Entrepreneur Success: Ten Top Ways to Think BIG

We’re often told to think big.

Or, we’re told to “think outside the box.” 

One of the best ways to do just that is to start small and focused, and expand upon that to achieve a greater dream.  Simply imagine the possibilities.

Successful people always choose to think big.  They dream big. 

For example, Bill Gates once came up with a crazy idea to put a computer in every household and business in the world.  The ideas were initially deemed impossible.  However, as millions of us now know, he made what seemed impossible possible.

In 1997, Jeff Bezos made the impossible possible when he created Amazon.com.

At the time, his startup focused on selling books on the Internet.  Now, 12 years later, analysts are predicting the company will grab more than 10% of all retail sales by 2020.

Unbelievably, Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper, and told that he lacked creativity.  Of course, as we all know, the aspiring cartoonist would go on to create Mickey Mouse.  He kept his eyes on the reward and the possibilities, and persevered.  He never let go of his dream.

All started small and focused, and refined their formula for success.

However, they were also prepared to swim against the current in their pursuit of “big.”

No one ever said that success was easy.  If it were, we’d all be successful entrepreneurs. 

To be honest with you, it’s not. 

It takes a lot of hard work and long days.  There will be times when you go with the flow.  But oftentimes, you’ll also find that you have to swim upstream to make your “big” ideas happen. 

There’s also a reason LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner sets aside two hours a day to walk around the office and just think.  What every successful leader knows, “is that thinking is what they're there for. When you run an organization, there are plenty of people to do things, but precious few who can step back, consider, reflect, and truly pay attention to what is happening to the business, inside and out,” reported Inc.

Weiner realizes that business is moving faster than ever, and that great leadership means slowing down to take the time to focus on why you’re in business in the first place. 

Richard Branson will even tell you, “Don’t be self-conscious about dreaming, or about people thinking you’re too idealistic, and not serious enough. Don’t allow yourself talk to be judgmental. And don’t betray your dreams for the sake of fitting in. Look at the world with wide-eyed enthusiasm, believe you are more powerful than the problems that confront you.”

To me, the ability to think big is the cornerstone of extreme success.

It’s what allows us to dream and visualize success on a larger scale without limitation.  It helps us create open-minded creative opportunity with a “big picture” view. 

Imagine if the Wright Brothers gave up on their dream on the first airplane in 1903.

In fact, they taught us an important lesson.

The brothers would have never known success if it weren’t for their repeated, painful failures.  It took them numerous attempts to get anywhere near their success.  Then, even when they were about to achieve their goals, unforeseen setbacks would surface.

Fortunately, their perseverance and their ability to think big gave us the first airplane.

In 2006, I acquired by first commercial property.

At the time, I didn’t even know was a cap rate was, or why it was used to determine value in an asset.  I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a leasing agent, and a sale agent. 

I was extremely nervous at the time. 

Still, I persevered.  I acquired a mixed-use building in Vancouver for under $8 million.  It was my first venture into commercial real estate after spending years in stocks and venture capital. 

Today, 13 years later, I have a portfolio of commercial real estate of well over $100 million.

Of course, it also helped that I had a strong team behind me, and a lesson my father shared.

“Work together as a team, with each team member being a finger on a hand,” my father would tell me. “When clenched together, you have great force. Unless you’re Bruce Lee, you can’t hit very hard with a single finger.” 

If you truly want to become successful:

·      View obstacles as opportunities

·      Find a unique way to approach a unique situation

·      Always be creative

·      Get comfortable with discomfort

·      Have brainstorming sessions even if it’s just with yourself

·      Invite ideas from other people

·      Be willing to learn new things

·      Create artificial problems and attempt to solve them

·      Accept failure as an inevitability

·      Get off the couch and just do it

Look, nothing will ever be handed to you in this life.  You either want to be a success, or you don’t.  No one will hold your hand and tell you it’ll all be okay.


Stand on your own two feet.  Dream big.  Dream often. And make things happen.


Harmel Rayat