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Structured Procrastination = Loss In Your Income

You might already be familiar with the survivability stats for new start-ups that are commonly cited by entrepreneurship evangelists…

Out of every 10 new start-ups every year, 5 of them will go belly-up in the first year.

Out of the survivors making it past year 1, another 50% of them will cease operations at the end of year 2.

And so on, until only the top 1% make it at the end of year 5.

[The stats are across all industries and according to the company registrars that help these companies and sole proprietorships incorporate]

I don’t exactly know the stats for individuals coming into internet marketing, but I think it could be something similar.

A case in point, I’ve helped sell coaching programs, where we work 1-on-1 with new internet marketers, or people who say they want to make a living on the internet. These guys shell out close to $10,000 a head to enroll in these programs. They’re all fired up in week 1, just raring to go.

You ask them to research 5 websites, they research 50. But somehow when it comes to implementing the project later in the program, there’s some resistance and inertia to getting started.

Some may blame “affluenza” or middle class syndrome. If there isn’t an inner fire to succeed, it’s going to be difficult for anything to happen.

One saying that I’ve been telling new marketers is “If you do nothing, nothing will happen. If you do something, something (which may not be what you expect) will happen”.

The inner game – inside your head – is ultimately going to affect your outer game (what you do).

And everyone has had some experience with “structured procrastination” – “I don’t know if it’s really me” , “I’m not sure if this is going to be a meaningful project”, “I don’t know how I feel about this” or [insert your favorite excuse/reason here].

So in life, there’re going to be the people who sit and do nothing. Then there are the people who go out and do something. And the third group who sit there and blog about it.

Which group do you want to be in?

I was just looking at the updates for Jeremy Palmer’s BlackInkProject which we discussed in the last Friday Podcast. Out of the 1,000 people who signed up (the program closed within 24 hours), 759 have filled in the survey…In order words, 24.1% or about a quarter of the people haven’t taken action yet.

If you can’t take 5 minutes to fill in a survey, imagine the inertia to get your first campaign going…

Incidentally, Jeremy has opened up a BlackInkProject wait list and there is a possibility he might be opening up more places.

My budyd, Amit Mehta’s also put up a blog about the value of persistence worth checking out.

If there’s a lesson in all of this, it’s that you need to climb over the walls to get to the big rewards. If you can’t even get over the small wall to get to the next level, success is going to be a long time in the making.

10 comments on Structured Procrastination = Loss In Your Income

  1. Stephan Miller
    April 22, 2008 at 7:55 pm (4746 days ago)

    Sometimes it’s to tell the difference between procrastination and a breather. And then there are all those useless things we call “work” which actually aren’t doing anything. If I could cut those out, I would be set.

  2. Caleb
    April 23, 2008 at 5:01 am (4746 days ago)

    Seems like most just sit and blog about it. I’ve had similar problems with showing people what I do. They get motivated for a while then all of a sudden…NOTHING !

    Maybe I’ve been sharing it with the wrong people?

  3. The Internet Apprentice
    April 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm (4746 days ago)

    From my experience, most people are just afraid to try anything new for fear of failure. What I’ve come to realize is that you’ve got to turn this idea on its head. You shouldn’t fear failure, you should welcome it. Why? Because Failure is the ultimate teacher. You will learn more from screwing up than doing anything else. When you look at it this way, it’s a lot easier putting yourself out there and trying things outside of your comfort zone. Embrace FAILURE, and eventually you’ll succeed (despite yourself ;) )

    Just my two bits,

    - Dave

  4. theaffiliatepost
    April 24, 2008 at 9:59 pm (4744 days ago)

    A very valuable two bits, thanks Dave!! I could not agree more

  5. Jeannine Crooks
    April 25, 2008 at 6:26 am (4744 days ago)

    A good friend has been teaching us to grow by trying new things. It’s been a tremendous experience; sometimes we’ve gotten it right, and other times we have to try again. But we’ve also found that making mistakes just energizes us to try again until we get it right. And we won’t quit until we’ve achieved our goals.

    Sadly, we too have watched many others talk about wanting success, then burn out in less than a month because that success wasn’t instanteous and would require some actual work.

    So, as for us, we choose to be in Group 2. No matter how many tries it takes, we’ll just keep working until we get there, because it’s our dream.

  6. Andrew Wee
    April 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm (4744 days ago)

    I use a fairly crude yardstick.

    Activities and stuff that help me provide for my family and maintain my lifestyle I categorize as revenue generating, and I actively focus on these.

    Activities which don’t fit here are in my “Good to do” category and I get to them when I can.

    Your body is a good barometer of how hard you’re working.
    If you’re struggling to stay awake, or if you’re falling sick, you should take a rest.

    If you’re struggling to pay your bills, then do the “work” stuff…

  7. Andrew Wee
    April 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm (4744 days ago)

    I’ve heard “experience” been defined as doing stuff that doesn’t work (ie discovering “failure”), so you need to “fail” a number of times before you succeed.

    If you have a difficult time processing “failure”, then it’s going to be difficult to “succeed”.

  8. Andrew Wee
    April 25, 2008 at 12:50 pm (4744 days ago)

    Great tips, Jeannine – I have a rough inkling of who you might be referring to.

    I like the concept of structured procrastination for the other benefit.

    It knocks out 90% of the competition who merely “wish” to achieve their outcome.

    Often, wishing isn’t enough of a driver to get something done.

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