Dreaming vs. Doing

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a dreamer. In fact, I think I can own both the positive and negative connotations of the word. 

Let’s talk about the negative first. To be a “dreamer” implies that one’s head is in the clouds instead of being grounded, with the tendency to be easily swept away, instead of being results or outcome focused. And if you think of traditional business strategy and culture, this isn’t exactly a positive attribute. 

On the positive side of being a “dreamer” is the ability to think big picture and to come up with inspired ideas. I see it as the inspiration-gathering stage of a project or business, when we get lost in the process of generating ideas and finding inspiration, of playing with new concepts and thinking outside the box, when no idea is too big or too crazy. When we’re encouraged to “dream big”.

This positive aspect to dreaming is at the core of the Studio Bicyclette brand. I believe that letting your imagination run wild and dreaming big is essential to running a creative business, to finding the inspiration that propels you forward and coming up with those ideas that light you up.

But there also comes a time when you need to set aside the dreams and focus on the “doing”. Because let’s be honest, as much fun as the dreaming part is — the brainstorming sessions, the inspiration gathering, the research, the note taking, the planning — it only takes you so far before you need to get into the actual work. 

I’m definitely guilty of using the “dreaming” stage as a procrastination method. It’s so easy to get swept away by it, to put off the not-so-dreamy tasks that start to populate your to-do list after a good brainstorming session and to lose your momentum when it comes time to get down and dirty into the work itself. 

And because both are essential to running a creative business, it means it all comes down to finding that balance. 

You need to be able to think about the big picture and the fine-tuned strategy. 

You need that dreamy vision and the everyday hustle. 

You need creative flexibility and structure.

Once you’re able to find that balance, the quality of work becomes better, the workflow becomes more fluid, and the inspiration is easily carried from concept to execution.

I have two post-it notes on my desk that serve as daily reminders of this:

They might not be the most eloquent or profound of mantras, but it can be so easy to get caught up in the big picture, which in my experience more often leads to overwhelm instead of action. And nobody has time for that. 

So by focusing on the little things that you can do right now, you’re creating forward momentum, bringing you one step closer to that big, dreamy vision you’ve set out to create.

This post first appeared as one of Studio B's Weekly Letters. Interested in being on the list? You'll get a peek behind the sequin curtain and first access to the free resources! Right this way.