Why Are You Playing Small?

I had the great fortune of spending time on the phone yesterday with Simon T. Bailey of The Brilliance Institute. I first heard Simon speak at Event World in San Francisco last August and then personally had the opportunity to spend time with him in LA in March at the Uncensored Conference. What you come to learn when you spend time with Simon T. Bailey is that you will not be the same person at the end of the experience as you were when you began. It doesn’t matter if it is a 3 day conference, a 1-hour call or 30 minutes of one-on-one time, Simon helps you to see the world, and most importantly your place in YOUR OWN world, a little different. Yesterday my time with Simon yielded a couple of things. First, he asked me why I was playing small? Why was I afraid to think big? Ok Simon, you got me. You are right – I have been playing small because I thought my survival depended on being safe but in reality it requires just the opposite. It requires me to think, act and believe bigger than I ever could imagine would be possible. My company always grows when I think big. My life changes in dynamic ways when I think big. I like who I am when I think big. So what’s with the small thinking? Snap out of it already and acknowledge that survival is exhausting, but if it is going to tire me out, it should be from playing, doing and dreaming big, not just “trying” to be those things.

Simon asked me to define my company and who we wanted to be. Everything I said that I wanted to be known for,  he said wasn’t reflected in the image of my company. Zinger! But instead of getting defensive, I found that I couldn’t listen and take notes fast enough. He is totally right. My website, my image and my work have once again become safe. It’s starting to feel a little too corporate for my liking and that is the exact reason I left Corporate American three years ago. How did I become what I disliked the most? It’s like yesterday he finally helped me to scratch the itch that I have been feeling for the past year. Ahhh…that’s much better!

The Henley Company wants to be known for being the producer of experiences. We want to be different – that’s why we self-produce our own stuff. We want to be architects of fun, of purpose and for creating moments that become something worthy of talking about not just for the sake of our business but for the clients we serve. There is no greater joy in my life than when my dear family and friends are sitting around a table, drinking wine and story telling. How we laugh, how we remember, how we celebrate- there is never another place I want to be when all this is happening. I want to translate that feeling  into how The Henley Company runs its business. So big changes need to be made. Out goes Nicole R. Matthews, CSEP, Founder and Principal of The Henley Company and in comes Nicole R. Matthews, CSEP, Chief Experience Officer. We will spend the summer rewriting our story to speak to our brand promise. We will make the changes necessary on our website, in our conversations with clients and in our messages. We are tired of playing small. We want to become the company that is a passport for creating experiences and to do that we have to get back to thinking big.

So, thank you Simon T. Bailey for simply asking why we were playing small? We are bored with that game so we are about to embark on the next great evolution of The Henley Company. And when you are personally ready to have the ultimate experience, give us a call! We are here to serve you!

One thought on “Why Are You Playing Small?

  1. Nicole, thanks for the great reminder of what we all had a little taste of at the Uncensored conference. I think I needed to hear it again. We go back to our worlds, people and shrink back into to the same mold and once again think small. We have just be surviving again, but great things are on the horizon and we had to stand our ground on some things this past week.
    I love this article, in fact I am sending it to Erin right now.
    Thanks Again Simon!!!
    Shannon Lee

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