how to think big and start small

How To Think Big And Start Small

There lived a man who loved apples very much. Apple was his favorite fruit. He had to take it after every meal. He could sometimes eat apples alone for a meal and be satisfied.

But buying apples was costing him so much money. He began to think of how he could keep getting the same number of apples but at less cost.

“Why not plant an apple tree?”, his friend advised him one day. “You could then eat as many apples as you want, and you will pay nothing.” This advice was good, and the man followed it.

Five years later, this man had, not just one apple tree, but a whole apple orchard.


Everybody has already been given that advice –

Think big, start small. 

Unfortunately, not everybody really understands how that works. 

Easy enough to ask you to think big, but easier said than done. How do you know when you are thinking big? What is the size of big? A million dollars? A billion? Founding the highest valued company in the world?

How big is big?

And then there’s starting small. How do you start small? Is it by opening a small kiosk by the street corner? Starting a small business in your room? Borrowing money from friends and family?

What exactly is small?

And then there’s the concern of thinking big and starting small. Is it even good advice? Considering some of the largest companies in the world today, will starting small not be playing small?

Let us answer that with lessons from the story.

What happened? How did that man have an apple orchard instead of an apple tree? 

Five years ago, before his friend advised him to plant an apple tree, he was fantasizing, “How I wish I could get all the apples I could eat!”. Then his friend advised him to plant an apple tree and he thought, “What if I had a whole orchard instead?!”

But an apple orchard does not come out of thin air. So, he planted, not an apple tree, but an apple orchard.

How did this man apply the wisdom of think big, start small?

To think big, he did not stop with a single apple tree. No. He thought of many apple trees.

And to start small, did he plant a single apple tree and then wait until after five years to get fruits from that one so he can plant them? No. He started small by planting the apples five years ago. And he started small by planting many trees five years ago.

That is the correct application of starting small.

Can you see the lesson here?

Thinking big means thinking as big as you can. What if you could have an apple tree? Let’s make that an orchard of apple trees. How about having a business that sells apples? Even better, creating a company that turns those apples you harvest into apple drinks, and selling that all over the world?

Imagine the biggest you can go. Then multiply that by three. Keep doing that until you feel uncomfortable and begin to doubt if it’s possible to accomplish such a thing. That is how to think big.

And starting small means starting with ALL THE RESOURCES currently at your disposal. Is there an opportunity to borrow money from friends and family, so you can buy more apple seedlings? Maybe there is a piece of idle land somewhere around you, which you could speak to the owner to lease out to you until you get enough money to buy it? Perhaps there is an organization granting a five thousand dollars grant to business owners?

Start with every resource at your disposal RIGHT NOW. That is how you start small. Not by planting a single apple tree and praying it becomes an orchard sometimes in the future. That may work, but you may already be an old man/woman before that dream comes true.

After all, you cannot compare a baby elephant to a baby chicken. Both of them are born small, but different kinds of small. You want to make sure your small is the elephant kind of small.

Samuel is an avid reader and a freelance writer, in that order. He fancies himself funny, but his friends regularly don't laugh at his jokes. I have been a student of personal development for several years, and I created this blog to share my knowledge with others and help them become better versions of themselves.

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