Playing Big: 7 Must-Have Tools For Getting What You Want

empire state building photography by ecostudionyc - click image for more info

I’m all about spacious goals, big ideas, and lofty expectations. But I know that it’s a lot easier to talk about them than to start executing them.

It’s no use to talk about building bigger if you don’t have a real set of tools.

Below, you’ll find a list of things that I recommend for digging deep and growing tall. On the surface, each of these tools may look ordinary but each holds a special power for aiding you in your journey towards greatness.

Twitter & Skype

Twitter will help you talk to people you never dreamed you could talk to. It will help you find the big conversations. It will help you make deep connections.

Of course, you will have to work for all those things. But the work is much easier & faster than ever before. You have no excuse.

Once you’ve done the work of finding people & conversations on Twitter. It’s time to take it to Skype. Skype let’s you connect with real people in real time really all around the world.

Open up a video chat – no really, don’t be shy! – and have a coffee date with someone halfway around the world. Schedule a 4 way chat with some virtual friends. Set a time frame & some conversation starters so you know what to expect and then chat!

One of the key ways we play bigger is by connecting with those who make us better players.

Digital Reader

Playing big takes a lot of time. Doing your work and fulfilling your mission on a large scale means you’ll likely be putting in a lot of hours. It also means that you’re going to be reading and learning more than you ever have before.

I’ve discovered that my iPad is a phenomenal tool for allowing me to create space in my life while continue to put in the time that I need.

I switch off the “work computer” and switch on my magical tablet, continuing to learn and read without the pressure of my bigger machine. I can take advantage of apps and note taking tools that sync up with my MacBook.

Your digital reader may be a Kindle, Nook, or netbook – but whatever you choose, I highly recommend a speedy digital way to keep on learning.


Nothing helps you play bigger, get more accomplished, and find your inner task master than a calendar with deadlines written in pen.

I’ve been using a calendar extensively this year to stay on track with my goals. Instead of seeing a wide open idea, I see specific tasks that need to be accomplished by certain days.

I’ve also been using my calendar to take on new clients, schedule interviews, and plan financial needs. My calendar is more than a day planner; it’s a way to see my plans realized.


If you have big plans for your personal mission or for your creative business, you need to have a website of your own.

This isn’t about having a Tumblr account or a Twitter stream or even a Blogspot blog – you need to have a home base. You need to have a way to invite people into your digital home so that they can help you achieve your goals.

If you were set on networking your way to the top 20 years ago, you might throw dinner parties or have meetings in your office. Now you have the ability to invite people over 24/7 to your digital home.

Make sure it represents you and the people you want to influence, including social proof, a gorgeous picture of you, and confident copy.

3rd Party Perspective

If you’ve been waiting until you hit it big to hire a coach, you’ll be waiting forever. Hiring a 3rd party perspective is an invaluable way to measure your effectiveness and push you to new heights.

A great coach will uncover strengths you didn’t know you had, rescue you for self-doubt or worry, and spark your creativity.

What kind of coach? Heck if I know. You might need a strategist, a life coach, an art coach, a health coach, etc… What’s really important is that you find someone who understands you and what you need.

And don’t be fooled – ecourses & programs are great – but you need one-on-one support to bust you free of what’s holding you back. You need to invest in someone else and let them put the pressure on you.

Email Service Provider

And I don’t mean Gmail. You need a bulk email service provider like, gotta love the monkey, MailChimp.

It doesn’t get much more practical than this. Book publishers, big name marketers, journalists, people who can make your dreams come true – they respect a good list. It doesn’t have to be a huge list but it needs to be there, engaged, and waiting to devour the next email you send.

If you’ve been collecting email addresses in a notebook at craft shows or keeping your clients tucked away in a spreadsheet on your desktop, it’s time to start building your digital mailing list. And then start using it.

You can make big things happen for yourself just by engaging with people casually & conveniently via email.


This should go without saying… but your big ideas are too big to be trusted to your brain.

You need a pen & paper, post-it, or pixel place to keep the things you dream up. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be organized. It just needs to be tangible.

Write it down. Hold on to it.

And then when the time or person or environment is right – execute it.

If you feel like you’re always the last one picked for the team when it comes to playing a bigger game, it’s time to step up to the plate. Try out one of these tools, do something uncomfortable, or push yourself further today.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working with Tara Sophia Mohr to strategize the production & launch of a brand new program. That program is called “Playing Big” and, I believe in it and what Tara has to teach so much, that I registered & paid to participate in the course myself.
If you’re ready to go after your unspoken dreams, I would love for you to join me.

45 thoughts on “Playing Big: 7 Must-Have Tools For Getting What You Want

  1. Tara-

    This is a great checklist. I need to get on Skype (I’m avoiding it for reasons unknown to me).

    The only thing that I would add is that you also need to be human. Walk away from your desk and your digital world and actually meet people in person as often as you can. While there is an overwhelming convenience to all things digital you still can’t, seriously can’t, overlook the importance of looking someone in the eye, shaking their hand, making a real, live connection.

    1. Skype has made my life so much easier. I really don’t like talking on the phone but Skype seems so natural to me – even when I’m not video chatting.

      And I totally agree with being human! Success always seems to follow when I get out into the world and meet people. I’m looking forward to quite a few events coming up in the next few months that will turn all that up a notch!

  2. I really am enjoying you! I need to get a coach and journal more. But other than that I am on track. I really like Skype in fact it’s why I bought a Iphone so I can Skype on it!

    I’d add a personal work space to your list. I think it’s important to have a space designated to YOU and your work. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does need to be yours. A inspiration board helps too!

