Achieve the future you want: act on your dream.

The Act On Your Dream! Report Monthly Edition
September 7, 2004 PREMIER ISSUE Issue #1
Written by John L. Dilbeck
Copyright © 2004 John L. Dilbeck

What Is Your Dream?

What do you truly want to accomplish with your life?

Why aren't you doing it?

I am dedicating all of this newsletter, most of, the Act On Your Dream! forum on, and other resources (see links below) to help you tell us your dream. It is my hope that many others will find us and we can help each other identify our dreams, share them in public, plan how to achieve them, and then act to achieve our dreams in as little as a year from now.

I truly believe that change can be made much more quickly than we've been led to believe. I've also observed, however, that we'll stick with the devil we know rather than launching out into the unknown and potentially facing the devil we don't know.

You can either choose to delay until the effort and pain of continuing as you're going is much more difficult than making a change, or you can decide right now that you're going to make some changes and have a better life a year from now.

What are you waiting on?

Act on your dream!


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Table Of Contents

  • News
    1. Act On Your Dream! Newsletter Launches

  • Article
    1. Thinking about my biggest success
    2. How do we create a success cooperative?


1. Act On Your Dream! Newsletter Launches

It has taken me a lot longer than I expected to reach this point.

I don't think it is a secret that I'm a big fan of Ken Evoy and the products and services offered by his company, Sitesell.

It was by reading his first ebook, Make Your Site Sell!, that I was able to start selling my steel roses throughout the United States. I've met lots of very nice people as a result of those initial efforts at marketing on the Internet. Some are subscribers to this newsletter, and I truly appreciate knowing you.

I bought a Site Build It! account from Sitesell sometime late in 2003, and I made a couple of false starts in building a site for which I could develop some passion. I spent months using the tools that Site Build It! (SBI) provides to research how to make several of my others sites better and more effective. It took months of thinking about how I was going to use SBI before I started getting an inkling of what is evolving into

My first attempt at building a site using SBI was:

That site didn't really work the way I wanted it to work. So, I moved it from the SBI account and transferred it to a standard Linux host.

I thought a lot more.

Eventually, the phone services site evolved in my mind until I was able to find a way to create the type of site I wanted for it.

I just completed phase one of the new site at:

That still left me with an SBI site that I was vastly underusing. I've been using the research tools for improving my other sites, but I just couldn't come up with a theme for a site I wanted to build.

Early in 2004, I realized that I had reached a point where I was just going through the motions and not really living my life. Eat, sleep, work on websites, cook, do some cleaning, and repeat.

Where was the passion? Where had my ambitions gone?

I realized that I didn't want to live the rest of my life that way.

So, I spent several weeks this spring thinking about what I'd do if money, health, time, and energy were not a consideration. What would I do if I could go anywhere, do anything, and meet anybody?

The possibilities were almost scary.

Eventually, after lots of thinking and making lots of notes and lists, I came to some rather surprising conclusions.

First, I'm happy living in these western North Carolina mountains. I like the scenery and the people. It's hard to make a good living here, but I'd trade that for having to live in a city any day.

Second, I'm already doing what I really want to do -- almost.

Now, I want to take it to a higher level. I want to help others succeed, and by doing so, I'll succeed. I'm not really motivated by power, fame or wealth. I'm more motivated by doing something worthwhile and helping others. I love building systems that others can use, but I never really realized that I'd been doing that until last year.

Unfortunately, most of what I want to do is invisible and intangible, and it's hard to get people excited about doing something they can't see or feel.

So, I kept thinking, and one day it came to me in a flash of inspiration. I will build a castle.

Not just any castle, but a castle that will house office space, luxury apartments, a hotel, a top-notch restaurant, a convention center, and much more that will be of real benefit to the community and to people I can help to succeed at what they want to do.

So, that was it. Build a castle and get lots of people involved in making it happen.

Then, I realized that this was only part of what I wanted to do. I want to build a system where people can find each other and work together to achieve their personal dream. Whether it involves finding a partner, an investor, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, or just someone who will offer encouragement because he or she has already done what the other wants to do, there is a need for people to be able to identify what they really want and declare that intention in a space where others will be supportive and encouraging.

So, I'm taking the first tiny steps to build that system.

It will take years to bring all of this together, and it will take much more than I can do alone. I need your help to achieve my dream. I offer my help for you to achieve your dream.

The more people we get involved in this, the more each of us can achieve.

I succeed by helping you succeed. You succeed by helping me succeed.

Working together we can achieve extraordinary results.

I want to hear your dream.

What help do you need to make it real? What have you already done? What obstacles are you facing?

Submitting your stories, dreams, accomplishments, and problems will provide content for this report. What are you doing to act on your dream? What help do you need? What help can you offer others?

Here is the first issue.

I'm hoping the second issue, in October, will feature your story.

You can achieve what you want, but nothing will happen until you resolve to act on your dream and follow through until it is done.

