“So many people doubted my passion, but I proved them wrong” — 20-something worthy advice from Dylan Lauren at the Glamour Love Your Life conference earlier this week.
Dylan Lauren is the Founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar. While running an events company after graduating college, Dylan come across a variety of confections that inspired her to create her own vision of a candy store. She combined her childhood love of candy with interests in art and fashion to open Dylan’s Candy Bar in 2001. It’s now in 5 locations and has inspired Dylan’s new book, Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life.
Dylan faced constant doubt as she embarked on her journey to start a candy store. Her advice for people with a passion is to shut out the doubters, or even better, use the doubt as inspiration to prove them all wrong. So many 20-somethings today are interested in being an entrepreneur and this lesson is key. Don’t listen to the people who say, ”that will never work” or “doesn’t that already exist?” Do your own homework of course, but then, if you have a vision you believe in, it’s time to put the blinders on and focus on that vision. And if you are passionate about it, don’t wait. I can’t tell you how many 40-somethings had ideas that they didn’t act on, only to see them brought to life by someone else and succeed.
I think it is inspiring that Dylan was able to combine all her interests in a career that is her passion. The store integrates fashion, events, a cafe and spa products all behind a consistent vision and design. Who says a candy store can’t be a fashion brand? She took inspiration from that first job out of college to make her dream come true. A lot of 20-somethings I speak to come out of college determined to find their dream job and then, especially in today’s economy, end up “having to take any job”. Don’t just bide your time in that first job…learn something from it. Similarly, one 40-seomthing advised:
“Take advantage of your current workplace to learn about other jobs and paths. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college but my dad told me ‘it’s better to be unsure when you have a salary’. So I took an entry level job at a publishing company. It wasn’t my dream job — I was on the phone and typing letters — but I got to interact with a lot of people. I was in the book publicity department so by default, I talked to people from lots of different kinds of industries. We scheduled authors to go TV interviews and radio interviews and dealt with hotels and the travel and all of the different pieces that go into creating a successful book tour. That was eye opening because I was able to educate myself about all of these other kinds of businesses that were out there and all the potential professional opportunities. I didn’t learn that I wanted to write the next great novel, but I did eventually learn that I wanted to combine my love of literature and learning into a career in education. — 40-something, Los Angeles, CA
You can parlay that first job into a dream job. Keep your passion in mind and look around at what you can learn from that first job to accomplish your dream. Dylan’s passion for candy at some point must have seemed like a “kid’s dream” but it never left her heart. She found inspiration from that first job to turn it into something very adult! So many 40-somethings regret not having a job that was their passion. The biggest barrier was that they never thought they could turn their interests into a job. Now there are so many doors available. So don’t give up on your childhood dreams!