The Question You Should Ask Yourself Every Day

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Mon, 2007-01-29 11:41.
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This idea woke me up Saturday morning sometime before 5 AM.

I say “sometime” because it was dark and I really didn’t want to know what time it was.

I just wanted to go back to sleep, but the thought literally wouldn’t let me. After quite a bit of internal resistance, I finally rolled over and scribbled the words “Results vs. Activity” in the notepad I keep by my bed.

So what does it mean? Because I’ve worked with so many entrepreneurs over the years - hundreds directly and many thousands indirectly - I’ve had a chance to see what works and what doesn’t in business.

Many people - including me sometimes - are under the mistaken impression that “busy-ness” is the same thing as business. When they do this they’re making a very fundamental mistake.

Business is not about activity, it’s about results.

Like a unguided missile, many people launch themselves on a trajectory of what they think is dilligent activity assuming that activity alone is going to get them to a happy place. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Most people would profit from stopping everything they’re doing for a day and going to some quiet spot with a notepad and a pen and “thinking outloud on paper” about:

1. Where you’re at,

2. Where you’re trying to go and

3. What is it you’re actually doing every day.

Early in the Internet marketing revolution, I coined the phrase “traffic plus conversion equals profits.” I came up with this equation because I’d become deeply frustrated watching so many beginners chase their tails in a flurry of dramatic, but meaningless busy-ness. It’s very easy to get very, very busy and get nowhere.

Getting results, which presumably is why we do what we do, is about getting busy on the things that matter. When it comes to the things that matter in Internet marketing, it always comes down to the same things: traffic and conversion.

What did you do to get more leads today? What did you do to inspire your visitors to take more of the actions you want them to take?

If the answer to one of both of these questions is nothing, what exactly did you do today for your business?

Believe it or not, loyalty to this simple formula has been responsible for countless success stories in the Internet marketing world. It’s gotten people off the merry-go-round of chasing the-fad-of-the-month and into the world of putting serious money in the bank.

Take some time today - even just ten minutes - to think about what results you’re trying to achieve. Then catalog what you plan to do with your time today. Are the two in sync or has activity run off like an unguided missile taking you only God knows where?

It’s a question all smart entrepreneurs ask themselves daily. In fact, I believe you’ll find that many run this calculation in the back of their minds all day… “Is this activity going to move me towards the results I want?” If the anwer is yes, move forward. If it’s no, look for a better use of your time.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Ken MacCarthy, 

Think Two Products Ahead: Secrets the Big Advertising Agencies Don't Want You to Know and How to Use Them for Bigger Profits