Make Your Site Sell!:
Site Build It!:


1. Thinking about my biggest success

I've been thinking about success a lot, lately, but it may surprise you that I'm not dreaming of fancy cars, dream vacations, beautiful women, or most of the things people dream about when fantasizing about success.

If you were to meet me for the first time, you would have no clue about what I'm all about. I intentionally like to present myself so that you will underestimate me. I'd rather surprise you by having more depth and knowledge after you get to know me than you may think I do at a first meeting.

I've know many people over the years who try to fake it until they make it, and I've been impacted negatively by them again and again. I worked once with someone who looked like he knew everything he said he did about computers and databases, and yet he was never able to do even the most basic duties in our project. It was a bad experience when I was forced to dismiss him and we barely avoided legal proceedings as a result. Very negative experience. Very negative vibes.

I've talked to people who seemed to know all about a product or service, until you started asking questions. Then, it was blank stares, or worse, totally incomprehensible answers.

So, I decided a long time ago that I would intentionally make you underestimate me until you took the time and effort to get to know me.

Why am I telling you this?

Because, as I was thinking about success, these types of people kept reminding me that I don't want the shallow trappings of success, I want the deep, personal, emotional foundations of success that carry into other areas of our lives. I want to be honest. I want to be knowledgeable. I want to be well informed. I want to know what I say I know, and tell you when I don't know something. I want to value character before beauty. I want to value integrity before empty promises.

I want to value success that comes after a long hard struggle of overcoming obstacles over success that is easily achievable and yields nothing of real value.

When I say, "I succeed by helping you succeed," I'm not talking about money. I'm talking about the feeling of accomplishment I get when I help you get past something that is stopping your advancement. Even if I get nothing in return, the feeling is worth the effort. Sure, I need a certain amount of money to get by, but that's not what drives me.

Over the years, I've done several things that gave me that feeling of success.

I worked in a couple of psychological hospitals in the 1970s where I helped adolescent patients make a difference in their lives. That was worth doing.

I taught at a couple of colleges in the 1980s where I helped people learn to use these new fangled microcomputers to help them do more in their personal and business lives. That was worth doing.

I've designed and implemented computer software and systems for several companies over the years. I'm happy with the database I designed and implemented at the John C. Campbell Folk School and it's satisfying to know they were able to use it for ten years before replacing it with a newer and more powerful system.

I'm happy to have been a part of the team that brought to western North Carolina and introduced the Internet to people who had never used it before.

I've done other things I'm proud of doing that I won't mention here.

However, the more I thought about success, the more I came back to something that surprises me.

Of all the things that I've succeeded in doing in my life, I'm happiest with helping take care of my mother so she doesn't have to go into a nursing home. I'm happy to be able to work right here at home and earn enough income to be able to devote as much time as she needs from me.

There are other things that I would like to be doing, but none of them are important enough for me to change what I am doing.

I'm no saint. I can be hard to deal with and I don't like being told what to do. Interestingly enough, I think that some of this hard-headed stubborness that's so deep in me gives me the resolve to live out of step with the rest of most of my fellow Americans.

I gave up the live in debt world for the live within your means world.

I gave up the rat race to live a slower life.

I gave up the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want to help Mom come home from the hospital and live where she wants to live rather than spending untold years in a nursing home. It's a trade-off that was worth it then, and grows in importance with each passing year.

It's not what I would have expected to call my greatest success.

Perhaps I'm growing up.

2. How do we create a success cooperative?

I'm not going to bore you by talking a lot about myself in future issues of this newsletter. If it evolves into a way to help you achieve your dream then it will be a useful addition to cyberspace. If it continues to be all about me, then it's just another of several blogs I have for talking about various things.

The key issue is helping you and both of us helping others.


Because success breeds success.

Helping you succeed helps me succeed. Helping someone else helps you. And so it goes.

I really wasn't clear about what I wanted to do until one of the first visitors to observed that it looked like I was building a "success cooperative" and that single comment brought it into focus for me. Thanks, Dennis!

I've been involved in another cooperative, Appalachian Heritage Crafters, and it has been a valuable experience for me, even though I no longer have time to do the blacksmithing I love. At least I can offer a bit of advice now and then. You can learn more about us at:

So, working together to help each other do more than we can do individually is an important concept to me. People who cooperate to help each other counteract the selfish dog eat dog types who only look out for themselves.

This Act On Your Dream! newsletter, hopefully, will become the vehicle for telling your story and helping you help others who join our informal cooperative. There are no dues, no required duties, and no expectations. Do what suits you. Help those you can. Ask for the help you need.

I'm not talking about asking for handouts. I will not pass those along.

I want to help you, but I'm not willing to do it for you.

It's your dream. It's up to you to find a way to make it happen.

We'll help, but YOU must act on your dream to make it real.

Until next time,

All the best,


Comments? Ideas? Feedback? Let me have it, right between the eyes! I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

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