When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I had high hopes and unlimited energy. So I jumped in. I did everything I knew how to do to add value to others. But nothing I did was big. I started with small, seemingly insignificant steps. And here's how you can too.
1. Start where you are. Real freedom comes from being aware that we do not have to save the world, but merely make a difference in the place where we live. Where you are may not look like much, but it's a great place to start the journey. It's where you can learn to value people, work hard, stay emotionally strong, solve problems, work well with others, and lead by example. Being generous would make a greater impact. Be a river, not a reservoir. Let your gifts and ideas flow through you to others, and more will come. When you hoard, you become stagnant. Opportunity is always where you are. Just be willing to start, where you are, with what you have.
2. Start with your one thing. I believe everyone has one thing they do better than anyone else. Find your strength, your own thing, and stick with it. Do one thing exceptionally well. Excellence comes from consistently in using our strenghts. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "one is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something." Just start with what you have and do it as well as you can. Then work at it with consistency. According to Strengths Finder 2.0, every person does something better than the next 10,000. What is your one thing? What do you have the potential to do better than anyone else? Ask people who know you well, or look at your history, or take a personality or skills assessment to get clues. Don't think about what you can't do, think about what you can.
3. Start watching your words. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, "words kill; words give life. They're either poison or fruit, you choose." If you want to make a difference, and live a life that matters, you need to embrace some words and reject others. We all have a running dialogue in our heads. What we tell ourselves either encourages us or discourages us. Embrace words like: can, will, yes. And Eliminate words like: can't wont, no, quit, try. Words have power. Think positively and watch your words. Are the words you use moving you towards the person you want to be? Change words like "frustration" into "fascination"; "obstacles" to "opportunities". You can either have reasons, or results. But you can't have both.
4. Start making small changes. Mother Teresa said, "even if we helped one, wouldn't it be worth it?" It's easy to forget that someone who went on to do big things started with small changes. Change can be difficult, but it can be done if we do a little at a time. Embrace incremental change. A huge change overnight creates fear, uncertainty, and resistance. Because massive change appears unachievable. The idea of small change is less threatening, and helps us overcome our hesitation and procrastination.
Take one small step today.