I have a button collection — political buttons, advertising buttons, “flair” — you name it, and I likely have one.  That is because my collection amasses 10,632 and counting!  It takes the entire length of my basement, floor to ceiling, to display.

I started collecting buttons quite by accident.  In 1970 (I’ll say it for you: it’s before many of my readers were even born), I hung a few “smiley face” and “peace sign” buttons on a bulletin board.  My family thought it was a collection, so my grandma brought home a few advertising buttons from work, and one thing led to another — now here I am.  One plus one more plus one more, etc. equals ten thousand.

Not quite to that extreme (yet), but the same thing happened with writing a blog.  I had my leadership dots blog address since 2010, but did not write one entry until one year ago today.  Since then I have written 365 musings.  And counting.  

I started on Saturday, June 2 — an odd time to start, but I knew Mike started his new job on Monday, June 4 and I wasn’t sure I could figure out how to publish.  So I thought I needed to test it on Saturday, lest I need to call up Mike for “Geek Squad” assistance.  I didn’t, but then I had started, so of course I had to do June 3, and then every day since.

Both of these are examples of the power of starting.  If someone would have said collect 10,000 buttons or write 100,000 words, it would have been daunting.  But a few buttons I could do, and today’s entry I could manage.

Whatever your goal, the hardest part is the first five minutes of it.  Once you drag out the lawnmower, the grass is as good as cut.  Once you write page one, you’re on the way to a dissertation.  If you take a lesson, you’ll be skiing down the slopes in no time.  If you put your Nikes on, you’re halfway around the block before you know it.

If you’ve taken away anything from this blog, I hope it’s that little things do add up to become big things — if you just begin.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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