Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal rules my Thursday nights. Everyone knowsno calls, no texts, no meetings and no business. I curl up on the couch, phone in hand and my Twitter turns into a consecutive string of posts on #Scandal shocking moments.  

I watched with the same Thursday night intensity as the woman behind Shondaland delivered the 2014 Dartmouth commencement address. Channeling Olivia Pope, she galvanized the Dartmouth graduates with a “no task too hard” Gladiator-like speech. The speech not only resonated with the graduates, it also sparked spoke to me as an entrepreneur. Consider this blog post my string of tweets highlighting all her salient moments. 

Ditch the dream. be a doer, not a dreamer.

Although I understand Shonda’s reasoning for dismissing dreamers, I disagree. Don’t ditch the dream. They spark us to create what doesn’t exist. To her point, it’s easy for dreamers to become lost in the easy part of the process—dreaming! It requires no work. It’s more fun than the action necessary to make them happen.
Daydreaming is only for Pinterest. Entrepreneurial dreams require action. The key to your success is establishing a strategy. It’s time to write down your plan of action to ensure you don’t spend the next twenty years daydreaming and not ACTUALIZING!
Entrepreneurial dreams manifest for those ready to start grinding. Contrary to what you may have heard, you can’t vision board, pray, visualize and meditate enough to make it happen. Those practices are wonderful. I used and recommend them all. However, I believe they are tools to help you build confidence. They don’t take the place of working to create your dream. 

Don’t aspire to be your hero, just be you.

Shonda Rhimes jokingly shared how her dream leaving Dartmouth was to become Toni Morrison. Shockingly, it was not to be a producer. Ironically, years later, Rhimes had dinner with her “shero”, Toni Morrison. During dinner, Morrison didn’t talk about her work as an author. Instead, the conversation centered around Grey’s Anatomy. The takeaway—don’t admire someone else’s business to the point you rather mimic it, than create one that reflects your true passion.
God has entrusted you with a distinctive vision and gift. There are clients waiting for your vision. I can’t imagine the world without shows like Scandal or novels that leave impressions like Sula. (affiliate link) And as great a gift as both of those are to the world, your gift is just as needed.
I admire other women killing it in business, but I can’t be them. As Rhimes pointed out, that position is already filled. There is no room for you or me to be them, so it’s time to dream to be you!

Don’t believe the lie, you can’t do it all!

Shonda shared when people ask how she does it all? She responds, “I don’t.” Her point to the graduates was that she wasn’t superwoman. It was simple in order for her to be excellent in one area, she had to drop the ball in another area. Like Shonda, there are moments you will drop balls to focus on your business.
You play different roles in your life and they all want to take top billing. They can’t. You’ll have to decide what’s important to you at the moment. 
I am learning that balls are going to drop. So, I have to decide which balls I can drop. Some days I am focussed and all I do is work. Other days, I decide to talk on the phone for hours with my bestie. Every day I decide where my energy will be directed and trust that was the best use of my time. Free yourself from the guilt of letting balls drop. 
As much as I live for Shonda, I disagreed with her closeout declaration. “My dreams didn’t come true and they can suck it!” I’m a believer in dreams. They are your passions coming to the surface. I say dream on just DO the work to make your dreams happen.

Comment and share what dreams are you working on making happen right now?