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Build Your Dreams: How To Make a Living Doing What You Love Paperback – July 9, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Designed as a companion piece to Irvin and Hiden's inspirational documentary film, The Dream Share Project, this refreshingly brief, exercise-focused guide is geared toward helping dreamers turn their creative aptitudes and fantasies into meaningful, sustainable work. The book is divided into chapters outlining how to identify core values, how to pursue them, and financial and practical concerns along the way. The visualization strategies, idea maps, and meditation exercises will be familiar to frequent readers of creativity-focused self-help titles, and some of the case studies are merely shopworn business book retreads. However, the book's unflinching practicality is a rarity in the genre: the duo readily and duly acknowledges the necessity of powering through the less-exciting, early stages of achieving one's goals, and they provide quite a bit of advice on how to deal with poor employment prospects, seemingly endless internships, and repeat rejection. The book is decidedly millennial in its outlook on the working world—every moment of giddy optimism is matched by a reminder of the inevitability of stumbling blocks and failure. But for dreamers hoping to keep their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground, this is a great starting point. Agent: Steve Harris and Michele Martin, CSG Literary Partners. (July)

Review

“The book’s unflinching practicality is a rarity in the genre: the duo readily and duly acknowledges the necessity of powering through the less-exciting, early stages of achieving one’s goals, and they provide quite a bit of advice on how to deal with poor employment prospects, seemingly endless internships, and repeat rejection. The book is decidedly millennial in its outlook on the working world—every moment of giddy optimism is matched by a reminder of the inevitability of stumbling blocks and failure. But for dreamers hoping to keep their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground, this is a great starting point.”
—Publishers Weekly

“If the pursuit of dreams interests your graduate, then mark your calendar and buy this book. It's an enlightening combination of encouragement and practical advice, with chapters on discovering dreams, setting goals, building budgets and handling failure. Not a bad selection for someone just setting out these days.”
—St. Paul Pioneer Press

"In their book Build Your Dreams, recent grad team Irvin and Hiden have provided a useful action plan for finding meaningful work. I loved all of the exercises designed to put structure around abstract concepts. I know my work - and my life - will be vastly improved by implementing some of these practical suggestions!"
—Alexandra Levit, author of New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career.

“Build Your Dreams is the essential guide to help you identify your passions and turn your dreams into a reality. This book is packed with practical techniques, engaging exercises and inspiring stories to help you overcome the mental, emotional, and financial roadblocks that stand in the way of your dreams. Alexis and Chip's book is a must for anyone who wants to turn their passion into their profession.
—Christine Hassler, Author of 20 Something, 20 Everything and The 20 Something Manifesto, Life Coach, Speaker

“Build Your Dreams is an amazing guide for anyone who imagines doing work that is gratifying yet isn’t sure what to do to fulfill their aspiration. It’s comprehensive, easy-to-read and incredibly practical, filled with tools and solid advice. Alexis Irvin and Chip Hiden wrote this for people in the beginning of their careers, however I intend to recommend this book to all of my clients regardless of which stage of their career they are in!”
—Julie Jansen, author of I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide for Finding Gratifying Work

"A must-read for anyone searching for their calling. “Build Your Dreams gives you every tool you need to transform your passion into your profession. It is an invaluable and life-changing guide, equal parts inspiration and practicality for any age."
— Kathy Eldon, founder of the Creative Visions Foundation

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076245038X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762450381
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By carlamari on December 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
It seems that most of the previous 5 star reviewers are somehow related to this project. Friends of the authors? Featured in the documentary perhaps? The title of this book says "How To Make A Living Doing What You Love". So when I picked it up and read the cover, I assumed it was written by someone who had done just that. Imagine my surprise, when I got the book home, and began reading the introduction entitled "This Is Our Story" to find out that the book was written by two recent college graduates who were in the work force for ONE YEAR before deciding that they hated their boring jobs and they wanted to take a cross country road trip. However, realizing that a road trip wasn't going to solve their problems, they decided they would then film interviews with successful people who had chased their dreams and found work that they love. They said that "with just enough money for our trip, we left our jobs and hit the road". It must be nice to have no bills to be concerned with, no rent, no mortgages, no car payments, no dependents, nothing. Unless you're a student or recent college graduate who is still living at home with their parents, I don't think anyone can really relate to this. That's also probably why they mention parents so much in this book. It seems that 20somethings these days really worry alot about what their parents think and getting their approval.

