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The Lesson of The Woodpecker

September 19, 20226 min read

I was reading The Dip by Seth Godin the other day and read something that really made sense. It applies perfectly to many people who are trying to make money online.

Here’s what Seth said …

A woodpecker can peck 1000 trees 20 times and only get tired.

Or he can peck the same tree 20,000 times and get dinner.

The woodpecker has a goal. His goal is to get dinner. If he wants to achieve that goal he will need to focus on one tree to get the job done. He can’t jump from tree to tree to tree and expect to get results.

Sound familiar?

We all have goals. To make money online, to have more free time, to be in control of what we do and when we do it.

But few are achieving those goals. That’s a shame because, as Zig Ziglar said, “a goal well set is half the battle won”.

How about you? Are you achieving your goals online? Are you where you want to be, or hoped to be, by now?

If not,  read on …

If you are not achieving your goals online yet don’t give up or get down on yourself. It’s harder than most “gurus” would have you believe. Especially the “one click” wonder hype boys.

Success is hard. It takes hard work. That needs to be said right up front.

Not getting down on yourself is a very important first step.

The next step, a starting point really, is to answer these questions. This is the process I use with my consulting clients and those I mentor.

Question 1 – What do you want?

Most people can answer this with one word … MONEY!

That’s fine. Nothing wrong with wanting the things money can buy. In fact, nothing at all wrong with wanting to make massive amounts of money.

The Internet can certainly do that for you. But, in order for that to happen, you have to have a plan. A good plan. A plan based on facts, not hopes or dreams.

And that leads us to question 2. I call it The Question of The Woodpecker

Question 2 – What tree are you pecking?

In other words, if you want to make money (or have time freedom or any other worthwhile goal) HOW are you going to do that?

Now I know some people might be saying “Come on Charlie, of COURSE that is the question”

But hear me out.

Success does not happen by accident. It does not happen by trying many things and getting lucky.

Success comes to those who plan, prepare, work hard and expect to then succeed.

Notice the process. Plan first THEN prepare (based on those plans) and THEN work hard (based on your preparation) and THEN expect to succeed.

Do that and you will succeed. I’ve seen it happen thousands of times.

The key in this stage is to choose “the right tree” as it were. In other words, choose the WAY in which you will succeed.

  • Will it be affiliate marketing?

  • Will it be content marketing?

  • Will it be creating products?

  • Will it be doing product launches?

  • Will it be providing a service?

  • WHAT will be your one thing?

The possibilities are endless but making the choice matters most.

This much is certain – no one succeeds online by reading email and reading endless pitches about the “next big thing”, reading long sales letters or watching videos.

If what I just wrote describes you then begin checking email only twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. And learn to “process” your email, not read every message.

Once you have chosen your method of success it will be known as your ONE THING.

Question 3 – When are you going to start?

This is the easiest question of all. The ONLY answer (and I mean the only answer) to this is NOW.

There are few things that can be said to be true 100% of the time. Here is one of them.

The person who is not willing to take the first step will never take the second step.

The first step is starting now. Not tomorrow, next week or when you feel better … now.

Question 4 – How committed are you?

And here’s the hardest question.

How committed are you to your CHOICE of how you will succeed? This is a vital question.

If you are not 100% committed to your goal then WHEN you hit the wall (not if, when) you will be tempted to quit.

Here is the action step to uncover if you are truly committed now, or need to shore up that commitment.

  • Make a list of everything you did in the last three days. Not of every minute in the day but of the things you did.

  • Now organize the list into big groups of activity – things like sleep, watching TV, working, etc.

  • Now write down how much time each activity group took.

  • Next, organize your list by how much time was spent, from the most time to the least time.

  • Last, organize your work time into how much you spent on your ONE THING vs. time spent on anything else.

Here’s what you are looking for — how much of your time was spent on the ONE THING you need to do to achieve your goal?

If you are like most people you will find that you spent more time watching TV (or doing other optional things) than pursuing your one thing.

If that is you, no worries. Now you know where to adjust.

Don’t get me wrong – success takes more than just focus. It takes focusing on the right activities.

After all, a woodpecker who pecks a fence post a million times will be disappointed.

But answering the questions above, and being honest enough with yourself to know where your time goes, will help you get to where you want to go faster. And it will make the journey fun as well.

Zig Ziglar was found of saying this …

“You were born to win. But in order to be the winner you were born to be you have to plan to win, you have to prepare to win, and then (and only then) can you reasonably expect to win”

I couldn’t agree more. I’m living it and teaching it to those I mentor.

Use the questions in this article get started. Set your goals, choose your strategy, commit to it and work it like there is no tomorrow.

If you do that I believe you will achieve your goals.

And achieving worthwhile goals is a beautiful thing indeed!

Charlie Page

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Charlie Page

Helping people succeed online for over 23 years. Content marketing. Course creator.

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