If someone tells you that you can’t follow your dreams, don’t believe them—not even for a second.
For much of my adult life, people have told me, “You can’t do that!” or “That’ll never work.” And I’m not talking about expecting things to always “work out” or “succeed.” I’m talking about following our passions, no matter the outcome. Success is never guaranteed. But stagnation is certain if we don’t ever take a leap of faith.
When my brother Dan and I first went into business together, many raised their eyebrows and shook their heads. One friend said, “Bad idea. My dad and his brothers started a family business, and now they don’t speak.” Nearly 13 years later, we’re still in business—although some months we limp along. Oh, and we still talk.
Shortly after we married, my wife Jeni decided to quit her job (with family health benefits) and work with me. People told her, “You can’t work with your husband. You’ll drive each other crazy, and your marriage won’t last.”
What they didn’t count on is that Jeni and I actually enjoy spending time with each other. It’s not always a picnic, but it works, and at the end of the day we still (most of the time) like each other.
When we found out Jeni was pregnant, our friends and family said, “I guess that puts an end to touring together. You can’t travel when the baby comes!”
Oh, yeah? Watch us! We traveled with baby Lyda, and she learned how to adapt and ride in a car seat for long distances without a video player.
“OK, fine,” they said. “You’ve done it with one, but you’ll never manage traveling with two kids.”
Done it—and we are still doing it. We’ve logged about 17,000 miles on the road together this year. It’s crazy and exhausting sometimes. And, yes, there are tears and tantrums and frazzled nerves, but there is also laughter and joy and new people and new experiences and wonders to behold. The important thing is that we’re together.
We still run into friends, family, and complete strangers who insist on dispensing advice laced with “can’t” and “don’t” and “shouldn’t.” We’ve learned to smile and nod our heads and plow forward. We know it’s just their prejudice and fear talking—fear of the unknown and fear of failure and, even, fear of success. There are some people who can’t imagine living the way we do. Fair enough, but I can’t imagine living any other way.