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Dare, Dream, Do

Whether you pursue it or reject it, dreaming is good for you.

Whitney Johnson’s Dare Dream Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream (affiliate link) calls out to relaunchers with a prescription for encouraging uncensored dreaming and occasionally acting on those dreams that make sense in the current context of one’s life.

The book cover for Whitney Johnson's book: Dare, Dream, Do


The strength of the book is in the real-life stories. Johnson leads with her own story and her own dreams, some of which she pursues and some she rejects as unrealistic. She includes the candid accounts of 50 women, many of whom are relaunchers in all stages of the return-to-work process. Each example illustrates a stage of Johnson’s Dare Dream Do methodology:

Dare – Why dreaming is essential.

Dream – Boldly finding your dreams.

Do – Making your dreams happen.

I like the way Johnson presents each person’s account objectively without placing a value judgment on their situation, whether the person is a stay-at-home mom using dreams to contemplate a career relaunch or a single person without kids who uses dreaming as a challenge to the status quo.

Johnson features an unusual number of stories about women with four children, which I don’t think is intentional, but as a mom of four myself, I noticed. One of four kids herself, Johnson charts her history as a music major at Brigham Young University who becomes a secretary at an investment bank. Through hard work and persistence, she rises to become a top-rated sell-side research analyst and ultimately the president of a hedge fund based on Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christenson’s disruptive innovation theories. Johnson frankly examines how dreaming allowed her to make these major professional leaps, and how she is not done dreaming yet.

Dare Dream Do encourages people to dream without constraint, but is practical enough to acknowledge that some dreams must be discarded if they are unrealistic. For those in the midst of the home-to-work transition who enjoy and respond strongly to real life examples, this book is a useful addition to your arsenal of career reentry resources.