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How to eat an elephant

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2010 | Blog Posts |


Aah, it is the age old conundrum. How to eat an elephant? It is a much used description for the large and seemingly undoable challenges we all face. In our legal practice, it is often the best way to describe the challenge of estate planning. It’s not a simple fast foot dish to take on. Instead, estate planning is the proverbial “elephant” and the successful plan will address your estate plan much like the old “how to eat an elephant answer…….you take it one bite at a time.”Estate planning is often viewed as the “elephant” challenge for many people. And as an attorney, it is my job to help turn the “elephant” into bite sized tasks. And advise on where to start and where to take the next bite. Since one of the most common comments from a client is, “I just don’t know where to start”, I knew we needed to talk about “eating the elephant.”

You know the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. Most people don’t know how to prepare the elephant (estate planning). After my discussion with Bill and Sally, they understood what it was to create a process where you can reduce the different elements of estate planning into bite sized pieces. This allowed them to take them on, one element at a time – dealing with those that were most pressing first. After they understood it was “one bite at a time,” you could feel a huge “sigh of relief” instantly hit the room.Just like an elephant, it might take a while to eat it one bite at a time. But with the right plan and persistence, Bill and Sally eventually saw the successful (and less stressful) result. The key is to approach it with a bite sized view of the challenge rather than facing a daunting elephant-sized single project. There is a great article talking about the ways that businesses (as opposed to estate plans) use this approach to take on these types of elephant issues. The article is by E-Myth, and you’ll find it at this location, “How to Eat an Elephant” – might give you some interesting perspectives on applying the “elephant eating solution” to your other business situations. As for elephants, they really aren’t that hard to eat…



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