How Much Should You Pay to Make Your Dream Come True?

by Ashley Eneriz · 4 comments

I am a huge fan of Shark Tank and Kickstarter success stories, as it’s amazing how one idea/passion/lifelong dream motivates people to do incredible things. I too have a lifelong dream. Ever since I was a child, I have wanted to write a children’s book.

The perfect story came to me while I was pregnant with my second daughter. Even though I didn’t expect to be rich or famous overnight, I wasn’t quite prepared for the weeks of rejection either. What happened was that I pitched my story to several agents, but either I didn’t hear anything back or I would hear that they were only looking for writer/illustrator combos. Was it me?

Feeling defeated, I put my story away and thought my passion would just have to stay as a work in progress forever. Two things happened shortly after though. I started learning more about others who successfully published their children’s books through Kindle (which I didn’t know there was a market for), and I read a children’s book by a famous TV personality. That book showed me that publishers are only interested in profiting off of big names, no matter how stupid the content is.

Dreams Take Risk and Action

I took action after I realized I didn’t need to wait on an agent or publisher to make my book look exactly how I wanted it. I interviewed and hired an illustrator in the end but the search was an eye-opener. One illustrator quoted me $15,000 – $20,000 for the project! On the other spectrum, the cheap illustrators looked cheap and screamed “Indie Publisher!”. I ended up paying just under $3,000 for illustrations.

How Much Should You Pay to Make Your Dream Come True?

Paying $3,000 for illustrations for a self-published book is a risk. What if my book doesn’t sell? It came down to me asking myself three questions.

  • How would I feel if I purchased the illustrations and didn’t make any sales?
  • How would I feel if I didn’t do anything at all?
  • What was the worst that could happen?

My answers boiled down to the fact that I would feel satisfied with my completed project, knowing it was the best representation of my dream. My true desire is not to make money or gain fame (though both would be nice), but to make my own dream come true. If I let the story sit in the drawer, I would have regrets and doubt myself. The worse that would happen was that I would pay $3,000 for a children’s book for my children. It would definitely make an interesting story over Christmas dinner each year.

What’s Your Dream? What’s Your Price?

Obviously, I don’t suggest you just throw money out this way in hopes your dream will come true. It’s all about taking calculated risks and weighing the costs. Three thousand dollars is a lot of money, but it doesn’t carry the same financial risk as taking out a $50K business loan or paying $40K plus four years of your life for college.

If you have a dream or project that you just can’t shake off, then you must stop ignoring it. I want to write several books in several genres, but the idea of a children’s book that I wrote just for my girls kept popping up into my head. I realized that this idea wasn’t going away because subconsciously, it would lead to satisfaction and fulfillment.

Start pricing it out once you know what your dream project is. How much is it going to take? Research others who are successful with similar projects and figure out how much they spent. Sometimes we need to take small financial risks and put in the hard work to reap the benefits of feeling successful in our dreams.

What is the one dream or project you can’t get off your mind?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Patrick says:

    I have a few ideas I want to bring to fruition. One is an application that I cannot get out of my head.

    For that reason, I have downloaded programs to teach me how to write an app. I will have this done this year.

    Abbie – I’ll come back if I’m successful in completing this task and see if I can help you 🙂

  • Abbie says:

    Great post! I am asking myself a similar question over my passion projects. The first is an app I want developed and the fees are quite high. I just really want a useful app – even if my friends and I are the only ones who use it. it will be fabulous if it catches on but it’s not about the money at all.
    Well done on taking action.

  • I'm Bankrupt says:

    That’s a very good question. I guess it depends on your dream and your financial situation.

    It’s good to remember that money is not always the most important thing and it is very important to make our dreams come true. If we can afford it 🙂

  • Leslie Van Zee says:

    Wonderful post! I love your point of view, that sometimes it’s not about how much money you will make off of something, but how much you’re willing to pay to see it through. I think entrepreneurs should also keep in mind that starting a business isn’t really a great get-rich-quick scheme. They will need a boatload of passion to get through the process.

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