Solving the Terribly Unsexy Epidemic of Inaction

Lots of people ask me how I find the time to write books. I’m not going to suggest that it’s easy, but for me it’s the simple process of taking it a step at a time, knowing that all those steps will add up to moving me towards the end goal.

Sofa Spuds

Image theilr via Flick CC

That’s perhaps the secret to life and it’s certainly the secret to growing a business. You have to commit to act every single day. Do five things and then five more tomorrow.  It’s not sexy, it’s not front page worthy, but it is how it’s done.

So many people want the promise of success without taking the steps to get there.

And it’s not because the answers to all their business building questions aren’t readily available either. On any given day you could sign up for a free training session from a knowledgeable expert on just about any business building topic you could name.

So why is it that so many people sign up for these events, attend or don’t, and then do nothing with the information that’s shared?

I have a couple theories – 1) the information being shared isn’t as action oriented or concise as needed and 2) the folks attending don’t have any mechanism to hold them accountable. (Mind you, I have only anecdotal findings for this research conclusion, but I think it’s pretty sound.)

I want to try to figure out to address this notion so I’ve cooked up a little experiment of my own. Next week I’m launching a monthly series of online education sessions, featuring a roster of well-known experts.

But, the format is going to be a little different.

Each month my guest expert is going to share 5 specific action steps and challenge every participant to employ these steps. That’s it. No theory or fluff, just do these 5 things. (Calls will be around 30 minutes.)

Then, I’m going to give every participant a chance to come back and report their progress. (We’ll have a prize drawing each month to try to keep people motivated to take this step.) It’s my hope that this holds a few people more accountable to act.

Lastly, I’m charging a $5 one-time commitment fee. This is simply a way to keep people that sign up for “anything that’s free” at bay. In fact, I’m telling people not to even bother signing up unless they are committed to taking each month’s action steps.

If you’ve read this far you might want to know who my guest experts are and how to enroll – check out Commit2Act here

So, here’s what I’m trying to test:

  • Does the action oriented, shorter format drive real action?
  • Does the ability to report back help with accountability?
  • Will that fact that I’ve put the $5 hurdle keep signup down, but actual participation up?
  • Will the ongoing series format build momentum?

So, who’s willing to commit?

What is Duct Tape Marketing?

More than anything Duct Tape Marketing is an idea that started with the belief that marketing is a system and in order to operate that system there must be a very clear point of view about how to build a remarkable business.

I started my little marketing adventure over 20 years ago as a traditional marketing agency and soon found that I loved to help small business owners, but I just couldn’t do it with the model I saw everyone else struggling to use.

So I decided that what I needed, and ultimately what the world needed, was a turnkey system for installing marketing in a small business regardless of industry or size. It was an audacious idea at the time and it still is today.

What I believed is that there was a way to deliver marketing services where you could walk into a business and state – This is what I’m going to do, this is what you’re going to do, here are the results you expect and here’s what it’s going to cost.

I took that simple idea and belief and created what has become known in some circles as one of the most respected small business brands in the world

Today Duct Tape Marketing is a publisher – we produce practical content in the form of a highly read blog, a long running podcast, weekly email newsletter and columns for organizations such American Express Open Forum, Verizon, and Dun & Bradstreet.

We have published two best selling books, Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and will release a third, more management oriented book, The Commitment Engine, in fall 2012.

Duct Tape Marketing is a brand partner – We are often called upon to produce sponsored content, syndicated and cobranded eBooks, training, channel marketing programs and consulting – for brands such as HP, Dell, UPS, FedEx Office, Sage Software and Microsoft.

We bring the message of marketing as a system to tens of thousands of small business owners and marketers around the world through keynote speeches, seminars and workshops for associations, trade groups, customer groups, chambers of commerce and in numerous conferences related to small business and marketing each year.

Our commentary is frequently sourced by publications such as CNNMoney, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and the Wall Street Journal as well as industry publications.

Duct Tape Marketing is a small business marketing system that takes the form of an online training program including video lessons, workbooks, forms, examples and resources packaged to help businesses build marketing action plans to elevate their business.

Duct Tape Marketing is a network of independent marketing consultants that choose to license the Duct Tape Marketing methodology as a framework for building a marketing consulting practice. This select group works with small to mid sized businesses around the world installing the Duct Tape Marketing system.

Ultimately helping small business owners realize the full potential of what their business can offer is how our higher purpose is served, it’s why we do so much of what we do and it’s our hope that you find a way to access our content, our community and perhaps even our mission as your business grows and evolves.

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