That term has never made a lot of sense to me until I grew up. Then I looked at it from the perspective of someone who was once small and is now big.
When you're little, everything around you is bigger than you. Well, most things. And as you grow, your perspective changes, and the world "shrinks". Or at least your perception of it shrinks.
I see that with my kids as I look at a picture of them taken about 4 or 5 years ago with a favorite stuffed tiger. The little one is barely taller than the tiger as she sits next to it. And the updated photo taken 6 months ago shows her sitting with the tiger in her lap and she sits twice as tall as it is.
So it makes sense, yes? My little one's world is shrinking, because she's getting bigger.
But then I apply this concept to working in corporate business... and dot-coms. And the world doesn't shrink, because in business you could encompass a vast range of individuals over the internet. But when you look constantly at the big picture (as I seem to do) you forget about the little microcosms that construct the universe that you're in. And when one person's 'world' starts to 'shrink' in business, it's never a good sign.
That's not the case with me, but with someone that I've worked with for a long time and have respected for most of that time. Recently, being out of work due to this *cough*
evil cold brought that phrase back into my mind. I went home after a half day yesterday and received a phone call with the person on the other end asking me if I'd taken vacation time and that he certainly didn't know about it if I had.
I answered by coughing into the phone for a full minute and then croaked that I was sick. Why did I cough? Well, it wasn't intentional. I was trying to gasp because I was in shock that I was being asked such a thing by a former supervisor. And it made that statement seem all that more real to me.
His world is shrinking, and he has no control over it....
.... and I wing off into the wild blue business yonder to see what new things await me, because the sky, after all, is the limit....