“The man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
We’re taught from a young age to dream big. Imagine a big future and it can all become a reality, etc. It’s ingrained in our culture to be excited about and dreaming about the future, and the more exciting and dreamy it is, the better.
Sometimes, however, that big dreaming gets overwhelming. We picture in our minds all of these fantastic things we’ll be doing, places we’ll be going, etc. And then, at some point, it hits us – this isn’t going to just happen. We’re actually going to have to do something about it. Your first realization of this as a young person is a sobering moment, and many people never get past being sobered.
I think what overwhelms so many people is they picture themselves now, and then they picture this huge vision, and they can’t see how to get from here to there. What they don’t think about is the fact that of course you can’t get from here to there – in one step. They’re thinking about trying to jump from the bottom of the stairs to the top, when the only way to get to the top of the stairs is by taking them one at a time.
The next time you & your team are thinking about your big future, think of it in pieces, in small details. Think about your customers, your products, your people, your processes, your marketing, the financial piece, etc. Drill those down. Think about all those small stones that make up the mountain.
And think about them in terms of time. Yes, eventually you’ll have to move the boulders, but for now start with what you have to move in the next 30 or 60 or 90 days. It’s possible that the boulders you think you’ll have to move won’t even be there by then. And there will be boulders to move that right now you don’t know even exist.
Your business can absolutely be what you want it to be. It might not be able to be that in the next ten minutes, but it can get there. You just have to focus on manageable pieces. Think about the little things that are going to make up the big things. What has to happen first? What can we do between now and the end of the year? Keep the mountain in view, but start moving stones.