The Power of Big Things

The Power of Big Things

Small Changes Add Up. So Do Big Changes

I love to read and write about the power of SMALL things, and I’ve seen the power of little activities to add up in my life over time. For example:

      • In guitar. When I started playing guitar, I practiced every day for at least an hour for 365 days straight. I didn’t get much better on any given day, but after a year I had a great head start on my life in music.
      • In business. At NYC Guitar School we answer the phone not on the first ring (too abrupt) or the third (takes too long) but the second. That may seem like a small thing, but I know it is one reason why over 1,000 new students joined our school this year.
      • In health. I made a deal with my daughters that any time I ate after 9:30pm I’d pay them each $25.06. Since then they’ve each made a total of $75.18, and that little difference of not snacking late at night is one reason why I weigh less than I did in high school.

Compound interest is real. Small things add up into big difference!!

But today I want to talk about BIG things creating big differences. Because I have to admit that there are pivotal moments.

      • In music. When I began performing in a weekly open mic with songwriters and guitarists who were way better than me, I ended up writing hundreds of songs, joining a band, and getting signed to a label. Leveling up my cohort made the difference!
      • In business. Deciding to open a second location of NYC Guitar School in Brooklyn wasn’t an incremental change: it transformed us into a chain, forced us to improve our curriculum, training and management, and created a pattern for opening more locations.
      • In health. My mom told me that she regretted not immunizing me against whooping cough when I was a baby. I nearly died before I turned one. But think of all the times I didn’t die from smallpox, polio, hepatitis, and especially tetanus (as a boy I was drawn to rusty nails and barbed wire) thanks to the immunizations she got me after I got better!

These aren’t the “1% improvements” I love to talk about. These are changes which alter trajectories.

So yes, being kind to a loved one every day and saying “hello” and “goodbye” add up over time and can make a big difference in a quality relationship, but so can a weekend away (or deciding who to marry).

Investing 10% of your income will make you more financially secure, but so can choosing a more affordable apartment (or changing your career).

And putting your guitar next to your couch and practicing after dinner will undoubtedly make you a better guitar player, but joining a class, signing up for an open mic, or joining a band might transform you from a practicer into a player and performer.

Let’s take care of the little things.

But what about the big things?

What is something you can do to change the trajectory of your life?

On To Greatness,

Dan Emery


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Dan Emery is dedicated to Coaching Personal Greatness, One Lesson At A Time. He is the founder of NYC's friendliest and fastest growing guitar schools, New York City Guitar School, Brooklyn Guitar School, Queens Guitar School and NYC Guitar School, East, and the author of the Amazon best-selling Guitar For Absolute Beginners and six other books on learning guitar and deliberate practice. He coaches new entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneurs Organization Accelerator program and especially enjoys helping other Educational Entrepreneurs. He has a Masters in Education from Columbia University Teachers College, extensive performing experience as songwriter and guitarist for The Dan Emery Mystery Band, a wife, three kids, a cat and some juggling equipment.

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