news-19 august 2022 - written by:Marieke Karssen

Last September, I taught our business plan module. In this module, we guide participants in developing their business plan. That sounds very business-like, but actually this is the module where the magic happens. The dream becomes concrete, and literally lands on earth. The dream gets plan, numbers, where necessary a legal form, and a budget. And, even if the land or the place is not there at that time, when you work out a plan in such detail you know exactly what you are looking for and you only have to find the place afterwards.

If you ever keep saying 'once' then it will stay there

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And that is not always a process that runs smoothly. There are students who have the plan, as it were, ready in their heads and who participate mainly to give themselves a big stick to really work it out into a feasible and fundable plan. These people also indicate that they want to benefit from the knowledge and input of the teachers and the jury. There are also students who encounter resistance or feel that their dream is slipping away when they want to catch it. As if the beauty was in just continuing to dream. And, there are also students who, as it were, do not allow themselves, or cannot believe that they are 'allowed' to have such a dream.

The beautiful land of once (upon a time)

During the course last September, one of my students told me that it was her dream to go to a country with mountains one day. She described the specific place where she had been a few times now and the landscape and nature there with so much love that I could almost grasp it, but it also felt like something that stayed far away. As if she and I therefore also just couldn't reach it, as it were. And then I asked her why she kept using the word 'once'. She didn't know. And then together we actually came to the insight: if you use the word 'once', then it stays there. Then you tell yourself that that your dream indeed remains a nice dream, for later, for once in a lifetime, but not something that you want to make into a plan now.

I was driving home that night and this conversation stuck. You see, I'm a dreamer myself. For years I have been telling everyone that one day, when the house price is right and my children are old enough, I want to go to France to buy a house with income and land to start a food forest there. But, through this conversation I suddenly realized that I had stuck that word 'once' in the middle of my dream too! That realization released my dream and made me think that once was maybe right now. My kids are 21, and the house price couldn't get much higher, and my age also plays a role. I'm 57 now. That's a perfect age to take another really really big step in life.

And crazy enough. That realization set the stage. From that moment of insight, I couldn't stop looking for French homes and land. I made three trips last fall to look at houses and on three of them I was offered and on the third one I was hit.

Are you allowed to dream?

But, as I searched and traveled, I noticed that the word "someday" was not the only dream contamination in my system. For, as I traveled, I soon discovered a deeper layer. Sometimes I would drive away from a place I had just seen and I would almost pronounce: 'am I allowed to do this?' Am I allowed to dream something this big? And also all to myself? To go so far away? From all my family, friends, work and obligations? To buy such a huge piece of land? Is that even allowed? While driving, I usually just let the questions roll.

Of course, this voice was not there for the first time. But so loud, so literal, I had not heard him or her before. As if it was all hands on deck for that voice. Who, of course, had taken good care of me all my life and had protected me from all kinds of craziness. But the best part is: on the property and grounds where I heard this voice the loudest I bid. The place where I heard this voice the loudest will soon be my home. And since then I have a kind of smile that starts deep in my stomach and as soon as I think of the place it seems impossible to burn off my face. And I also see this in the final presentations of our students. If you really grasp your dream, and go through all that resistance, then people literally start to shine and magical processes can take place. We've seen that several times in recent years.

Also develop your plan in our business plan module. You can start on September 9 or October 28.