Reminder for the New Year


Dream big, start small.

The bestselling author, successful entrepreneur and powerful speaker Bo Sanchez was once asked what could be his advice specially as one starts the New Year and this was part of his answer. “Dream big, start small.”

This resonated much to me so here I am relaying this wise advice as our guide as we continue our journey this year 2016.

Take note that it is ‘dream big, start small’ NOT ‘dream big, start big.’

We agree that dreaming big is important. We often hear the line, ‘Think BIG!’ When we dream big, we enlarge our vision and we challenge ourselves. This moves us to become much better than what we are today.

But why can’t we start big? Isn’t this necessary for us to accomplish our big dreams? Big dreams require big actions but it does not mean that it has to be done at one time. It has to go through small steps. It has to go through a process.

Why does it have to be small? It is because as someone who is starting something new, it is expected that you will fail. And failures are necessary because we learn from them. As someone who is starting, most likely, the resources are limited. While failures are needed, they also have costs. When we start small and we fail, the cost could be bearable. But when we start big and we fail, the cost could be unbearable. It could even be paralyzing.

The call then is to start acting on the big dreams that we have beginning at a small scale. As we move, we stumble and fall, and we learn from these experiences. Then we stand again and start again. And the journey continues.

As we walk on, we move forward, grow and progress.

If we take a look at nature or the basics of life, we can see the very core and application of this concept. For example, a baby that is learning how to walk – at the very first moment, the baby doesn’t walk immediately. It starts with the roll, then the crawl, then the kneel, then the stand, then the fall, then the stand again and fall again and stand again, then the step, and then another step, and then another until the baby learns to walk. In between would be a lot of falling down and a lot of assistance from mom and dad. The baby does not walk immediately. If the baby would attempt to walk immediately, …I can’t even imagine how that would work. It has to go through the process and time. But after he knows how to walk, he would then do a fast walk, and eventually run!

I also like the concept used in Robert Kiyosaki’s board game called the Rat Race. In the game, there is what he calls ‘small deals’ and ‘big deals.’ These are opportunities that come along the way of the player. If at the first part of the game, the player came across a ‘big deal’ which could possibly give him a high return or income, most likely he won’t be able to grab the opportunity yet. Yes, even if he would supposedly earn much from it. Why? It is because the ‘big deal’ would require a ‘big requirement’ in terms of a big investment or a huge purchase price. If someone is starting, normally he still doesn’t have that gigantic pool of resources to cover such requirement. Aside from the monetary requirement, the mindset may not be mature yet and the skill-set is not yet honed.

When can the player take the ‘big deals’ then? It would take time. What happens is that he would be coming across some small deals. At times, he would let them pass while at other times, he would take them. After several small deals, he would gain from them. He would learn from his right decisions but also much more from his misses. Eventually, with appropriate application of his learning, he would be able to accumulate resources in time when a ‘big deal’ comes to the picture, he would be ready – not just with the monetary resources but also with the proper mindset and skill-set to be able to grab the opportunity offered by such huge deal and be able to maximize the potential return it offers.

The concept works all around. When I was taking my driving lessons, I learned that I cannot go to the third gear immediately. It could not go through. I should start with the first gear, then to the second gear before I could move to the third gear.

Yes, let us dream big but start small. This is a fundamental strategy we need to be reminded of. A simple concept but could be difficult to apply – especially when we want instant and high reward. Unfortunately, those ‘instants’ wouldn’t happen. Even if it happens, it would instantly slip away!

As we begin this New Year, we embark on a new chapter in our journey. We refresh our vision. We cast our big dreams. And begin strategically with the small deals, as appropriate. In time, we hope that we become ready with the big deals to come our way.

(Chris Dao-anis/CPA, as an author and speaker, helps aspiring and young professionals become better communicators and leaders. His first book ‘The Gift of the Ordinary’ is available in Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Upper Session Road, Baguio City and in Central Bookstores (Cebu and Metro Manila). For resources and seminars, visit or email