    1. Thanks, Nicole! Love your addition of a personal work space. Wishing I would have thought of that!

      Having a desk – and a door! – has been an important part of growing my business AND respecting myself.

  3. Funny – I was just last night talking to one of my creative friends and we were discussing the merits of an ipad and why we both thought she needed one (personally I’m still getting used to my iphone – one technology step at a time for me!).

    You’ve highlighted some more great reasons for purchasing one and I will pass your article on to her right now! Thanks Tara.

    1. Yes! For a tool I wanted but didn’t understand WHY, I can say that I can’t imagine living without it now.

      Sure, my MacBook rocks – but it’s work: anxiety, nagging, pressure… the iPad allows me to keep doing what I love but without all the pressure & distraction!

  4. Great list of things I must finalise or investigate further. Most things I am already working on but need to consolidate and refine. Thanks for the quick list :)

    1. Consolidating & refining is a big part of playing big. I don’t consider myself an “organized” person but the more I refine my systems, the more I can concentrate on my art. Very important!

  5. Thanks for sharing a practical and useful listing of tools. Another item of consideration must be social networking sites, such as facebook, squidoo and sites dedicated to one’s work genre. Being accessible and connected to others is important, as well as one’s activities to local communities.

    –Joe Breunig
    Author/poet, Reaching Towards his Unbounded Glory

    1. I agree, Joe! With the ubiquity of Facebook & Twitter, it’s easy to forget about niche forums. But they’re are often where the most important networking happens.

      Thanks for the addition!

  6. Thanks!!! I am proud to say I have all these things except the 3rd party perspective, but I am signed up for that. I have always carried a paper note pad and kept a calendar on the wall. No matter how much technology I use those things are a must for me.
    It is nice to see these things listed and expanded on.
    Oh and I don’t have an iPad yet but I find my kindle a huge help in reading highlighting and note taking.
    Playing Big looks great. Maybe next time around.

    1. You sure are signed up for that! I don’t have first hand experience with the Kindle but I know Megan loves hers and I can imagine it’s a pretty cool tool!

  7. Thanks Tara, I always love reading your input … you put things into a very readable, practical presentation. You are definitely one of my favorites!

  8. Thanks Tara!!! I think the one thing that holds me back is actually knowing “who are the people I want to influence.” It’s easier to target those who are interested in the same things I am, but how to bring in people who are actually willing to purchase what I offer is a totally different challenge.

    1. That’s a really common conundrum, Carrie!

      Try thinking of yourself before you became an “expert” or “influencer” – no matter your craft or area of expertise. What kinds of things did you need? What questions did you have?

      Channeling what you needed at that point in time will help you find shared experience with all the people who are still there now!

  9. Thanks Tara! I’ve needed to set up a newsletter for awhile now. I’m not sure how to go about getting a coach or real third party perspectives, but I definitely need those, too. Thank you, as always, for all the useful advice!

    1. Hi Shelley! A lot of your favorite business owners also offer coaching/consulting services. Find someone you really GET who also seems to get you and then check out their site for the services they offer.

      Also, taking part in free conference calls or live chats is a great way to gauge the actual energy of a person before you book a session.


  10. Thank you for this. I (mostly) knew I needed these things, but you’ve given me a kick in the butt and some good reasons – both of which I desperately needed.

  11. Awesome-ness and very helpful!

    Glad to know that I am more than halfway there, still need to purchase a digital reader. Desktop reading (for a long periods) tend to hurt my eyes.

    Question: which calendar do you think is best- daily, weekly, or monthly?

    1. I generally look at my iCal in a monthly view. Keeps busy days & crazy weeks in perspective and also allows me to seeing goals that are approaching. I’m also using a giant monthly calendar stuck (several months in advance) to my wall as a reminder that any day or week is just one part of a much bigger picture.

  12. Despite all good intentions at the start of the year of using a diary & calender & creating a daily task list, everything now happens in my head where of course it has a tendancy to get lost & confused! Can’t seem to get into the habit of consistently writing things down & checking them them off. What system(s) do you use to keep organised Tara?

    1. Well, Melanie, I think it takes a lot of practice! I’ve always been the same way… but I’ve found I just need to DO IT now or else I’m screwed. I use my iCal as much as possible to track appointments but also specific ideas (like guest blog posts or launch dates) – that’s helped me immensely.

      Your system doesn’t have to be perfect – it just needs to keep you moving forward.

    1. No, it’s not in a particular order. But the first thing I would invest in (with TIME) is Twitter/Skype. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities come your way if you have a hand in MAKING those opportunities.

      The next thing I would invest in is a coach or very specific program (like Tara’s) that can help guide the rest of your actions around your goals.

  13. Here’s a dumb Skype question for you. Where do you look? If you look into the camera, you’re not looking at the person you’re talking to. If you look at her face on your screen, she sees you looking down and not at her . . . at least on my computer. Does anyone else have this problem or is it just me?
    Thanks Tara.

    1. Such a good question! Here’s my tip: I look at the person I’m talking to BUT I move the window up to the very top of my MacBook screen so that their face is as close to the camera as possible.

      I find that’s a happy medium :)


  14. Great article. One of the things that I struggle with is crafting the appropriate message for the various social media outlets: Twitter, FaceBook, and blogs. More particularly, the linkages among each and planning cohesive messages to respective audiences.

  15. Thanks for writing such a helpful post, Tara. I have been balking about joining Twitter, and now I think you’re suggestion is persuasive enough to get me to join. Perhaps even this weekend…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *