Get Out Of the Alligator Pit At Least An Hour Every Day

Getting Out of the Alligator PitRecently, two business partners came to visit me, looking for magical help with their host of terrible problems.  Without dragging you through all the details, the bottom line: they have no terrible problems.  They have a few minor problems.  But, overall, they’re in pretty good shape.  Theirs is a business that peaked at about 2.5 million, dipped to 1.6, but is now back up to 1.8, may break 2 this year “as is”, has lost some markets but gained different opportunities, and is satisfactorily if not excitingly profitable as compared to industry norms.  But to hear these two, you’d think the sky was falling.

The blunt truth: they need a therapist, not a marketing consultant.  Actually, they need to start with a very simple but important strategy….

One of the Eternal Truths that I quote in one of my books is: when you are up to your ass in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp.  It’s easy to get so caught up in managing all the problem parts of a business that you never do anything else.

And that’s a sure path to where these two partners are now:  burn out.  I could give ‘em the all-time killer sales letter, the best marketing campaign ever devised, and it wouldn’t do them much good…when they go to the office each day wishing they weren’t there, fatigued from first thing on, going through the motions, viewing their activities as drudgery…and end the day without any sense of measurable progress toward meaningful goals…their ‘walking dead’ aura pervades ever nook and cranny, every employee, every customer, every aspect of their business.

It’s the psychic equal of trying to attract a lot of customers to a restaurant that smells like rotting, burning flesh.

Prescription: each and every day, keep a pre-set, inviolate appointment with yourself or with one or two key people, out of sight and hearing of the alligator pit, no matter how many alligators there are or how hungry they are, to do nothing but focus and work on positive, productive plans and strategies that look to the future, that are linked to goals and progress, that you can be excited and optimistic about.

Simplistically, this is a means of maintaining perspective.  Even better, add taking one action, getting one thing done every day, no matter what, that you know moves you forward, toward positive goals.  Go home if you must knowing you spent 7 hours and 58 minutes in the alligator pit, but at least you found 2 minutes to put something in motion that will improve things.

– By Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach, author of 13 books including the No B.S. series, and editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter. FOR A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including newsletters, audio CD’s and more: visit:


  1. Get out of the alligator pit. That is some great advice. It’s so easy to work in your business all the time that you forget to work on your business. Working in your business leads to failure and burn out. Working on your business leads to prosperity and success. Which would you prefer?


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