How to do what you were put on the planet to do

She had a great idea.

Her years of experience told her that this was a problem that needed solving. Her head insisted that she had the solution. Her heart cried out that she make this her cause.

So she did. And couldn’t keep from rallying everyone to her campaign. She had the skills, the knowledge, the drive to do this. It would be her mission, her life’s work.

It was the thing she was put on the planet to do.

But, as she moved from talking about her glorious idea to specifics, plans, and how to get from here to there, the light in her eyes dimmed. Her enthusiasm bobbled.

Her mile a minute delivery slowed. She ran out of steam. And came to a halt.

Defeated before she ever began.

By the overwhelming tangle of logistical details that lay between having a great idea and creating a great business.

Taxes and accounting and corporate structure. Websites and branding and funding. Office space and employees. Clients who wouldn’t get it, bureaucrats who would throw up roadblocks.

And underneath it all, squatting like a great warty toad at the bottom of everything, was the fear that she couldn’t pull it off.

Not that she couldn’t overcome every logistical obstacle. There were courses and teachers, coaches and consultants who could hold her hand through every step and get her there.

But this: what if she wasn’t any good at it? What if she didn’t know how to speak to them after all? What if they didn’t listen to her?

What if she couldn’t actually make a difference in their lives?

This was her fear. Because her vision was all in her head. And nowhere in evidence in the real world.

She needed it to be real.

She needed proof that she did know what to say, that they would listen, that she could make a difference. That she was good enough.

She needed the confidence that would come from pulling it off, even if it didn’t go exactly according to plan. The boost that would come from rising to the challenge and handling it.

Most of all, she needed to feel the joy, the thrill of actually doing the thing that so mattered to her.

And she would know, really KNOW that this was what she was meant to do.

No amount of thinking or planning would give that to her. Only taking that action.

Once she had that, it would drive her forward. It would be the perfect foil to any fears about unmanageable logistical detail. It would keep her hacking her way through the jungle of bureaucracy and taxes because she would know it was worth it.

So I said to her:

Start small, start now.

Let go of the worries about how to get from idea to empire. Put aside thoughts of taxes and bureaucrats and corporate structure. There will be time for that.

Now: what is the smallest, soonest way to experience what you want to do? How much can we shrink it down and still preserve its meaning, its value, your sense of accomplishment?

She envisioned speaking to thousands of girls on behalf of a well-funded foundation.

That’s big, that’s overwhelming.

But, she realized, it would be enough to have just five. Five girls in a room who would hear her message and be forever different for the experience.

That we could pull off in an afternoon.

Now, I’m looking at you.

You have a great idea. And you’re in love with it. It is your meaning, your mission, your purpose.

The worst thing imaginable is the thought that you won’t actually make it happen.

That you had the vision, the knowledge, the drive. And didn’t do the thing you were put on the planet to do.

What is the smallest, soonest way for you to do what you are meant to do?

It doesn’t matter whether you speak to 5 or 500 people. It doesn’t matter whether you get paid for it. You are going to get the same joy, the same thrill of excitement, the same proof that THIS is what you are meant to be doing.

This isn’t big. This isn’t overwhelming. It’s very, very simple. And you can do it. Start small. Start now.

Now, tell me what you are going to do.

Want a hand? Start Small, Start Now: clients & confidence in 30 days will get you on your way to that biz of your dreams right now. Find out more here.


  1. Patti Pokorchak

    Wendy, I thought I was reading about myself!

    I did some ‘market research’ (when I thought I’d do some sales!) on my Small Biz Sales Coaching, launching my group coaching program on the weekend at a Mompreneurs conference and no one bought! I was devastated.

    Everyone said that I’d sell out, I thought I’d sell out. It made me question my whole idea, my new biz and everything. There is a great need to what I do, I just haven’t figured out the hook or how to sell it yet – that’s all. Plus as my wise sister says – it take patience too to launch a new biz.

    Great advice – to just start. Believe in yourself and start. So I’m going to try some new marketing material – more why you need this, more benefits, and will be speaking to a bigger more professional women’s group and just go for it! What’s the worst that can happen? It can only go up from here!

    • wendy tells all

      Patti-I could not be more thrilled with your response. That is exactly what I am trying to do-to have my readers see themselves in my stories, in my suggestions. But, it’s funny-I never would have thought that I was writing about you! You are the epitome of intrepidness and taking action.

