Think BIG, 10x your goals, aim for the stars…
Much of the advice we get tells us to focus on the big picture.
But doing this alone, leaves us with our heads in the clouds. In order for “Thinking Big” to work, it must be balanced with it’s equally important opposite: starting small.
SETTING YOUR VISION
Bill Gates once said his vision for Microsoft was to “put a computer in every home in America”, but years later having actually fulfilled that objective, he remarked that what he should really have aimed for was to put a computer in every home on the planet.
His point was, the further you aim, the further you get.
But it’s even more important to remember that when Bill Gates was starting out back in the 1970s, working away on a computer in his parents garage – yes, he had a grand vision, but his day-to-day attention was on the small, mundane, but crucial first steps in-front of him.
YOUR EGO WANTS “BIG”
Nowadays it seems many of us aren’t willing to do the small stuff. We’re more concerned with the glitz and glamour of the visions we have for ourselves; dreams of becoming the next CEO, the next motivational speaker or the next celebrity personality.
Part of this stems from our culture’s fascination with overnight fame and success, but the real root of the problem comes from our own ego. Your ego HATES the idea of “starting small” – and it will actively try to dissuade you from doing such things. Have you ever caught yourself thinking:
“These tasks are inconsequential, boring… I should be focusing on more exciting things…”
“I couldn’t possibly do that, it’s demeaning, embarrassing even. It’s beneath me.”
HELPING PEOPLE WITH PUBLIC SPEAKING
Four years ago, I sat down with Dan and Chris for coffee in Manchester. We we’re discussing how impactful public speaking had been in our lives, and planning how we could share this life changing skill with others.
We decided to start by delivering public speaking courses in Manchester. The first business meeting, we spent four long hours carefully, painstakingly working – to decide what our business should be called. Then patted ourselves on the back for a job well done.
The next business meeting we spent ANOTHER four hours working diligently… to decide what our logo should be. Again, we patted ourselves on the back for all of our “hard work” – we were in business!
But in reality, we hadn’t even started. Anyone can come up with a business name, create a logo, call themselves an entrepreneur or a thought-leader; but very few go on to actually do the hard-work necessary to earn such names.
THE MAGIC OF STARTING SMALL
Focusing too much on your big vision becomes overwhelming. Overwhelm leads to procrastination, and procrastination leads to failure. This is the unfortuante reason behind the millions of people out there with big dreams they’ve never dared to act upon.
Starting small is easy, you don’t need a grand plan that has everything figured out – you simply have to take the first, smallest, most simple step, and then keep going.
With each small step, you have a better vantage-point from which to identify the next step. Each step requires an action; and all of those small actions provide you with feedback. All of that feedback results in experience. Real, authentic experience. The kind that improves your decisions going forwards.
Through the process of starting small, we’re able to learn from our mistakes AND make progress all while staying motivated to keep going.
OUR FIRST PUBLIC SPEAKING COURSES
We too had to start small. Our very first workshops were lucky to have a handful of people in the room, not quite the sell-out stadiums we’d envisaged over our coffee chat in Manchester.
But with each small step forward, we learned, adapted and grew. Soon enough were selling out courses and making a difference in peoples lives by helping them to build self-confidence and public speaking skills.
So have your big, bold vision. Set your ambitions high and aim at achieving the most possible good that you can. But once your vision is in place, focus all of your attention on the small, mundane tasks that will get you there.
Don’t walk around with your head in the clouds – think big, but start small.