Ok, so that seems a little harsh. But I mean it. Completely. Every time I see that book, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, And It’s All Small Stuff, at Chapters, I want to start a bonfire in the middle of the store. I get it. I understand what they’re trying to do. I get it. I do. Less heart attacks would be great. But to me, the core concept behind this book, if you’re a business owner, is poppycock.
Now it is possible to get too mired with details. At some point it is absolutely necessary to ignore some of the small details and focus on big picture/high level thinking. But there are not a lot of business problems that can’t be solved by paying ungodly attention to the little things. It’s not about “sweating” them, it’s about solving them. Often, the thing holding you back will turn on the smallest of details. It may be an incredibly minor process change. It may be a change in chain of command. It may be a simple change in the reporting process. But at some point you’re going to figure out that something very small, the infinitesimal pebble in your shoe, is the thing that is causing all those problems.

So how do you sweat the small stuff without causing a coronary malfunction? Well, deal with it. Deal with it WHILE it’s small. Solve every problem while it’s addition before it turns into algebra. If you take care of the little things, the big things just fall into place. Well, that;s a lie. But once the little stuff is taken care of, you can focus on the big things. The other nice thing about the small things is that they’re typically pretty easy to deal with. This creates a feeling of achievement and accomplishment that will help you when it comes time to deal with the elephants in the room.

When I think about the apps or even just products that have really blown me away, it’s the little things that have really hooked me. Simple things like the fact that pages PHYSICALLY turn in iBooks, or the fact that Elevtr offers its users and opportunity to connect with them to build on their ideas far beyond the reaches of their app, or the shake to shuffle equipment feature in Hipstamatic that lets me play a little bit of roulette with my picture or the inspiration portion of the Ted app that allows me to build custom playlists based on a feeling.

The point is, it is the little things that impress. And it’s the little things that can destroy you. So, sweat ‘em. Get ‘em done. Move on. Don’t listen to self help books that tell you to bury your head in the sand.

Ostriches are terrible entrepreneurs.