With 6 burgers, 4 slices of mature cheddar cheese, 6 rashers of bacon, topped with pulled pork in a lightly toasted brioche bun, you might think the Devastator Burger is too big to eat.
At first glance, it seems massive. There's just so much food, and it's all the wrong foods together, stacked up and what looked tempting when you ordered looks like there's enough food to feed a family of 10.
Business can seem the same too. There can seem so much to do, and so much that needs doing. Where do you start? How do you get to the end? What do you do along the way?
Eating a huge burger, and business have many things in common. Without a strategy, you won't be able to eat the burger, and the same goes for business. Without a strategy, you won't complete the goals that you need in order to live the life of your dreams.
You'll also have regrets… Remember that huge burger that I couldn't eat? Remember when I started a business?
And your friends will remind you about it all the time – remember that huge burger you got that time? Why didn't you finish it? Eyes too big for your belly! Remember that business you started? How did that work out again? You won't enjoy barbecues or get-togethers ever again if you don't have a plan.
It can seem that people only remember the struggle, or the failings and not the successes. Human beings are wired to recall things this way, but let's give them very little to remember about 😉
Start with what you've got
List what you have. All this burger consists of is 6 burgers, a bit of cheese, a bit of bacon, pulled pork and a brioche bun. Why a brioche bun? Well, this gives you the advantage – no sesame seeds to get caught in your teeth. This type of bun is rich in taste as it's made with eggs and butter, and even when lightly toasted it has a shiny exterior glaze. A normal burger bun would soak up the juices and become soggy. This type of bun holds the burger in burger shape for longer…
The same with any business related task – break it down into components. Business is always overwhelming when you don't know what to do or where to start. This isn't where you want to be. You don't want to fixate on the size of the job or you'll never start.
Remember not to focus on the enormity of your task
Break your tasks into smaller items. When I have a burger this size after admiring it and taking a photo for Instagram, I take it to pieces. All I have now is a plate full of food. Do this with your business strategy – create smaller pieces that can be separated from the end outcome, but when combined achieve your goals.
When Sarah shared the photo on Facebook, there were a lot of comments about the size of the burger. If you're surrounded by people reminding you of the enormity of your commitment, put them from your mind. They're speaking from their own point of view, and that's not your view is it? They don't know your strategy.
Now I have a plate full of meat and I cut it into smaller pieces, and then I eat fast. When you eat fast you don't listen to your body signaling its full. If you drink water or coffee with your food you will find that you can eat more. Now, I don't recommend you eat this way often. It's not a healthy way to eat at all. I have a burger like this once every 18-24 months. I could not sustain eating this way more frequently, and it would permanently damage my health. Know that you can do something like this a few times in your lifetime, but the goal is worth it.
Implementing your strategy is the same. There will be things you do that are not good for you – like pulling an all-nighter to get something done. These happen when there's no other alternative (like outsourcing, sub-contracting etc). Like swotting for an exam, it's something you do for a small amount of time to achieve a specific goal. Know and understand this. If you're pulling too many all-nighters then you need to get assistance. If you find your relationships are deteriorating then you need to get support in. If there are skills you lack, you have the option to learn them or the option to buy them in. You do not have the luxury of complaining about what you lack.
In the case of my burger, I had two daughters eyeing it up, waiting for a signal that they could have a bite. That signal didn't come, but it was reassuring to know the burger could be devoured in a heartbeat if I'd sat back let my assistants help.
I ate this enormous burger in my own time. There's a devastator burger challenge, where if you eat the burger in 10 minutes you get a t-shirt. I've plenty of tee shirts and plenty of time. For me, eating this burger at my own pace was more important than the thought of something else cluttering my wardrobe.
Did I finish the burger?
Yes and no. I left a bite of the brioche bun, about an inch in diameter. They're not my burger bun of choice. Purists will say technically I didn't finish the burger. This is very easy to say when you've not eaten 6+ burgers. For them, the task wasn't completed, but for me it was.
The same applies to your business strategy. You may have 99% of it in place, and you're growing at a pace you can handle without too many all-nighters, staffing issues, or cashflow problems, then you're in a great place. Most people don't achieve this level of success. They quit as soon as they see the depth of what they need to do. Don't let the 1% missing make you feel like a failure. Don't let other people make you feel bad for achieving something that they haven't done themselves.
- Big tasks can easily be made into smaller tasks
- You can get help
- You don't have to do it at someone else's pace
- You can do things that are tough every now and then but not all the time
- To know your own success measurements and compare yourself only to them
What's next on my food challenge? Well, I have my eye on a huge steak…