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This is Why I Want You to Make Your Dream Come True




I  just got back from spending 2 weeks travelling around Cambodia.

I have been to South-East Asia before… but I’ve never spent so much time in one country, travelling around on the ground between towns and cities.

It was an experience I wish every single person who lives in a developed nation could have.

Why? Because you will realise, in a visceral, fundamental way that you never have before, just how good you’ve got it.

I never truly valued such simple things as clean air, clean streets, and clean waterways before spending time in a country that doesn’t have any of these things.

Truly. I know I’m pretty lucky – and I work hard – to have the life and lifestyle I enjoy. But you know what? A huge part of my success simply comes from being born where I was… and taking advantage of that.

Most people in Cambodia are still so focussed on survival, that they will never get the chance to follow a dream. It is getting better there, slowly – but they face so many fundamental challenges. After all, over 20% of their entire population was killed in the 1970s during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

I don’t know where you’re sitting as you’re reading this. However, given that you are here, with a internet-connected device, with leisure time and the curiosity about handmade business that has driven you to spend a few precious minutes of your life reading this article… I’m going to assume you are most likely in a developed nation, with a comfortable life. You have clean, safe water. A roof over your head. Healthy, clean food on your table and in your fridge. You have a supermarket nearby. You can walk outside and breathe clean air (I hope!). You’ve probably had a good education. In short – you’re one of the lucky ones, blessed to have been born in a clean, safe, wealthy country – and you’ve got endless possibilities in front of you if you would only reach out and take them.

Are you reaching out and taking them?

Or are you wasting your life just dreaming?

Don’t get me wrong – dreams are vital. Without hopes, dreams and ideas, we would never grow, change, evolve, or strive.

But in the words of the great philosopher + psychologist…


Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. ~  William James


If you have a dream… don’t ignore it. MAKE IT REALITY.

Turning my own dreams into reality has been the most rewarding part of my life. This is why I’m so passionate about helping YOU do the same. I want you to feel the joy, the strength, the freedom, the fulfillment, the self-esteem, and the power that comes from turning the dream to run your own business (or whatever else you dream) into a reality.

Putting yourself out there and taking the risk to do this is scary. For sure. But as Susan Jeffers says: “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

The more often you take action, the more courage you feel. The more confident you become. Because you realise you CAN do it. You DO have the courage, the smarts, the get-go, and the information you need.

The internet has created a world where no information is farther away than a Google search. Don’t let lack of information hold you back – go out and hunt for it. Search the hills, valleys, and deep ocean trenches of the web until you find what you seek. It’s out there.

Once you have the courage, the passion, and the knowledge… you can make amazing things happen.

Don’t squander this amazing chance you’ve been given. You are one of the lucky few who has the freedom and opportunity to actually follow your dreams.

Don’t live a life of ‘If only’s’.

Live a life of ‘I did’s’.


Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE. ~ Joss Whedon


If you want to turn your dream of having a successful online handmade business a reality, join us for Set Up Shop – a 30-day e-course where I take you step-by-step through everything you need to know to get a fabulous shop up and running smoothly. You’ll also join over 400 alumni in our private facebook group and gain invaluable support, friendship and understanding from those already turning their dream of having a handmade business into a reality!

Click here to find out more…

Image source: Robin Benad


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



This is a really awesome post Jess! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I wish we all could take a trip like you did to put things into perspective. Thanks for sharing and keep following your dreams! 🙂


Thanks Elisa x


I’ve just gotten back from 2 weeks traveling Cambodia too. People ask me, how was your holiday, did you have fun? Well, no, I didn’t have fun. I spent a good part of the time hearing and learning about the atrocities that happened there in the very recent past, I spent another decent chunk feeling guilty for even being there, like I was flaunting my good fortune in these poor peoples faces. But I also spent a good amount of time talking with people and seeing them smile and remain hopeful in spite of the desperate situation they live in and the horrible things they have seen and lived through. I consider this type of travel a travel experience, not a holiday. It’s not until you travel to somewhere like this that you truly appreciate how amazing you have it.

What say you?