Talking Business with SMEs – How to Eat an Elephant


By Frank Tagarira

Eating an elephant is a formidable task indeed. Every day I meet entreprenuers who want to eat a whole elephant but only a few manage to complete this seemingly daunting task. Eating an elephant gives one satisfaction and brings wealth and lots of happiness.

There are many stories of people who ate an elephant and went on to become wealthy and successful. A few examples of such people are Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright Brothers. In Namibia we have people like Dr Frans Indongo, Harold Pupkewitz, Sydney Martin, Quinton Van Rooyen – to mention but a few. These chaps ate an elephant to get where they are now.

So how do you eat an elephant?

Before you eat one, the question to ask yourself is, what the hell is an elephant?

Why should you want to eat an elephant? An elephant (metaphor) represents your dreams and aspirations as an entrepreneur.

Eating an elephant is achieving your dreams and aspirations.

Maybe you own a retail store and you want to have branches in all 13 regions of Namibia in less than 10 years.

This is a big and bold vision and is certainly equivalent to eating an elephant.

The secret to eating an elephant is this: “One bite at a time”. This is the essence of achieving success. Success is a combination of small, consistent, daily actions towards the desired objective.

You have to set out your long-term goals and break them down into short-term, yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly actions and daily actions.

Your daily actions are your elephant bites and are crucial in the achievement of your long-term goals (your elephant). One therefore needs to set up a Daily Action plan which will be a roadmap to success.

In the corporate world, the breakdown plan on how to eat an elephant is called a strategic plan. As an entrepreneur, you need to set up a strategic plan in order to make it possible to eat your elephant.

Make elephant bites a habit:

Elephant bites are daily actions you take in order to achieve your long-term goals. Imagine if you skipped or forgot to have your elephant bites on some days.

This will lead to delays in completing the project or possibly stall the whole project to a halt.

In order to avoid skipping or forgetting to take your elephant bites, you need to make it a habit. Making a habit of achieving and following up on your daily actions will ensure success in the long run.

You will be surprised how fast one can eat a whole elephant using daily action plans.

Daily action plans help you to gain momentum in the journey to success.
You should see how ants build an anthill.

God knows how, but it’s amazing how ants sub-divide tasks to each other and work consistently without supervision to build an anthill.

I am sure ants know the secret to eating an elephant.

“One bite at a time!” If the ants can do it, why can’t you do it?

You can achieve that big dream. It’s not impossible.

Focus on your daily action plan.

Be Bold, Be Brave, One bite at a time!

– Frank Tagarira is an Entrepreneur, Business Consultant and Coach. He is authoring a book called “Where is My Money?”


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