In Chapter 7 of 19 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, community builder and entrepreneur Fabian Pfortmüller shares how he encourages others to take the first step to living their dream. The first step is that taking action on a dream means you cannot fail. He finds the fear of failure holds back people from acting on dreams and pursuing their respective passion. He lives his own dream by asking himself often what is success. Pfortmüller is co-founder of Sandbox Network (www.sandbox-network.com). He also co-founded an innovation think tank, Incubaker (www.incubaker.com), and is part of the group's first spin-off, Holstee (www.holstee.com), an apparel brand for people who would like to wear their passion. Pfortmüller graduated from Columbia University and its School of General Studies.
Erik Michielsen: When you advise others to live their dream what do you advise they do to take the first step?
Fabian Pfortmüller: So, I meet a lot of people and I always encourage them to live their dream and I think many people say ‘Yeah, you know I’d love to’ I mean who wouldn’t want to live their dream, right? And what I try to convince them of as a first step is that they can’t fail. I really believe so that – I think that especially applies to us being here in the US and in Europe and… the fortunate environments that we have that we have many people we have to do with and that might not apply to someone who is in India and has nothing to eat but most people I deal with in my daily life, they can’t fail, they have food, they have shelter, they have good education, usually they have enough money, there is no struggle for survival and seriously realizing that, incorporating that and acting upon that I think is one of the most important first steps, because I believe that’s what holds a lot of people back is kind of a very deep down sense of ‘I’m totally utterly going to fail and I’m going to end up on the streets’. If you tell them, ‘Look, you’re not going to be that successful in the first few years and so-‘ I think people can deal with that, people can deal with that but deep down they have to have the fear that they always dreamed of being an artist but perusing that is going to bring them out in the streets and I believe that’s wrong.
Erik Michielsen: How are you living your own dream?
Fabian Pfortmüller: Asking myself very often what I want and what really drives me, what is success? Having that question very close to me and asking it very, very regularly that helps me to live my dream. Because in order to live your dream you need to know what your dream is and one of the qualities of life, maybe in general but particularly in my life, is that it goes on very fast and things come up and they’re very noisy and they speak to you very loud voices that sometimes the important things get pushed backwards you know? And keep them very close to… the forward part of your brain so to speak I think that’s what helps me to live my dreams. In a practical sense it is by doing what I love kind of working on Holstee, working on Sandbox and being here in New York you know, that’s my dream right now.