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It’s Your American Dream: A Whole New World

Adapted From It All Adds Up: Designing Your Game Plan for Financial Success by Devon Kennard

The definition of the American dream has changed in recent decades. Some people even say there’s a “new” American dream, although its interpretation depends on whom you listen to or read. While Americans want some of the same things their predecessors have sought—such as moving up the financial ladder to achieve prosperity and homeownership—they also want to start their own businesses and have their own definitions of work and freedom, as well as unprecedented flexibility with their time.

More and more people also want to toss the nine-to-five job aside.

The new interpretation of the American dream is better than what it used to be, but it can be improved even further. I believe we should just throw out the “old” and the “new” versions. We are trying to take one concept and apply it to every American citizen and immigrant. Americans are not one-size-fits-all anymore, and the American dream shouldn’t be either.

Let’s change that.

It’s time to ignore every other version of the American dream and write your own version. Be a trailblazer in your own life. This will push you toward the way you truly want to live.

Your dream is going to look different from my dream as well as your best friend’s dream. Good for you! The paths we take to get our dreams across the goal line are also going to be different. Today, there are more ways to make your dreams come true than ever before, and there is an abundance of information to help you learn how to do it—including this book, which is a great place to start.

But Devon, I don’t even know what my version of the American dream is. I’m too busy working; I’m in debt, times are tough, and I just don’t have time to even think about the future.

If you crave a change, make a change.

What life do you crave? Do not put any limitations on your answer. Do you want to quit your job and become a YouTuber? Or a professional gamer? Love your job and want to keep it, but just want to be debt-free? If your dream is to run your own business, don’t worry if you don’t have enough money or time to get started right now.

Acknowledging what you want is a great first step. Everything you do afterward should move you down the field toward that goal.


Still unsure what your American dream is? Start by working on the first key to success: find your passion. Ask yourself, What am I good at or passionate about? Better yet, what are you good at and passionate about? What are the things that make you smile and get you excited in the morning? Are you a singer? An artist? Good at designing tattoos? A football player? A budding entrepreneur? An inventor? Now, what are the things you are naturally really good at? Math? Coding? Video games?

Everything you are passionate about might not be what you’re good at; likewise, everything you are good at may not be what you are passionate about. Think of ways you can combine what you are good at with what you are passionate about. Be creative.

People find time for things that are important to them. So if cooking is what you’re passionate about and that’s the life you want, you need to find the time to start working on making this happen. Write down that it’s your true passion.

Next, follow the five keys outlined in chapter 2 and start following them to help you achieve this dream.

What would the keys look like for someone who likes to cook?

  • Become extraordinary: Each night you improve and enhance your skills until you’re ready to cook for your friends and family.

  • Maximize your earning potential: You host cooking classes a few nights a week in your apartment or in someone else’s home, or you offer a meal prep service for friends and family and advertise it on social media.

  • Create multiple income streams: You write and sell a cookbook of recipes that were handed down to you from your grandparents and great-grandparents. You offer cooking courses via YouTube. You create a meal prep website in the area you live where anyone can request meals.

With hard work, you gain enough students, cookbook sales, and customers to quit your day job and have the life you’ve always dreamed of. Or maybe you do not quit, but you have a business you manage on the side that brings you extra income and makes you much happier.

But without taking that first step, none of this is going to happen.

  • And then repeat.

Connect what you’re passionate about to something you’re good at. If you know what you’re passionate about and how you want your life to look, you’re on the right track. But are you taking the next steps necessary to achieve it?

Let’s say that you want to start a side hustle to make money to travel. Are you waiting for something to change? Nothing is going to happen by just waiting. You have to make it happen.

Are you devoting weekends to learning about this business you want to start? Did you write a business plan or research your idea? Have you looked into what it takes to run a business?

Start by investing in yourself. Buy a book on business or check some out of the library. Listen to podcasts. Take someone in your chosen field to lunch to pick their brain. Start learning business skills on YouTube, and so on. These are some free things you can do to improve your life as you get closer to opening your business.

Even small steps are steps toward success, but you have to be the one to take that first step.


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