Derek Oddo is the CEO and owner of Gainlight Studios branding company.
This week on Sam’s Dream Blog, Derek shares about the evolution of dreams, how to adjust to surprises and how to make your dreams happen.
Sam’s Dream Blog: What’s your professional dream? How did your dream originate?
Derek Oddo: My professional dream has always been to run a successful business that provides for my family and others.
This dream likely originated as a child. I grew up in a large family with four other siblings where there was no such thing as an allowance. Any discretionary money for baseball cards, video games and other items had to come in large part from money I could scrounge together. I mowed lawns and cleared driveways from a young age. I helped neighbors with tasks they did not want to do, all the while collecting any money I could to buy the same things my friends had. That is not to say my parents did not help, they most certainly did when they were able; it was merely a requirement for me to contribute financially if I truly wanted something.
SDB: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Derek Oddo: The things that give me the greatest satisfaction are old interns who reach out years later to let me know how much I impacted their lives. It is seeing a t-shirt I designed years ago still out and about in the community. It is seeing a logo I designed mounted to the side of a building. Everyone, everywhere, inevitably wants to know that they somehow impacted the world. While these may be minor, they serve as pleasant reminders to stay the course and cause you to realize there are things beyond money that make you appreciate what you do daily.
SDB: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing your dream? What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?
Derek Oddo: The biggest challenges I have faced are those related to changing circumstances. I became a business owner because I like knowing the decisions I have made or have not made are impacting my bottom line directly. The realization, though, is that I am at the mercy of a number of factors. And as sure as night and day, life will always be there to throw you curveballs.
The best advice I can give to dreamers like myself is to remain nimble, to remain hungry, and to always move forward. Always seek to improve on something every day.
SDB: What steps have you taken to get to where you are presently?
Derek Oddo: Many, many little steps. The two largest being sacrifice and a willingness to execute. Everyone has dreams. Every single one of us. These are as simple as daydreaming about a new car, to something more complex like trying to impact your family generationally.
The only difference that separates the dreamers from the doers is execution. It’s taking those small, tangible steps in the direction of achieving these dreams, regardless of how crazy those around you might think you are.
Along the way, you will be called to sacrifice. Sometimes, these sacrifices are easy, like skipping a night out with friends to be up early for a meeting with a new client. Other times, they are far greater.
It is too easy today to get caught up in instant gratification. We hope to see immediate results, and sometimes we can realize our dreams quickly. But, for the great dreamers, it often takes years for the seeds we plant to become fruitful. It is why it is important to stay the course.