Start small. That was the line from the invitations to our Craft + Story “thanks for helping me launch” party. It started as a way to make light of how tiny my new company was. We have no big names, no outside funding, no award-winning website, and I’m the only employee. Frankly, I was nervous about all of that at the time, and I just wanted to acknowledge that, yes, I knew I wasn’t becoming one of the big boys. My wife and our friend Erin took those words, though, and turned them into something else. As they wrote it on coffee cups and treats (for my guests) and etched it onto a bottle of Scotch (for me), it became a rallying cry. Start small!
I realize now that starting small isn’t a weakness. My dad started small with his one-person company to bring musical education into daycares and schools, and I still hear from students whose lives were changed by him. My mom started a small desktop publishing company that helped her raise me as a single mom and introduced me to the world of computers. They never had a choice to start bigger, but they worked with what they had to build a better life for their only son.
So, “starting small” has now become an asset for Craft + Story. I’m no longer ashamed of my single-person company or our lack of awards and “brand equity” in the community. We might get bigger. We might become better known. Even if that never happens, I learned that my job is to do the best with what I have right now.
That means I’m going to stop writing so I can go and work on a website for my new client. He’s launching a new church this year, and he asked for my help. Right now, it’s just him and a handful of advisors. It’s pretty small, and we’re both okay with that.