2020 Taught Me To Plan My Business Events The Way I’d Eat An Elephant

We are getting ready to close out one of the most unusual years in our living history. Businesses took a huge hit simply because no one saw COVID-19 coming. Well, someone did, but much like the economic collapse of 2007 – 2009, just a few people were aware of what was about to happen. At any rate, one of the big lessons I, and so many other business owners have learned is that long-term planning – and I’m talking about 1- 10 years – has really become a waste of time. COVID-19 has turned our focus to the importance of setting much shorter-term goals.

One Small Bite At A Time

We’ve all heard the way Desmond Tutu advised that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” The kind of challenges this global pandemic created has certainly forced everyone to look at things differently. I’m going to plan my year the same way I’d set about eating an elephant (not that I would ever do that!). But the idea is that it’s much easier, less daunting to accomplish big goals by breaking them down into teeny-tiny “bites.”

I’ve been using the 12-week-year method for quite some time (You can check it out at https://12weekyear.com/) and it has served me surprisingly well in navigating the challenges my business has faced during the course of this pandemic. In some ways, I was slightly more flexible than I might have been in the past in that I had not invested time, energy or funds in any business events more than 12 weeks out. And, clearly, it is the only way to set your sights on the future, since we can no longer presume to see much further than that. In many instances we can’t even see what might happen in the next moment. (I know that’s getting into heavy territory. I’ll spare you and myself!)

Think Of Each Quarter As An Entire Year

I know that most businesses typically do quarterly planning. However, when working the 12-week-year plan, you can toss that out the window too. When we get to January I want you to shift your thinking from, “I’ve got 12 months to accomplish this thing.” Instead, think of the thing you would typically plan one year out and plan instead to accomplish it within the next 12-weeks. You take a week to plan, start your 12 weeks at the end of which you celebrate big time and acknowledge the goals you achieved in record time. This kind of thinking, planning and celebrating lights one heck of a motivational fire and can greatly increase productivity.

Thinking of each 12 week period as a year is a simple shift of focus. With more people working from home a shift in thinking about goals may be just the thing to keep your team motivated and accountable. It’s certainly been working for me and my team.


If you have learned any tips from this crazy year that you think I or others could incorporate, please don’t hesitate to share them with me. I love learning new ways to solve challenges. I’ll also share whatever useful information and tips that come my way.

Gossett Marketing

Privacy Policy