â€śIâ€™m going to open my own business and make a million dollars.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m going to lose 100 pounds of fat.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m going to become a famous movie star!â€ť
Everyday, we hear these grandiose claims made by our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. They tell us at every opportunity and we nod politely as we listen to them ramble on and on. Time goes by.
Are they any closer to achieving their goals? Did they even take a step in the direction of their goals? The answer (99.9999999% of the time) is NO.
What went wrong? Why couldnâ€™t they achieve their goals or even start for that matter? Was it because they set their goals too high?
The answer is yes. They set their goals too high.
Then is it wrong to think big? The answer is no.
Confused yet? Let me explain.
Thinking big is great. I encourage you to spend some time everyday and dream about your biggest goal. Itâ€™s good nourishment food for the mind.
However, the point I want to make is that thinking big by itself will not do anything for you.
In fact, by doing that alone, it can hinder you.
You must be able to think SMALL first, before you can think big.
When you are â€śbigâ€ť, then, and only then, can you really and truly begin to â€śthink bigâ€ť.
Letâ€™s use the first goal listed in the beginning of this article as an example.
â€śIâ€™m going to open my own business and make a million dollars.â€ť
Joe Blow decides to think big and boldly states that he will open his own business and make a million dollars. Then he sits down and tries to figure out how to do that.
*crickets chirping in the background*
Joe Blow has NO idea where to begin. He draws up a plan, but quickly dismisses it as it will not bring in a million dollars. He draws up another plan, but doesnâ€™t put much effort in it as well. He has no idea where to start, no concrete plan of action, and as a result, gets very discouraged. He seeks help outside by going to the bookstore and starts buying books such as:
â€śHow to make a million dollars with your own businessâ€ť.
â€śHow to make a million dollars in real estateâ€ť.
â€śHow to become an instant millionaireâ€ť, etc.
He devours the books but nothing happens.
Whatâ€™s going on with Joe Blow? Why canâ€™t he get any traction?
Itâ€™s because heâ€™s trying to learn how to make a million dollars with his own business when he hasnâ€™t even learned how to make $1.00 yet.
Seriously. Think how hard it is for you to earn $1.00 of profit with your own business. Donâ€™t be quick to dismiss it and think itâ€™s easy. Really try to do it. Aside from your job, do you think you can make $1.00 of profit?
The book that Joe Blow shouldâ€™ve bought is:
â€śHow to make your first dollar of profit from your own business and then learn from that and reinvest that money to make two dollars in profit and learn from your experiences to make four dollars of profit and then start to make 8 dollars as you slowly build confidence and momentum to make twenty dollars in profit so you can just keep building upon lesson after lesson, experience after experience, and to keep on learning and building momentum because you know what works and by focusing on setting small measurable goals till you make enough money to think big and leverage your resources to accomplish the big goals you set now that you have the means to do so.â€ť
Michael Dell employed the route of thinking small before thinking big. He started by selling personal computers from his dorm room. Steve Jobs started Apple in his parentâ€™s garage.
If you continue to read the biographies of successful people, you will realize two common themes among them.
1. They just got started. They didnâ€™t wait till conditions were perfect. They just got started.
2. They went through a necessary process of growth to get to where they are today.
The reason why they were able to just get started was because they thought small first, rather than big. If you set a goal of earning a million dollars compared to setting a goal of earning $1 dollar in profit, imagine which goal will propel you to take action more easily.
Once they got started, they were able to go through a necessary process of growth that enabled them to achieve their big goals.
This process of growth is what most people nowadays fear and detest most. Most people want results NOW. We live in a generation of instant gratification. We get radio, TV, video, information at the click of a mouse. We can reach anybody in the world by hitting 10 buttons on a phone. We have the world at our fingertips. We are a spoiled generation not wanting to go through the slow process of growth.
However, you must realize that this process of growth should not be feared or detested.
The process of growth should be EMBRACED.
Because going through this process of growth will teach you the necessary lessons and skills to achieve the big goal youâ€™ve set.
Focus on thinking small in order to experience the necessary process of growth to achieve your big goal. Then, when you get â€śbigâ€ť, you can leverage all your knowledge and resources to accomplish the results of your thinking big.
If you look at the biographies of famous actors/actresses, you will realize that they too just got started and went through a process of growth to get to where they are today. Many just got started by doing embarrassing commercials and TV shows, but that was all part of the process of growth.
Now they are huge mega blockbuster stars. Because they are â€śbigâ€ť now, they can truly â€śthink bigâ€ť and accomplish it easily. If they choose to write an autobiography, itâ€™ll probably become an instant #1 bestseller on the NY Times. If they choose to promote a certain charity, they can easily enlist the help of many people to throw a charity event in one week. They can use their â€śbigâ€ť celebrity power to bring attention to issues that are ignored, etc.
The point is, they couldâ€™ve only done that when they were â€śbigâ€ť, and the only way to become big is to think small and to grow.
I will end this article with a personal story of mine that ties well in with this article.
When I graduated from high school, I was a skinny twig. I probably weighed around 120 pounds soaking wet. I wanted to gain weight and set a lofty goal of 170 pounds. I spent time and money reading and buying products, looking for that magic shake or supplement that would help me gain 50 pounds. None of it worked and I became so discouraged, I quit.
A year later, I picked up the goal of gaining weight again but this time, set a small goal. Gain 5 pounds. Become 125 pounds. This was all it took. This took me out of the mindset of the â€śquick fixâ€ť and propelled me to go through the slow process of growth and to learn.
By having this mindset, I began to find myself reading quality information on bodybuilding. I learned all about proper nutrition, post and pre-workout meals and shakes, proper weight lifting form, the proper number of sets and reps to do, the importance of protein and calories in your diet, etc.
With all that knowledge and the small goal I set, it wasnâ€™t long till I hit 125. Now to you, it may not seem like such a big deal. Whoop de doo. You went from 120 to 125. You want a medal? Why yes, by all means thank you very much!
When I saw the scale climb slowly from 120 to 121 to 122 to 123 to 124 to 125 over a period of weeks, I was thrilled and excited because I knew if I could go from 120 to 125, I could go from 125 to 130, then from 130 to 135, then from 135 to 140, etc.
And thatâ€™s exactly what happened. Each small goal when achieved, propelled me to go forward with even more confidence, fuel, determination, and motivation and I continuously picked up more and more information along the journey that made growth faster. In two years, I hit 170.
The point I want to make is:
Think Big -> THEN Think Small -> Grow -> Become â€śBigâ€ť -> Then Accomplish Big Things
Invest in yourself and make it happen.