The Real (Boring) Secret To Success
From the Four Hour Entrepreneur Blog
“Success is the sum of small efforts,
repeated day in and day out…”
- Robert J. Collier
I’ve spoken to a lot of marketers over the years.
Some hugely successful — 6 figures a month.
Some not so much — $0 in ten years. (Seriously.)
If there is one thing all the successful marketers have in
common, that the unsuccessful ones do not, it’s this…
They produce. They focus. They get things done.
And they do it consistently.
Do this for me quickly:
Take out a pen and paper.
Write down all the offers you have in the marketplace — products
for sale, websites promoting affiliate products, squeeze pages
building your opt-in list. Anything “out there” that either makes
you money directly, or builds your list.
Write down all the traffic sources you’re using — PPC, articles,
banner ads, press releases, text links, ezine ads, viral reports,
forum signatures, affiliates, joint ventures. Anything “out
there” actively driving traffic to your offers.
Now… what have you done this month, this week, today, to…
produce offers, get traffic, get affiliates, secure joint venture
partners, and improve your conversions?
How did you go?
The sad truth is most people don’t have a single offer out there.
They’re not actively driving traffic in any consistent manner.
They’re not taking action every single day to improve their business.
They’re not in the game.
THE REAL (BORING) SECRET TO SUCCESS
Your ability to focus on a single task, to produce products,
offers, marketing and traffic, to complete projects that grow
your business… and to do it on a consistent basis.
Get in the game and start playing!
Sounds simple enough but less than 5% of people actually do it.
However, make no mistake — it is a skill, it can be learned,
and you’ll actually find it easy if you have a SYSTEM.
No matter how unfocused and unproductive you are now, you’ll be
shocked at how much you can achieve when you’ve got a system
with simple action steps you can follow.
This week I’m going to outline the action steps you need to take
to setup systems for your Internet marketing business.
There is a reason I’m doing this in the very first issue of
Four Hour Entrepreneur — because it’s the single most important
thing you can do to ensure your success!
Nothing is more important than knowing what you’re going to do,
when you’re going to do it, and how it’s going to get done.
Here are your action steps:
1. SET YOUR OUTCOME
What do you want to do?
This should be blindingly obvious but you’d be surprised how
many people have no idea what they actually want. How can you
ever hope to hit a target if you don’t know what you’re aiming
What niche are you going into? How much money do you want to
make? How long do you want to work each day? What skills do
you need to learn? What tasks are you going to do, and which
will you outsource?
Write this stuff down! Make a commitment and stick to it.
Use the blueprint I show you in The Lost Blueprint to see how
to structure everything and the order in which you should
develop each part of your business.
Remember: Step 1 in the blueprint is to develop a low-risk offer
and start driving traffic to it. That’s it!
2. SCHEDULE YOUR WEEKLY TASKS
What do you need to do?
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, now you’ve got to break
the big goal down into manageable chunks and schedule time each
week to work on them.
For example, my weekly tasks include things such as writing copy,
writing emails, developing info products, testing offers,
generating traffic, networking, recruiting affiliates, and
You can imagine how easy it is to let any one of these activities
slide for days or even weeks if you don’t have a schedule
reminding you exactly what needs to be done when.
Your task list may be longer or shorter, but the important thing
is each day you are making small efforts on key tasks. And each
week you are making progress towards your desired outcome.
3. SYSTEMIZE YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES
Knowing exactly what you need to do each day certainly helps
productivity, and many people find just having a daily task
list keeps them “honest” and they get a lot more done each day.
However, if you want to make real productivity breakthroughs you
not only need to know what to do, you need to know HOW to do it.
This is where processes and procedures come into play.
By breaking your tasks down into simple action steps — or
procedures — you simplify their execution, ensure you get
consistent results, and greatly simplify outsourcing.
Having a task laid out in step-by-step format also lets you
quickly spot inefficiencies and bottlenecks so you can improve
the steps and get things done faster or easier in the future.
I’ve got mind maps as well as simple text files (depending on
the complexity of the task) where I outline processes for
everything from writing a salesletter, to creating a report,
setting up an Adwords campaign, writing an email…
… anything I do regularly in my business.
Next time you sit down to do something in your business, ask
yourself if you’ll ever have to do this again. If so, take a
few minutes to write down the steps you take as you’re doing
The time and frustration it saves you in the future will
dramatically improve your efficiency and bottom line results.
4. SUCCESS MAXIMIZERS
A few last minute tips to help you get more done faster:
Separate learning time and action time — set a day or time aside
for learning and figure out what you need to know to complete
your tasks BEFORE it’s action time. Once you’re working you
just want to crank through tasks and not have to lookup “how to”
information. (This is one of the key drivers of impulse buying,
so you’ll save yourself a few bucks as well.)
Trust, but verify — in your business you are the boss and no
one else will tell you what you should be doing. That means
you’ve got to manage yourself. In the corporate world we used
the mantra, “trust, but verify”, which basically means you
leave people up to their own devices but monitor that they’re
doing what they are supposed to.
I use rescuetime.com to verify I’m hitting my productivity
targets and not slacking off too much. You can “tag” websites
and applications to categorize them, and mark them from -2 to
+2 in terms of productivity. So forums might be tagged as -1,
while the text editor you write copy in is +2. It’s not a
perfect system but it gives you a good idea of what you’re up to
and how productive you are.
I also use a Firefox plugin, Leechblock, which stops me from
being able to visit certain websites at certain times of the day.
You can block out forums, email, blogs and news sites etc during
your peak productivity periods to ensure you stay focused.
Finally, there are a few well-known marketers whose online
personas are basically “lazy surfer dudes who slack off, do
no work, and money just falls from the sky”. You know who I’m
Be aware these are PERSONAS — they’re designed to attract
and appeal to people who want to make money online, because hey,
we all want to slack off and make money, right?
Make no mistake, these guys work their tails off. If you pay
attention you’ll notice they’ve even let the cat out of the bag
a few times and admit to how much work they do, but it’s
always overshadowed by their “lazy” personas.
Don’t be sucked in by the next “get rich quick” thing just
because it looks easy, at the end of the day there is ALWAYS
THE MOST IMPORTANT FHE ISSUE EVER
I’m serious about how important systems, processes and procedures
are to your business — there’s a reason multi-billion dollar
companies like McDonalds and top Internet marketers like
Terry Dean, swear by them… they work like gangbusters!
Take 15 minutes right now to complete each of the action steps
in this article and I guarantee, if you follow the systems you
create — and improve them as you go — you’ll become more
productive and get more done in 4 hours than most people do in