Small enough to make a difference ... big enough to matter

April 27, 2015

 

The keynote speaker at the Sixth Annual Global Impact Awards of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce offered a few bits of inspirational wisdom I’d heard before.

If not me, who?

If not now, when?

If we don’t, our competition will.

Just because we could, doesn’t mean we should.

Each of those quotations is, of course, a great piece of advice. But, then, Kat Cole, president of FOCUS Brands, Inc., who is responsible for building FOCUS Brands’ revenues and profits through global licensing, manufacturing, and e-commerce, said something I had not heard before.

Do those things that are small enough to make a difference, but big enough to matter.

Let that rest up against you for a moment!

The message is clear. Don’t pick the low hanging fruit just because it’s within easy reach.  Conversely, don’t take on things that are so big you can’t achieve achieve success by piling them onto your plate.

It’s great advice for any business and reminds me of the Serenity Prayer that was authored by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971).  The best-known form goes like this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

The difficulty in taking what Cole and Niebuhr are saying and putting them into action, of course, is in the choice. What are the things in your own business that you should take on because they are small enough to make a difference, but big enough to matter? I’ve asked myself that a lot since the awards luncheon.

I keep coming back to marketing. I specialize in telling the story of people and companies. I’m not sure I’ve told my own story well enough. In a way, I feel like the cobbler whose children have no shoes.

Since starting my business, I’ve relied on making personal connections and the viral marketing that leads to for building my business. I’ve met with some successes, but the truth is I think I am under-achieving with this strategy.

I want to get to the next level. to do that, I need to do a better job of assessing those things that are small enough to make a difference, but big enough to matter.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be taking a close look at that. What about you?

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