Dreaming big is romantic and glorious. Thinking big has made the poor rich and the rich richer. The magic of thinking big has started industries and created untold fortunes. It has also bankrupted the unprepared and ruined millions of gullible would-be entrepreneurs.

Few of us were born with Michael Jordan’s athleticism, Joan of Ark’s bravery, Einstein’s intelligence or JP Morgan’s silver spoon that propelled them to heroism, fame and fortune. Most of us are average looking, have average height and are easily lost in a crowd. The idea of thinking big for us awkward citizens sounds great but can come with some nasty consequences. For the downtrodden millions without the resources, natural skills or experience to implement those big thoughts, the result can be cataclysmic.

Let me propose an old alternative in an era of disposable technology where yesterday is ancient news and tomorrow already happened. How about we focus on the fundamentals? How about we go back to an emphasis on mastering the basics?

Napoleon Hill’s famous quote, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” sounds great to get you past the daily drudgery of failure…and make no mistake about it, I am an advocate of thinking with grandiosity. However, let me pull out a couple of my new favorite quotes as you engage in the daily battle of entrepreneurism that must be embraced to make the “big” thoughts possible:

“First master the fundamentals. I wasn’t real quick, and I wasn’t real strong. Some guys will just take off and it’s like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals.” Larry Bird – Hall of Fame basketball player.

“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” Jim Rohn – American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.

“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.” Gandhi

“Perhaps the single most important element in mastering the techniques and tactics of racing is experience. But once you have the fundamentals, acquiring the experience is a matter of time.” Greg Lemond – three-time winner of the Tour de France.

“Fundamentals make the market.” T. Boone Pickens – American business magnate and financier.

“I had to spend countless hours, above and beyond the basic time, to try and perfect the fundamentals.” Julius Erving – Hall of Fame basketball player