The last four years of my life have been a hotpot of overwhelming devastation and amazing excitement all at once. One day I was kicking career goals with an international PR career and was a proud mum of a beautiful little boy, with a supportive partner to help me out. The next, I was an unemployed single mum of two little boys under three, one of whom was fighting for his life as a preemie in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
New beginnings don’t come along all the time, and here I was with one sitting right in my lap if I was brave enough to go for it; to let go of what was and what might have been, and step firmly into what could be.
Fast forward to today, and I am an entrepreneur with an award-winning PR consultancy, LBPR. I’ve been recognised as a businesswoman in my own right and am a proud ambassador for the AusMumpreneur Network and Inspiring Rare Birds. I’ve built a new house for my family less than three years after I walked into Centrelink for single parent benefits. And I met one of my entrepreneurial idols, Richard Branson, in person less than a year after I made that goal publicly known on my bucket list.
How did I turn my life around? I won the lottery! Ha, if only it was that simple.
All I did was dream small. Yes, that’s right. I decided to dream little dreams. If, back when my life was a mess, I’d dreamt about a massive house in St Tropez, a Porsche in the driveway and millions in the bank so I could do whatever I wanted every day, I can tell you now it would have only added to my misery. This may sound dramatic, but in moments of darkness and despair, little dreams saved my little boys and me from sliding further down the black hole of inaction and, even worse still, inertia.
I’ll never forget that LBPR – a business now nudging seven figures – started with no money. Bank balance: $0. Money set aside to invest in business: $0. When I dared to think slightly longer term, I dreamt a little dream that saw me turn this single income into a sustainable business model, whilst mitigating the risk of losing everything. But I wasn’t there yet.
“Dream small Lisa, stay focused,” whispered my heart.
So off I went. I dreamt little dreams about my first clients, about having a team, about a “grown-up” office, about awards and recognition for excellent work. These little dreams were ones I could touch and see so clearly. I knew I could actually achieve them if I just stayed focused and took action to see it through.
When I finally wrote my first book, Dream A Little Dream, the intention was to show how quickly realities can be shifted from unexpected trauma and devastating heartbreak, to fulfilment and opportunity. With courage, faith and gumption, creating a business and life you’ll love is entirely possible.
Dreaming little, not big, was the panacea to my predicament, and now I believe there’s nothing I can’t make happen with this approach. I am proud that a truly devastating time in my own life has allowed me to create something positive to help others harness the power of little dreams to change their life – and to do it quickly.