The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
456: The Fear of Doing Something Insignificant
Oct 11, 2019
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Today on The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about the fear of doing something insignificant.

It’s very common for people to sometimes feel that their ambitions or what they do is not big enough and then beat themselves over it. This shouldn’t be the case, because of how big a goal or ambition is a very subjective issue.

In today’s episode of the show, Steli and Hiten talk about why people worry about something insignificant, why you need to define what small means to you, why the idea of being small is very subjective and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic

00:31 Why this topic was chosen.

01:40 Why people worry about something insignificant.

01:50 Why you need to define what small means to you.

05:14 Why the idea of being small is very subjective.

06:00 How people can get stuck in doing something they don’t like.

07:30 How people judge themselves based on other people’s opinions.

08:25 Why you shouldn’t be rigid about who you are.

09:44 Why you always need to access your current situation.

3 Key Points:

You have to define it.Just because you’re a founder today, doesn’t mean it should be your identity for life.You can point to some of the largest companies in the world and argue that they started too small.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti: Today on The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about, should you as an entrepreneur, worry about what you're working on being "too small", or not significant enough. Here's a few that I've seen in a million different forms, a million different times with entrepreneurs and with startups, is this fear of doing something that's too small, working on something that might not become big enough, that might not be thinking big enough. I've always been in conflict with this fear. Recently, I was talking to somebody that was working on something, I don't know, that sounds like a really, really big idea, but then when I poked why they worked on this, why she decided to focus on this, basically she was just like, "Well, it seems like a really big area. It seems like a trend. I think that this is going to become the future, and so decided to work on this." Then when I asked her what she is really passionate about, which she told me that she had this other idea that she was much more passionate about that is much closer to her heart, much more personal to her, but she decided not to pursue that idea because she felt it would be too small. Hiten, why do we worry so much about the things that we're working on as entrepreneurs being big or having big potential? Is the fear of working on something that's too small and too insignificant, is that a healthy fear, a fear that entrepreneurs should have? I thought we should tackle this and unpack it for the audience.


Hiten Shah: You have to define it. You have to define small and big. You have to really define it. I don't understand when someone says, "Hey, I'm working on something too small." I don't know what that means. That's the biggest problem I have. Is it too small of a market? Do you think you can't make enough money? Do you feel like you need to solve a bigger problem in the world because you aspire to solve bigger problems? What is it? What do you mean by too small? I think oftentimes people will have in their heads what they mean by too small and their logic is flawed. It's funny, you could point to some of the largest companies on the planet and argue that they started too small. You could point to failures that have occurred in business and the point to the fact that they were too ambitious, you know? So it was too big.


Steli Efti: Yeah.


Hiten Shah: To me, this is a completely subjective thing.

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