“Be the big fish in a small pond.”
My dad, an entrepreneur of several successful (and completely unrelated) small business ventures, believed in this motto and focused all of his business decisions around it. He knew that mattering significantly to a few people was far more powerful in the long-run than making very little impact on a larger population.
The world is too big to reach everyone. Sure, if you’re Apple, Amazon, Zappos, Disney, or a handful of other truly influential brands, you can reach everyone, but they are certainly the minority and the exception. You are the rule. You are among the far majority – the little guys in this big ol’ world. Small companies, working hard and diving deep to reach your target markets. One brand impression a time. One new customer at a time.
It’s exhausting, and you wish a bit of luck and overnight success would just come your way. It’s the same reason you play Powerball when the jackpot is high. You think, just maybe. It might be my time. But, if you do reach that level of success it’s going to be harder to stay at the top than it is now to climb there. You’re going to be a small fish in a giant sea where it’s easy to get lost… or eaten.
Be the big fish. Reduce [your perception of] the size of your pond. Begin by isolating your industry, then your country, your state, or your region. Narrow the scope or definition of the products or services you offer. Now, work on your splash. Who do you know? How can you show and tell them who you are and why you’re remarkable. Maybe you don’t think you are, but you are. Don’t compare yourself to the other fish – they are remarkable too. But you have your own sheen and bright colors, and there are those who want to see you, know you, and swim with you. Find and focus on them.
There’s a reason they call it a “sphere of influence.” You are measured by the size of your ripple effect… and that’s always relative to the size of your pond.
#TakeAction: Make the biggest splash you can.