Little Steps Lead To Big Steps

The famous Chinese proverb stating that 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' is often wrongly accredited to Confucius, but whether it was him, Lao Tzu, or it is simply used in everyday life, does not alter the fact that it is, of course, true. And it is just as true that little steps normally lead to big steps.

That other saying that ‘you must learn to walk before you can run’ says essentially the same thing about little steps leading to bigger ones. That is, that in business, as in everything else, we must start to move in the direction that we want, and then start to gain momentum as the founders and the whole team gain experience and understanding of exactly what works best.

Inevitably, along that journey there will be many obstacles to overcome, and sometimes we will have to take a detour, whilst at other times we might even trip and fall, but it is important to pick ourselves up, point ourselves back in the right direction, and get going again. But every step we take will take us closer to our goal, even if that goal moves and expands over time. What will also happen is that those initial small, tentative steps will get bigger and bigger, and the pace will increase. The bigger the steps, and the quicker that we make them, the more progress we make in a shorter time towards our desired goal.

It will not be long before what seemed to be large steps at the outset, are seen as being very small ones when compared to the size of the steps taken at the present time as you progress along your journey. Hiring your first member of staff can be a big issue, but hiring your tenth or your twentieth seems to be much less so.  Just as taking your first office is a major decision, expanding the office space or getting a second office, is again much less daunting.

Indeed, for entrepreneurs that are more determined to succeed, and for those wanting to learn to take those next steps as quickly as possible there are a number of ways of doing this. Those first small steps are so important in building confidence and starting to move in the right direction as well as gathering momentum that it is crucial that these are done correctly. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by using all available help, whenever and wherever it can be found – from one off help to long term partners and advisors. In simple terms, this can be like transforming a novice lone driver trying to find their own way somewhere without a map, to them getting an experienced navigator onboard and using a first rate satnav.

By taking the right decisions at the right time, and carefully picking your travel partners, it will not only make those first steps easier, but it will also ensure that those tentative first steps very rapidly become confident big steps. And it is those big, confident steps that are taken in rapid succession that are the ones that are going to transform your business.

I started this week with a saying that is often wrongly attributed to Confucius, and I will end with two quotes that were are actually from him. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” and whatever steps are taken in business this is important. The other quote is “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”, so make sure that those little steps become big steps.

15th June 2021


in British English


to prosper or cause to prosper vigorously and rapidly