Are you dreaming big enough?

Conor McGregor - Dream Big

If your dream doesn’t scare you then it isn’t big enough. Dream as big as you dare

These are the words that were challenging me and the strange thing is that I heard them uttered by Conor McGregor in an advert that my son, Brendan Canty directed for Budweiser.

I then hear both Conor (the apprentice plumber from Crumlin) and Brendan (the boy from Ballincollig!), two 27 year old’s from different parts of our fine country and from different backgrounds talking about “following your dream” in a behind the scenes video about the advert.

Brendan talks about throwing everything at your dream and Conor talks about following your passion.

From the outside it probably looks easy and then I think about Malcolm Gladwell and his theory about 10,000 hours in his book Outliers and I think about what I know about these two young men.

Brendan didn’t get the grade he hoped for in CIT because his lecturer had some issue with his short film “The Kid“. Take one look at the trailer or even the full feature and make up your own mind (Brendan will kill me for drawing attention to this – this work by a student is incredible!).

He regularly pitches for videos and adverts that he doesn’t win – some of these treatments have some of his best work in them but they will never grace our screens.

Brendan Canty - Feel Good Lost

He takes the kicks in the backside and drives on. Following your dream means driving on even when things happen that might leave you feeling on the floor.

Conor with all of his talent and brashness has followed his dream. I haven’t followed his story well enough to talk about his knocks but I am sure there have been many and I have no doubt that 10,000 hours of sweat, toil and disappointments are all in his ‘experience bank‘ that has him where he is today.

Okay, he took a kick in the backside in his last fight against Nate Diaz but he spoke about “celebrating defeat” ..we have to if we want to succeed!

With all this talk of dreaming I was inclined to look at my own life and what I was doing at 27 years of age and what I have done since.

The dream of a thirteen year old was to work in the music business. I flirted with managing bands for about two years, which was fun for a while and then the bands I was working with broke up!

I always wanted to start my own business and I got that chance when I started a fast food restaurant with another guy. It wasn’t my industry of choice but this ‘golden opportunity‘ to start something and make some money seemed like a good idea.

It wasn’t my dream so I talked him into opening music stores. We didn’t know the first thing about this industry but it didn’t stop us opening one in Cork, one in Limerick and one in Galway in the space of 12 months. During that time we also opened a second fast food restaurant in Cork.

We were business trailblazers but we were crazy – this rate of growth was reckless and if anything went wrong we were in huge financial trouble. Some of these ventures worked out and some of them were miserable failures.

All of this was when I was incredibly still holding down a full time job – I was working around clocks that I didn’t even have!

I was then asked if I would become the General Manager of Deasy’s, the Guinness owned subsidiary that I was the Financial Controller of. I was staggered to be asked to take on such a role and this was another dream fulfilled! After doing this for two years I was asked to join Guinness in Dublin ..wow..working in a relatively senior role for a huge international company – another dream. I was 29!

I took a job as General Manager of a subsidiary of Heineken a few years later – I quickly realised that repeating myself wasn’t part of the dream and I needed to change.

Catwalks In 2001 I had a dream about creating a high end fashion and beauty event and taking it on tour around Ireland with the top Irish models. Myself and Dee created ‘Catwalks’ which was the talk of the female luxury sector in Ireland for a number of years.

Dee emigrated from Kerry to Cork and we opened a Fuzion office on the South Mall in Cork (before that we worked from home for a few years – thank you to Alison, Doreen and Barry who were happy to have enough faith in us to do that).

Soon after that we became the only agency in Ireland to have an office in both Cork and Dublin as we opened one in our capital city.

This year I was elected to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce council by the members – this sounds like a very trivial thing but it is a big deal as members from smaller firms find it impossible to get elected. This makes me very proud as it is a small tangible sign that we are succeeding in Dublin and achieving some recognition for the work we are doing there.

Brendan Canty and Conor McGregor - Dream Big

When I heard the words “If your dream doesn’t scare you then it’s not big enough” I had to admit to myself that I feared I had stopped dreaming big and maybe that I had stopped dreaming at all. After writing this piece I know this isn’t quite true.

This 51 year old hasn’t stopped dreaming but yes …I admit, my dreams don’t scare me.

Maybe it’s time to be scared again and not leave that to the 27 year olds!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

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2 Responses to “Are you dreaming big enough?”

  1. Fergal Bell Says:

    Great post, Greg and on the button.
    Congratulations on your election – good news for Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

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