Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Michael Masterson Journal

MM Journal

Issue No. 56 - $1.91

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

Walt Disney

How 10 Minutes Can Change Your Life Right Now

Adela was an energetic, recently divorced 36-year-old, bubbling with ideas. She had come to ETR's Info-Marketing Bootcamp to start her life anew. The goal she had in mind was to become a freelance copywriter -- and she told me she had already ordered AWAI's copywriting program.

"This is the best conference I've ever been to," she said at the end of the three-day event. "I can't wait to get back home and get to work on the copywriting program!"

I was excited for her. If you were looking for the personification of charged-up-and-ready-to-go, it was Adela.

When I saw her at Bootcamp the following year, I asked how her freelance copywriting career had been progressing.

"Well, I got derailed," she admitted.

First, there was her father's death. That stopped her for several months. Then she took a new job in another city. That kept her "working day and night" for six more months.

"By then it was almost time for the next Bootcamp -- this one. So I decided to wait before trying again."

I sympathized with her plight. But I also gently reminded her that we all come upon obstacles in our paths.

I didn't tell her about the problems I encounter every day. I knew she didn't need to hear that. What she needed was to get back on track... and fast.

I advised Adela to make her freelance career her number one goal for the upcoming year. "Use your time here at this Bootcamp to actually get started," I suggested. " Approach each session, workshop, and personal encounter as an opportunity to do that."

I went so far as to recommend ETR's goal setting program. I told her there are plenty such programs to choose from, but ETR's is the best of the bunch. And I explained why.

It is designed to help you:

  • Fit more productive, money-making activities into each hour and exponentially increase your earning potential...

  • Achieve complete intellectual clarity so you can make better decisions more easily...

  • Cut back on the number of hours you spend "working," and increase the time you have to spend doing the things you love with people you enjoy...

  • Spot the superstar partners and employees who will help you boost your income...

  • Completely reinvent your life so you can become the kind of successful, on-top-of-things person you always wanted to be...

  • Remain completely stress-free -- no matter how busy you get...

  • Make consistent, daily progress toward your most-neglected goals...

Adela enthusiastically agreed to invest in it.

The next time I saw her, it was at Bootcamp two years later. Again, I asked how she was doing. And this time she was defensive.

"I don't have the luxury of being able to spend six hours a day practicing my copywriting skills," she told me.

"I've got a full-time job, a charity I work for, friends, family..."

I was disappointed. Adela had such a great attitude the first two times I had met her. But now, she had lost that.

I asked her about the goal setting program.

"I never bought it," she admitted. "I got busy and let it slide."

"Then what are you doing here?"

"I just need to be inspired to get motivated again," she told me.

"Well, I hope this Bootcamp can do that for you," I said.

But I wasn't optimistic.

Four years of doing nothing had turned Adela against herself. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she'd decided that what she wanted to do was just what she had always been doing -- living a life that she herself described as "unfulfilling."

I suppose it's okay to live that way. Who am I to tell this woman how to spend her time? Still, it makes me uncomfortable to see people waste their opportunities.

Every year, because of the instruction and encouragement they receive at Bootcamp, dozens of people make the transition from unhappy dreamers to successful entrepreneurs.

Like Rob Gramer, who gained enough confidence after Bootcamp to quit his job as a mechanical engineer and follow his true passion, writing. He used what he learned at Bootcamp to turn it into a money-making online venture.

Or Darryl Jack of, who used the business-building secrets he learned through Early to Rise  to start three successful businesses, the first of which consistently earns upward of $10,000 per month.

What makes the difference between those who succeed and those who don't?

Here's what I think: Successful "life changers" don't wait for everything to be "right." They don't wait for:

  • their personal lives to sort themselves out

  • or their work load to settle down

  • or the projects they are working on to be completed

  • or the new addition to their house to be finished

  • or the problem with their in-laws to be resolved

Or... to be motivated.

Well-known author Robert Ringer believes that most successful people have this one trait in common: They don't wait for motivation. They create their own motivation by taking action.

"If I had to wait for motivation," he says, "I never could have written all the books I've written." (He's written about a half-dozen excellent personal-development books, including three bestsellers.)

"Like most writers, I often start the day staring at my computer, unmotivated and without any definite ideas."

If he were in the habit of waiting for motivation, he would spend most of his time waiting, he says. What he does instead is "just start writing." It doesn't matter whether his initial writing is any good. So long as he keeps at it for an hour or two, he knows he'll eventually come up with something good. "Motivation follows action," he says.

Point is, unless you have a goal, make achieving that goal a priority, and find a way to act on it every day, your chances of succeeding are very slim.

With all my business responsibilities -- not to mention the writing I do for Early to Rise -- I can come up with plenty of excuses to put off working on my next project. If I sat around waiting for motivation to hit, I'd never get anything done. Instead, I do what Robert Ringer does. I just start working.

Frank McKinney, a multimillionaire real estate developer, makes the same point from a different perspective: "You don't need to wait until you are an expert to start making money in real estate. Get to know your local area by doing a little bit of work every day. Before you know it, you'll have a good idea about what to buy and when to sell, and then you'll be on your way to wealth and financial independence. But you have to start right away. Start immediately and then keep going. Do something every day, even if it's only something that takes five or 10 minutes."

Whether you're an aspiring freelancer like Adela, a would-be entrepreneur, or a mountain-climber dying to tackle Mount Everest, you can change your life today by simply spending 10 minutes doing something to advance your agenda.

