Start Small Win Big 2012–The Cliff Notes Version

We’re nearing the end of the SUCCESS Start Small Win Big Challenge and it’s time to start gathering your thoughts for the final essay submission. Before you get test anxiety, don’t worry–we’ve provided a number of tools and links here to help you. Consider this the test review your professor gives before mid-terms.


During registration, contestants filled out the application asking for three specific goals they’d like to achieve during the contest. These guidelines were an exercise in goal setting; the essay will comprise  the judges’ final grades.

Can you send me my goals? Unfortunately, no. However, your submitted goals were a guideline and framework for starting your 12-week challenge, but not the basis of the judges’ final grade. How you achieved a goal is what you’ll be judged on.

 How and when do I submit my essay? On THURSDAY, APRIL 12, we’ll open the essay submission form at The completed form/essay is due Monday, April 30 Monday, May 7.


Week 1: Jan. 23 | Theme: Commit to Your WHY

In this week’s newsletter, SUCCESS editors ask you to identify your “why” for entering this challenge. The corresponding blog post asks you to share your “why” with others participating in the challenge.

√ TIP: Read some of the 70 inspiring comments from participants who posted their “why” on the SUCCESS blog and review your “why” for the final essay.


Week 2: Jan. 30 | Theme: Take Responsibility

This week’s newsletter asks you to take a hard look at yourself and your business and answer: What worked, what didn’t and what could you do differently. The corresponding blog post encourages you to share your answers, creating a sort of public accountability for owning your mistakes.


Week 3: Feb. 6 | Theme: Know Your Numbers

The Start Small Win Big newsletter for week 3 and the corresponding blog post are roll-up -your-sleeves kind of content. While you don’t need to have an audit-worthy financial forecast ready for the essay, you do need to be familiar with your numbers to demonstrate this week’s lesson.


Week 4: Feb. 13 | Theme: Own Your Destiny

This week’s newsletter asks you to consider this question, “Who could you be if you refused to fail?” The person you ultimately see personifying your brand? Then the corresponding blog post outlines some steps to become that person.

√ TIP: Revisit week 4’s assignment to see your three-goal strategy for accomplishing your ideal brand. Sure there’s a million things you need to do, but what are the three most important goals right now? Review those for your essay.


Brush up on Steps 1-4 by reading Part 1 of the Start Small Win Big Challenge in the February 2012 issue of SUCCESS

The 12 steps correspond with articles written by Tory Johnson in the:


Move on to Part 2 of the Cliff Notes for the Start Small Win Big Challenge. 


Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.

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