How to Eat an Elephant

how to eat an elephantHow do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

(Apologies to my vegetarian friends, but a pumpkin just doesn’t illustrate the point.)

My team started with the elephant talk the middle of developing a product on an unbelievable timeline.  The elephant was our workload.  How were we going to get it all done?

An elephant is intimidating.  And the closer you are, the bigger it gets.

When a project or subject looms large, it’s tempting to do nothing and hope the thing goes away on its own.  Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case – and sooner or later that elephant gets hungry.

Is there an elephant in your office?  Maybe it’s a subject you need to learn, a strategy you’ve always wanted to try, a partnership you’d like to forge or a market you’d like to open.

Don’t let the elephant stand in the way of success.  When you see the elephant, commit to taking a single bite at a time.  (This tactic is also helpful when feeding lima beans to your child.)

What’s your elephant?  And when you know what it is, how do you start?

1.  Get your silverware: Tools, team members, whatever you think you’ll need for the job.  If you don’t have the right ones, you’ll find out quickly and adjust as you go.

2.  Choose a spot you can reach. Tackle the easiest piece first.  You’ll build confidence and expertise as you go.

3.  Take your first bite. You may actually like it.  (Tastes like chicken!)

4.  Repeat #3 until finished.

Do you have any advice or anecdotes about starting a project that seemed insurmountable at first?  Share that advice with our readers by posting your comments below.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Pictures Online – providing quality wildlife photos from Africa

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