In the physical universe, we know that it takes much more energy to put a ball in motion than it does to keep it rolling. The same principle holds true for accomplishing goal. The hardest part is simply getting started.

And that is one of the things that makes ETR's goal setting program so effective. Its first and foremost focus is to get you into action. Billionaire-maker Bob Cox heads up the program -- and he understands how important action is. He is a master at getting your ball rolling. In fact, he has been known to intervene personally with people in the program when he suspects that they are stalled.

Adela had great potential -- as much potential as I've ever seen in a person. And she had a great attitude to boot. What's more, she spent money and time on three ETR Bootcamps that inspired her. But she never got started. She never even put in 10 measly minutes.

That's all you need to change your life -- 10 measly minutes to get the ball rolling. Once you are moving forward, you will want to continue. Forward motion produces energy that fuels your psyche. And the farther you move, the greater the energy you'll be fed. It will come automatically. That is the reason successful people seem to move so easily up the ladder of life while dreamers, no matter how hard they "try," keep slipping down.

If you've read this far, you've already put in at least five minutes. Take another five now and go here to find out more about how Bob Cox and our goal setting program can help you.

I'm not asking you. I'm telling you.

Here's what Kristy Chou in Atlanta says about it:

"I can't tell you how important your program has been in the progress I have made in my life... I have lost almost 50 pounds and have greatly improved my health. I have probably increased the value of my company by at least 50%. I have strategically invested more quality time with people who are important to me in order to improve those relationships. In short, I love your system and your program. I love being exposed to the way you think about business, life, goals, etc. "

This is what I'm talking about.

And the program is fully guaranteed. If it is not everything I've said it is, you can get your money back.

There is no reason NOT to take that extra five minutes now. If some objection just jumped into your mind, see it for what it is: an impulse to continue your life as it is.

Resist that impulse. Sign up for the program right now. As soon as you have done it, you will feel the energy I'm talking about. You will know, deep down inside, that you have put your life's ball into motion. It will give you a sensation of excitement and confidence. And when Bob welcomes you into the program, you can use that energy to take action to do the first thing he says.

You may think there is no way I can possibly know what or how you will feel. But I do know. Because I have practiced the skill of putting my life's ball into motion a thousand times. And I have helped dozens of people do the same.

In fact, I'll make my guarantee even stronger. If you don't experience the energy rush and the confidence that I'm talking about, you can cancel your order immediately and go back to what you've been comfortably doing all along.

But I know that won't happen to you. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this will change you. Give yourself a chance. Now -- not tomorrow -- is the time to act.

ETR Reader Says: "Goal Setting Doesn't Work"

In response to the essay I wrote about my new book on self-development, The Pledge, I got a great letter from "Tom," an ETR reader who is passionate about goal setting.

Passionately negative, that is. He thinks "it's a damned joke."

In the real world of business, Tom says, people make decisions based on gut reactions and leaps of faith. The best decisions often come "when you have your back up against the wall. When anxiety levels are high... the brain has to work fast and efficiently." Goal setting, Tom suspects, didn't get me to where I am and won't work for anyone else.

I love this letter because it so clearly comes from the heart. Tom's clearly a pragmatic guy who doesn't want to waste time (or money) on useless business ideas.

I'm sympathetic to his feelings, because I used to feel the same way. I started a dozen companies and made millions of dollars without ever setting goals. I had dreams. I made New Year's resolutions. But I never actually set specific goals and tried to follow them.

So Tom is right -- you don't have to set goals to be successful. If you have good instincts and good luck, you can do very well, as I did in the beginning of my career.

But just because goal setting isn't necessary, it doesn't follow that it is not good. Longtime ETR readers know that my days of formally setting goals began when I started writing ETR in 1999. And what I found -- and I hope Tom will pay attention to this -- is that my productivity quadrupled when I found a goal setting program that worked for me. What's more important, I started achieving things that, until then, I had never come close to accomplishing.

For example, without the program -- which I call my Master Plan -- I never would have been able to write and publish a dozen books. Or write, direct, and produce a feature-length film. Or win several Brazilian Jiujitsu tournaments. Or write 350 poems in a year. All while keeping my "day job."

The same program helped ETR employees too. One, for example, used a master plan to go from being a low-level employee answering the phone to a management position in just a few years. He is now a major profit producer for the company. Several employees have used master plans to meet their weight-loss and physical-fitness goals, including one who lost 30 pounds through diet and vigorous exercise and overcame significant health problems.

I explain how to put together and follow your own Master Plan in my latest book, The Pledge. The book will be published by Wiley & Sons in November. Meanwhile, we are giving away a free excerpt of it right now. When you sign up, you'll also get a first chance to buy the book when it comes out. To get your free chapters, just go here.

A Good Movement

Amazon recently reached a milestone, selling more e-books than hardbacks in the past three months. And since they lowered the price of their e-book reader, the Kindle, from $259 to $189, its sales have tripled. Not only that but Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest bookstore chain retailer, reports a "big uptick" in its e-book reader, the Nook.

This confirms a trend I've been watching in my corner of the publishing industry. Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of electronically delivered information.

Five years ago, you might be able to sell newsletters and books via Internet marketing. But you had to deliver hard products or your refunds would go sky high. This, I think, is no longer the case.

And it's a good thing for those of us who sell information. It means that many of our products can be delivered by e-mail instead of in printed form. This can save a lot of money -- thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands for big companies. And remember... every saved dollar drops to the bottom line.

[Ed. Note: Michael Masterson welcomes your questions and comments. Send him a message at]

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