I think it is acceptable to assume almost all of us know that dreaming in and of itself won’t breed success. I can dream all day long of being a famous author someday but unless I actually do something it will be simply that, a dream.
The power of dreaming, though, cannot go ignored. I’ve always firmly believed that you can dream yourself to success by doing it actively. By living your dream.
My fiancé recently started chasing a long-lived dream of his own which is to become a Professional Streamer on Twitch. For any of you that are not gamers, Twitch is a streaming service that allows you to stream yourself playing video games for a live audience. Think gaming Netflix but live!
It’s only been a short time since he went live as WarKittens721 but he and I both have learned so much in that time about dreaming and success. When he started this adventure we both had big expectations of instant success with tons of followers, a huge variety of games for him to feature, and a quick path to his first goal: Affiliate.
What we found instead was technical issues, A LOT of learning to be done, and a whole slew of unexpected issues before he could even get into the real action of streaming his gaming sessions. Throughout all of that what kept us going was the big, beautiful dream he had penned for himself. It turned out that living his dream of being a streamer meant dealing with all the problems streamers do.
Whether it is streaming, writing, or anything else in life living the dream is the first step to finding success in it. There are some hard lessons involved that my fiancé and I have started to understand.
Figure out what your success looks like today and tomorrow. When he started streaming, we both agreed that followers and viewers wouldn’t define his success, at first. Him getting a schedule planned, set up done, and some reliable streaming buddies was the first success milestone. Later on, his success would indeed be based on becoming an Affiliate which is based on viewership and followers. The dream in your head that keeps you up at night will usually be the final destination. In his case, being a full-time streamer is that dream.
Perform like you’re already successful. This was a hard lesson to learn. Initially it was easy for him (and me, too) to put off implementing the schedule, post pone streams, or go in halfheartedly because “we’re still learning”. What we quickly found was this prevented us from reaching that success. We had to treat ourselves, the stream, and each other like the professionals we wanted to be. That whole “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” applies just as much to your actions as your appearance. For him, that also meant setting up a fancy web page complete with About Me, Specs, and some Rules.
Set up your budget. Some dreams require time investments, some financial investments, others a little of both. Then there are the dreams that require a lot of both. Streaming definitely requires a significant commitment between the initial set up, branding and marketing, and the physical process of streaming. Before getting too involved, it is critical to set a realistic expectation of how much time and money you have to commit today. It doesn’t have to be a forever budget but it needs to suit you today.
Give your budget wiggle room. With any dream, you learn as you go. There are a lot of unexpected expenditures in most things. Marketing and branding is one we didn’t account for originally. In fact, neither of us really even realized the sheer amount of business acumen that would be required for him to reach his goals! The best example is stream giveaways. Live giveaways are more than just commonplace in the streaming world, they’re damn near essential for smaller streamers to attract new viewers when competing against pre-established ones. Since we didn’t give ourselves wiggle room it took some time but we are finally doing a $60 game give away when he hits 60 followers!
Share the small successes as much as the large, if not more. Sure, not everyone in your life wants to hear every single tiny achievement you make towards you final goal. I am sure a few of our less than close friends get tired of hearing about it on Facebook. There will always be people who are extremely happy to celebrate with you though and those are the people you should surround yourself. Every little success is a step towards that final dream and that makes it paramount to enjoy them! What is the point of chasing a dream if you don’t enjoy yourself along the way?
Let the dream be the guide! When we figured out our budget was wrong for both time and money, that we needed more components to make the software and hardware work together, and that our original schedule wouldn’t work for our family he was feeling more than a little defeated. I was feeling stressed and helpless. It was at that critical point he refocused on why he was going through all the trouble, why he wanted so badly to stream. He let the dream reignite his motivation and push him through those challenges. He is still doing that today so someday he can be a full time gamer and streamer.
Dreams are these big, sometimes scary creatures that visit us at night when we are cozy in our bed. That invade our thoughts while we do the random frivolous tasks like grocery shopping or dishes. That keep us awake when we should be sleeping.
It takes real action to make dreams become realities but we also can’t forget the dream itself for that is where the power of our actions stems from!
Our first big success was getting the set up completely done, start to finish. Complete with dual monitors, mic, mic stand, insanely large mouse pad, and a cozy chair for prolonged streams. I am so proud of how far he has come and how far he is yet to go in his dream!
If you are a gamer and enjoy streams, feel free to check him out on Twitch at WarKittens721 while he enjoys some League of Legends and a variety of other games with his buddies! When he hits 60 followers the giveaway will be randomly announced, too, so the sooner the better.
Are you a gamer? What are your dreams? Have you started chasing yours?