How to Create the Life You Want

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Seattle Founder Friday Speaker and Fanzo co-founder shares roadblocks and solutions for pursuing the life we want.

By Dana Dyksterhuis (Co-Founder, Fanzo)

I imagine that I’m like most startup founders whose reason for taking the plunge is far greater than just wanting to do a startup. In fact, it’s an incredibly personal decision that’s typically about wanting a different life, or taking charge to create your own destiny.

Making change happen is not easy which is why I share the three thoughts below. Fanzo most certainly would never have happened without tackling them and I believe they apply to not only your professional life, but personal as well.

Run toward fear

Big things don’t happen without making massive changes and conquering your fears. This is especially scary because we’re generally confronted with wanting change in the midst of highly difficult and sometimes even traumatic times. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s during these times when we have the most opportunity. Whether you’re miserable at work, in a terrible relationship, want to move to a different city, or just feel stuck in general you likely have that feeling that you want something different.

You have two options: 1) Run away from your fear of making a change and stay put, which includes staying miserable and not living to your fullest or 2) Run toward fear and change your life.

It’s been interesting to me to watch the magic happen after I embraced my fears, conquered them and made massive changes. I’ve never been let down by doing so.

Create the life you want

The great thing about running toward your fears is that you’re also beginning to create the life you want. Prior to Fanzo, I had gone through three different layoffs in three to four years and it got to the point where it was just ridiculous. This was not the life I wanted! Yes, I definitely could have kept pursuing what I knew, and that was PR and communications. However I wanted something different and wanted to take charge. So I did one of the scariest things possible and that was to abandon it all to start something new in a world I had little experience in. Two-and-a-half years later I’m part of the amazing Fanzo team who are also a new family. As with all startups, we’ve had lots of ups and downs but it’s a journey I wouldn’t exchange for anything. I can’t wait to see where we end up.

Reveal your wants

In order to create the life you want it’s a great idea to express your intentions with those around you including strangers. When I first had the idea of Fanzo, which was a completely different idea than what it is today, I talked to absolutely everyone about it to get their feedback and put the energy out there that I’m pursuing this. What happened as a result is support from all types of people to help me make it happen. It’s an amazing thing to me to see how people, even strangers, want to do what they can to help you when you let them in, get vulnerable and give them a piece of yourself.

When I practice the above my life changes in immense ways for the better. It’s also how my baby came to be. It’s a decision that took years of planning and conquering my fears to make happen but this past summer I told myself that it was time and went for it. In the years prior, I expressed my dream to those around me, even my co-founder Paul about things like how I hated holidays and how I felt a hole in my heart because I just wanted a child to complete my journey. Yes, I talked to strangers about it too. Now that I’m 23 weeks pregnant it’s another amazing example to me of the power of creating the path you want and trusting in those around you to help make it happen. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group of people around me including the Fanzo team, family, loved ones and even acquaintances.

To sum things up, when you have a dream you either go for it or you don’t. If you go for it, you’ve got to go big, get vulnerable and put yourself out there every step of the way. Scary I know… But I promise you the most brilliant things will happen as a result.

Register for Founder Friday Seattle taking place tonight at 6:00 p.m.

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 12.21.02 PMDana Dyksterhuis is the Co-founder of Fanzo, a Seattle-based startup that generates the hottest news and social commentary for sports fans in real-time. Fanzo was founded in January 2012, went through the Microsoft/Techstars Accelerator and has received about $1-million in Seed Funding.