Think Big, Act Small

Aef Setiawan
3 min readMar 29, 2020

It’s been a year when I started learning about management and personal development. During this time, I try to avoid thinking big and forgot about my big dream. Of course, just for a while.

The main reason why I focused on learning about management and personal development was that I have a problem with effectiveness and productivity. For more than five years, I produced so many ideas with my fellow but none of them have significant results.

By learning management and personal development I learn practical things and non-conceptual. Even some of them are like a tutorial to make your life more manageable, more efficient and trackable. I need this kind of knowledge to achieve my big dream in an efficient way.

Since I’ve learned how to think big and act small, in this article I will share these two thinks and its effect on your life.

Why Think Big?

Thinking big means you are thinking in conceptual level, not practical. Since it is conceptual, your imagination plays dominant roles in how big you think. And behind the imagination, of course, information, knowledge, and insight have deterministic roles.

By having a big thinking model, you can tell your concept with everyone and make them impress with it. Because big thinking will touch their imagination and emotion as well. Even for me, this is the measure of how good you are in thinking big: Do ordinary people impressed with your concept?

Of course, thinking big is not a simple job. Because it has power as a fiction. Here, remember. Fiction is not a prevaricate story as most other people think. It’s a story that drives other imagination and motivation to take action. So, to measure your big dream are good or not is simple: Does it drive people and even yourself to take action? If yes, you have a good big think.

Why Act small?

The hypothesis is simple. A small action will bring massive results if in focus and consistent basis. My friend a smoker and spending money to buy cigarettes for 20.000 rupiahs each day. Or 600.000 per month. 7.200.000 billion in a year. It is proved that a small amount brings big results.

However, small or big actually relatives in the comparation. 20.000 is small for someone with 100.000.000 earning per month. But big enough with someone with 1.000.000 paycheck per month.

It is similar in business. Unicon startup such gojek for example, spending 10 billion dollars in advertising is quite small. Because they have 10 Million dollars in a bank account. But for you, who running your business with bootstrap, 10 Billion just for ads is fucking big.

Even though they spend billion, they are actually doing small actions. The principle is similar to you that has 100 dollar spending in ads. So, small is relatives depend on your capability. However, many people wrong about understanding himself and begun to compare with others and act like them.

With small action, you tend to think more realistic and avoid jargonistic. Every big concept that seems impossible will seems possible after you execute a small version of it. In startup known as Minimum Viable Product or prototype.

So, After you have a big dream make sure you planned small action and get moving forward. A small action will bring huge results when you do it inconsistent basis.