Or How Small Steps Can Take You To Big Places.
In January 2012 I decided to do a small thing, and conduct a personal annual review. I scribbled a few things I’d like to achieve on a piece of paper. It was an easy, small thing.
One of those goals was to attend a conference. Simple as that. It gave me a lot of scope to succeed.
The conference I chose was the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. Booking that was easy too. A few clicks of a mouse, and a few hundred dollars. Not insignificant, but the consequences of not following through were low.
Getting there was a slightly bigger deal, as it involved flying from the UK to the US, but really, that was another easy thing. Get on a plane and go – something I’ve done hundreds of times before.
Getting given $100 was in some ways huge, but in others, still a small thing. I spent a lot more than $100 dollars attending the conference, so financially it made no difference. I could also have given it to charity and still been happy that it was put to good use.
Deciding to do more than that, and publishing the post about The Hundred Dollar Club felt huge – but in reality it was small. The consequences were nothing. I could take it down in the worst case.
When people responded, that was great, and unexpected and probably the biggest element in this story, But we’re talking about a response from 22 people, not a huge army of followers. Another relatively small thing.
After that I didn’t post here for two months. The next small thing was to write for 15 minutes, and not even publish it. A tiny thing, which led to getting regular posts flowing again, and great feedback from people reading.
Speaking for 140 seconds at the London Icarus session seemed bigger, and I was nervous. But it was tiny. There were only 30 people there, they were all friendly and my talk was less than two minutes long.
Answering the request for people to speak at Seth’s event in London was easy. A simple form to fill in, took only a few minutes.
Getting an email saying Seth would like me to speak – daunting, but small.
So this puts us at Last Thursday night. Me speaking on the same stage as Seth Godin in front of 600 people. Something which I wouldn’t have thought possible this time last year.
Something that happened so gradually I didn’t really notice.
Don’t get me wrong, this is also small. 140 seconds of talking is not exactly giving a TED talk. But, this is another step along the journey.
Me of a year ago would not have been able to do it. I might have thought I could, but I would have found a way to make it not happen. Some other commitment that took priority, or another plausible, but not real excuse to myself.
The difference from last year? Accepting that things might not work, but giving them a go anyway.
I’m now wondering where else things might flow from here, and hoping that this will seem another small step when I look back.
What small steps are you taking this week?
If you’re interested in hearing my 140 seconds, you can find it from around 6:45 here. I’m not sure how authorised this recording is, but I’m glad it was taken of my part anyway.