Tired of dreaming small?

On Friday, friend and client of 2.5 years, Rebecca Bass-Ching said to me, “I’m tired of dreaming small.”

Now, Rebecca doesn’t suffer from small dreams. She is an accomplished marriage & family therapist with an integrative, evidence-based practice in San Diego. Her practice includes other therapists, a dietician, massage therapist, and a yoga therapist/instructor. She’s on the hunt for more practitioners, as well.

Potentia Therapy is a big dream.

So her statement took me aback at first. I thought about it a little more.

What I think Rebecca was really talking about was the quest for something not yet envisioned — innovation.

She wants to innovate in the way she builds her practice, in the way she serves her clients, and in the way she grows her influence. She is tired of following a formula for success. She’s ready to forge her own path.

Most of us start by dreaming small. It’s the small dreams that encourage us & guide us. This regularly happens in the blogosphere. One person’s success leads to a litany of others who try to replicate it. But it also happens in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and main street. But, at some point, most of realize that dreaming small isn’t going to cut it. We wake up to the fact that things aren’t as they seem and either quit or look towards our own paths.

Of course, the difficulty in forging your own path is that you have to clear all the mental brush that stands in the way of moving in the direction of something that is not yet known.

In business, that means that you aren’t following the map of someone else’s success from tactic to tactic, but instead you are measuring every next step against the needs & desires of your customers.

Where before there was this-is-how-it’s-done imitation of others’ success, there can now be all manner of products, business models, and solutions that allow you to achieve your big dreams.

Your big dreams may take the form of an app, foundation, event, licensing, facilitation… or an as of yet unimagined kind of product.

When you’re tired of dreaming small, you’re really saying that you’re tired of dreaming others’ dreams.

Click to tweet!

You are ready to imagine all that is available to you, including that which might even have been imagined yet.

Innovation – dreaming big dreams for yourself and the people you are leading – requires unwavering confidence in your ability to deliver. It also requires the confidence to tell your customers where you want to take them. As Michael Schrage wrote, “They’re not stupid; they’re skeptical. They want to make sure they’re going in the right direction.” Offer a vision of where you wan to take your customers – through a message, an idea, a product, or a service – and they’ll gladly try something new.

The success of your business doesn’t rely on a formula — and it sure doesn’t rely on predictability.

You have the tools – a bright & clear vision and the ability to deliver – to imagine new areas to explore in your business that are anything but small.

The best thing you can do is get outside the comfort of the small dream you’ve been living up until now. Instead of seeking out the experts of the dream you’ve been dreaming, seek out the leaders of other dreams. Talk to business owners in other industries, other business models. Discover new ways of doing old things.

Allow yourself to connect the dots in different ways and you’ll find that you’ve got the schematics for a much bigger dream.

Playing Big is a Whole Life Strategy: Interview with Tara Mohr

When Tara Mohr asked her community of brilliant women what they were frustrated with in their lives, the answer was loud & clear: playing small.

They were tired of second guessing themselves, their ideas, and their callings. They were ready to step into something… bigger.

And so, Playing Big, Tara’s signature program for cultivating a bigger life on your own terms, was born. She’s now empowered hundreds of women to channel their brilliance into bigger self-expression & actualization. As you’ll hear Tara say:

Playing big is a whole life strategy. Click to tweet!

Tara’s story is important to the You Economy because it’s a double whammy. Playing Big leveraged the one-to-one work Tara had been doing all along, allowing her to scale her vision, grow her community, and get on the national stage. But the idea of playing big and the skills it requires are also an inherently important part of realizing your own power in the You Economy.

In this interview you’ll learn:

  • What does “playing big” mean?
  • “When women don’t hold back, they will naturally play huge.
  • How did women learn to play small in the first place?
  • What are some of the different ways women are playing big in this economic landscape?
  • Isn’t playing big exhausting?

To find out more about Playing Big, click here. Or visit Tara’s site and grab her 10 Rules for Brilliant Women — as seen on the Today Show.

Win a FREE ticket to The Art of Earning LIVE and learn to play a bigger game with your business in 2012!

A guest post by Tara Sophia Mohr, creator of Playing Big.

The story that Tara Gentile told here yesterday is true.

I had come across Tara Gentile via Twitter and was so impressed by her personal story. Then I had a dream that I had done a coaching session with her and it had really helped me.

Yup, a dream.

I wrote her and asked her if we could do some sessions. She said something along the lines of, “Great to hear from you! I can’t imagine I have anything to offer you, but let’s just set up a call to say hi.”

I said:  “No, I really want to pay you money. Based on your website, you seem to be very “pro” that whole thing where one person pays another for their work. May I please hire you?”

She persisted. I persisted. After some discussion, we decided to work together.

In her post yesterday, Tara talked about how working with me was a step in her own playing bigger. Believing that she could offer value required defying an inner critic who’d declared she had nothing to offer a woman who wrote for Huffington Post and sported a Stanford MBA.

Her inner critic was very wrong. I’m glad she was willing to question it, because Tara helped me transform my work into a thriving business.

Tara also helped me play bigger.
She pushed me to set higher goals for the number of people I could reach, the money I could earn, the partners I could work with. Her vision for me was free of all the stuff my inner critic and limited thinking was telling me.

Together, we looked at my passions and expertise, and discovered what my blog readers wanted more of from me. It turned out that what my audience most wanted to learn was what I most wanted to teach. My biggest passion was their biggest quest: playing bigger. Specifically, how visionary, creative, entrepreneurial women can play bigger.

From there, I developed my Playing Big program – a natural outpouring of all that I already knew from my own journey to playing bigger, from coaching other women, from my MBA training, and from a lifelong passion for helping women share their voices. Over 100 women from around the world – from Dubai to Detroit – have participated in Playing Big, and now an amazing group is signing up for round two.

It’s fascinating to me that for both Tara and I, the presence of another person helped us play bigger. That resonates with one of the big truths I know: we learn to play bigger in supportive community, in relationship.

Okay. On to the fun part.

Because I am such a fan of Tara,

because I am so passionate about fabulous women like you playing bigger,

and because I know that playing big happens because of relationship as well as tools and skills,

I’m sponsoring a scholarship spot for someone to attend her Art of Earning LIVE event Philadelphia.

I’m thrilled to foot the bill, because I know doing so advances my mission: helping brilliant, creative women stepping into their full potential.

If you’d like to enter to win the sponsored spot, ask yourself:

  • Are you ready to transform your relationship with earning?
  • Do you have the bandwidth to give time mental space to this event this year?

The scholarship covers the $1000 tuition & 3 meals; it does not include travel or accommodation expenses.

If your answer to the two questions above is yes and you can get yourself to and from Philly, please leave a comment below sharing, “What does “playing big” mean for you and your business in 2012? And what do you hope to gain from The Art of Earning live?”

Here’s to your playing big in 2012.


Tara Sophia Mohr


Here’s how it works:

  • Post your answer to Tara’s questions in the comments below by Friday, January 20 at noon Eastern.
  • Tara & I will pick a winner using good business sense & a bit of feminine intuition.
  • The winner will be contacted via email on Monday, January 23. The winner must respond via email within 24 hours.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • The winner will be announced publicly here at taragentile.com by Tuesday, January 24.

Want to share this your network? Hit the Twitter, G+, or Facebook buttons below or click to tweet below:

Win a ticket to The Art of Earning LIVE & play bigger w your biz in 2012! @taragentile & @tarasophia want YOU: http://bit.ly/y3n4SW

Click to tweet it!