Or don’t. ;)
Bigger can be amazing! But bigger is not always better, and I say that as a Texan. By mindlessly pursuing “bigger,” you could ignore values that influence your current success and satisfaction.
At least once a week, I see a major news story about middle-class Americans — often middle class American women, specifically — who “want it all”:
- a happy and successful family
- a strong marriage / personal partnership
- a thriving career
- perfect mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health, and
- an ideal balance between all these things and everything else their hearts desire.
After all, don’t we all deserve the biggest life we can imagine? In reality, bigger is not necessarily better. There are trade-offs, because the fixed constant is time: 24 hours each day, every day. As we make more investments (of time, money, energy) in our increasingly bigger lives, we will eventually reap diminishing returns on our investments.
I also see businesspeople who are consistently challenged to think bigger and grow bigger. They create a massive to-do list that stresses them out, and over time this stress spills over, onto the rest of their team. Because any growing business cycles through the law of diminishing returns, they get frustrated when their higher level of investment in the business is not producing significantly higher levels of results. After some reflection, some say that they wished they had done a better job of balancing their desire for lots of personal time with the to-do list for massive business growth. Others share that they chased the goal of bigger without any regard for what was truly important to them.
So I never assume bigger is better.
And yet, here are some ways I can flow with this quote:
- Think bigger just to see how big your idea can go. Does that excite you? Does it make you want to shake trees and make it happen? Is your team and your family on board with this vision? Yes? Then go get it.
- Think bigger as a contrast to the way things are now, and explore the gap in between. Even if that huge thing is not exactly where you want to go, maybe there's a spot in between that looks like a good growth goal.
- Invite your work team / family / friends to think bigger, together. A dream board is a great way to think really big, while deciding later what kind of timeline you might put on it. No commitments, just freedom to dream and envision.
Think big, yes. Then think bigger. And then make good decisions that honor who you are and the values that guide your business and your life.