Bigger or Better

Small, smart choices, consistently applied over an extended period of time = HUGE results

At Brigham Young University (BYU), the students like to play a game called Bigger or Better.

Bigger or Better is a scavenger hunt, for (young) adults. Players divide into teams and start with something small like a toothpick then go door to door and ask people if they have something in their house that is slightly bigger or better than what they have.

​If so, will they trade.

As the night goes on, and they continue to trade up, the objects become bigger and better. The toothpick turns into a pen, then into a hat, and at the end typically into something of pretty good value. In some cases it has been reported that they walk away with stereos, TVs or even a full size canoe.

​If they had asked for a full size canoe for a tooth pick there is zero chance they would have been able to pull it off.

​In his book “Smartcuts”, Shane Snow uses this story and others to illustrate the importance of small wins.


“One of the fastest-selling and transformative cellular phones in the world—the iPhone—was introduced by a personal computer company, at a time when the phone market was dominated by telecommunications firms. Nintendo began its life printing Japanese playing cards; the company brokered in taxis, instant rice, and hotels before it saw opportunity in the emerging American arcade scene.”​

If you are a creator or entrepreneur, you aren’t going to be a marketing machine overnight. You need to start collecting small wins with your customers first.

This could be as small as a helpful how-to video on Instagram or getting them to sign up for a weekly newsletter.


“By itself, one small win may seem unimportant,” writes Dr. Karl Weick in a seminal paper for American Psychologist in 1984. “A series of wins at small but significant tasks, however, reveals a pattern that may attract allies, deter opponents, and lower resistance to subsequent proposals.” “Once a small win has been accomplished,” Weick continues, “forces are set in motion that favor another small win.”

The important thing is that you are making progress.

​No matter how small...

​...and you stick with it.

​Darren Hardy, author of “The Compound Effect” says, “Small, smart choices, consistently applied over an extended period of time = HUGE results.”

What are some of your big marketing goals?

Now break them down smaller ones...

and then break them down again...

...and repeat!

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