How to Build a City (5 ideas to accomplish impossible dreams)

Last Tuesday, I got to stand on a stage and share the vision for the future of the Creative City Project and our annual event, IMMERSE

It's a big undertaking and, at it's core, the underlying objective is to "shape the global perception of Orlando as one known for innovation and creativity." 

We're literally shaping a city for those who call it home and in the eyes of the rest of the world. It's no small undertaking. But one step at a time, we're building our event to become a destination for performing and installation artists innovating in their fields. And making plans to host a global audience of more than 100,000 guests by 2020. 

It's a big dream. One that is bigger than any one person or team. But big dreams are the kinds of dreams that radically transform the world. 

"If your life's work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you're not thinking big enough."
- Wes Jackson, The Land Institute

If your dreams are going to change the world, they have to be bigger than you. Here are 5 things to keep your dream going so that they grow to outlive and out last you. 

1. Collaborate

We can only do so much on our own, and if we're dreaming world-changing dreams the amount we can do will never be enough. That's where collaboration comes in. 

Collaboration ensures :
  • You can do more now and
  • Your dream can outlive you.

So find good people you want to work with and who believe in what you're doing, and give things over to them. Collaboration means giving away control. So don't micro manage. Give people freedom to perform, and assess along the way.

2. Stay flexible 

One of the reasons many people give up on their dream is because things aren't going the way they thought they would. What I've learned... this is almost always a certain inevitability. 

The final product will never look like the initial dream. And the process to get there will be marked with unexpected hurdles. But don't allow that to stop you. 

Embrace the changes that come along the way and reset course as they happen. 

3. Practice patience

We all want to sprint to the dream, but getting there will more likely look like a marathon. 

The first growth plans for Creative City Project included a multi-million dollar budget by 2016. It was ambitious dreaming, and that's actually really great. But I knew so little when I made that initial plan, and it was more ambitious than reality. But only by a few years. We're on our way to realizing that initial dream, just on a longer timetable. 

Don't give up if the dream doesn't become a reality on the timeline you've pre-determined.

 4. Expect sacrifice

Make sure the dream you're chasing is something you think is worth sacrificing for... because you will. 

Every time we say "yes" to one thing, we're saying "no" to millions of other things. Pursuing a dream means giving up lots of other really great things. Just know that's part of bringing the dream to life, and embrace it. 

5. Be someone others want to work with

This lesson is huge, and if you don't practice it from the beginning, you'll just have to fail until you learn it. 

We can't accomplish dreams alone, and an inspiring objective isn't enough to keep people around. 

Dreamers and visionaries can work toward the mission no matter what. But most people endure for the long haul because of one reason... relationship.  

So be someone who cultivates relationship and displays kindness and grace. 

There's no way to ensure absolute success. But these 5 things will be integral to bringing that dream to life.  Embrace them. Live them. And share them.