by

by

Vincent Pugliese

The Power Of Being Small

Good things come in small packages. For those of us who vertically challenged in elementary school, we were destined to hear that phrase a number of times growing up. When it comes to business, small is underrated. It’s under appreciated and it’s especially undervalued. 

When it comes to entrepreneurship- especially lifestyle businesses- small is often an advantage, not a hinderance. Whether it’s because of ego, insecurity or the belief that impact with be more significant by being bigger, so many entrepreneurs step over the idea of the power of being small for the perceived richness of big. 

What they miss during that step over are all of the advantages that you receive by being small that you actually lose by being big. Think of the solopreneur specifically who wants their business to be huge. Let’s take that literally for a moment. Even though they are wanting big, everything they use to their advantage is small. 

Sitting inside of a coffee shop, or along the beach, they sit back with a small laptop on the table, a small phone in their pocket and a small table to get work done. None of it is big. And none of it is needed big to make a large impact. As they work, they probably don’t have a big, bloated staff. They don’t have big board rooms, big meetings or big corporate expenses to deal with. 

They are small. And they are powerful. 

When you are small, you can write a blog post like I am this morning without oversight, layers of red tape and corporate policies to wade through. I can also be honest, myself and daring if I’d like. When you are small, you can talk to your people directly. One of the saddest parts of businesses that go from small to big is how they lose touch with the people who love them the most, the ones who helped them become who they are. 

Now, small doesn’t mean thinking small. But small allows you the nimbleness and flexibility to shift, pivot and adjust quickly to changes you’d like to make. It gives the wiggle room to decide quickly when something isn’t working that big companies just can’t do. The bigger you get, the slower you move. As you grow in size, you have more people to slow things down. 

Podcaster Joe Rogan recently had an episode that was downloaded more than 60 million times. One man interviewing another. Two microphones. One room. Huge impact. So much so that his numbers are crushing the big cable news shows. You know, the ones with the big budgets, the huge staff and the limited flexibility. 

Rogan- or any podcaster or writer- can go where the big guys and girls can’t. While they have forced themselves into a certain narrative, the small can pivot quickly. Instead of canned segments that need to fit large formatting and advertising, someone like Rogan has the freedom and flexibility to record a three hour show that becomes the most downloaded podcast episode in the history of podcasting. 

Small is the new big, and big things do in fact come in small packages. And it couldn’t come at a better time for the throngs of burnt out corporate employees who are looking to stop doing meaningless work for large corporations and begin doing work that matters to them and the people who care. 

 

If you want to hear a story about how a small barbecue joint in Texas is doing big things while remaining small, check out todays edition of the The Total Life Freedom Podcast titled The Power of Being Small. 

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How (And Why) We Should Accept Compliments

I’ve never been good at accepting compliments. Now don’t get me wrong. I want the compliments- sometimes way too often. I have craved the compliments but I was never good at accepting them. WIth that,  I was called out publicly a few years ago on a mastermind call that I was on with John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneurs on Fire. I don’t remember who it was, I think it was Roger Whitney, the host of the Retirement Answerman Podcast who gave me the compliment. Roger is my friend yet the compliment took me by surprise. Others in the group agreed with him and I responded with a very muted, okay, thanks, or the whole ‘it’s no big deal’ type of thing. And John called me out on it, which I so appreciated as painful as it was in the moment. And this is why I love masterminds. And why I love accountability. I don’t respond well when people complain about judgment or they say ‘who are you to question me on what I did’? You can have a great life- go do your thing-  but we’re not going to relate. I like challenges,. Especially when they come from people care about me. And if you can’t take constructive criticism from somebody who cares about you, you’re always going to be limited in your growth. So some people can call it criticism, but it was one of the best pieces of advice.  John basically said to me, don’t do that. You need to be able to handle compliments better than you do. And he explained that we are diminishing the other person’s gratefulness by doing that. And I’ve never really thought of it that way. Actually, I know I’ve never thought of it that way. I always thought that I was being humble. I didn’t want to brag. I didn’t want to pound my chest and say, yeah, I did do that. Nobody loves somebody that does that. But there’s a big difference between being quiet, defensive, and evasive than there is from the bragger. It’s actually two ends of the spectrum and neither of them are good. So I’ve met John many times. I’ve seen him at conferences. He gets swarmed by people, often people that want to tell them how much he’s helped them with this podcast. And he mentioned to me how he handles compliments. He handles it with a lot of gratitude and appreciation and he makes sure that there’s the big smile that goes with it. As well as a giant, thank you. And the appreciation for this person to go out of their way to give him a compliment. You have to understand the true thankfulness does not give off an appearance of vanity or excessive pride. What you are doing is you are appreciating that person’s compliments and giving them recognition. Now I’m going to guess that if you’re listening, you probably don’t go overly crazy on self praise. It’s just a guess. I’m also going to guess that you might go way on the other end and you might deflect or even feel uncomfortable but what’s even worse is if you reject it. But when you reject the compliment, you are not only  downplaying yourself, but you’re downplaying them as well. And without meaning it you’re downplaying their intelligence because if they truly believe in what you did and they’ve truly given you a great compliment, and you tell them that it wasn’t any good or it really wasn’t worth it, Basically what you’re telling them is that their opinion is an accurate. It’s an insult to the person giving you the compliment. So when you reject or deflect a compliment, what you’re really doing is you’re projecting the idea that you have low self esteem. I’m sure you’ve had it where you’ve given a compliment and it’s been blown off. It’s happened to me. And I don’t know about you, but I feel that way. I feel like I gave a compliment, I believed in them and they didn’t believe in themselves. And it made me feel like maybe I was wrong in thinking that way. Somebody else we might want to avoid when you’re in that spot is to get into a compliment comparison. Have you ever done it? When somebody gives you a compliment and you have to give them a compliment right back. Someone says, ‘Your hair looks great! And you immediately respond with ‘Oh, your hair looks great too!’. And they’re like, I’m wearing a hat. And you might think, why couldn’t I just accept their compliment? Instead, I needed to give it right back. And now it seems phony because what will happen is you’ll come across insincere. So to begin with you’re deflecting, you’re getting it away from yourself, which goes back to what we talked about earlier. But you have to think about this- were you really going to compliment that person on what you did compliment them on? Would you have just walked up to that person and said, ‘Your hair looks great today’ when they’re wearing a hat? No, of course you wouldn’t. It’s got to be sincere. It’s got to be meaningful. And it’s got. to be honest. So stop doing that.

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