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.