck that is Nickelback. So modify your dreams and realize that whatever you are going to do is going to be hard and you will have to work harder.