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Build it Anyway
By Diane L. Dunton, M.S.
however, is `pay forward' by
helping other people in their
Wayne Bryan, my teacher and
mentor, says: "If you don't make
an effort to help those who are
less fortunate, then you're just
wasting your life." My parents
tell me I was born three months
early because I couldn't wait to
come into this world. I refuse to
waste even one day of my life.
In conclusion... I have a
challenge for you. The garble I
opened this essay with can be
unscrambled to read: How can
you use your gifts to pay for-
ward to others?
Dallas Woodburn is the author of
two story collections, a forthcoming
novel, and more than 80 articles in
publications including Family Circle,
Writer's Digest and The Los Angeles
Times. Visit
and blog for more information about
her Write On! literacy endeavors and
youth publishing company.
(Continued from page 50)
As I sat entranced in the au-
dience of a Martina McBride
concert, she came out on stage
dressed in a white gown with a
brilliance of light that radiated
around her. Her country voice
spilled the words from a song
that was soon to be released on
her new album. I was mesmer-
ized. The rest of the concert was
fine and uplifting and tradition-
al, but this song attached itself
to me in a way that a song had
not in years.
That concert was almost a
year ago and the song is still
resonating in my mind. As a ca-
reer coach, I find the words are
words that I wish many of my
clients would keep as a man-
tra. These are the words from the
song "Do It Anyway" that caught
my attention a year ago.
"You can spend your whole
life buildin'
Something from nothing
One storm can come and
blow it all away
You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not
ever come your way
Dream it anyway."
I have listened to many cli-
ents who have dreams. They
are dreams with possibilities.
They are dreams of passion.
They are dreams that are possi-
ble to achieve in this life time. So
many of us dream and then let
our dreams go because of fear.
Fear of taking the first step, fear
of believing, fear of trusting.
build it anyway... Strong
words that illicit emotion in me.
There have been many times
in my life when I have started
to build, only to have a storm
come, and I have had to build
again. Build it anyway.
I married in my early 20's
filled with the possibilities of
dreams. I had two children and
then my first storm came. A
marriage that struggled. I found
myself alone with 2 small chil-
dren who were depending on
me. There were dark days when
I did not think I could get up, but
I did and I built my family in a
different way.
My next storm came when
my mother, who was my mentor
and had instilled in me the con-
fidence to go after every dream,
was diagnosed with a malig-
nant brain tumor. As I faced that
storm, I knew I had to keep go-
ing. I had just started a master's
degree, was still a single Mom
and was working full time in a
job that required a lot of travel.
I had a lot pulling on me and
knew she would need me to
care for her.
One day, as we sat on my
back porch and knowing I had
precious little time with her, I
asked her, "What do I do?" She
replied, so matter of fact and
knowing, "You continue taking
classes and get your degree."
She left this earthly world
within ten months of our con-
versation and six years later, I
received my degree. She was
smiling down on me. I did it
At the time, I thought it was
the biggest storm I would have
to face and then I had another
"Dream it anyway."
My dream was to start my
own consulting business. Then
in 1996, only six months after
my mother passed, I opened
the doors to my business, Po-
tential Released Consulting Ser-
vices, with the desire to help
individuals, groups and organ-
izations release their potential
and like a hot air balloon, Take
Five years into my business
and all was well. I was married
to a wonderful man, my daugh-
ters were growing to be lovely
young women and life was very
good. I certainly had some anx-
ious moments when I first start-
ed my business. I had questions
like, "Can I really do this?" and
"Will people find my services
valuable," but the business took
off and I was passionate about
the work.
Then just when I thought
my dream life had been built,
another storm came along. My
husband was diagnosed with
cancer. He passed eight months
later. During his illness, I let my
dream of my business go. And
I spent (with no regrets) time
with him.
After he passed, I still had
my dream. I had no business
or income but I had my dream. I
rebuilt my business. The storms
still swirled around me... a sister
died of cancer, a brother with a
benign brain tumor and anoth-
er sister with cancer.... storms
swirling and I was in the eye
of the storm holding onto my
"Build it anyway. Dream it
I have been building... My
consulting practice is going
strong. I started painting and
had a dream of an art studio. I
opened the door to my studio
two years ago. The storms have
come and gone.
With each passing storm, a
gift comes. In the midst, I have
not always known what the gift
was, but a gift did come. When
my mother passed, I left a com-
pany I was with for 20 years,
and started my own business.
That was 12 years ago. When
my husband died, I rebuilt my
While I have been building
my dream, I have witnessed and
assisted others in building their
dreams. I am privileged to lis-
ten to others and be able to cre-
ate an environment for them to
make their dreams a reality.
One woman started a busi-
ness offering planned vacations
for professional business wom-
en connected to the arts all
across the country, another man
started a soap and candle busi-
ness after leaving a distribution
position that he held for years,
and another woman left a cor-
porate position to become a
teacher and work with kinder-
garten children. All had dreams
and storms along the way. They
built it anyway.
Yes, Martina, dream anyway.
Build it anyway. The storm will
pass. We must remember to hold
on to knowing the storm will
Dream anyway. Build any-
way. I continue to support peo-
ple who dream and know that
if they dream they can build.
They may have some storms
along the way but they can make
it through the storms. Build it
What is your dream? What
do you want to build? Storms
will come and they will pass.
Begin to build today. Thank you,
Diane L. Dunton M.S. is President
of Potential Released Consulting
Services which offers executive lead-
ership programs and strategic plan-
ning. Her work has been published
internationally in business and man-
agement publications.