What it means to be small

Small feet, big shoesAs a small businessperson, the question of size will be central to your life.

I’m around five feet two, which makes me a small businessperson in more ways than one and means that smallness has always been an issue for me.

When you’re small, it seems as if the big guys are always looking down on you. Some will look right over your head. And others will find it hard to take you seriously.

Those who have achieved height might be inclined to take you under their wing, to patronise, nurture or control you. They may assume that smallness implies immaturity, naivety, perhaps even weakness.

But in reality, being small – whether as a person or a business – often means that what you lack in size you make up for in personality.

I’ve learned to overcome the challenges of smallness by:

  • understanding that personality is more important than size
  • putting my hand up or raising my voice (literally and metaphorically) to be noticed in a crowd
  • building resilience against those who try to control, patronise or cut me out of the picture altogether

In a business context, if a bigger businessperson tells you your business model can’t work, it’s most likely because your smallness is threatening to them.
If this happens to you – which it most likely will at some time in your small business career – remember the rules of rocket science: stick your hand in the air, dazzle them with your personality, and show them not only that it can be done, but exactly how to do it.