Dream First, Details Later: How to Quit Overthinking & Make it Happen

Dream First Details Later Cover
Why I chose the book, what drew me to it: STOP Overthinking and Start Doing

It was only a few weeks ago when it struck me, I’ve had an entire year to think, plan and work on pivoting to a place where I can realize my entrepreneurial dreams. A mentor said to me: “you’ve had a lot of time to think.” Stop thinking and make it happen.” “You can do it.” When the opportunity arose to write a book review, I had options. Of the two presented, Dream First Details Later: How to Quit Overthinking & Making it Happen grounded me in the present. It was a sign that said I’m doing everything right. Other people in the world have been where I am right now, and they have gone on to do extraordinary things.
What if you take this opportunity to learn about Ellen’s story and figure out how it can inspire you?
“If it’s both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it.” Erada Selvetlana @erada

Summary of the book

Are you a Risk-Taker? 

Ellen asked for a seat at the table. From Sandberg, S. (2014). Lean In Women, Work and the Will to Lead. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. A force of nature who knew what she wanted and was willing to try to make her dreams a reality. A reminder that a college education is not everything to everyone. Passion, commitment, vision, and belief in yourself can take you further than you ever dreamed. If you wait for the right time, the right feeling, you may never do it. The overarching theme inspires all who have big dreams, visions, and goals, with a strong sentiment of working hard to make the smallest achievements a reality because they can turn into something much bigger if you take the risk.

What worked

Authenticity works.

Ellen recants conventionalism in an honest retrospective story of her experience becoming an entrepreneur, and creating a multi-million-dollar company in an over-saturated niche market.

Her generosity in sharing her perspective and insight is evident in pauses where she changes from the first person to the third person.

What could have been better?

Strategic organization!! 

Throughout the book, Ellen inserted her colorful personality with pictures, diagrams, stories, entrepreneurial business tips. (The meat and potatoes of her business expertise.) The two sections I found edifying are:

  • Focus on What you have, Not What you Don’t Have (Page 120)
  • How to create awesome Collabs (Page 158)

Each section inserted at apropos points in the main story jumped into a related topic but entirely separate stories and timeframes. I breezed through the first three chapters. I skipped over the sections and came back to them. 

Editorially, create an addendum of her tips and stories, then inserting footnotes to reference relevant content would have added clarity for the reader. 

Mention the reference up top in her prologue. 

Would you recommend it to others?

YES! I sent pictures of pages of the book to friends that referenced things we’d talked about or inspired us at one point or another. 


Anyone motivated and inspired by people, former fine-dining employees (trust me), if you like fine dining, career pivots, people with an entrepreneurial mindset, creatives, current entrepreneurs 


As I wrote this review, my judgment and opinions melted away, and a fiery motivation grew within me. Flipping through the pages looking at notes I wrote, I found new inspiration every time. The book helped me subconsciously work through the process of learning. Actively, stop resisting the opportunities right in front of me.

Reviewer Rating

An easy read, written in a style that speaks to the masses (at least the main chapters).

I could have finished the main chapters straight through in two days on vacation or a staycation. It took more time than I initially thought to go back and absorb the special colorful sections.

Read the prologue to epilogue first, then went back and read the colorful inserted sections.

Favorite quote(s), anecdote(s)

“…What pulls you? What scares and excites you? Don’t just give me the easy answer. Really dig deep. Down to that dream that maybe you’ve never even voiced inside your own head. And then, take the next step…” (Page 49)

“Bartering (Use What You Have to Get What You Need)”
“The amazing La Colombe coffee we offer to HQ visitors” (Page 121-122)
Ellen rented space to La Colombe in their ‘start-up’ phase, and in return, got free high-quality coffee for her entire office staff. Genius!

How long it took you to read

Five days

Where you listened to / read the book most

Pre-bed-time ritual – blazed through the first three chapters the day I got the book.

The accompanying beverage/snack of choice

Fiji water #notanad

Who is a fictional character that would love this book?

  • Carl Casper – Chef
  • Ted Mosby – HIMYM
  • Sophia Marlowe – Girl Boss Netflix
  • Monica Hall – Silicon Valley
  • Richard Hendricks – Silicon Valley

Thank you, Lauren, for your honest, thoughtful review of Ellen Marie Bennett’s Dream First, Details Later: How to Stop Overthinking & Make It Happen! You can find it on Bookshop and Amazon, or your favorite bookstore. Join us and review your favorite recent read or share your advice or experiences with us here.

About the author

Lauren Elliott is a busy business professional, MBAchic contributor, and future MBA candidate. Her background is in marketing and business strategy. Currently, Lauren works for several founders, developing her entrepreneurial pursuits. She plans to focus on economics, entrepreneurship, and venture capital in her MBA. When she isn't talking about business, you can find her talking about her long obsession with New York City, it feels like home to her. Fashion, food, and writing are her main hobbies.

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