I know you have heard this one. How do you eat an elephant? Wait for it…one bite at a time. We all know the saying, but we often fail to apply this lesson in our businesses.
Brian Tracy wrote a book called “Eat that Frog.” He quotes Mark Twain, saying, “If the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that’s probably the worst thing that’s going to happen to you all day long.”
And we’ll discuss snowballs in a moment.
Right now, I'm working with a business owner right now that needs to eat an elephant, a snowball, and a frog.
She has a decent size business with 5 employees. She has been at the same revenue for as long as I've known her and she wants to get over the hump.
She wants to work on marketing, managing her production crew, her admin staff, bookkeeping, and her own day-to-day activities.
In other words…everything.
- First eating the elephant.
She’s finally letting me really dig in and help her. We have identified her three major goals for the next year and are simply breaking down each area of her business, one bite at a time.
- Next is the snowball. Well, she’s not actually eating it, but you’ll get the point.
She is taking on the easiest project of her business first, like Dave Ramsey's snowball method for paying off debt. In this case, it is just job descriptions. She feels like this would be easy to work on. Once she has that done for November, she will have some confidence and see her progress paying off and we move on to the next project.
- Lastly, she is eating the frog.
Even though she is taking on the easiest project of her business, she is committing to working on the hardest task first each day. In the case of job descriptions, she works on them for 30 minutes each morning, before answering any email or phone calls.
It's never a perfect process and there can always be a reason to put it off.
The key is to break down the process into small bites, starting with the easiest project, and do the hardest task first each day.
This will make the process manageable, allow you to build some early victories, and make each day count toward your goal.