Little Things Become Big Things

Little Things Become Big Things

Little things tend to become big things in business and life. A small customer complaint is easy to fix when first raised, but much harder if you wait until they vent on social media. Research shows that when it comes to derailing your career, it often comes down to feedback you received early in your work life but didn’t take seriously enough to make improvements. Years later, with your personal brand already cemented, it takes a much greater effort to change how people see you. Countless businesses also suffer if they fail to evolve early. The folks at Blockbuster had a chance to buy Netflix on the cheap when it first appeared that the video might become passe. By the time they tried to change, the world had passed them by. Your partner tells you they need more attention and time from you. It wouldn’t take much to do it, but if you don’t, the relationship suffers years of neglect.

The same is true for big problems. This was evident to me a few weeks ago when Bill McKibben was a guest on my podcast The Way Forward-Regenerative Conversations. Bill is a noted journalist, author, and activist. He was a young journalist in the late 1980s writing for the New Yorker magazine when he wrote a series of articles on a then wild idea that humans might change the climate. In 1989, he wrote a book called The End of Nature giving him the distinction of being one of the first voices warning us about how carbon emissions could radically change Earth’s climate. In my conversation with Bill, I couldn’t help but think how things would be different right now if we had started making changes thirty years ago. The evidence was there even then, but we tend to wait until problems get big before we fix them. Bill is founder of two nonprofits, dedicated to activating change on climate and dedicated to engaging this generation of over 60’s to create a sustainable future. I think you will love listening to our conversation.

Just today an insurance client of mine was talking to me about the rise of catastrophic natural events impacting their business – from fires to floods. The cost of those catastrophic events is showing up now in our insurance bills, and in some cases, impacts our ability to obtain insurance at all. I suspect they wish more people had listened to Bill in 1989.

I can’t be sure what small problem or issue is showing up for you in your life, your community, or your business now, but I can be sure of one thing. Today is the best day to do something about it before it becomes a big problem. Little things have a way of becoming big things – consider it a maxim.

If you want to know some of the big challenges facing us as a society, please do subscribe and start listening to my new podcast The Way Forward as we explore some of the big and little things that will help create a regenerative tomorrow. I’d love your feedback on the podcast.


Dr. John Izzo has spoken to over one million people, advised over 500 companies, authored nine best-selling books, and helped some of the world's most admired companies. He has been a pioneer in creating successful businesses and emerging work trends for over twenty-five years.

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