How big is your dream?

What is your dream? Alexa von Tobel the CEO of LearnVest believes “you have to dream big because no one else can dream for you.” Her dream to build a financial planning company led her to take a leave from Harvard Business School. In the heart of a recession with no salary and no income she started with an idea of a website.

Explaining her vision in a December, 2014 interview with Time Magazine:

“You go to a mom and pop certified financial planning firm,” she says, “you’re paying for that overhead, for that parking lot, for that mahogany desk, for that receptionist at the front,” she says. LearnVest, on the other hand, is just a website. It shifts the data entry onto users and the number crunching onto automated software. As a result, her staff can focus on dispensing advice in unprecedented volumes. Von Tobel says LearnVest is aiming to have a single financial advisor serve upwards of 1,000 customers, a ten-fold increase over the typical small firm.”

Two weeks ago, her interview with Adam Bryant was published in the Corner Office column in The New York Times.

“Sometimes when I’m mentoring people, I’ll say, “What’s your biggest dream?” and it will be something small and I’ll say: “Dream bigger. Just give yourself the ability to say, ‘I want something bigger,’ because who cares if you fail? Truly, who cares? So dream bigger because no one else is going to do it for you.”

Which brings me to Jeff Lee and Ann Martin and the Rocky Mountain Land Library. In the early 1990s they visited The Gladstone Library in Wales and their vision began to take shape. A residential library founded by the former prime minister with his own collection, the website describes a mission “dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups, who are looking to explore pressing questions and to pursue study and research in an age of distraction and easy solutions.”

The story of Jeff and Ann’s dream was told by NY Times reporter, Julie Turkewitz in ‘A Haven for Readers Nestled Amid Mountains of Books’.

For more than 20 years Jeff and Ann have been investing in books as they worked at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, building toward their dream: “a rural, live-in library where visitors will be able to connect with two increasingly endangered elements — the printed word and untamed nature.” 

Anticipating a broad range of audiences, the venue will connect visitors with literature of the west and nature.

How big is your dream? Use this summary of the Rocky Mountain Land Library from the NY Times as a model:

“The project is striking in its ambition: a sprawling research institution situated on a ranch at 10,000 feet above sea level, outfitted with 32,000 volumes, many of them about the Rocky Mountain region, plus artists’ studios, dormitories and a dining hall — a place for academics, birders, hikers and others to study and savor the West.”

Dream bigger.

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