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Can someone please explain to me what the bolded sentence means in the following passage

Anyone who’s been to Sonic knows what unmet expectations feel like. If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably come to hate the verb “expect” more than any other. Customers have a whole lot of dreams about what you can deliver, and it’s all too easy to come up short when someone has their eyes to the sky.

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    Without knowing fully where that quote is from, and assuming it's talking about the large US fast-food franchise, "Sonic", it seems to be saying that smaller businesses have a hard time living up the expectations of customers that are used to the customer satisfaction offered by large chains. The "eyes to the sky" means that they're expectations are high. – Kristina Lopez Jun 22 '15 at 18:40
  • But what is the meaning for" to come up short" here? Does it mean "to fail"? – Soudabeh Jun 22 '15 at 19:05
  • Yes, to "come up short" means to fail in fulfilling the customers' expectations. – Kristina Lopez Jun 22 '15 at 19:17
  • Although Kristina's explanation about "eyes to the sky" is correct, you should know that this isn't, to my knowledge, a standard English phrase. It actually sounds rather odd to me. – user124384 Jun 22 '15 at 19:17
  • "Come up short" doesn't necessarily mean to fail completely though: it implies that you did partially fulfill some of their expectations, but not fully. – user124384 Jun 22 '15 at 19:19
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The bolded phrase means it's easy to fail to meet high expectations.

When someone has their "eyes to the sky" they are expecting a lot, and when that happens it's easy to "come up short" or "fall short of" or "fail to meet" those high expectations.

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It's hard to keep your nose to the grindstone, your ducks in a row, and your feet on the ground when your head is in the clouds. Just sayin.

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