Stop Taking Action Right Now!

The next lemming that screams out “I’m taking action” before leaping with two feet into their next stupid decision is going to get a knot on his head, courtesy of me. I get why it’s such a popular mantra. There are plenty of people that just refuse to do anything for their business. But the phrase has been swiped (and generously exploited) by marketers who want viewers to get off the pot and buy something already.

It’s the responsibility of a salesman to ask you for the sale. It’s your job to think before you make that choice. So don’t just rush out and “take action”, if the action is about spending your money.  Instead, get up from the computer and ask yourself a few questions.

Is my ignorance making this product attractive?

If you’re buying a “make money method” that you haven’t heard about or used before, ask yourself whether you’re in love with the idea of the general method, or the specific system the vendor is offering. If you’ve read some sales material that a certain social media method is the greatest thing in the world, maybe you should spend a little bit of time learning about that method and implementing. Maybe the book or software has some shortcut that promises to make things easier, but you won’t understand the value of it until you actually spend some time working on it.

"I am taking action."

“I am taking action.”

Remember that setting a habit will ultimately be more useful than any software or system.

How long is this going to take to set up?

Okay, this might be an understatement… but there’s a lot of in-between stuff between you downloading a program and making a bunch of money. And there’s a time-dilation effect when it comes to teaching. It can be faster to explain how to do something (write a book AND THEN) than it is to do it. So forget what the sales pitch says – it might be accurate for the person TEACHING the program, but they’ve worked pretty hard on it.

Think about your skills and ask yourself how long it’s going to take for you to set things up. If you’re “guesstimating” how long it’ll take to do a job because you’re too dumb to track your time, go ahead and double that guesstimate, genius.

Is this stronger than compound interest?

You’ve probably got a lot of goals. Short term goals, long term goals. And you’ve got a lot of plans for reaching those goals. Are you really going to risk THROWING OUT the stuff you’re doing in order to add some new element?

Don’t pick up a “new thing” just because you’ve sucked at doing the old thing.

Instead, look for something that can fill a gap in your existing knowledge.

No matter what you’ve been doing, you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, digesting it, and making it your own. Make sure you’ve got a really good reason to change tracks.

Is this the best use of my money?

Are you buying this out of a genuine desire to learn something new, or are you just paranoid? Nobody wants to be left out of some awesome secret, but information overload is what happens when you know all the super special secrets.

Is this the best use of your money right now? Could you spend that money hiring someone to implement an already existing idea? Too many people spend their money on their business and their time in it instead of the other way around.


  1. Hi Micah,

    NOW you tell me, after I’ve bought all that crap.

    Just kidding, this is great advice. I think I’ll print this out and tape it up above my monitor, so I can re-read it every time I want to open some of those dozens of emails I get every day promising the moon.

    I think the real secret to success these guys don’t usually tell you is: Learn the basics, and keep plugging away at it, building up relationships as you go, and you’ll get there eventually.

    There is no EASY button, and NO secret method for overnight success.

    When I sold cars at a Chevrolet dealership years ago, we were taught that “You don’t sell steak, you sell the sizzle”. In other words, we weren’t selling the car to the buyer, we were selling the image of what they would look like to their friends and family driving it.

    Like they say, if it SEEMS too good to be true, it probably IS, or as P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”.

    Thanks, Micah. – Steve
    Steven Stuart recently posted…Social Media – Who Needs It?My Profile

    1. Author

      I really agree with you on the “sizzle” thing. And you know it’s important that if you’re a marketer with an inbox, you’re going to get presented with plenty of opportunities – just like you’re going to see a lot of cars if you go to a dealership. But ultimately, you’ve got to decide what’s right for YOU and not let some other guy do it for you. 🙂

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Hi Micah,

    Great Post!

    There are always new information to learn, lots of lists to subscribe to and hundreds of emails everyday from people you subscribed to their lists which get business owners distracted from focusing on the money generating activities and waste lots of time jumping around on the internet without getting anything done.

    This is a serious problem in our industry and needs to be dealt with because if you are not disciplined in your daily activities, you are going to waste valuable time without getting anything done.

    I think one needs to put the blinds on and focus on mastering what they are doing and they will find success instead of jumping from one product to another or trying to find that “Get Rich Quick” scheme. There is no shortcut to success. There is hard work and dedication involved.

    Thanks Micah for sharing this great post with all of us.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted…10 Tips On How To Engage Facebook Fans!My Profile

    1. Author

      You’re as insightful as always. That phrase “disciplined in your daily activities” is important – you’re one of the people that are GREAT at setting steady habits – it’s an example everybody should follow.

  3. I like the point you make here, sometimes (all the time) taking action without first planning is not the right way to do things. If we all did things this way, we would end up a bunch of miserable online marketers banging our heads against our desks by the end of the day.

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