Think Small

I love learning about people’s favorite movies. Most often, they take a small story and make them big (Good Will Hunting), or take a big story and make them small (Saving Private Ryan).

Don’t try to be big.

Instead, think small.

Argo tells a small piece of a story within a larger narrative. You’ve Got Mail is about one relationship in a big city. The Kings Speech (my favorite movie) isn’t about Great Britain’s empire or about a world war. It’s about how one friendship helped one man overcome.

Your favorite movie is probably small. Your favorite movie isn’t Troy. Unless you’re an adolescent, it probably isn’t even Avengers. We like stories that are about people. We like people that are about people too. This reminds me of this quote from Mother Teresa,

“If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”

– The only person who is both a Saint and won a Noble Prize


If you write, write small. Write and create for one small audience.

If you speak, speak small. Talk to one person as specifically and with as much presence as you can muster.

If you build a business, build it for a person. If you serve one person really well, I bet you’ll create something worth investing in.

If you create it for the masses, it will likely be lukewarm. And if you try to build it for the everybody, it will fail.

I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time – just one, one, one. So you begin. I began – I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up forty-two thousand….The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community. Just begin – one, one, one.

St Teresa

Build it for one. It might just be someone’s favorite.

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