“Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.”
That’s what Tim Ferris advises.
Hell, even Arnie has been banging the drum of “never think small, think big,” on his “Be Useful” book tour.
And I get it, I do – Think Big! It’s a powerful mantra.
But is “thinking big” the only way to go?
And if not, what’s the alternative?
When I first started coaching, I wasn’t looking to be the next Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard or Robin Sharma.
These figures have empowered millions worldwide. Penned numerous NY Times #1 Best Sellers, and built vast business empires.
For someone just stepping into this arena, aspiring to such great heights felt overwhelming and borderline delusional.
The more I talked with other coaches, the more I realised thinking big was disempowering.
Its emphasis on scale and global impact wasn’t resonating for those starting out.
So, I began thinking what could be a more fitting mindset for up-and-coming coaches?
My reflections suggesting that maybe, just maybe, there are more ways to succeed than thinking big.
The philosophy of coaching small
In a world obsessed with size, ‘coaching small’ is the art of maximising impact by minimising distractions.
Focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Setting an intention to be the best you can be, rather than comparing yourself to others.
It’s about embracing the power of 1%.
Feeling confident to take that next step.
Searching for tiny margins of improvement in everything you do. And committing to making small improvements daily.
Ultimately, ‘coaching small’ is about taking meaningful action. Slowing things down and creating a ripple effect of positive change.
Here are 6 suggestions to apply this philosophy to your coaching practice:
1. The 1-page website
Start simple. A single-page website powerfully conveys your philosophy, services, and values without overwhelming visitors.
This approach is not only cost-effective but keeps your message clear and focused.
2. Create a waiting list
Instead of mass marketing, cultivate exclusivity and anticipation.
A waiting list for your services can heighten interest and value, allowing you to better qualify and understand your clients.
3. Specialise relentlessly
“A good restaurant does one thing brilliantly. A bad one does fifty things badly.” Gordon Ramsay
Embrace Gordon’s wisdom: do one thing brilliantly.
Identify your unique strength in coaching and focus solely on that.
It’s easier and more impactful than trying to cover every base.
4. Grow one client at a time
Forget mass digital marketing. Instead, ask, “Who can I serve today?”
Focus on one-on-one interactions to build your client base with genuine, lasting connections.
5. The tiny newsletter
Start a newsletter with a personal touch.
Write as if you’re speaking to one person, sharing insights and advice.
This builds a community anchored in authenticity and personal connection.
6. Embrace small wins
Encourage yourself and your clients to value incremental progress.
Celebrate the small victories and consistent efforts that lead to significant, sustainable growth.
One tiny step at a time
Valuing small, consistent steps over sweeping changes, builds resilience and cultivates long-term success.
I remember my first, torturous attempts at meditation.
5 minutes felt like 50 minutes. I couldn’t sit still for second.
Now 28 years later, it’s grown into a profound practice.
Each tiny breath, seemingly insignificant, has contributed towards my well-being.
The philosophy of “coaching small” offers a transformative approach. Particularly for those at the start of their coaching journey.
“Thinking big” doesn’t necessarily equate to success.
The power of starting small, allows you to focus on what truly matters.
Creating meaningful impact in a manageable, sustainable way.
By simplifying your approach, you can hone your skills and build your confidence. Cultivating a more authentic connection with your clients.
If the world feels daunting, consider embracing the magic of “coaching small”.
It’s not just a strategy. It’s a mindset to celebrates progress, personalisation, and the power of incremental growth.