how to build your dream castle


A very cyclical and loose process to building a vision-business-legacy-castle of your own.

For the past few years, I’ve been obsessed with building my own dream castle. It is exactly what it sounds like. A grand place of my own built from my vision and dreams. (Plus an ocean of blood, sweat, and tears.)

When I used to live in other people’s castles, at first it was great. (Who doesn’t love the feeling of cashing a regular paycheck?) But within a year or two, each day I spent counting down the hours made me anxious, angsty, and irritated. I could feel my life passing me by. My gifts felt used only 10% or 25%. So I risked everything (and nothing, really) to leave the world of rented rooms and attempted to build something — a business, a legacy, a vision — of my own.

The idea is that if you have a dream castle, you can take it anywhere in the world. You can live anywhere, work anytime, do anything your heart desires. (Hell, you could even sell the castle one day, if you want.)

My reason for building my own castle was three-fold. I wanted to push myself to the limits of my creative and intellectual potential (and discover that there were none). I wanted complete independence, autonomy, flexibility, and freedom. And third, I wanted to champion a vision I truly cared about. It is near impossible making me care about things I simply don’t, And when I don’t care, I give less than 50%. That’s a disgrace to myself.

Today, my castle looks more like a hut. But it is something. I don’t care if I’m sitting on the floor eating a bowl of ramen in the dark (no, not really). At least this hut is mine. At least the straw making up the walls are real. And, I’m learning.

Recently, I started taking on identity design clients again — helping other people build their own castles, manifest their visions. In the process, I began to articulate my framework around castle building.

Here it is.

How to build your dream castle-vision-business-legacy

  1. Have a clear vision and own it.

    Who are you and what do you stand for? What gifts do you come bearing?

  2. Make a daily commitment.
    Identify the minimum time per day you can commit, and stick to it. Even if it’s just 30 minutes. Use momentum to your advantage. It will snowball.

  3. Dream big.
    What do you want your life overall to look like, in context of this castle?

  4. Reduce it to one brick.
    What is your castle made up of? What is your one brick? A blog post? A video? Practice time?

  5. Make a castle building plan.

    Now look at the big picture. Jot down ideas you might not use until years later, when the time is right. Once you have your one brick, start with a 3 month plan.

There. Five simple steps. Simple but not easy. What are you waiting for?