Sometimes we know that something has to change in our lives. That need often gives birth to a dream. The problem is we often succumb to the fear of the unknown and turn our backs on the doors that are opening to us.
Life was different back in the 1800’s. Charles Tiffany was 15 when he completed his formal education and went to work managing a general store for his father who owned a Connecticut cotton mill. He worked long, hard hours – learning new things every day. At 25 he still had nothing to call his own – and very little money.
Let Necessity Breed Action
It was time to change his life – time to create his own success. I can imagine the conversation he had with his friend, and new partner, John Young.
“We’re going to New York!”
“To do what?” John asked warily.
“We’re going to open our very own stationery & notions store on Broadway!”
By now John was looking at him like he’d lost his mind, “With what money?”
“I’ve talked my father into loaning us $1000.”
“$1000! That’s all? How are we supposed to start a new business and have money to live on with
Charles had the perfect answer. “It’s either that or be stuck here for the rest of our lives.”
The two young men went to New York – It was 1837.
Enlarge Your Expectations
The first three days of business in their new store on Broadway were not promising. Tiffany & Young raked in a dismal $4.38 in sales. No matter. With their sights set on success, the young men worked hard to provide products people wanted. Within two years they were selling glassware, cutlery, porcelain, clocks and jewelry.
They had also learned a tremendous amount. They knew to search for every opportunity. They knew to take advantage of ways to expand their business. They knew each year would bring new challenges and opportunities. But Charles still had no idea what they would become.
Look For Ways to Expand
In 1841 they added a new partner – someone to travel abroad to increase their purchasing power.
Six years later they recognized a growing market for quality gold jewelry and began to manufacture their own.
Just one year later, in 1847, Europe was rocked by disturbances. One of the results was diamonds
declining 50% in Paris. They took advantage of the situation to purchase huge amounts – gaining
enormous profits back in America.
All the while they were moving into bigger and better storefronts. In 1867 they moved into the famous store still on Broadway – Tiffany’s.
The young man who left Connecticut to open a stationery store became the owner of a $2 Million dollar business (the equivalent of a multi-billion dollar business today) that was acknowledged as the greatest jewelry company in North America.
Room To Grow
Sometimes your original dream may be just a shadow of its true potential. Tiffany never dreamed of creating the greatest jewelry company in North America. He simply moved toward every opportunity – keeping his mind and heart open to every possibility
Follow your dream. Take the steps to bring it to reality. But don’t let your own ability to dream limit you. Give the dream room to grow. Give it every opportunity to become more. Take advantage of your lessons learned and continue to forge ahead.
Dr. Daniel Zimmerman is an educational consultant and international professor of human resources. A former Director of Education, Dr. Zimmerman helps clients find the ever-elusive online teaching position. You can contact him at http://www.danielzimmermanconsulting.com.