How Planning Can Make You Broke

This post was guest blogged by Alex Shalman author of free ebook How To Get A Girlfriend.

When is the last time you worked on your time management skills? Many experts tell you that the most important component of managing your time like a pro is the planning stage. I couldn’t agree more! However, if you’re stuck in the planning stage, and never taking action, you’ll never make any money online.

For over a year I have wanted to write an ebook for the site. It was even before John released his Make Money Online with John Chow ebook. The plan was, and still is, to create a masterpiece of personal development.

The reason that I say that it’s still the plan is because I’ve never quite finished this ebook. I always plan to do it, which means I never take the final action of completing it. However, something interesting happened last week, which helped me to bypass this whole analysis paralysis segment of my ebook writing, and I completed a full ebook in 3 days.

That’s from concept to finish, meaning I put together the content, formatted the book for pdf, did interior graphics, front cover graphics, sidebar graphics, introduction blog bost, and finally the proper newsletter calibration. If this sounds like a lot of work, then you’re hearing me correctly.

How I Banged Out A Full eBook in 3 Days

It all began on Tuesday when Jordan Harbinger from Maxim Radio’s show on SIRIUS Satellite Radio contacted me. We previously discussed having an interview towards the end of November, but he informed me that there was an opening this coming Friday (the one following the Tuesday in question).

This left me with the end of Tuesday, all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, and half of Friday in order to prepare for this interview. It was very important for me to have a downloadable information product in time for the show, because I knew that offering it for free in exchange for newsletter subscribers would greatly increase my subscriber numbers.

Yes, I totally learned this from reading things here at John Chow .com. That’s why I’ve got to tell you, if you’re just reading the content on this site, and planning to take action, without actually taking action, you might as well be reading a comedy site in your spare time because it’s sure to be funnier than John 😉

The challenge was that I had work 8-6 Tuesday, an internship that would take my time from 6:30-2:30 Wednesday, and another 8-6 on Thursday at work. That left evenings and nights for getting things done. The second challenge was my zero experience in putting together ebooks, and my less than stellar graphic design skills.

The first order of business was the define the MITs (Most Important Tasks)

  1. I had to create enough content for an ebook, and it had to be quality.
  2. I had to find a designer that would be willing to work overnight, and at a tiny budget.

I was trying to initially gear this book towards the radio show audience, since SIRIUS Satellite radio has 12.4 million subscribers, but then I needed something that would do well with the regular readers of my site as well. I decided on ‘How to Get a Girlfriend’ as the title of the ebook.

I took into account that I have over 330+ articles on my website, and that a significant portion of them are about dating and relationships. I also remembered the How to Get a Girlfriend series I did right here on John Chow .com. With John’s permission I snatched those articles, changed them around significantly, and made them a part of the ebook.

I did the initial part of this on my bus ride in NYC on Wednesday. I can work on the bus because I tether my iPhone to my Mac book pro (another trick I learned from John). I also compiled other relevant content from my own site, and generated ideas for what I would write later in the day. I continued this same process on my bus ride back.

Once home I had to tackle my second MIT, which would prove to be a challenge. I had to find a designer who would work super cheap, and stay up all night. I had no doubt in my mind that such a person existed, so I began to bulk e-mail all my online friends asking for references to starving homeless designers that would work for food.

After getting about 10 replies, and contacting people with my generic e-mail, I still wasn’t hearing back, or having any luck in particular. Not until I found Nate Whitehill online, who pointed me to the man who would prove to be my knight in shining armor, Joshua Denney.

Two all nighters in a row are more fun than they seem.

I stayed up a good portion of the night Wednesday putting together content for the ebook, and to even my own surprise I was done, with a good couple of hours to spare in order to sleep before work. By Thursday morning Joshua was already working on the design.

Thursday night we stayed up all night, unless you count one hour of sleep some significant amount. Due to my brilliant managing skills, I was able to torture Joshua into completing the full ebook and all the site graphics associated with it by deadline.

I continued my preparation for the radio interview on my train ride into NYC. At the actual interview, I’m not going to lie, I think I sounded kind of bad, mostly because this was my first radio appearance and I didn’t know how to control my pitch in the microphone.

You can listen to the personal development podcast if you want to laugh at me, but I’d still say that the whole endeavor was absolutely successful. Over a year of planning brought me no result. Three days of action brought me amazing results.

You might say that this wouldn’t be possible to do if I didn’t already have so many existing articles to use, or that without Joshua not of this would be possible. That might be true, but I’m pretty sure I’d find some other alternative, because I was in the zone to take massive action.

At the end of the day you need a deadline, because when the pressure is on, the work gets done. You need to absolutely define what specific actions you need to take, and then go all out on completing those actions.

John will tell you that the hardest part of getting people to sign up for useful programs to make money online is to actually get people to put the proper code on their site. That’s because people are always planning to do it. Stop being a planner, and DO!