I had this friend back in college who complained a lot about his finances, always going on about how broke he was all the time. Whenever I rode around in his car though, I couldn’t help noticing all the spare change thrown carelessly across the seat cushions and floorboards. Sure, it probably wasn’t more than $5 - nothing that would make much of a dent in this guy’s bank account - but still . . . it was money. A dime alone doesn’t seem like much, but 1,000 of them? That’s 100 bucks.
I have another friend who just started her own business-related blog a few months ago. Writing’s never been her strong suit, so I volunteered to edit her posts . . . nothing much, just making sure the grammar made sense. She’s politely declined my offer several times now, but I’ve noticed that her posts are peppered with spelling errors, run-on sentences, missing punctuation, and the occasional incorrect word usage (They’re instead of Their). In the grand scheme of things this isn’t a huge deal, but nonetheless, small mistakes like these make her and her business look bad.
It’s Okay: Sweat The Small Stuff
There’s a saying that’s become part of our cultural lexicon, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. No doubt you’ve heard this one before; perhaps you even own the book by Richard Carlson. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the statement as it applies within certain contexts, but there are other times when ignoring the small stuff can cause us to miss out on a potentially bigger opportunity lying in wait.
Getting back to the whole spare change thing: I once paid for a round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii - about $600 at the time - and I did it all with my loose change. Whenever I had any coins leftover from some transaction - quarters, dimes, nickels, and even pennies - all of them went right into an empty Sparklet’s water bottle. Eighteen months later I had more than enough money to fly to Honolulu and back.
Small things definitely add up. Even an idea that begins small can, with time and dedication, slowly blossom into something much bigger.
Let’s say you only have an hour each day to work on something, like maybe that novel you’ve been itching to write. If you devote just that small amount of time to it every day, in a year you’ll have logged 365 hours worth of work. Depending on how you write and whether you’re an ‘edit-as-go’ type, that’s a first draft at least. Spend the next year polishing it up - again, only an hour per day assuming that’s all you can muster - and you’ve done it: you’ve written a novel.
Last I heard, that friend of mine from college was still broke, and the blogger? While I certainly hope that people don’t notice the blunders in her posts, they could unintentionally harm her business if left unchecked.
Always pay attention to the small details, and don’t ever take them for granted . . . remember, even a penny is worth something.
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