The Absolutely Crucial Art of Defending Your Dream Time


Do you want to know what’s truly important to you?

There’s really no need for further philosophical / existential analysis.

Here’s a surefire way to know.

Take a look at your calendar for the past month. Take a look at the number of hours you spend on certain tasks.

Where you spend your time will show you an objective view as to what you truly find important.

Do you spend countless hours working overtime? How much time do you spend with your family? Do you spend a lot of time pampering yourself? Video games? TV?

Your calendar says a whole lot about you. 


In our community, we are encouraged to “defend our prayer time.” That we should spend 15-30 minutes, at a specific time of the day, praying and being with God. We know this will be challenged by the temptation to sleep, watch TV, work, or a hundred other things, which is why we have to vigorously defend the time. Because God is important.

I can’t help but think this also applies to following our career dreams as well. We need to designate a certain time of day. Even just 15-30 minutes a day(for those of us will fulltime jobs which we already know don’t and won’t fulfill us). Because our dreams are important.

I recently talked to someone asking me for advice on how to do a startup part-time. He had an interesting B2B idea which I thought had some potential. I told him it IS possible to start things part-time, but that he would have to work hard and render disciplined, daily effort. I told him we can talk from time to time so I can check up on him. He kept on saying the right things – I want to follow my dreams, I want to pursue what I love, I will do what it takes.

But then when it was time to share with me what research he should’ve garnered, or which potential partners he’s now talked to, he chokes. He says he just too busy.

I would have believed it too, had he avoided adding me in FB, where his reactions to Game of Thrones and the NBA playoffs pop up in my feed.

An NBA game is around 2 1/2 hours. Initial internet research on possible competition can take a mere 30 minutes of smart Googling. Coffee with a potential partner usually takes an hour.

In the time he took to watch ONE basketball game, he could have interviewed two candidates and made the research.

NBA > Dreams.

It sounds funny and simplistic, but if we take a look at our calendars, I’m sure we would also see dozens of “misalignments” between what we SAY are important to us and where we ACTUALLY spend our time.

If your family is important to you, did you sacrifice time from other stuff to be with them?

If your dreams are important to you, how much time a day do you spend working on it?

Just a mere 30 minutes a day of deliberate work on your dream can yield tremendous results.

When I was starting STORM out in 2005, I had a fulltime job and I was pursuing a master’s degree. I had really wanted to do a “business” though, (the term “startup” wasn’t quite popular yet) so I really resolved to find some time. I still remember spending a few minutes every weekday researching on flexible benefit competition, polishing my powerpoint deck, and “profiling” potential partners (I remember having a list of people with their strengths and backgrounds). Sunday mornings (otherwise known as corporate veg-out time) would be sacrificed for morning coffee with potential co-founders. I would drive out to the Starbucks nearest to the homes of my potential partners.

After months of doing this, I finally found partners who were willing to take the leap with me. Then, the project started taking a life on its own. There was momentum (so crucial). Excited, I started finding more and more time to work on my dream. Weekend coffee transformed into weekend planning with my partners. Soon, we would be putting up our share of the money, get SEC-registered, and start. By no means was it smooth sailing after, but I never looked back. Three years after, I took my fated full-time leap.

Is your dream worth sacrificing for and pursuing?

If it is, then take your calendar and start making changes.

Put your time where your mouth is.

(do you know anyone who would especially resonate with this post? be a blessing and share! Sometimes we need to encourage people to take leaps! – Peter)

Peter Cauton

Entrepreneur, writer, speaker, startup advocate, HR guy. Husband, father of 6, teacher, unabashed follower of Christ.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. A lot of truth in your post. One of my dreams was to begin writing. I started a blog and after starting I realized that this was going to be a lot of work! I adjusted my schedule and found that getting up earlier would allow me to be able to work on it. If you are not willing to sacrifice certain things then the dream will not become real. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Integrity is the most important attribute of an awesome entrepreneur. It is the similarity between the perception and the reality of how time is spent.

    1. Agree completely, Master Ari! Thanks for chiming in!

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