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3 Steps to Making Your Biggest Dreams Come True – Alex Echols



Alex Echols

There’s bad news and there’s good news about the entrepreneurial journey.

The bad news: the road is hard, it’s difficult and sometimes, you will want to give up (actually – a lot of the time). The good news: taking control of your future and your dreams is more doable than ever before.

According to a study for the Washington Post by Jena McGregor, only 13% of all people worldwide enjoy going to work and based on simple math of 40 hours a week for 40 years of work (with some overtime thrown in there), most people are projected to spend an average of 90,000 hours of their lives doing work that they don’t care much about.

Here is my podcast with Addicted2Success founder Joel Brown where I share my advice on How You Can Discover Your Passion & Quit Your Day Job:

As milennials and beyond, we are unlike any generations before. We are the change-makers, the rule-breakers, the misfits and the crazy ones.

For the first time in history, 61% of the emerging generation of workers feels personally responsible to make a difference in the world and leave a lasting impact (Nelson). That means that it is becoming less and less acceptable to show up to work simply for a paycheck. Even for the individuals who choose not to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, they are still looking for more purposeful work than ever before, which is why conscious capitalism, for-benefit organizations and enterprises are on the rise.

In today’s evolved economy – if you have big goals, you do not have to wait to bring them to life. There are more resources, tools, tips and hacks than ever before to help you bring a goal to fruition. But even with that said, some of the oldest and most effective steps for making this happen are commonly overlooked. A few years ago, I left my comfortable corporate job in pursuit of my own entrepreneurial endeavors and just a few years later, I was able to become a #1 best-selling author & full-time entrepreneur.

But it has not happened all because of me.

The truth is: a lot of people played a pivotal role in my journey over the last few years and most importantly, it’s happened because I was taught to follow these 3 simple, but very effective steps:


1. Discover Your Passion(s)…Now

How will you know where you want to go if you first don’t know what you truly like and love? This is something I always think about when university students and young professionals talk to me about the grand plans they have for the rest of their lives.

Just one year prior to entering college, most university students still needed to raise their hands and ask for permission to use the bathroom. So, why are we expected to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives at such a young age?

Let’s take a few steps back and make it simpler.

Find what you love and don’t stop till you discover it. It’s that simple. You can have a full-time job and still have a part-time hustle or search for your passions. With technology allowing almost anything to be at our fingertips, there should be no excuses for not trying new things over and over and over again.

With over 1.4 million iOS and 1.5 million android apps being available for download, minus the fart and belch gags, there are many resources to help individuals discover something they like, which can turn into something they truly love.

With online forums with accompanying offline groups such as MeetUp, Eventbrite or Peoplehunt, it is becoming easier than ever before to try new things.

In your community, your spiritual centers and sports clubs, there are generally notice boards everywhere with postings of different events and opportunities to learn or experience something new.

If you are someone who needs a creative way to discover (or re-discover) your passions, I recommend checking out my social project, Dreams Matter, which focuses on getting individuals to ask better questions in order to get better answers for their lives and passions. On the other hand, if you are looking for a great resource to help you to determine more of your professional skills, I recommend the StrengthsFinder test by Gallup.

The truth about discovering your passions is that the ideas that come from them must also be practical and monetizable if you want to leave your 9-5. You must have viable ideas and you must have a market or an audience who is willing and ready to pay for your products or services, which are linked to your passions.

Without a solid strategy, you will not make any money. And without passion, you will most likely give up. Steve Jobs was once quoted for saying:

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

Perseverance comes from having an invested passion into what you are doing. As an entrepreneur, you will not have much time to feel sorry for yourself. Besides, your audience, customers, clients, family and friends will be able to see right through the sheer veil if you are not congruent.

When you decide on an idea, become very committed to it. Research the best strategy given your circumstances, and stick to your plan. You will be the most successful when you are laser-focused and not easily distracted by the hurdles that come your way…because they will come. Just remember that you have the power to get through anything.


2. Get a Mentor…Now

During my high school years on the south side of Chicago, I was part of a scholastic sponsorship program that used the motto:

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but you teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.”

When I first heard these words at the age of 13, I did not fully grasp the meaning of such a powerful phrase. But over time, I began to understand that “teaching someone to fish” is a transferrable metaphor for anything in life.

It comes down to having mentors and guides in life to help us navigate the roads and tides that have been traversed before. Over time, the idea of ‘not re-inventing the wheel’ started to make more and more sense. Why struggle at doing something on our own when literally dozens and dozens of 1,000s of people have probably failed (and some, succeeded) at it before?

