Dreaming Big About Playing Small

I am a Matryoshka doll. You know, those wooden nesting figures of decreasing size placed one inside another? Each day I carry with me who I am right now, and who I was last year, and the girl I used to be a decade ago. It can get heavy sometimes, but it’s actually quite fascinating when you think about it; I get to be who I am, who I once was, and who I’ll always be, all while forming the next state of me. This is perhaps why my husband finds me to be such a complicated human at times.

Each new layer is bigger than the last. The ideas, the stakes, the commitment—they all seem to grow larger and thicker with each passing year. And so it stands to reason that my dreams and expectations of myself should expand proportionally.

But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about looking in instead of looking out. Of gathering the fragments of experience that make me me, and doing something with that rather than adding more to the mix.

My entrepreneur friends will get this.

You see as entrepreneurs we’re so lucky. We live in a day and age when there are so many resources. Resources out the wazoo. There are online courses, accountability groups, Slack channels, and SO MANY freaking downloadable PDFs. So most days, my inbox feels less like leisurely walking to the mailbox to find delightful greeting cards and handwritten love notes from my friends, and more like drinking out of a violent firehouse of clickbait subject lines and fear-inducing copywriting.

And, ya’ll, they know what they’re doing. All the course offerings, the cheat sheets, the webinars, they make them sound so appealing, and so necessary. They make me feel like if I’m not running 12 concurrent sales funnels and tracking 25 different web analytics then I might as well be pointing the nose of my business straight toward the ground.

This article in Entrepreneur says it best:

Long ago, Nike gave us a tagline that might as well have become the tagline for all entrepreneurs: “Just do it.”

Since then, motivational speakers such as Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk and countless others have reminded us to focus on our goals and work hard to make them real.

The problem is that these motivational speakers are often just pitching the end result. They get us amped up and inspired to go out and “just do it,” but very quickly, we run into a huge question: How?

The answer is pretty straightforward. Each day, we make a series of decisions, some of them quite small, that will affect our future. In fact, the decisions any of us made last year, last week and last night have all determined who we are today. Rather than focus on the end goal, we need to place a heightened focus on those smaller daily decisions — whether to make a phone call, take a meeting, tell someone no, eat right, get more sleep, read more or separate ourselves from a toxic person.

Small. I don’t need big. I don’t need more. I need small. I need intention.

I am in the midst of year four of my business being a full time thing, and I find myself at a major crossroads of where to drive this ship. I find my brain wrestling in the battle of passion vs. profit, expanding vs. specializing, work vs. family, big vs. small.

Changes are coming, and I’m excited to use this space as a place to explore what that looks like for me with you. If you enjoy watching other people flounder around till they figure it out, well, my dear, you’ve come to the right place. Stay tuned.