In her recent column, Nadya explained why pursuing your dreams isn’t the same as taking action on them. Today she interviews Ryan Dean, founder of the collaborative online platform DreamerMade, to explore what he’s learned from being in the business of imagination.
What catalyzed you to start your company?There were a lot of things that led up to it but have to say it was my experience developing a product on the side while working full-time. I validated the product, had a preliminary patent search done with an attorney and even had a prototype designed and made with the help of a freelancer. Then all in one day, I lost my job and had my car repossessed. Without money to put towards the product it all came to a stop. I knew there had to be another way to continue developing without having to rely solely on money and connect with others passionate about making what we were making. Do you consider yourself a social entrepreneur?Yeah, it’s hard not to be when it comes to our community and the collaborative nature of it. The world will never have a shortage of problems but with a large, passionate collective, solutions can be right up there to match them. How is DreamerMade making an impact in the world?I believe DreamerMade is making an impact by leveling the playing field for the creator in each of us. We have so many ideas we don’t pursue for one reason or another. With DreamerMade, you have options to take action on them or share them with those who will. What has been your biggest struggle as an entrepreneur?The biggest struggle has been the work/life balance and setting boundaries to make sure I get a break and not get stuck in 24/7 work mode. Do you think entrepreneurs need to think more about purpose and less about their bottom line? Is this an issue?To each their own. Being purpose driven has never been an issue for me and is how I choose to base my decisions. It’s hard to think of doing it any other way. Why do people need your platform?To have another option. When it comes to creating online, there is such a void for what’s available that matches how we naturally create. People need an outlet for their creative ideas and an escape from their jobs if they feel stuck, so they can reach their goals and create a life filled with passion. Have you noticed a trend in how people work on DreamerMade? (i.e., are more people working solo versus together on projects)?We’ve seen more members creating secret projects where they work independently or with people they invite. Not surprisingly though, we’ve seen more progress made on projects made available to the Public or Private where members can request to join. Do you believe there’s a difference between pursuing one’s dreams and actualizing their dreams?Yeah, when I think of pursuing, it makes me picture someone chasing something that’s always out of reach. When you actualize your dream, the dream is being solidified. Like “I’m going to do this,” and take calculated steps every day to get there. Have you ever struggled with complacency?I can’t say that I have. Quite the opposite actually. I’ve been called a dreamer and hear that I set my expectations too high. I can’t see myself being content when there’s so much that can be done to help others and better myself in the process. What’s next for you?The next step for DreamerMade is optimizing the experience of creating online based on our most recent member feedback. And as always, continue to inspire others to create and demonstrate the value our community can provide on their next idea. —Find out about DreamerMade at dreamermade.com.Want to learn more about Nadya’s Entrepreneurial Corner? Read the column’s mission statement here.If you think differently (or want to), keep checking Honeysuckle for more op-eds, interviews, and advice from our entrepreneur extraordinaire Nadya!—Nadya Rousseau is a Los Angeles-based digital marketing consultant and new media entrepreneur. She has worked with clients ranging from startups, to nationally recognized law firms, to nonprofits, to entertainers and more. Recently, Nadya established the Social Media Storytelling Academy with the goal of supporting thousands of professionals worldwide with sophisticated and cutting-edge social media education based in powerful storytelling strategies. When she’s not working, she can be found savoring a double espresso macchiato somewhere cool. Follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.