Generally, we think that only successful people can teach us meaningful lessons about moving forward, but there is already great success in knowing what not to do – from learning from the failures of another individual.

Michael Jordan, the greatest of all time to play the game of basketball, was once quoted that he is so successful because he has failed over and over again in his life. With his blocking, he had a mentor. With his shooting, he had a mentor. With his crossovers, he had a mentor. With almost every mechanic of his physical game, MJ had a mentor (or a coach, for the lack of better words).

Mentors or business/results coaches are some of the most valuable resources that every entrepreneur and individual can tap into. Today, finding a mentor is becoming easier because more individuals are becoming interested in bartering talents and genius, regardless of age. Take the Internet for example, by 2020 – as many as 5 Billion people will be connected through the interwebs. When we look at the baby boomers’ sector – it becomes apparent that our generation has something to offer them and vice versa.

It’s the idea of adding equal value.

So how do you find your mentor?

Finding someone who is compatible as a mentor or coach can take some time. Don’t overthink it and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t immediately find someone. In terms of actually starting, begin with your online and offline networks.

Ask around – ask those who have mentored and ask those who have been mentored.

Write lists – write down the characteristics and personality type of your ideal mentor.

Attend events – go to events that host people of all ages and business backgrounds.

Get manifesting – start visualizing the mentor you want and stop at nothing until you find him/her.


On an additional note, if you have the means to hire a paid business or results coach (which every professional should do), there are many paid business-coaching services such as Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery, T. Harv Eker Millionaire Mind Intensive Coaching, and etc.

The most important thing about all mentoring is to pay it forward. And allow me to debunk the myth that you are too young to be a mentor for someone else. Paying it forward isn’t about getting things perfect before you can become a guide for someone else. Paying it forward is about giving the best of yourself with what you have right now.

There is a quote that says something along the lines of:

“Always keep moving forward because you never know who you may be inspiring.”

So when it comes to approaching your possible mentor, remember to start from the value-based stance of, “how can I add value to them?” Or if you don’t feel as if you have much to offer, “how can I make our sessions together as easy & efficient as possible?”

The worst thing that can happen is that they say no because they are too busy, but most of the time they will point you in the direction of someone else just as equipped to lead, guide and work with you.


3. Find Your Tribe…Now

There are so many sayings and quotes that come to mind when I think about finding a supportive network:

  1. You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
  2. Only spend time with those who lift you higher.
  3. The Law of Success is in part based on your ability to apply the law of the ‘Master Mind.’

Indeed, there are so many juicy reasons and emphasizers as to why it is so important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, who are going to help you progress on your journey.

In his best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill speaks about the law of the ‘Master Mind,’ as offering a combination of mind-mapping, educating, accountability and peer-support in a group setting, which allows each individual to sharpen their business and personal skills.

I have personally been a part of masterminds for the last 5 years and while I think they are great, I think they can be more effective.


Enter the Tribe 

Where masterminds fail, tribes prevail and thrive. The idea of my specific meaning of a ‘tribe’ dates back to the time of the Indigenous Indian tribes when the goal was not only to survive, but also to pass on the lessons and teachings from one generation to the next (remember when we spoke about mentors earlier?) It was not only a tribe’s desire to provide support and pass on lessons – it was their duty.

A few weeks ago, as I sat with a few people from my tribe, a great friend of mine, Ben, said something that I will never forget. In his toast to all our mutual friends, he simply said: “the great thing about each and every one of us is that while we are helping each other succeed with our goals, the thing we want most for each other is simply to have a good life. It’s that simple.”

That’s where Finding Your Tribe is different than just finding a network of individuals who is going to help you get what you want. In your tribe, you will find people telling you the truth even when it hurts.

You will find some of the funniest and most fun days of your life. And most importantly, you will find what it means to have true friends that not only care about you succeeding in business, but that also care that you simply have a good life.

So how do you find your tribe?

Your tribe consists of the people that resonate with the ideal version of yourself. So as you start looking for your tribe, think about the kind of person you want to be.

Imagine: what do you look like when you are at your best physically, intellectually, in your job, and in your personal life? What kind of character do you have? Whose character do you admire a lot? Most importantly, how do you want to feel?

Finding your tribe will come down to what field you are in, what’s most important to you, and perhaps, where you live in the world. These are a few places I’ve called home over the last few years: Awesomeness Fest, TEDx, Burning Man and Summit Series.

