Writer, Advisor + Consultant

Why Following Your Dreams is Not the Answer

“Don’t Follow Your Dreams. Follow Your Effort” – Mark Cuban

I look for inspiration everywhere, because every day and every interaction is a story waiting to be unveiled.

So the other day I was watching an interview with Mark Cuban. I must admit, I’m a fan of his, mostly because I find that without fail he gives right-on-the-mark stellar business advice to the entrepreneurs who come up pitching their big idea on Shark Tank.

With everyone, including myself saying “follow your dreams,” I loved his off-the grid take on that statement:

“Don’t follow your dreams, follow your effort. Where you put your time is where you get results.” ~Mark Cuban


And to that statement I wholeheartedly agree.

It’s one thing to have dreams, and talk about dreams, it’s quite another to put your dreams into action.

Often there are things we say we want, but we put our time, energy and effort into something else.

One of the oldest clichés on the planet is “Actions speak louder than words” and this is pretty much what Mark Cuban was saying.


The problem with endlessly talking about the things you plan to do,  is it takes time and effort. It’s easy to talk about things, especially the trips we plan to take and projects or business’ we plan to create. It’s quite another to put those words into action.

This is why the simple shift of talking about following your dreams to taking action and placing effort into your dreams will make all the difference.

Since talking about things takes so much energy, and since talking about things are very different than the reality of doing something, you mine as well allocate your precious time and energy to taking action, instead of talking about what you are going to do.

Now, of course you need to have some amount of time spent conversing with yourself in your own mind about your projects and plans. It only becomes a problem when you start telling the whole world every last plan and haven’t spent any time putting it into action.

You see what happens is once you start taking action on anything, you start to get immediate feedback on whether the plan is actually a good idea.


However, if you just keep talking about something, not only do you waste your time, but you have no real idea if it’s even going to work out.

The feedback you get when you start to work on a project or crafting a plan is finding out if you actually enjoy it, and if it’s going to be worthwhile and realistic for you to follow-through on.

Let’s say you have a dream to travel for 3 months. If you start to take action and look into what the costs are and if your present circumstances will let you do it, then you get immediate feedback if your dream and your effort are going to turn into reality.

However if you simply tell all your friends and co-workers about you dream to take a 3-month vacation, there is no substance. It’s only once you take that first actionable step, that you will find out if you are still excited by the idea, and if you care about it enough to follow through.

So I’d like to say, have your dreams, but make sure to put effort into your dreams. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time, energy, and precious possibilities.

You can make your dreams come true when you put effort and take action on them.


Take The Challenge:
What Dreams have you been talking about?
What things have been receiving all your effort?
It’s time to close the gap! What step can you take to put your effort into your dreams?

Need some help in taking action on your dreams? Check out what I’ve made for you—click here

6 comments… add one
  • tarannum khatri September 14, 2013,


    I am practicing chartered accountant and very much tensed for not having work. How can you show your talent when you don’t have client. ?? Sometimes I become frustrated . can you give advice on it?? thank you

    • Tova Payne September 14, 2013,

      Hi Tarannum
      I can imagine not having work can be frustrating, especially if you know you are good at what you do.
      Since so many people need your help you can look for an agency who already wants the expertise you provide. Look out for job listings and let people know about what you do and that you are looking for work.
      If you want to start your own private business and gain clients over time, the truth is, it takes a lot of hard work and commitment for a private business to grow. Although it would take me days to talk about this, I have a resource for you: Marie Forleo is a wonderful entrepreneur who helps people like you get excellent advice on building their business/career. You can take a look at her website and she has lots of resources/free videos that can help you. Take a look at marieforleo.com

  • Maggie Patterson September 3, 2013,

    Wonderful post Tova. That quote is one of my all-time favorites.

    • Tova Payne September 3, 2013,

      Thanks Maggie 🙂


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