Meet Paul, a man who strives to always improve himself...personally
and professionally. Paul's dream to achieve greatness professionally took
him in a dictation that made him laugh out loud. Chicago's Second City gave
Paul the tools he needed to break out of his shell.

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How did you come to your dream?

It really came about in two ways, when I was younger I remember watching Saturday Night Live with my sister and brother-in-law. And it was a great time for SNL, outstanding cast. Fast forward to adulthood, at 27, I started my career and I allowed myself to develop my skills in the trade. But I really saw myself on top and in a leadership position. And being in a leadership role is being able to be a charismatic speaker, quick on your feet and over all good with words. So I made sure I took a class that would help me develop those skills. So I took a toastmaster class- and that just felt like a college speak class. So one day I was looking through Chicago’s TimeOut magazine and saw an article on pushing yourself. One of the recommendations was taking a class at Second City. I thought it would be a great challenge. And personally, I love a great challenge, and I knew it would help develop my communication skills that I have been working on. Everyone in the class, level A, was there to become better speakers. Yet everyone had that deep down seed that if they could make in the business and this is where they could be discovered.

What kind of impact has Second City had on your career?

I am more comfortable being in front of a large group and speaking. I would say I am now quick on my feet. Also, I have picked up on the creative process, being able to accept failure. To get something great, you must fail a little bit.

Did the completion of this dream lead to other dreams?

By completing a year at Second City, I feel like I have grown to be a better leader. I am better with people and customers, and sale and pitching and all of that helps with solutions at the day job. As an entrepreneur, I am the sales and pitch man, so this has been very helpful.

What went into pursuing this dream?

I originally thought I would do the just the A class, but I enjoyed it and my classmates and thought it would be silly not to go! Because I am not really a planner, all I really did was checking the class schedule and seeing when I could fit it into my work schedule.

What would be different if you didn’t pursue this dream?

If I didn’t complete these classes, I wouldn’t be as effective as a communicator. By being a better communicator has lead me to bigger roles in my career. This has shaped and helped me move into these roles. As an entrepreneur, I communicate my dream and plan to my employees; I have to have them follow my lead.

What was the first step towards this dream?

Getting the inspirations from TimeOut magazine, signing up and looking over the class course

What financial steps did you take when achieving your dream?

The classes were not overly expensive $200-$300 for 8 weeks. My biggest concern was if it would work. After completing all 5 classes, it was around $1500, and I would say it was 100% worth it.

Who were your biggest supporters and motivators during this dream?

My lovely wife, she supported the idea from the start and didn’t think it was silly. Being able to come home and tell her about the classes and she came to all of my shows. Made staying in the classes easier

What drives you every day? How has this dream become a part of it?

Wanting strive to do better and be better as a person and a professional. That’s why I took the classes, and it did make me better.

Why do you do what you do?

I am impulsive, and that’s what improve is. You go with your gut

How much satisfaction went into this dream?

A lot, it’s the one thing I am most proud of this far in my life. After finishing, you get a certificate. It’s the only thing on my wall, and I am so proud of it.

Would you change anything along the way?

Maybe would have prepared for the class, maybe would have done a school play

Do you wish you would have continued?

My goal was to continue. The next step at Second City is the conservatory, and you try out for this part and if you get in, you have another 4-5 new classes to complete. From there people normally go to the main stage or btc. But really, the city has several other improve classes to take, such as Improve Olympic. My plan was to go there, but I took a break.

3 years before you took the program, would you believe that you completed this dream?

I wouldn’t believe you

3 years from now, what are your dreams?

I have the dream of a sale for Dream Fish Lab for a 100 million dollars.

Do you believe that you can complete this dream?

It be shocking if it sold for 100 million.

Any advice for other dreamers?

When it comes to your dream, you just have to do it… take the first step. Thinking and planning about your dream is fine, but make a move that forces you to commit to the dream.

How was the journey when pursuing your dream? Was it more a steady line or rollercoaster?

It was a rollercoaster, nothing in life is a steady growth.

Can you imagine life if the competition of your dream didn’t happen?

No, and I would feel awful. By completing this dream, it’s afforded me a lot and given me a lot and I have enjoyed it.

What was your proudest moment well in pursuit of your dream?

Performing on the Main Stage (which happens at the end of level E,) getting to that point and getting to be on the same stage that greats ones have been. I was on the same stage that Tina Fey, Steve Correl, Chris Farley and the other great names that went through Second City. It was a great ending, knowing what I had gone through to get to that point. Every Tuesday was never easier, it was always something new. I had finished with 8 people in my class, started with 22.

What were some wins along the way?

Finishing the classes, after a long day of work, knowing that you had a 3 hours class after wasn’t easy. To me that was a win all by itself. Another win was getting the class to really laugh, when you are on, that is your only goal at that point. And it felt great!

Is this dream a part of you now?

Absolutely, I can now turn it on when in a group, when before I was shyer. It has given me confidence.