Career Coaching with Ken Coleman: “The Proximity Principle”

My best friend was telling me about his oldest daughter the other day. She began to show interest in film during high school, and now she’s in college at a critically-acclaimed film school. She chose a school, not just for the name, but one well-known for helping students get internships.

After she finished her freshman year, she was so excited to have received one of the school’s coveted internships that allowed her to work at a movie studio over the summer. Although it required her to live with other students she didn’t know, and not go home for months, she was thrilled with the opportunity. She knew if she worked hard and made a good impression, she would have a better chance of landing a job in the industry after graduation.

Think about it. She’s going to be in a movie studio doing work as an intern and getting paid. The sacrifices she’s willing to make now will open so many doors in the future. It’s inspiring! She’s so far ahead of most people her age because of the proximity she’s in. The relationships she’s developing within that industry are huge. Plus, she’s gaining so much knowledge and experience. But even more importantly, she’s around people who are doing that kind of work at a high level, and she’s in the middle of it.

Going after your dream, or “living the dream,” is more about reality than the dream. I prefer the phrase “realize the dream.” It means you understand you must take small steps and create a plan in order to make your dream a reality. Most people don’t quit once they have a plan in place, because it provides a detailed road map to your destination.

There are times when life may stop you—for a while. We all experience things like family situations and health issues. But even these don’t have to be permanent road blocks. Think of them as a time to recalibrate and make plans to restart your journey. Times like these aren’t always fun, but so many people have tons of momentum and emotional investment, only to be stopped by life happenings. I can tell you from experience that restarts can be amazing for growth and personal development.

Pursuing your dream is going to require sacrifice, whether it is financially, relationally, or emotionally. But believe me, when done the right way it’s so worth it!

About Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman is host of The Ken Coleman Show and the top-rated EntreLeadership Podcast, and author of One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s Leading VoicesAn acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, Coleman equips, encourages and entertains listeners through thought-provoking interviews, helping them grow their businesses, pursue their passions, and move toward a fulfilled purpose. You can follow him on Twitter at @KenColeman, on Instagram at @ KenColemanShow, and online at or