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Personal Development

How Eating Frogs Makes Internet Entrepreneurs More Productive

Green Tree Frog

Image courtesy of Stephen Barnett

Every internet business owner should eat a frog first thing in the morning. No, I don’t mean start your day by literally eating a hoppity-hopping living frog for breakfast. It’s a clever metaphor from a book called Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy. So what are frogs and what are the frogs in your budding internet empire?

A frog is any task that’s critical to your success, you’re likely to put off doing, and would have the most impact if you finished it. Frogs are yucky. Who really wants to wake up, roll out of bed, and munch on a slimy frog? Everyone needs to do certain things on their to-do list that are vital to the health of their internet business. A whole lot of other things are much more fun but won’t give you as much bang for your buck.

The frog is different for everyone and might change daily. Often for me, content and marketing both are frogs. Uh, oh. Without quality content people don’t have a reason to stay on our websites. Without good marketing people don’t visit our websites in the first place. Let me tell ya, those are some big, fat, juicy frogs. What do you do about your frogs?

  • Don’t start your day by checking AdSense stats.
  • Don’t start your day by upgrading WordPress plugins.
  • Don’t start your day by poking around a webmaster forum.

Those things aren’t frogs. A bunch of other things, like checking email and Twitter updates, aren’t frogs either. Ignore them until after breakfast.

Start your day by doing the one thing that’s most important to making your internet business more successful. If that’s producing content then sit down and start cranking out the prose. If that’s marketing then start building links and creating buzz. Until you’ve swallowed the last bite of that poor little amphibian, everything else sits idle.

Eating frogs might be painful but it works amazingly well. Why? Those squiggly, little dudes force you to live by the 80/20 principle and become a more action oriented person.

A couple of frogs hopped around our place last Saturday. It took some willpower that morning, because I really wanted to do something else, but I ate them up. The rest of the day we got to goof off without guilt and it was awesome. Eating that frog took a lot less willpower than normal because I had just read an article about Elmore Leonard, the author of Get Shorty and Out of Sight, a few days earlier. Here’s one of the nuggets I pulled from it:

I began training for the writing life in 1951, getting up at 5:00 a.m. and writing for two hours before going to work at an ad agency. My one rule: I had to start writing, get into a scene, before I could put the water on for coffee. Two pages a day in the early hours allowed me to turn out five books, all westerns, and over 30 short stories in the next ten years.

Now that’s a man who isn’t afraid to eat a frog.

So here’s the funny part about this book. It helped me and I haven’t even gotten around to reading the whole thing. I read the first chapter or so, decided I’d try it right away, and started eating frogs for the next few weeks. It worked wonders for me and probably will for you too. The subtitle is 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by the way. Now I need to finish the rest of the book to learn the other 20 ways to get more done in less time 🙂

Are any of you frog eaters?

Never sure which part of the frog to start eating first.

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