Choking on the Apple

How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
-African Proverb

I watched my two year old eat an apple yesterday. She was given a slice and proceeded to stick the whole thing in her mouth. Didn’t work out too well and it ended up in my hand. Hmm.

Because she had been successful eating apples when given it whole, we went back to that method. She knew she couldn’t put that whole thing in her mouth and began consuming it, one bite at a time. She ate the whole thing. Interesting.

I have crazy big ideas. I have some pretty significant responsibilities. So do you. There are times when I have made a go at one of those enormous sized projects. I am so excited about the prospect that I try to tackle it all at once, only to choke on it and spit it out in the trash. Other times, the bigness of it all is undeniable and I convince myself that I am “not enough” for the job. These times I don’t even try. Either way, I get none of the apple.

Opportunities of condensed learning and inspiration can be like this too. Ever been to a seminar and tried to remodel your entire yard, kitchen, life, the next day? You’ve seen that the improvement works. Why not implement all of it in one big slice of a bite? Because you will choke and it will all end up in the trash.

Today I want to encourage you cut yourself some slack. Unless you have some really cool super powers I don’t know about, you are subject to the same laws of time and and physics as the rest of us. Time will not warp itself for you. Most often, one step at a time is the most effective. You are amazingly talented, incredibly capable and immensely deserving. Just move through the process, one delicious bite at a time.

Big eWomenNetwork Thanks!

I will be talking about Dallas for a minute or two longer. You just have to forgive me. I am still trying to unpack – both figuratively and literally. Because I have not yet had the chance to connect with all the folks I wanted to, here are a few thanks in the interim.

Big thanks to those who went with me and the best roommate ever! To the one that made me feel like a cool kid. To the one that inspired. To the one that dared me to impress myself. To the one who encouraged while listening to my kids in background. To the one who knew I had it in me and made me say so. And to all the others who made my trip to Dallas one that I will not soon forget. You have no idea and I am not sure yet how to tell you.

So instead, I will just keep putting one word in front of the other and hope in the process, you just know.


  1. WOW! Never thought about it like that. As a new mom and business owner, it seems I’m constantly “choking on my apple”. If I can only remember to slice it into bit-sized chunks.

  2. Shelia – What great pictures you have! I LOVE the chunky baby 🙂

    You are so right. We are called to be so many things. We have to take it one bite at a time. Even if you find you don’t have time to “slice it,” you can hold the whole thing and just take your one bite.

    Have you been able to plug into any local business organizations there in Cleveland? I have found that surrounding myself with other business owners has been very helpful. I particularly enjoy the women’s group I belong to as they face some of the same challenges I do. They can be a wealth of information.


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