No Thanks
Let

Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

What's Your Dream? Five Tips for Uncovering Your Hidden Talents

Even if you're not sure what you want to do or you have a bunch of competing ideas to choose from, it all starts with the creative process.



The first step of turning a dream into reality is getting clear on what you want to accomplish. Creativity is a way of thinking about the world and your surroundings, and can take many forms -- it doesn't have to be limited to being a painter, writer, knitter, or designer (although it could be). If you open your mind, open doors are sure to follow. Are you ready to discover your true potential? The following exercises are designed to get your wheels turning so your creative spirit and talents can be unearthed!


1. Say Yes
Being open to invitations or activities you might normally decline, whether personal or professional, lays the groundwork for the forward momentum you need to make a change. Think of it this way, sometimes not doing something is really just an easy way to maintain life's status quo. But our goal is to help you start seeing things in a new way, meeting different people, and having unexpected experiences that will lead you toward success, one step at a time.

Take Action
Start saying yes this week. Accept an invitation, idea, or suggestion that you'd normally decline. This could mean doing something new with the kids (for example, making up a story versus reading one), going on a creative outing to a museum or exhibit, or even taking a new route to work.

2. Be Afraid
Yes, that's what we said! The more you can step out of your comfort zone in small ways, the faster you'll be comfortable with the idea of turning your dream into a reality.

Take Action
Do something that scares you this week (and write about it on the Dreamers into Doers message board!) Serve a new recipe for friends and see if they think it's "sellable," test an idea at your child's preschool to see what other parents think, or make a phone call to get more information on your future product -- even if it's still just an idea. Use fear or doubt to move you forward, not keep you stuck.

3. Clear the Clutter
It's important to build a dream on a great foundation, but sometimes a messy home or even an overcommitted calendar can get in the way.

Take Action
Get organized. Everyone has a room or corner that doesn't get enough TLC. Clean under the bed, file overdue paperwork, and get rid of anything in your home that's broken or blocking your path. Try one area this weekend and feel the difference.

4. Find Inspiration
Everyone needs a role model; it's natural to look up to people who have accomplished amazing things. Martha Stewart is a great example of someone who harnessed her creativity and passion and turned it into a thriving business.

Take Action
Find a muse. Research someone who inspires you, who has a story you could follow, or who has a business model you might use for your own project. How did they get started? You might be surprised at how little many very successful people knew about their business before getting into it. They relied on hard work, timing, and creativity -- and you can, too.

5. Get Support
Do you know that creativity is contagious? Just try putting yourself in a creative environment and not catching the bug! Isolation has the opposite effect -- it's one of the biggest dream killers.

Take Action
Create a community. Find at least one person (up to five or six would be ideal) whom you can check in with weekly and use as a sounding board for ideas. Encourage him or her to bring ideas and act as a point of accountability for each other.

Get Started
Try these exercises this week -- and let us know how it goes on the message board! We're comparing stories, secrets, what we're scared of, and, most of all, what we hope to do. Good luck!

More from Ladies Who Launch
Featured Lady Joan Barnes: How the Gymboree founder redefined success, business, and her life.

Featured Lady Sheri Schmeltzer: How this Jibbitz founder turned a kids' crafts project into a million-dollar business with Crocs.

Investing in Your Dream: Get your idea off the ground with these financial keys to start-up success.

Setting up Your Home Office: It determines your organization, visualization, and imagination -- make it a place you want to be!

Text by Amy Swift, editor-in-chief of Ladies Who Launch