Set no small goals, for they lack the power to stir our souls

The last week has had an undercurrent of “Management”. It pops up everywhere. Over and over those around me tell me about their dream – usually it’s having some version of a good arts manager around them. At the same time, or occasionally instead, people want a good businessm’n around them. People are dreaming of having these sensibilities active  in their decisions/actions. Who can manage my publishing company day-to-day? Who can work me me on the management side of things while I develop my concept for a workshop I can teach art in? How do I build solid management tools into / around my wild and creative dreams? How do I keep the dream alive while introducing business plans, budgets, project plans, scenarios, then individual images  that are clear enough that employees, partners, clients GET the picture I’m working from?

Each of these people seem to want to ensure that their pet dreams, which are wild and inventive, will have enough solid coherence to be workable. Enough that our inner-manager would approve. On the other hand maybe there REALLY is “another person” who can could watch and hold it all together while we do what we do best, which is to flit, network, and dream, leaving [some of??] the details to someone else, someone more knowledgeable.

Even last night at dinner with my husband, he was deferring many of his biggest ideas to the businessman (“which I’m not”), and when the idea came up of me getting a loan he wondered about the person who could write a business plan.

Now, I want to know, is there REALLY a magical person who can do all these things? Isn’t it really sometime another employee/partner could do. Why the doubt in ourselves?

For me, it’s a partner. I want the control (it’s my baby, after all) and I want someone who thinks in the way of a manager/business person who I an bounce ideas off of. I want them to be able to pick up the bounce and run with it whenever it’s interesting to them. Of course the person I’m likely to *continue* working with is the one whose interest doesn’t interfere with my process.

Now I’ve been reading BRUCE ELKIN.

“Set no small goals,” an old saw suggests, “for they lack power to
stir our souls.”


Abraham Maslow said we long to be “that which we glimpse in our most perfect moments.” But, too often, I’ve noticed, we are afraid to act on the potential we see in such moments.

So, we react and respond to circumstances. We struggle with problems. We worry about issues. But, because we don’t know how to CREATE results, we rarely get beyond a focus on what we do not like and do not want. Our actions focus on getting rid of problems, or seeking relief from their intensity.

Getting rid of what we do not like does not often bring into being what we do like. It does not lead to us creating what we trul ylove and want to see exist. So we rarely succeed at what matters.


It’s not REALLY about getting rid of what we don’t want, I think. It’s about having a solid springboard from which to jump out very far. When pressed for specifics in the examples above, people say they want:

– a businessplan that would inspire their family (mother and brother) to invest in the creative project

– someone to handle the company day-to-day

– a plan that shows how it all fits together so I can continue to build on those strengths

– a mechanism for watching the exact trends in my spending and income and focus in more on what works

– a mechanism to project ahead from different scenarios and imagine how they might work out

– something that helps me communicate effectively with everyone what my basic idea is for this project.

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