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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Two days ago I sat down for lunch with a new friend. He recently gave up a secure job for a chance to do something new and more challenging.

He’s has a lot more experience than me in almost every area of life but both of us have similar life situations: young families, employed, aching for something exceptional to invest in.

His new job is also a new position in his company and both he and his boss are still sorting out its potential. So in the meantime, he’s left thinking about the potential he sees but can’t grasp and the security he had but left.

So being boisterous, aggressive, and probably naïve I said he should look down the road, decide where the finishline is, and start a million little steps that get him there.

Now he’s going to say I misinterpreted this next part, and if I did – fine. It’s a pervasive way of seeing the road ahead so, if it doesn’t apply to him, it applies to lots of other people. He said:

“That might be fine for you, but I don’t have time to wait, I need to take big steps now.”

But he doesn’t. And entrepreneurs don’t either.

Three proofs that little steps are big:

Proof one: On a recent episode of the CBC’s Venture series six successful Canadian entrepreneurs were interviewed. Brian Scudamore (1-800 Got Junk?) and Jimmy Pattison (Pattison Group) were two of them. All six said one of the common denominator of their success was the decision to take risks. But here’s the important part: many small, calculated risks.

Proof two: The reason we haven’t cured cancer yet isn’t that we aren’t taking big enough steps. Science (and most other things) doesn’t work that way. The scientific method involves experimentation (tiny steps) because it’s the best way known to humanity for solving big problems. This is the power of the “B-side experiment“. Even though you have one job, you can fracture it into many facets and thereby increase your security (and likelihood of success). While each facet is vulnerable to failure, failure doesn’t need to threaten everything.

Proof three: Singing Like You Don’t Need the Money frees you from pressure to perform by finding opportunities in many places. And moving forward sideways lets you use talents and intuition that a single, dominant path might overwhelm by approaching end goals obliquely.

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