(DISCLAIMER: no actual frogs have been swallowed, harmed or even mildly bothered in the making of this blog.)
Have you heard how swallowing a frog every morning can help you have a productive, kick-as5 day? The idea is that if you complete the difficult the baddest, scariest, most off-putting task early in your day, you will feel more energised, confident and freer for the rest of your time and this leads to uber-productivity. Hurrah.
Apart from the poor frog of course – who presumably croaks in the process. (OK bad joke, I admit). But honestly, poor frog – what has s/he done to deserve being vilified in this way? Besides, I don’t know about you, but if my breakfast every day consisted of live amphibian, I might be tempted to stay in bed until lunch time.
So I adapted the metaphor by chocolate-i-fying the frog, (in my head you understand – once again, no actual frogs are involved here – capiche?) A chocolate frog, first thing in the morning, wouldn’t be so bad at all – it would melt rather delightfully on its way down and leave you feeling rather pleased and indulged, and of course the cocoa-y antioxidants would give you a good top-up of micronutrients for the day. Much better than cereal. And worth springing out of bed for.
I started the new chocolate frog regime on Thursday. As I’d let my weekly frog quota pile up earlier during the week, I had to get three out of the way at the first sitting – and this is lead to a shocking realisation.
Taking action gets you Noticed. (Oh shit!) And it could even lead to Results (Oh double shit!), which may get you even more Noticed (Oh triple shi– well you get the idea).
For instance, I asked if I could attend a small networking meeting next week – and have been asked to speak there. Not knowing much about it, and trying to project Leadership instead of Lurkerosity, I responded that I’d love to address the group – how many people will be there?
“Well, we have had 90 people,” the lady responded, “but this time I’m afraid its going to be smaller – we’re restricted to 50. Its all women business leaders, CEOs and entrepreneurs.”
“Great,” I replied and hung up quickly so I could squawk in panic without putting her off. Now 50 might seem like a small group but it sounds worrying like a crowd (or to be a precise, a large crowd of scarily high level, confident extroverts) to this wallflower who is trying to let go of the wall.
Eek! So, before panic could set up home in my worryingly active imagination, I decided to move on and hurriedly gulped down the next chocolatey treat.
This one brought me an opportunity, in the form of an offer to collaborate on a funding proposal for my Great Big, Scary, Exciting Dream to Revolutionise Women’s Lives in Africa (tm). So, now I have gone from panic to great excitement, and my dream has got crazily big. I caught myself day-dreaming practising my pitch for Oprah (seriously!) and went galloping down the road to universe-bending results. I’ve even thought of various diversions in the form of Bold Leader Juliet giving a mind-blowing TED talk, showing Brangelina around women enterprise projects in Soweto, and graciously allowing Bono to provide a free theme song for the podcast. (Haven’t got there yet, but its all part of the Master Plan).
And the third froglet helped me send a follow up to a client who has still not paid an invoice from February. I haven’t got the actual money in my sticky paws yet, but I felt better for having emailed them. Next time I might just send them the chocolate frog – it might like a new assignment as a debt collector. You never know, right? My late-paying client might need to swallow one to help them cough up and pay.
My morning routine has been transformed, with me leaping excitedly out of bed to grapple my frog of the day and see where it takes me. Action gets Results. (Yay!) And that can lead to opportunities. (Double yay!) Who knows, maybe Madonna will be at the networking meeting on Friday – she loves working in Malawi, our next door country, and if she heard I was speaking, it would be worth diverting her private jet for a few hours on her way home.
So why don’t you try it? Next time you find yourself procrastinating about a task you don’t want to do, remember the gooey goodness of a chocolate frog. Quickly, before fear sets in, pucker up your lips, grab the frog, swallow it down and enjoy the lovely moment as it melts down your throat. I guarantee that a frog-first diet will bring you opportunities or results that were much bigger and or better than you were expecting. Drop me a quick comment to tell me how it went. I’d love to hear from you.
And meantime, wish me luck with the talk. I’m still a teensy-bit nervous. (As in – quintuple sheet!). And, corny though it may be, when it comes to speech day, I seriously hope there’s no frog in my throat.