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Do The Work - Stop Procrastinating And Get It Done

Do The Work - Stop Procrastinating And Get It Done

Tony Cooper  
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When In Doubt – Do The Work - Stop Procrastinating And Get With The Program


Last Updated
June 30, 2017

If you do the work, at the end of the day, you will have something you can look at and read.

Only you will know whether it is good enough to publish or sell, but you can always look at it and make that decision once the work is done.

You will have gained experience and lost nothing.

If you do nothing and decide to spend the day watching your favourite box set on TV then not only have you have lost the opportunity to create something, you’ve also lost the knowledge that you would have gained into the bargain.

You will always have critics but being criticised is just another opportunity to improve on your work.

You Will Always Have Critics

Take the case of Mark Wright – remember him? – the Aussie guy who won The Apprentice. His website went live today and for someone who is claiming he is going to revolutionise the way search engine marketing works he is off to a pretty inauspicious start.

The poor guy is on a hiding to nothing. Every SEO Freelancer and SEO website in the land is panning his site for being atrociously bad in every aspect of the very service he is hoping to sell – Search engine optimisation.

If I’m going to add anything constructive and fan the flames, then he could have picked a better domain name.

That’s a rookie mistake right there. But that doesn’t matter now because…

Like they say, any publicity is good publicity and in this case, the paradox is that with everyone linking to his site to show just what a poor effort it is he can’t fail to succeed with all of those nice juicy backlinks being gained. If he wanted to come up with a link bait idea then mission accomplished.

It’s back to the drawing board for Mark but at least he stuck his neck out and did something. He did the work and unless the Dark Lord points the dreaded finger for bringing about a car crash of Twitter abuse then he’ll get the chance to rectify all the errors.

Inaction Makes You Poorer

Every day you spend procrastinating on that new idea for a website or not writing that new article drains away your creative force. Is that niche profitable?

How will you ever know unless you try?

Creativity is not bestowed on “lucky” people.

Doing the work enables you to get better at what you do and that in turn lets you express yourself in more creative ways.

If you ever catch yourself thinking “I wish I had a successful website” then guess what? It’s because you never did the work in the first place.

Failure IS an option. In fact, in many cases, it’s a prerequisite for success.

Many great inventions or ideas were preceded with a string of failures.

Get Started Building Your Blog

The sudden rush over the past couple of years towards content marketing has led to an explosion in the amount of information being published.

How do you get your voice heard in this ever increasing data storm? Is it even worth trying?

The answer to that question is yes. But only if you are prepared to do the work and provide quality or value where none exists before.

Avoid Shortcuts To Success

In 2006 the Adsense advertising boom was in full swing and it was very easy to make money by making a basic site, copying some content, rewriting it in a fashion and moving on to the next one.

As far as creating or adding value this was about as low as you could get on the money making food chain.

We bought over 100 .com domain names at this time with the sole intention of making each site “make a dollar a day” from AdSense revenue.

It was a significant investment in domain names which were a lot more expensive back then than they are now, and of course our valuable time.

It may not sound like a lot but if it worked it would be close to a £1,500 per month income, just for having some domain names sitting there.

What we hadn’t figured on was the logistics of trying to secure 100 Joomla sites and keep up with the accelerated patch programme.

As fast as one exploit was discovered and the patch delivered, so another security breach would be reported, and the process repeated itself.

Joomla 1.5 didn’t have the ability to apply the latest software update remotely and so we spent most of our time in site administration applying security patches rather than developing anything worthwhile. The whole thing was a poorly thought out and ill conceived shortcut to making money.

Then Google started clamping down on copied and spun content and the whole exercise was rendered futile. The sites we had worked on so hard making logos and five pages of “content” for were banished to the outer reaches of search engine listings overnight. Never to return.

We learned about honesty and integrity - that the truth matters... that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules... and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square. – Michelle Obama.

Everyone likes to think that there are shortcuts to success, that the way to get to the top is to do the least amount of work but do it “smarter”, that there is some magical formula that allows you to escape doing the work. That doing the work is not the clever way to success, doing the work is just, well, plain boring. I’d rather be sitting on the beach with a pina colada any day than actually doing the work.

It’s this inherent human thought process that is your best friend. Most of what is published today is going to be complete garbage. There are still people trying to make their own personal blog networks so that they can gain an easy couple of back links. There are still people spinning content or worse still just copying it. And there are still individuals who think the way to success is to just blatantly steal someone else’s site and pass it off as their own work.

When I made my first niche poker affiliate site back in 2009 it was ripped off by someone who registered the same domain name but as a .org. They then proceeded to copy the site page by page and slightly alter the text in the hope that no one would notice.

Of course, I was initially furious but over time I began to see the funny side. Affiliate programs would not work with the imposter because they could clearly see that the site was a rip-off and it gradually faded away, another failed shortcut and another painful lesson learned by the perpetrator.

The internet allows everyone to have their say and do their thing, but the few who do something worthwhile are the winners.

There is much to do, much to make. Don’t be put off by the absurd amount of noise and general chatter. Rise above it – go ahead and make your thing. Add Value, bring something to the table that will delight others.

