Saturday, November 12, 2011

The 25-50-25 Rule For Success by Bob Bly

"I was quite eager to learn about marketing and began reading everything associated with it," one of my subscribers, KM, told me in a recent e-mail.

"However, with all that's published on marketing online today, I find myself reading more than applying.

"How do I separate the worthy reading, that which would benefit my business, from the interesting but time-consuming reading that is of little practical value?

"Sometimes I force myself to read almost everything, fearful I may overlook some exceptional information or nugget. Help! Where do I stop?"

I hear this story all the time...

You are interested in something—whether it is copywriting, Internet marketing, whatever.

But you are overwhelmed by all the information being offered on the subject (after all, we live in the Information Age).

So you go "information crazy"...buying every course, attending every conference, reading every e-book, listening to every audio CD, and dialing into every webinar you can find.

Before you know it, a month...6 months...or a year has gone by—and you are no closer to your business or career goal.

That's because you've spent all your time reading, studying, and learning the thing you are interested in—rather than actually DOING it.

Sadly, you are suffering from a syndrome I call "analysis paralysis".

All the information you are taking in has overloaded your circuits.

You can't process it all, sort through it, and figure out what to do first.

So instead, you do nothing. You take no action—other than to order yet another course or report to read.

You have become a marketing information junkie—avoiding the harsh realities of the business world by retreating to your favorite comfy chair with yet another neat marketing book.

You spend all your time READING about starting a business. So there is no time left to actually start or run a business.

You are an "armchair entrepreneur"—more enamored with the idea of entrepreneurship than the actuality.

Fortunately there is an easy solution: the 25-50-25 rule. It provides a simple guideline to help you get unstuck.

It says there are only three ways to learn a process (e.g. starting an Internet business) or a skill (e.g., copywriting): studying, observing, and doing.

Are you spending too much time studying and reading about Internet marketing or freelancing—and not enough time actually doing it and getting your business off the ground? Then apply the 25-50-25 rule.

The 25-50-25 rule says that to master a skill or process, and put what you learn into practical action, you must divide your time as follows:

>> No more than 25% of your time is spent studying i.e. reading books, going to boot camps, attending workshops, listening to CDs in your car.

>> No more than 25% of your time is spent observing—watching what successful people in your field are already doing; e.g., if you want to become a direct mail copywriter, this means reading and analyzing the direct mail you get in your mail box each day.

>> At least 50% of your time is spent actually DOING the thing you are studying and observing e.g. if you want to sell information products on the Internet, you are creating your first product...designing your website...or building your list.

The idea is similar to Michael Masterson's notion of "ready, fire, aim". He says that you should take action right away, and then learn as you go.

Acquiring business knowledge is a worthwhile activity. But without action, that knowledge is worthless to you.

KM's worry that, by not reading everything, he may miss a 'nugget' of information is accurate: you will never know everything there is to know in your field, or even most of what there is to know in your field.

But so what?

You don't have to know everything—or even most of what there is to know—to succeed in most endeavors.

For example, there are hundreds of strategies for making money on the Internet.

But you can make a six-figure annual income online using only a handful of them, even if you never bother to learn the others.

In freelance copywriting, there are many top writers who only write one type of promotion. Or work in one narrow niche. And they make a fortune doing so.

When we were kids, our parents and teachers told us to study, study, study.

But I see many people today much more enamored with studying marketing and reading about business, marketing, writing, and entrepreneurship than actually doing.

Well, I understand that. Reading about marketing is fascinating and fun.

But the money is in the doing, not the reading.

Follow the 25-50-25 rule, and you'll be doing—and making money—at least half the time.

No comments: