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The Lesson of The Woodpecker

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 Sig

Charlie Page
 

Happily married for 44 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and creator of over 16 membership sites. You can see all Charlie offers using this link Click Here

  • Gordon Appleby says:

    Great article, Charlie. Lots of “red meat”. Great questions. I love the distinction you made at the start of Question #4 regarding commitment:How committed are you to your CHOICE of how you will succeed? This is a vital question.”

    It’s easy to “commit” and to get excited about the goal. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make a lot of money and have time and choice freedom? But committing to the process and the vehicle is where the rubber meets the road. That’s what is going to get us to the goal.

    Starting out, we don’t have the wealth and freedom yet. But we do have the vehicle to get there, our vehicle of choice. And because we have that, we have the ability to achieve those lofty goals we have set for ourselves.

    Commit to the process, not just the goal. Put IN the work, get OUT the achievement of the goals.

    Easier said than done, but it’s the only way…and worth every step!

  • Shula says:

    Wow! this is so true. I love this illustration.

  • Mark M says:

    Hey Charlie, thanks for great information again. If I could follow all of your advice I’m sure I’d get a lot further in my internet mission. “Freedom”. Setting up time, setting up goals and setting up what!
    Thanks again.

  • As always, good solid content from one of my favorite authors. Thanks for the reminder Charlie!

  • Greg Hall says:

    Thanks Charlie, I am enjoying what I am reading on your site. Only just found you online so the timing is good. I have a wonderful little product I created in the “Baby niche” of all things. Customers love it, done thousands over the years. I have been gearing up for affiliates and got the system in place now just need get some affiliates on board. After this I am looking forward to tackling some solo ads and your DOE. Haven’t purchased yet just wanting to get the affiliate thing sorted first. Can’t quite peck as fast as that woodpecker, but I determined to get there.
    Thanks again for your wisdom.
    Cheers
    Greg

  • glenn cutler says:

    Hello Charlie
    Great advice about staying focused. Is it advised to focus on say 2 to 4 things. Meaning while I am building my business. I am focusing on building my newsletter list,my affiliate program both my inhouse and promoting your products.This along with my own website and selling on ebay and amazon. I don’t feel overwhelemed but believe in multiple streams of income. Thanks for all your help

  • Phil says:

    Great post, really does say what we all need to do in the simplest way I have seen. I was milling about going nowhere until recently and I did not plan things at all. I knew deep down what I was doing would not work, but I had a major procrastination bug to get rid off. I finally worked out that I needed to plan and take action, but boy was it a tough run to finally come to that conclusion. Your post really nails the reasons why we fail and how we can actually succeed far clearer than many posts I have read about this topic. I have been blogging about it the last few months but have come nowhere near to such a clear explanation.

  • Paul Warner says:

    A very good post and my severest problem in deciding what way to go.
    I originally wanted to be an IM marketer so I joined Chris Farrell’s membership where I was going to give away his eBook for opt-ins
    to selling his membership, but as time went by I got less and less enamored with the IM market and changed my mind. I don’t like the way these marketers do their business and I cannot keep up with all that I have to learn with the everyday inclusion of new products and ways to do things. It is overwhelming. So the three choices I am looking at is writing Kindle books, Amazon e-Commercial websites, or authoritative niche sites, something that I can replicate a hundred times over if I want to. None of this is easy and I am having a bitch of a time deciding niches to get into that I would like to research and have some expertise in. I do not want to do the diet, or dog training scene as I am sick and tired of those niches being thrown at us as the only examples of niches to get into. My mind goes totally blank when I try to think of a niche to get excited about and have the willingness to do everything I want to do to have expertise and build a nice site around.
    I am sure you have heard this same thing a thousand times but unfortunately it is where I am at right now. It is one of the reasons why I ask you about your experience with niche sites and what do you use to do your videos, another thing I have no experience in.
    That’s my story for the moment.

  • Charlie, I realized a while back that I was not utilizing my time very well on my online business, so I make some changes and set some rules for myself. My office is a spare bedroom in my home, and I was constantly getting interrupted, so I set up a “work” schedule for a 4 hour day. The door is closed and I am not to be interrupted from 9 – 11 a.m., then from 3-5 p.m. This works great and allows me to get a heck of a lot more work done on my online businesses.

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