The book should really be titled How To Find Your True Passions Before You Embark On A Career Path. I would think all of the exercises in the book would be done by high school and college students before they graduate and enter the real workforce.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nick on July 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book takes a seemingly unobtainable goal and breaks it down - in painstaking detail - to individual steps to reaching a dream. The genius of this book is how well laid out every step in the journey becomes, so that there are almost daily exercises or tasks that will incrementally advance you towards your "dream." A lot of people will tell their personal story of how they ended up making a living out of what they always loved doing, but this book isn't specific to any particular job, industry, or project. It manages to be an extremely detailed roadmap for nearly any "dream" scenario you might have. I think it would be invaluable to anyone, whether starting out in "the real world" or already several decades into "the real world" and not finding satisfaction in their everyday work. A must read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katy on November 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first borrowed this book from the library and loved it so much, I had to buy it. This is the ONLY "business" book I have found that truly helped me discover my passion. It is filled with exercises to help you find and build your dream - another reason I bought the book - so I could write my ideas right in the book as I went along. For those pusuing a creative dream, a great companion book to this is "Steal Like an Artist" by Ausin Kleon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CT on August 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and couldn't recommend it more highly for anyone looking to pursue their dreams, especially recent grads starting their careers. I bought two copies and gave one to a coworker looking for a career change. He finished it in one night and passed it on to another team member; both now making plans to pursue making a living from their passions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Faith on July 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is ideal for anyone who is looking to make a major change in their life, or even for someone who's just looking to start that side project they always wanted to do. I'm here to tell you that, no matter how stuck you feel in your current situation, you can ALWAYS make a change.

Chip and Alexis give concrete, step-by-step strategies for practical parts of achieving a dream like saving money, making a business plan, and pitching your product, if you already have a goal in mind. But even if you're not sure what your "dream" really is, this book can help you figure it out. The cute illustrations, brief writing prompts, and short, to-the-point chapters make the book friendly and non-intimidating for those who feel that their goal is just too much for one person. With just a few minutes of dreaming a day, and the help of this book, you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sandytravels on August 28, 2013
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A good book, that manages to lead a person into thinking for themselves about the things that they can do with their lives to help them Make a Living doing something that they like to do.
Well worthwhile for the college students who are still searching for their goals and this book gives them a starting point and goals to work towards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura Beth Harrison on August 12, 2013
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I would definitely recommend this book for anyone trying to realize their dreams or make a positive change in their life. The exercises are incredibly helpful and it gave me a lot to think about as well as tons of practical knowledge to use in the "real world." All in all its a great read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, I want to acknowledge my connection to the authors and their project. As one of the talking heads in their documentary, The Dream Share Project, I was aware that they were culling stories of unique people doing fascinating things. And I loved these stories and how they are presented in the doc. But I had no idea they were also developing a methodology for how to turn others into the fascinating people they were meant to be.
This book opened my eyes. Irvin and Hiden have moved past their youthful zeal for cross-country travel, diet of ramen noodles when necessary, and a flipcam. In this book, you will find step-by-step exercises in goal setting, time management, getting rid of pests who distract you, and staying in touch with what you love or used to love.
For example, there's a wonderful 25-day plan for fundraising via those crowdsourcing websites. Each day offers a new opportunity for getting your story out there, and the authors have generously shared the strategies that they used to raise money to complete their documentary. (At least, I'm guessing that's where they got the strategies.)
It is clear to me as a career counselor that young people just go about things differently. They don't want to job hunt as their parents, grandparents and professors did. Irvin and Hiden, being card-carrying college graduates in their 20s, have done a lively job of converting their own angst to joy. This is a lesson you are going to want to share with the young people in your life or in your classroom.
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