Why Starting Small is a Good Thing

Don’t despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. . . Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

At tiny gecko baby

This baby gecko thinks it’s okay to start small.

We live in a world that shouts that big is best.

This is especially true in the world of blogging and writing. The message is clear: Go big or go home.

But is that the right message?

I don’t think so.

Starting small has some decided benefits.

You get the satisfaction of taking something from little to big (or medium or just a little bigger or whatever size God has called you to).

My husband used to work for one of the wealthiest men in America. The man started with nothing and built his empire from scratch. He had a sense of true satisfaction about his accomplishments.

Later he decided to give one of his businesses to his son, but the young man never had the same level of confidence as his father because he had received everything by virtue of his lineage, not through hard work.

I believe God made us to enjoy taking on a challenge and succeeding with it.

You can build a strong foundation.

Starting small gives you the opportunity to make sure that every aspect of your venture is built on a solid foundation with no cracks or holes in it. Then it will last and stand the test of time. Building deep slowly is better than building wide quickly. If whatever you’re doing does one day become big, the foundation will be there to support it. Whereas a shoddy foundation runs the risk of crumbling beneath a weighty load.

It’s more manageable to start small.

By starting small and simple, it’s less expensive in money, time, and talent. You can build little by little and add things as needed, rather than getting overwhelmed from the get go.

This also gives you an opportunity to learn all aspects of the work before delegating it away.

Less people know about your mistakes.

You will make mistakes! It’s part of the learning process. Better to make them quietly, discreetly, and with few people watching than to broadcast them to the world. Think of celebrities who have messed up big time and how hard it is to recover when the whole world is watching. Better to make mistakes when your venture is small and unknown. Get the big ones out of the way early and it will mean less trouble as things grow.

You can be personable when things are small.

I have numerous friends who have become famous writers. Back in the day when we were all starting out, we could call one another, email, get together, and it was no big deal. But these days I’d be hard pressed to contact any of those old friends. They are too hard to reach!

Starting small allows you to build relationships. You can be accessible and available in ways you might not be later on down the road. You can nurture real friendships rather than simply accumulating followers.

Too often we focus on the destination rather than enjoying the journey. Where you are today is not where you will be tomorrow or five years or a decade from now. What you diligently put your hand to will grow and change with time. But you need to enjoy the process. As the scripture says, don’t despise the day of small beginnings. It’s a blessing to start small!

Is there some area of your life where you are still in the beginning stages? If you’ll tell me about it in the comments, I’d like to pray for your venture.

Writing Prompt: Recall a time when you started something new and small. Explore how you felt and what became of your small beginning.

Gecko image by Mika Hiltunen on Flickr CC

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  1. No found this post to be really inspiration! Thanks for the words of wisdom and hope 🙂
    As for what I’m working on, I just completed my first Christian nonfiction book called *The Desire for Desire*. It’s about living in our purpose by placing God’s desire for our lives above our own. This post helped me to be at peace with the part of the process that I’m in now (sending out book proposals & queries) and to look forward to the next season.

    Thanks and many blessings of you,

    • Jarika,

      Good for your on writing a book! I like the theme of placing God’s desire for our lives above our own. That’s a much needed message. I wish you well with finding a publisher and please keep me posted.

  2. This is so perfect for my family right now. We’ve planted a church in our home and your message is so encouraging to nurture and grow carefully. Thank you for this dear neighbor! Miss seeing you out!

    • Amy, that’s so exciting! Can’t wait to see what God does! I miss you too. And I’m so ready to move!

  3. Bonita, it’s so good to see you here! I love your new “home.” I saw your comment on Emily’s post at Incourage, clicked on your name and found your new lovely blog. I love that you’re using your name and I especially love your tagline, “A Writer’s Life.” It’s perfect.

    This is a timely post. I’ve been blogging for 5 1/2 years. I’m small. I’ve liked it that way. My season of life didn’t allow for anything bigger and I’m so glad for that. But I’ve been slowly and mindfully preparing to step it up a bit. I’ve got a blog move in the works {probably less than 2 weeks away.} I’m excited and scared, still so very uncomfortable with putting myself out there and wanting instead to take shelter in what’s small and comfortable and known. But, it’s time. {I think?}

    On another note, I’ve been going back through all of my old posts {all 445 of them!} as I’m preparing to move things over. I’ve thought of you often in the process because you have been such an encourager to me in your comments. I want to sincerely thank you for that. Years later, they are still such gifts. : )

    • Marian!!! Seeing your name in the comments made my day!!

      I’m so happy for you on this new blog move. It’s a scary business, but I have no doubt that you are letting the Lord lead and it will be a grand adventure.

      Moving to this blog was scary for me too. Basically, I made the decision to let go of doing a bunch of niche things and focus here. In the process, I had to let go of a lot, including any followers I had on those other sites that didn’t follow me here. That’s a scary business when you’ve worked hard at building something for years and then you walk away, but it feels so much better to be less scattered and to treat each post like a work of art. I get to spend a lot more time on each one now, as well as more time connecting with my readers.

      Thank you for your sweet words. I’m realizing more and more that what I love to do most is encourage people in their gifts and callings. You, my sweet friend, are one of the most talented writers I know! So good to reconnect!