I often get the chance to lead sessions at larger conferences in order to promote myself as a speaker. It's not a bad deal - while I don't get paid for these volunteer efforts, I get to teach and speak to college students, sharing some knowledge and passion that can be helpful to them. And maybe someone who hears or meets me has an event coming up at which they'll hire me to speak.
But at a few conferences this year, I've been disappointed early on when I show up and they've placed me in a small room with only 30 chairs. When this happens, I sigh and mutter to myself, "Time for Small Room Sammy."
I don't want to speak in a small room to a crowd smaller than a football roster. I want to speak to thousands on large stages, simulcast across the globe to billions (why billions would watch is beside the point). Therefore, it's easy to be disappointed and downtrodden and to let this emotion reflect in the speech once the room is full of 30 eager listeners.
But I can't let that happen. I've got to get up and excited for 30 just as I would 3,000. The same energy and passion has to be present for 2 people as it would be for 200.
And this isn't because I want these people to think I'm good so they'll hire me. It's because my passion - the thing I'm most excited about sharing - is what I'm speaking to. I'm not speaking based on the size of the room or the size of the crowd. I'm speaking based upon the size of my passion.
In that case, there are no small rooms. There is only passion.
Don't measure your success or your excitement or your skill based upon the size of the room you're in or the size of your organization. Measure all that based on the size of your passion, the thing that's driving you to lead, change, inspire, or motivate.
Once your contagious passion breaks through the small room or small group you currently find yourself in, the audience and the membership will grow. Don't wait to have a big passion or a big dream until you get a big room.
You get a big room by first having that big dream or big passion.