In yesterday’s email, I suggested focusing on the one or two tasks that are best for your business.
For me, it’s focusing on publishing content.
A Fat Stacks reader replied “my default task is to read your email. Does that count? Lol.”
Great sense of humor.
My response was “that’s the best thing you could do haha. I should have said that. Thanks though… I appreciate it.”
Reading my emails is NOT the best thing you can do for your business.
That’s very un-self-serving of me to say that but it’s true.
Reading my emails will not grow your business.
Watching videos will NOT grow your business.
Listening to podcasts will NOT grow your business.
Dare I say it… buying and going through courses will not grow your business.
Publishing content will build your content business. If you build links, building links will build your business. That’s it.
Isn’t learning important, especially in the beginning?
Yes, it is. It’s critically important. Had it not been for bloggers and people selling courses, I would not have the online business I have.
I’ve learned invaluable tips and methods over the years.
But none of that learning grew my business.
Some of that info I learned set me on a path, but it was me who took the steps.
I’m all for arming yourself with a good strategy. If I weren’t, I’d have no business publishing Fat Stacks.
But there’s a limit to how much time you should spend arming yourself with info.
Yesterday I mentioned 20% of non-critical tasks.
Learning should fall into that 20% (along with other less important tasks like email, bookkeeping, website tech, etc.).
In other words, and I’ve done this so I know from personal experience, do not spend entire days or weeks reading and watching.
Some folks read and watch for months on end under the guise of learning.
Learning reaches a point of diminishing returns quickly.
Once you hit upon a model that resonates with you, turn the learning machine off and do the work.
You will learn far more doing than reading or watching.
And yes, you will make a ton of mistakes. Spending more time learning won’t prevent that.
It’s like law school or med school. You don’t learn how to do the job. You merely learn the foundation. Learning how to do the job comes from actually doing it. It’s why it’s called “practicing law” or “practicing medicine”. Yeah, I know that’s kinda scary if you’re hiring a lawyer or consulting a doctor, but it’s true.
The point of buying courses and reading various methods taught by bloggers is to discover a system that resonates with you.
Once you find it, distill that system to key tasks and do them day in, day out.
What about ongoing learning?
I read many of the same folks you do. It’s a small community. I like to stay informed.
While I buy fewer courses than I did several years ago, I do pay attention to industry news and what other folks are doing.
I continue to pick up info-gems here and there.
I restrict my “learning time” to what I call coffee breaks.
Most of my days are spent hammering away on tasks that get content published.
I’m not a machine though.
I need breaks. I take them.
When a seemingly interesting email comes in from another blogger, I star it. Come break time, I check it out.
Same with new courses. I don’t stop what I’m doing when the emails come in.
I star them in Gmail and check it out when I need a break.
Sometimes I buy. Sometimes I don’t.
If I buy, my coffee break is extended, although I usually rip through courses in 15 minutes. I look for a few of the promised gems set out on the sales page. The rest I’m not interested in. I don’t need to watch 90 minutes on how to set up a website or read modules on “why something is good.”
My theory with courses is if I learn one solid tip, it’s money well spent. One tip can make a big difference.
When I was new in this business, I learned more from courses because it was all new to me.
I appreciate every single person who reads these emails. I wouldn’t bother otherwise.
Same with folks who buy my courses.
But keep all this learning in perspective. Make it work for you.
Learn what you need, then do the work.
Set aside coffee break time for emails, new course info, blog posts, videos, etc.
Learning is like booze.
A drink or two or three calms the nerves and can make social outings more jovial.
But 12 double martinis won’t do you any favors. Sure it’s fun at the time but you pay the next day. If you do it every day, eventually it takes a toll on you.
And yes, some people drink 12 martinis or more in a sitting. Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame worked his way up to two gallons of vodka a day.
He’s since quit drinking… again.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.