These are the words I will pass on to my daughter or son (if I have a child in the future) should they ask me about how to be successful, or start a meaningful business, or build a purposeful life.
I have actual tears in my eyes as I begin to write these words, because I am overwhelmed with the simple, powerful truth that has come to me recently.
These words probably won’t be new to you. No words really can be. But it’s the decision to embrace and apply them that matters.
Raise your hand if you are like I am when it comes to ideas—you have 1.3 million of them . . . every single time you blink or inhale.
They crowd your mind, excite you, drive you, wake you up, prevent you from sleeping, and honestly . . . eventually overwhelm you.
Your ideas are great. And any one of them CAN work. Any one of them CAN be the thing that helps you create a lifestyle where you’re able to breathe, take breaks, provide for your family in new ways, actually go on a vacation, etc. ANY single one of your ideas can do that.
But they’re likely all missing the thing that all of my ideas were missing a few years ago before I started this brand.
Consistency and smallness.
“Mom, what can I do to be great? Even when all the odds are against me?” asks my fictional child. Let’s name him Emmanuel—obviously we can all refer to him as Manny. Or, “The Man.”
“Son,” I reply slowly. “Be consistent, and be small. Every single day.”
Show up. Consistently.
Keep creating content.
Speak passionately to a crowd of 0.
Until you’re speaking passionately to a crowd of 3. That’s 3 whole people, with whole lifetimes of experience and memories, who have chosen to tune into your words. That’s an honor.
When everyone else has gone to bed.
When everyone else has stopped paying attention to your dreams.
When absolutely no one seems to care.
When someone has recommended to you that you stop or that you move onto something more logical (to them—major eyeroll emoji).
Until your love finds the community of people it’s most needed by.
Until people can’t help but take your concern for them seriously.
Until someone, somewhere believes in themselves again.
Not just until you hear the one thing you choose to respond to.
Not just until it gets uncomfortable.
Not only for the sake of appearances.
Not only to focus on how someone else’s words make you feel. But also to focus on how they feel.
But also to understand what people need from you.
But also to know what to create consistently, where to show up consistently, and how to love consistently.
Be small, son.
In the way you approach an important goal.
Because if you focus only on the grand dream . . .
And if you focus only on the one outcome you’re hoping for . . .
And if you care most about the final destination . . .
Then you miss the opportunity to take the steps to get there.
Then you miss the stops along the way that were meaningful and beautiful for you and for others.
Then you miss the signs that were pointing another direction—where more purpose and greatness were hiding.
Be small, son.
Let the giants and the bullies be big.
Yes, they’re hard to miss, but they’re also hard to miss. That was a play on words son. I’ll teach you how to do that one day.
Let the talkers and the faux-greats be big.
Take your small steps every single day and one day, you’ll have to look far, far, far, far back to even see a hint of the others on the horizon.
Don’t despise the small tasks you’ve been given. They are the places that form you.
Be small, son.
Because then, your beautiful, consistent, loving, wise self can surprise everyone, even yourself, with your unmatched strength.
Everything else is the easy choice. Everything else makes you feel good in the moment.
Consistency makes you do good and be good in the long run.
Consistency and small steps aren’t sexy. But anyone who has built anything worth anything in life has lived in a small, consistent, hard, ugly, grueling, confusing, wonderful place before. And not just for a day.
Wake up every single day and do the small, consistent things if you want to win at life.
. . . and that’s what I would tell my son. Because that’s the message I ignored for too long. Maybe you’ve been ignoring it too. Maybe consistently creating, and showing up, and doing the small tasks, and listening with an open heart have gotten hard . . . tedious . . . boring . . . seemingly impossible.
Maybe publishing and performing for crickets and doing things that no one sees, ever, is the last thing you want to continue to do.
But, my small ninja friend, those consistent, tiny actions all add up. As you already know, but sometimes ignore.
Have you heard the phrase, “They may have won the battle, but we’ll win the war.” or something like that? Here’s the deal. That saying can be a little misleading because the fact is, you have to show up and fight all of those small battles, and then win a lot of those small battles to actually win the war.
Show me the war where someone lost all the battles but still won. Actually. Let me quit playing like I know history well enough to know all of the wars—just roll with my point because it’s a good one.
I say all of this to ask you, the same question I had to ask myself recently, what’s the action you need to be consistently taking that you are not? For me, it was writing content on this blog again. Do you have the patience to outline and understand the small steps that go into getting control over your (a) finances, (b) business, (c) relationships, (d) house, (e) etc.? It’s been a rough journey for me to even begin these things, but I feel much better, and am much better, than when I was just sitting on the sidelines of my own game feeling sorry for myself about how much work I had to do. Work I caused by not doing all the small things each day leading up to that day on the sidelines.
Are you able to save the small amount each week, or create the extra content for your business each day, or put in the 30 minutes at the gym each day all to see . . . not immediate improvements by any means . . . but instead to see the version of yourself in the future who is grateful to the past you for doing something that seemed insignificant?
Be consistent, and be small. That’s how you win at life.
Okay, I’m done. I promise. I sat down to write a blog post filled with tips and logical points, like all my other posts, and this came out.
So I press publish not because I think this is the best blog post ever in the history of blogging, but because maybe you needed to hear it.