Do Something Worthwhile Doing

Startups are raising massive amounts of capital in a new wave of bullishness for Internet business. The Uber valuation boggles the mind, at $50 billion it's valuation is growing faster than Facebook who themselves today announced a daily user base of 1 Billion people.

Technological breakthroughs are being made at breakneck speed. The hydrogen cell that is expected to quadruple battery life for mobile phones, mobile shopping, driverless cars, 3-D Imagery, Liquid Biopsy, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay.

All around us technology is redefining and reshaping the future faster than we could ever have imagined.

As Entrepreneurs, Affiliate Marketers; Content Publishers and Bloggers we all want a slice of the pie.

The chance to make something worthy is right in front of us if we would only reach out and take it.

Focus On One Idea And Make It Work

This veritable smorgasbord of opportunity has a dark side though. The abundance of ideas means that trying to focus on just one concept is a difficult task indeed. But focus you must or the alternative is to fall between all the stools.

This week Draftkings announced that it had gained a UK Gaming License. Daily Fantasy Sports is coming to the UK and what a world of an opportunity it presents to the affiliate that can start building a site dedicated to the fantasy sports sector.

As soon as I saw the press release, my eyes lit up, and the familiar chain of events was set in motion.

What domains were available? What would the affiliate program look like? What content could I start creating?

I didn't do that. The old me would still be working on the idea now. Now it's just a note in my Evernote. A future project. One of many that are unlikely to see the light of day.

It's Too Easy To Flip Flop From Idea To Idea

Getting one thing started and then getting bored only to move on to the next “more glamorous” project. Always flitting from the next big thing to the next big thing.

And if working on one project was too difficult to do then the endless distractions to the daily grind will surely do for you.

The 24 Hour news channels that keep you “informed” and up to date. Cluttering your brain with useless information.

Social Media accounts that suck up vast tracts of time in a never completing cycle of connection.

Disappearing down a YouTube time vortex and not reappearing until hours later having seen Cats do the funniest things.

Focus Is The Most Demanding Of Self-Disciplines To Learn But Also The Most Rewarding

Once you begin to home in with a laser-like focus on the work that needs to be completed, then stuff starts to get done quicker, faster and with more energy.

More information is freely and abundantly available that at any time in humanities history. More resources are available to help you master your calling. Instant communication and constant innovation are all around you.

Ludwig Van Beethoven was a pianist whose most famous works were composed during his later years as he became tragically deaf. Not being able to hear did not stop him from writing some of the most revered classical pieces:

Almost miraculously, despite his rapidly progressing deafness, Beethoven continued to compose at a furious pace. From 1803-1812, what is known as his "middle" or "heroic" period, he composed an opera, six symphonies, four solo concerti, five string quartets, six string sonatas, seven piano sonatas, five sets of piano variations, four overtures, four trios, two sextets and 72 songs. The most famous among these were symphonies No. 3-8, the "Moonlight Sonata," the "Kreutzer" violin sonata and Fidelio, his only opera. In terms of the astonishing output of superlatively complex, original and beautiful music, this period in Beethoven's life is unrivaled by any of any other composer in history.

Ludvig Van Beethoven Biography.com

Perhaps it was the knowledge that impending deafness would eventually leave him unable to hear his compositions that spurred Beethoven on to greater productivity.

However, he did it you can be sure of one thing. Each piece was crafted individually from beginning to end. If he had worked on lots of different musical ideas at the same time then his legacy would be a fraction of the vast body of work he eventually left us.

Ideas are a cheap commodity; everyone has them. Doing the work is the most important task. Laser focus is the holy grail of achievement.

Turn off the news, log out of social media, close your email browser, shut the door.

Work that matters, do you must.

What Makes A Professional Different From The Rest Of Us?

You want to build a fantastic affiliate site that will become one of the “goto” resources in its niche. Or perhaps you have an idea for an eCommerce shopping site that will stop the competition in their tracks.

Maybe you want to build an App where none exists to fill a gap in the marketplace.

The dreaming starts, the idea gets hatched, the planning begins. The customer journey gets mapped out.

But somewhere along the line, the creation of your masterpiece gets derailed and eventually put on the back burner, where it will probably remain forever.

What Happened? Why Did Your World Beating Idea Come To Nothing?

Ideas, Dreams, Planning

These are all processes that are disengaged from the real business of creating your product.

The reason you fail is that you don't do the work.

That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
Steve Jobs

There are parties to go to, drinks to be drunk, box sets that insist on being watched.

You have to catch up with your Facebook friends, view your Twitter feed, listen to that Podcast and keep checking email.

In short, there are too many distractions in your life that get in the way of getting any real work done.

The professional creative knows this and goes out of their way to avoid distractions.

When they sit down to code or write their next piece the radio is turned off, social media is put on hold; email is shut down. They focus on their work.

This “skill”, this ability to focus is becoming harder for anyone that works in “tech” to achieve because the external demands or distractions are so pervasive.

Being able to focus on the work and get it done is the difference between the professional and the also ran.

What? You thought it was something else? Some magical component you were missing in your life makeup.

Nope. That's it. The ability to be able to sit down and do the work is the most underrated and most important skill that a modern day creative can have. Without being able to do the work there is no work.

It sounds incredibly naive and simplistic when you frame it in these terms, but it's the truth.

The amateur constantly flits between browser windows always working but never getting anything done.

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