Discover more from Firm for the Culture
Firm for the Culture | Am I Playing Small?
I mean, I feel smaller. | I am what an Intellectual Property Attorney looks like.
Today, I’m writing from a different yet familiar place: my crazy yet dynamic Bay Area home.
I’m here for the dynamic SOCAP Conference, an annual gathering of the world’s biggest names in social impact, impact investing, and international change.
To say I am inspired is an understatement.
Hearing about the state of social impact from dynamic leaders from Haiti, Peru, Detroit, Nigeria, Brooklyn, and native tribes reminds me over and over again about the powerful impact we can make together.
But in between the Catalytic Finance & Storytelling Sessions, I asked myself a pivotal question:
I wondered this as I roamed through the conference rooms, wishing I was playing a bigger part in the conference where social impact “whos who” resided.
I brielfy chided myself for not applying to speak, noting that I would garner major impact if I just had an opportunity to take the stage.
But for some, including myself, I realized one pivotal thing as I continue scaling Firm for the Culture:
You’re not playing small…you’re playing sustainable.
In today’s post, we’re going to break this concept down, as I am sure it’ll help you if you feel like you’re not playing as big as you’d like.
Loving This Post?
Show us some love by adding a “❤️” or commenting below; this will make our hearts sing.
We’ve got a few slots left for our IP strategy sessions.
If you’re a social impact founder or organization and you’re ready to protect your brand or leverage your content for revenue generating social impact, book a session with us today: Firm for the Culture Intake Form
First and foremost, there's a need to define the territory.
"Playing small" is the voice in your head that tells you to shrink, to avoid risks, to doubt your worth.
It's the whisper that cautions against stretching out of your comfort zone.
It may feel safe, but it often leads to underutilization of your potential.
On the other hand, "playing sustainable" is about pacing, aligning with purpose, and ensuring that as you grow, your foundations remain solid.
It’s recognizing that exponential growth without strategy can often lead to burnout, inconsistencies, or even chaos.
To the undiscerning eye, playing sustainable may look like playing small.
But that’s not always the case.
Learning to understand the difference will allow you to keep building without burning out.
One of the key indicators that you're playing small is a constant feeling of comfort.
If you've been doing the same thing for ages, have stopped learning, or find yourself continually surrounded by those who don’t challenge you - that's playing small.
Playing sustainable, conversely, involves regular introspection.
It’s about assessing your capacity, your resources, your goals, and ensuring that everything is aligned.
It’s okay if you’re not on every stage or present in every conference room.
But it's essential that when you do step into these spaces, you’re doing so with purpose, preparation, and the right energy.
Finding equilibrium between these two spheres is not a walk in the park.
But remember this: life isn’t a race. Every step you take towards your mission is valuable.
It's more beneficial to be impactful in smaller rooms than to spread yourself too thin in larger ones.
Yes, being on bigger stages can amplify your message, but if the message isn’t ready, or if you’re not ready, it can do more harm than good.
So, before taking that next big leap, ask yourself:
Why am I doing this?
Is it aligned with my core purpose?
Am I prepared for the aftermath, be it success or failure?
Can I maintain this new level sustainably?
Reflecting on the answers to these questions will benefit you greatly in the long run.
The real journey isn't just about growth.
It’s about intentional, purposeful, and sustainable growth.
It's not about being seen by everyone, but rather, being deeply impactful to the right ones.
Being part of the “who's who” is tempting.
But remember, every impactful player once played in smaller arenas before they hit the big leagues.
And often, it’s the lessons from these smaller rooms that truly prepare you for the grander stages.
Don’t chide yourself if you’re not everywhere.
Honor your pace, your journey, and trust that when you’re ready for those larger stages, they’ll be waiting for you.
And until then?
Keep playing, sustainably.
We at Firm for the Culture are here to guide, support, and walk alongside you every step of the way.
Are you playing sustainable or are you playing small?
Share in the comments below!
And when you’re ready to protect your unique contribution to the culture, including protecting the bold brand you’re building, reach out to us.
Thanks for reading.
See you next time.