You don’t have to join any of these tribes although you can if you want. There are hundreds of other groups and clubs you can look into to help you find a tribe that best suits you. Start talking to others and begin searching the web for tribes with which you can get involved today.

Look for people who share interests with you, who work in your industry, or who have similar values. Ask them who their tribes are and how they got together.

You will know when you find your tribe because you will discover all the things that are more important than just succeeding at business ie. – helping others discover their passions, paying it forward and mentoring others and finally, creating tribes that help other individuals live extraordinary lives.

Today, making your biggest dreams come true is more doable than ever before because we have so many resources available to us. I hope you have the courage to discover them, use them well and pay it forward.

What are you waiting for? Get started…now!


Get your hands on our new book “The Two Week Notice“:




  1. Mayo

    Oct 20, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Hey Alex,

    Insightful post and podcast, though I have a different take on what you have said:
    1. Finding your passion is only half the battle. There are other things to take into account i.e your strength and ability, the need for your passion in the market place etc. Mark Cuban said something that really resounded with me, he said forget pursuing passion, pursue effort and the passion will follow. The more you dedicate yourself to any craft the more passionate you become about it. So, I’d say at least in my personal experience that passion is an element but effort is also crucial to igniting a new passion.
    2. Searching for a mentor is good, however in my experience I have found that the right mentors pop up at the right time and you cross paths with them in the journey naturally because you’re both pursuing the same cause. I had some experiences where I sought after mentors aggressively, found them, but noticed they were rigid in their way of thinking and gave little to no space for personal creativity and innovation. The best mentors understand that you ultimately will make the best decision for yourself: they give you room to think and make decisions for yourself i.e follow your gut.
    3. As for finding the tribe, my view is the same as 2. In general when its forced it never works out as well as relationships that naturally happen.

    Otherwise good work!

    • Alex Echols

      Nov 30, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Hey Mayo,

      I agree with you on the following your effort and passion with consistent and focus action. I too read the piece in which Cuban said that about forgetting your passion (it’s just something I personally can’t do because my hobbies have become my career as a writer, speaker, etc.).

      Thanks for taking the time out to listen 🙂

  2. Nathi

    Sep 8, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Great stuff im lovin this site

  3. Charlene Rhinehart

    Sep 1, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Great post Alex! Thanks for sharing.

    As a fellow resident of the southside of Chicago and entrepreneur, your post hit home. I recently transitioned from Corporate America to Entrepreneurship and have similiar goals of writing a book and marketing my new business that will help inner city youth build career confidence through speaking competence. Your words of wisdom are exactly what I needed to hear.

    I also appreciate you sharing more about different resource groups that entrepreneurs can join. I am not familiar with Awesomeness Fest, Burning Man, or Summitte series but I do know alot of Toastmasters who are involved with TEDx.

    If there is any way that I can assist you in your endeavors or partner, let me know. Continued success!

    Charlene Rhinehart
    Ms. Corporate America 2015

    • Alex Echols

      Nov 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you for your support and for taking the time to listen, Charlene. Wishing you the best with your endeavors. Definitely check out those events..they just may change your life 🙂

  4. Onoja Johnson

    Aug 26, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Nice piece. You have just taught me all I need to pursue my dream.
    Pls, may I use this article in my book that am about to publish?

    • Alex Echols

      Nov 30, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      As long as it is fine with my friend Joel, who owns this site 🙂

  5. Atit More

    Jul 31, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Hey Alex,
    That was really very inspiring lesson you just have thought us. Another thing what I think you should include is focus . Sometimes it happens that people are passionate about what they are doing . But focus help us to turn professional to world class .

    Thank You

    • Alex Echols

      Nov 30, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      Ajit, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Focus and consistency is such an important part of business success.

  6. Alex Echols

    Jul 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Pat, really happy you found so helpful tools within this article and podcast. If you are up for it, please share with your family or friends who are in a similar position.

    To Your Success,

  7. James Hughes

    Jul 22, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Great post Alex. Especially the part about being in a tribe. You are definitely the average of the 5 people you hang around with.

    Thanks James

    • Alex Echols

      Jul 24, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      Hey James, thanks for checking this out. If you get a chance, please check out the podcast and share the love!

  8. Pat

    Jul 22, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Awesome post and podcast Alex.

    Really appreciated all the good tips and resources to discover one’s professional skills and passions. If you follow your heart your focus increases.

    • Alex Echols

      Aug 11, 2015 at 6:37 am

      You got it right, Pat! I like your words there: “follow your heart and your focus increase.”

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