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Dream Bigger

April 20, 2021

When we started ADDO, our very first event was the ADDO Gathering.

Our goal was to inspire young people in our community, and we wanted the event to be affordable for them. So our ADDO team (let’s be real, it was just Garrett and me at the time) sought out corporate sponsors for the event. And spoiler alert, it wasn’t easy.

We created a detailed sponsorship packet that we would take to businesses with amounts ranging from $1,000–$10,000. We needed companies to give us money, but we wanted to provide a return on their investment. Our sponsorship opportunities showcased how we would promote their brand before, during, and after the event. But even with these benefits spelled-out, I felt like we were begging businesses for money. And interestingly, we found it was more difficult to convince a business owner to give at the $1,000 amount than a higher commitment.

Less than two years later, we were coming out of an important meeting, having just signed a contract with Chick-fil-A for many times the dollar amount we were begging other businesses to give. However, the investment was for a much bigger idea, one that would reimagine high school leadership for students all over America. It was easier to inspire our partners at Chick-fil-A because the vision was much larger.

We found the size of the check was directly related to the size of the vision.


This month, we’ve been celebrating 10 years of ADDO by thinking about key lessons I’ve learned over the last decade. And this week, I’m sharing about the importance of dreaming bigger.

Success is not determined by the size of your organization but by the size of your vision. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and are more inspired to support a vision that has the potential to make a greater impact.

The former CEO of Pepsico Roger Enrico said it like this: “Beware of the tyranny of making small changes to small things. Rather, make big changes to big things.”

In other words, it’s easier to sell a $100,000 dollar program than a $1,000 dollar program because the scale of impact is bigger. In the last ten years, I have learned that a big vision is far more compelling and galvanizing than a small one. It’s easy to think that setting a small dream for yourself or your team will be motivating because it’s easier to achieve. But the opposite is true. A bigger vision is easier to accomplish because more people are inspired to be a part of it. 

Businesses, churches, non-profits, organizations, individuals—everyone—needs a vision. The bigger the vision the more compelling it is.

A school should have a vision that educating our children is incredibly important work with the potential for lifelong impact

Churches should communicate that their vision for evangelism and reaching their community has eternal significance.

Leaders in an organization should set ambitious goals for their team that are far bigger than themselves.

Dream bigger. When you do, you’ll inspire yourself, your team, and the people you serve.


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