      I am so sorry to hear about your disappointing results. We should put our heads together about this. Here are my thoughts for now: (1) you are a great question asker. Did you get any feedback from people as to why this wasn’t something they wanted to buy? (2) When you say there is a great need for your service (and I am sure there is), can you ask questions of the people who need it to find out what they want? And test their reaction? Is it your service itself? Or is it the way you are describing it that doesn’t resonate with them? (3) Did you get to show off in front of those people at the conference? Barbara always says the best marketing is showing off in front of the right people. If they saw you in action, I bet they would want some of your mojo. (4) And, finally, I have learned (and absolutely believe) that people don’t buy a service, they buy a feeling, a vision of themselves at their best. They don’t want to know why they need it-they want to know who and what they get to be with you at their side. I have said it before, but you are a powerful personality with a compelling story. To me, your example is inspiring. I would be inspired by thinking that you could show me how to be so brave, so apparently fearless.

      • Patti Pokorchak

        hi Wendy

        You’re too kind (blush, red like my jacket). You’re no shrinking violet either!

        I aspire more to being like Larry Winget, the Pit Bull of Personal Development® – on my site it says it you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone, then my coaching is not for you. Should I tone that down?

        Even the Sales Coach needs to practice her ‘spiel’ and figure out what makes people. You’re right – they buy feelings. It wasn’t really my target market, they thought $147 was a lot of money……..

        But many entrepreneurs don’t think that they need sales training – they just want to make more money more easily and get rid of sales dread, that they suck at sales. So my appeal has to be to that and not sales training…… it’s still sales coaching, just have to package it differently. I’m glad that I had the chance to trial something out.

        So my next outing – where I am speaking (I wasn’t at this one) and have a breakout session and a table- I”m sure I’ll be selling out! But my focus will be on one-on-one coaching and signing people up for 20 minute free consultations as apparently that’s what you can get people to commit to and not try to close on the spot.

        Thanks for your questions, really good to ask why not?

        • wendy tells all

          I am still working through all this stuff myself. And I would never tell you to tone yourself down! I agree with you on people needing to get out of their comfort zone, BUT, I am thinking no one is attracted to the idea of getting out their comfort zone per se. They have to be sold on what that does for them, what that gets them, how it will feel when they spit in fear’s face. Something like that.

          From what I am seeing about sales-everyone seems to be terrified of it-and they shpiels I am seeing about it that people are responding to are to stop thinking about it as selling and start thinking about it as a conversation. Get rid of the idea of pushy and discomfort, and introducing the idea of a chat and getting to know each other. Also, the idea (this one from Marie Forleo, actually), that if you had a cure for cancer and didn’t tell people about it and urge them to try it-you would be doing the world a disservice. And to think of your own service in that kind of light. I think that is powerful stuff.

          My advice to you would be to spend some time online and see how others are talking about sales and marketing and see if that sparks something in you-positive or negative reactions. It’ll be fun, and I know you’re a life long learner, so it’s up your alley.

          Just a random thought-I am thinking people want to avoid sales because they are afraid of (1) how it will make them feel and (2) how they will appear to others. What if you demonstrated a conversational sales technique with them as the prospect so they could experience how it feels on the other end (without telling them that that is what you are doing). Then you tell, them, teach the technique and reverse it so they can feel it from the sales person’s side. Maybe? Good luck!

  2. Liz P.

    OOF! Right in the stomach, heart, and brain Wendy! Brilliant.

    I’m still fighting through my fear realizations and trying to identify my something small. 🙂

    • wendy tells all


      Thank you so much! Though you sound like I made you a bit sick! Sorry. My advice would be-hone in on the heart of what you want-the actual activity (speaking, writing, designing, building, persuading, teaching, etc.) that makes you want to do the whole thing, and see if you can get a bit ‘o that in your life. 🙂

      • Liz P.

        Haha not sick! Just a very visceral response — that whole “wow I’m totally guilty of this” stomach twinge, with the heart yearning/hopes/dreams, and the brain completely against all steps out of the comfort box. You’re totally right, honing in on the heart will probably be the most conducive to progress!

        • wendy tells all

          You’re going to do it. You just need a little down time to recover from the other punches in the stomach, heart and brain you have sustained. You’ll get there. I’ll make sure you do.

  3. Karlyn

    No truer advice! 🙂 I hope to get in front of those girls in the fall when I lead a discussion around the Miss Representation documentary! YAY.


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Wendy White - Messaging strategist for coaches & consultants

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