It's a big question. Are we playing small? And before we get started, this isn't a chastisement, this is a call to step into our greatness and make the difference we're meant to make. So, please engage with that lens in mind.
Have you ever bought something hand made with a tag or sticker that says “Made with love by…”
It’s sweet right?
And, if you’re not sure how this relates to playing small, hear me out.
Recently, I searched on Pinterest to see what other resources and communities are out there for women entrepreneurs.
I started looking over “women entrepreneurs” “growing a business” “resources for female entrepreneurs” and I noticed a theme...
I kept seeing pins like “make $100 a month on your blog” or "make your first $1 online" and things like that.
Now, while I’m not hating on efforts to pay some bills, or saving for something specific. I have so much respect for that!!
But it did strike me as being the prevalent tone of resources on that site.
Then cut to, about a week ago. I’m a part of a few Facebook groups for women entrepreneurs and I spotted this post where a user asked: If you've hesitated in starting a business, why did you do so?
The post had only gone live a couple of hours before and there were already over 300 responses, so I HAD to check them out! Essentially, 98% of them directly said “fear” - others stated concerns about money or what people would think if it failed. But one could make the conclusion that those are simply specific fears. In other words, 100% of the responses were about fear.
This doesn't surprise me. There are a lot of new things to figure out and test and try. Nothing is really guaranteed to work and even though some things will work, others won’t. And it can be tiring and isolating if you don’t have a network of people working on something similar.
Entrepreneurialism is really a dance with your fear. It's only when fear leads that dance that it starts to gain unnecessary influence over our business (and lives).
So, let’s go back to that sticker. Made with love by…
As you build your business, as you build your dreams, and what matters to you.
I ask a sincere favor of you.
Please don’t let your sticker say “made with fear by…”
Of all the things that define what we do, I’m certain we don’t want have one of those “created with fear stickers” on our work.
Yah, anything new is scary and undefined. But something that’s birthed in fear will probably not veer off that course.
And I sincerely believe that fear is one of the biggest drivers behind playing small. Hear me, I am NOT hating on efforts that start out small, or raising small ones, or anything else in life that happens to be small.
We can live in a small house or have a small family or run a small business but if we're playing small... that's the kicker. And what do I mean by that? Great question.
Let’s take a look at this from a difference perspective. Let's UnSabotage how we look at fear and it's call to play smaller.
What would happen if you played bigger?
A few episodes ago (around Thanksgiving) I did an episode where I talked about a guy named Naveen Jain. He’s currently working to mine the moon and make illness optional. NBD.
But something he mentioned in a talk I heard was this idea: if you have a dream to do something big enough, you’ll attract the best people in their areas to help you. People were giving up prestigious roles at places like MIT and Oxford to come work with this guy who dared enough to play big.
So, while it may seem scarier to play a bit bigger, you won’t be doing it alone. #mindblown
If his dream was small enough to be solvable by one person, these world-class experts would not have been drawn in. There would be no need. It's when we take a moment to ask ourselves if we're living below our potential or playing the safe game we know how to play.
If you’re wondering to yourself, “OMG, why is Ginny so set on this thought that we should think bigger?”
It’s because I believe we have the ability to accomplish so much more than most of us think we can!
Since I know most of my audience is women, I’ll speak directly to you: I believe the cure for cancer, and the solution for daunting problems like generational poverty and illiteracy are already in the mind of a woman. If only she can get her idea to market.
We as humans have the capacity to solve huge problems and so I hope you’ll take my challenge to ask yourself “am I playing too small?”
And here’s something interesting: it doesn’t take 10x the energy to build something 10x from your current idea. In fact, it might not even take a 2x of your energy to build that bigger thing. And, remember, it's the 10x ideas that attract other people. So, could it be true that if we 10x our ideas, our workload may... decrease? Or at the very least stay the same but make a MUCH larger difference?
Also, I want you to know I take my own medicine. I’ve been hosting live training events around the bay for women entrepreneurs and those who want to be someday soon, and I thought to myself, am I thinking big enough here?
Am I making a big enough difference? Am I reaching enough women entrepreneurs to start making a difference?
Can you guess what came out of that exercise? (And if you want to learn from some of the best women in their fields about playing bigger and unleveling, I’m creating something specifically with you in mind.)
I decided that a worldwide online event would be the way to gather women entrepreneurs from around the world AND gain access to high-caliber speakers who would lovingly pour into these entrepreneurs.
It's been big, it's been scary. But I'm starting to catch a glimpse of the impact it's already making and the Summit hasn't even started yet!
It’s called the UpLEVEL Together Online Summit and it’s next week! April 23-27th and you can discover more details at upleveltogethersummit.com
So join us, the experts are incredible, their teachings will blow you away and the community that’s rising up around this is remarkable.
I’ll see you next week at the summit!
So, here's the weekly challenge: Whatever you are doing, whatever you are building, take a moment and ask yourself. Are you playing big enough?
Let's make our world better through our work. Thanks for trusting me enough to take on this challenge and think bigger!