Why start small when you can go big? One of the most controversial perceptions about achieving what we want in life is to think big and to live big. While there is nothing wrong with thinking big, when it comes taking action and making progress, starting small is the key.
If you want to build a habit or do something for the long term, you need the approach of starting small.
It’s the small things that no one sees, that lead to the BIG things everyone wants.
Below are some reasons why you should start small on anything you set your focus on.
Requires less time and energy
It is easier to take a small action than it is to take a big one.
Let me give you an example. If you want to lose weight, do you start with hitting the gym 2 hours a day for 5 days a week or do you start with just an hour a day for 3 days a week?
The first option sounds more effective, but is it sustainable? Highly likely not.
This is because if you start big, it takes a lot of your energy and time. And when the resistance is high, your chances of giving up on it will be high too.
Thus, if you want to make your habit sticks, make sure you start small. The key is to make the action easy to carry out so that the resistance will be lowered.
When something is easy to do, like brushing your teeth, you will never question yourself if you should do it. You just do.
Prevents overwhelming and paralysis
When the resistance is small, it is easier to carry out the task. And this actually prevents you from feeling overwhelming and paralysis.
When you don’t believe that your goal is achievable and within your reach, you will never put in your maximum potential to reach it.
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
This is a perfect illustration of the power of starting small. People want the big achievement and they want it fast. And they end up overestimating their ability.
But when it comes to the long-term, they underestimate the power of starting small and how much they can achieve.
Grows confidence and builds your momentum
Besides unclogging your brain to overcome paralysis, starting small also builds your momentum and confidence.
People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulling prophecy.
Can you see it clearly now? The more you succeed, the more you want to succeed.
When you create small victories, you feel good. And when you feel good, you will want to do more and take more action. When you take more action, you get even more results. Success is a cycle.
Lowers your stakes and gives you immediate feedback
Eric Ries, the author of Lean Startup nails it. He shared the idea of a “Minimum Viable Product” or MVP where you come up with a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future product development.
When you start a business or a project, you do not know if your business idea will work out.
Hence, you start with an MVP. You develop the product with a lower cost and you test the product to the market quickly. You want to know if the fundamental idea will work.
If the product fails, at least you did not spend millions or billions on it.
An MVP can quickly give you the insight if something is working out or not.
When you start a project, like an online business. You don’t want to spend months and even years into doing the research only to discover that the ideas don’t work at launching.
Taking the first step
Let’s talk about the trillion dollars company, Amazon. We all know that Amazon started off as an online bookstore.
Today, Amazon sells everything from socks to coffee machines. Amazon is the “everything store”.
According to Brad Stone’s book, The Everything Store, Jeff Bezos did not design Amazon to be just an online bookstore. It was planned to be an “everything store” from the beginning.
It was just that Bezos knew that he had to start small in order to grow big. Thus, he decided to start with selling books online.
Starting small is the first step to getting things done and move forward.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
We should think big but when it comes to execution and starting always start small.
On the other hand, when it comes to short-term or a one-time project, you may want to consider starting big.
The principle of starting small is more applicable to tasks and projects that require sustainability, where you need to take long-term action.
Starting small is a great way to reduce resistance and it helps in overcoming procrastination?