Have you ever had a big dream or idea? One that lights you up inside when you think about it. You might get carried away while all the possibilities fluttering in your mind get bigger and bigger. But then you come back to reality and remember the bills you have to pay, the kids you have to raise, and the deadlines you have to meet. And then of course, the quickest way to reign in those fantasies is with the very real notion that you could fail. Before you know it you’ve tucked those wild thoughts neatly into the if only I could compartment of your brain.
Last week I took my kids to the circus. No, not the big giant Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (that one closed down). I’m talking about a small circus in a round, pop-up tent on an open field in the middle of our local Kendall Town and Country mall. We know this area for its movie theater, restaurants and shops, but hearing of a traveling circus appearing in the middle of it seemed random. And yet there it was.
A little circus that had big dreams.
At least that’s what Kevin Venardos, the ringmaster and creator of that American circus, said in his opening act. He spoke to the kids in the audience and encouraged them to follow their dreams, even if they are mocked or bullied, and even when it seems impossible. Venardos showed us how he dreamed of owning a circus and willed it into existence.
Talented performers, inspiring words, great music, and a sense of joy and happiness made for a spectacular Sunday outing with our family. I was most impressed by learning that the performers who wowed the audience were the same people who set up the tent, collected tickets at the front door, sold popcorn during intermission, and cleaned up when the show was over. Within their team of fifteen people, there was no such thing as “that’s not my job.” Every one of those performers has to pitch in and wear different hats to bring this event to life. That’s the price they pay for doing what they love. And seeing how they do it with pride, joy, and determination is a lesson for all of us.
This is a business that started from the ground up with just an idea and a team that was willing to put in the time, energy, and work to make it happen. They believed in themselves before anyone else believed in them. They struggled, made mistakes, and overcame obstacles. Venardos started with one show in one year… and now is making appearances in over 40 states. Maybe that’s why he coined his circus “the little circus that could.” Because Venardos and his team are willing to do what others may not be willing to do, they are succeeding, growing, and realizing their dreams.
So now I ask you: What if you could start that business or do that thing that makes your imagination sing? What if you could will your dreams into existence?
Would you be willing to believe in yourself before anyone else does?
Would you be willing to put in the sweat and tears?
Would you be willing to do what others are not willing to do?
A Moment of Clarity
The next time an idea or dream rents space in your head, instead of thinking if only I could, think what do I have to do, to turn those dreams into reality.
Successful people are willing to do things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do. – Joachim de Posada