Eat That Frog By Brian Tracy Animated Book Summary
Eat That Frog Book Summary
Long ago, Mark Twain said that if you start the day by eating a frog, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that it was probably the worst thing you had to do that day. Of course he wasn’t really talking about a real frog. The frog acts as a metaphor for your biggest and ugliest task. And that’s what Brian Tracy goes over in Eat That Frog.
1. Setting the table
Let’s say you wanted to start a clothing business. You love designing clothes and think your clothing brand will be the next $1 million trend. But what should you do to get started?
Before you begin your goal, make sure you decide what you want to achieve. Don’t just think about what you want to accomplish each day. Write them down on a sheet of paper, set a deadline, organize a plan on how you’re going to get them done, take action immediately, and fix any mistakes you make on the way.
For your list, you can place down you want to start off by selling shirts that relate to a certain group of people. You can then write down how you need to obtain the money to design and buy your shirts. Write down where you’ll have to sell them at. Write down how you’ll market your shirt.
If you have a task that seems too big to achieve, break it down into smaller ones to get started. Write down the actions you’ll need to take to make it happen. Once broken, start with task 1 and go on from there.
Take it one step at a time. You can focus on what’s ahead, but always look at what’s in front of you. If you want to open up a business, don’t imagine it standing in the same status as American Eagle or Forever 21. Just concentrate on getting your first product out. Then concentrate on selling it to your first customer. And then go on from there.
2. Planning Every Day In Advance
There’s a quote said by Alan Lakein, which was, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
It’s hard waking up in the morning when you can’t see yourself looking forward to anything. But if you have an idea of what you need to achieve in the morning, you suddenly have the motivation to get moving because you gave yourself a purpose.
So let’s say with this new idea, you decide to write down what you need to do when you wake up. And when you do wake up, you’ll know you’ll have to get out of bed and drive to a local area college students hang out at so you can advertise your T-Shirts. Or maybe you wake up early enough because you want to advertise your T-Shirts on Instagram.
If you try to take action without planning, you increase your chance to fail at what you want to do. This happens to people every day. They set a goal in their head, but go with the flow on a daily basis until they lose track on what they were supposed to do. All it takes is 10 minutes to come up with a plan that can save you 100 minutes in execution and mistakes.
Create a list of all the tasks you need to complete to reach your main goals and break them into monthly, weekly, and daily lists. And to make life even easier, clear your desk of anything you don’t need.
3. Apply 80/20 rule to everything
In 1895, the 80/20 rule was created by Vilfredo Pareto. His original studies concluded that 80% of a country’s wealth was held by 20% of the population. He then discovered this principle related to other areas our life. For example, only 20% of our tasks will give us main results. Only 20% of our customers will produce 80% of the complaints. Only 20% of the employees create most of the company’s success.
This is where the frog comes into play. The 20% act as our frogs, and the tasks we tend to avoid the most. It’s the frogs that make us procrastinate and focus on the other 80% rather the 20%. But don’t be afraid of eating that frog because you receive a great feeling of achievement after doing so.
If you have 12 items on your task list, you’ll want to first work on writing an article online to advertise your knowledge of clothing and trends. You’ll then want to concentrate on contacting manufactures who can give you the cheapest and highest value costs. And then you’ll want to do research on what your target audience is into.
That’s the 20% you want to aim for. You can worry about answering your emails, cleaning your house, walking your dog, and texting your friends later.
You want to choose your most important tasks over the irreverent ones. If I knew I had to complete a paper tomorrow but decided to work on my shopping list instead, I’ll only set myself up for failure. So identify your 20% tasks and complete those first.
And if you have a hard time determining which task you should complete first, make an A, B, C, and D list. For your tasks that has to be completed the same day, mark those as your A tasks. For your tasks that aren’t as important but still need to be completed, mark those as your B’s. Your C’s are nice to do but there’s no consequences if you don’t do them. And your D’s are tasks you don’t have to worry about at all.
But don’t go overboard by putting down 20 A’s. You’ll freak yourself out. Stick with 3 A’s per day.
4. Practice Creative Procrastination
You can’t complete everything on your task list in 1 day. So you have no choice but to procrastinate. But that’s where the tricky part comes into play. If you allow yourself to unconsciously procrastinate, you begin dropping important tasks you didn’t mean to forget.
Let’s say you were expected to give a potential investor a call that day regarding your cloth business. But before giving them a call, you said you’ll do it later so you can buy something at the store. Without even realizing it, night time arrives and you realized when you’re lying on your bed you forgot to call a potential person willing to invest in your business.
Look over your task list and select which one you can push to another day or eliminate entirely. You can always buy eggs later on, but you can’t just expect an investor to continue giving you their time. Your goal will be to procrastinate on your low value tasks before your high value ones.
This also means you need to know how to motivate yourself to work harder on your own without someone forcing you. Brian mentions that successful people put themselves under pressure to complete a task on their own. So set deadlines for the key things you need to complete.
Avoid technology if you know it’s going to distract you when you’re writing or doing research for your business. Turn your Wi-Fi off. Put your phone away. If you’re interrupted while you’re in a work flow mindset, you lose your momentum and have to familiarize yourself with it again. So focus on what you’re doing entirely to get the job done quicker and better.
5. Upgrade Your Key Skills
When Brian Tracy realized his own typing skills were holding him back from his writing goals, he took a typing course and practiced for 30 minutes a day for 3 months. After that, he mastered his typing skills and saved himself countless hours of typing his work.
You should always improve yourself on a continuous basis. Fix your weak points and accelerate in areas you need to be good in. If you work in marketing, set yourself apart from the average marketer by reading Warren Buffet books, taking seminars, and improving your communication skills.
If you’re in the clothing business and you have a problem with procrastination, read books on how to get rid of that habit before it destroys you. Find ways to get rid of that bad habit and don’t procrastinate on getting rid of it either.
Also ask yourself what you’re really good at. Think on what talents naturally comes to you. Go over your strengths. And what would you do if you won the lottery and didn’t have to work another day in your life. Once you’re clear about your talents and what you enjoy doing, focus on becoming even greater at it.
5. Motivate Yourself into Action
In Martin Seligman book, “Learned Optimism,” he says that optimists always look for the positive in every situation and find it. They look at what can be learned from setbacks, and they look for the solutions to every problem.
Being positive will make a big difference in your success because it motivates you and others to follow whatever you say. Always look forward rather than behind. And I get it. It’s tempting to give in to your negative emotions when things aren’t going well, but they do nothing but set us back.
And part of motiving yourself into action is developing a sense of urgency. Successful people are always in a hurry to complete their key tasks. Even if a task doesn’t have to be completed until the next three weeks, they push themselves to get it done as soon as possible. And by building a habit of finishing your task at a fast pace, you enter a State of Flow.
In this state, you’re clearer on what needs to be achieved and you’re more creative on figuring out new ways to enhance your ideas. It’s your actions that give you that feeling of success. Anyone can wonder about what they want to do, but successful people go ahead and try to make it happen despite the outcome because they knew there’s always a solution to fix it.
So while you’re working on your clothing business or whatever product you want to sell, stay positive when you get a happy or angry customer. Set a goal on how many products you want to sell each week. And when your products start to sell at a good rate, think of something else to sell too.