May 29, 2023

The Small Stuff

Don't sweat the small stuff. But also: do sweat the small stuff.

Sometimes the small stuff matters, sometimes they don't. For example, Ramit Sethi tells us not to ask $3 questions. We should be asking $30,000 questions. Instead of stressing over whether to buy a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks, we should think about negotiating our salary or moving to a smaller house just outside of the city.

The point is to get the big things right, and not overthinking the small things that barely make an impact.

This same concept can also be applied in business and marketing. Nail the big things, and you won't have to worry about the smallest details.

But sometimes, the small stuff matter more than the big ones. Because they accumulate. They compound. And they can make a huge impact.

Like the dishes that pile up in the sink. Or the small expenses that add up when the credit card's due. Or the small mistakes that push the project's timeline and affect all the other processes.

How you do anything is how you do everything. You are the small things that you do. They're part of your identity, as much as (maybe more than) the occasional big things. Like the consistent, daily acts of love that makes you a good, reliable partner, rather than the grand gestures influenced only by social expectations.

The small stuff also matters in the pursuit of excellence. The details matter. Excellence is excellence. There are no shortcuts, no settling for "enough." It is in every act you do.

Before you sweat the small stuff, think about the impact they have—individually and cumulatively. And choose which ones deserve your time and energy.