Tag Archives: Bob Bly

Halfway there.

On October 27, 2017, I read the following article by author Bob Bly.  (Mr. Bly gives full permission to reprint his articles as long as you give him credit.)

I recommend you read the article in its entirety.  Here it is (Actually, this is only part of the article. He swore at the beginning.  A lot of students read my work.  I removed the swear word):

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Sometimes internet marketing is a pain.

You work hard on a product, launch it, and nobody is interested.

Now you have to salvage the product either by improving it or bundling it with other stuff.

Continue reading Halfway there.

Ignore the rest.

One of my favorite living authors is Bob Bly.  His writing is full of practical, no-nonsense advice.  I usually leave his articles with an idea I can use right away.

Today, this showed up in my inbox.  I found this inspiring.  Perhaps you will as well.

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In his best-selling book “Essentialism: The Disciplines Pursuit
of Less” (Crown Business), Greg McKeown preaches his philosophy
of Essentialism as the path to having a better and more rewarding
life.

After reading it, I am a born-again Essentialist!

The core idea of Essentialism is, in McKeown’s words:

“There are far more activities and opportunities in the world
than we have the time and resources to invest in.

“And although many of them may be good, or even very good, the
fact is that most are trivial and few are vital.

“Only when you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it
all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest
contribution towards the things that really matter.”

If you know people who pursue a primary goal, activity, or
mission with laser-like focus — whether it’s building a business,
mastering the violin, or accumulating wealth — they are almost
surely, with rare exceptions, Essentialists.

If you know people who volunteer for everything, have a calendar
filled with diverse activities, pursue a dozen hobbies and
interests, and volunteer for every committee in every worthwhile
organization under the sun — I can virtually assure you that they
are not Essentialists.

I only came across McKeown’s book a couple of months ago. But I
have been an Essentialist my entire adult life.

I focus, to the exclusion of almost everything else, on just the
few things that matter most to me — my business and my clients,
writing, and my family.

Yes, I would like to do more. But as McKeown correctly points
out, our time, attention, energy, and bandwidth are shockingly
finite.

So if you try to do everything, you accomplish — and get good at
— almost nothing.

“The overwhelming reality is: we live in a world where almost
everything is worthless and a very few things are exceptionally
valuable,” McKeown writes.

“We can choose how to spend our energy and time. We can’t have or
do it all.”

He quotes John Maxwell: “You cannot overestimate the unimportance
of practically everything.”

Marcus Aurelius says it this way: “If thou wouldst know
contentment, let thy deeds be few.”

The way I put it is this: If you are someone who is “all over the
place,” you will never really get to the one place you want to
go.

The key to Essentialism is laser-like focus on one or two things.
Steve Martin said:

“I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were
spent learning, four were spent refining, and four were spent in
wild success. The course was more plodding than heroic.”

I have always described myself as a plodder, too. If you write,
as I have, 12 hours a day, 5 days a week for more than 3 decades,
you can’t help but get better at it!

Sincerely,

Bob Bly

P.S. My Essentialism does not mean I make zero contribution to
worthy causes outside my small number of core activities.

But I do so in the most time-efficient manner — by donating money
rather than my time to these worthy causes.

By focusing just on my business, I make more money … which in
turn enables me to make bigger contributions to curing cancer,
feeding the hungry, and other things that are important but that
I do not have the bandwidth to participate in directly.

Bob Bly
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045
Phone 973-263-0562
Fax 973-263-0613
www.bly.com

The 15 commandments…

I am up late checking emails.   I’ll be out for at least another hour or so.   One email list I subscribe to is Bob Bly’s list.   Just found this fantastic advice from him while plowing through a long list of homeworks to grade:

I think everyone who wants to be a kind and decent human being should adhere to these “15 commandments of human behavior”:

1–Don’t brag. It makes those less fortunate than you feel bad about themselves. You feed your ego at their expense.

2–Don’t give unsolicited advice. People don’t like it and anyway, who asked you?

3–Be generous with others. In social situations, always reach to pick up the check first. In your business dealings, make sure the other person comes out a little bit better than you.

4–Be kind to children and animals.

5–Help those in need.

6–You have two ears but only one mouth, so nature is telling you to listen twice as much as you talk.

7–If it’s not too late for you to heed this advice, have kids while you are still in your 20s

8–Spend a lot of time with your kids while they are young and still want to be with you. Once that time is gone, it’s gone forever.

9–Keep your mind and imagination active. If nothing else, read a lot of books.

10–Don’t waste time and energy being jealous of the rich, successful, powerful, famous, thin, buff, athletic, talented, and good-looking. As Max Ehrmann said, “There will always be those greater and lesser than you.” Almost everyone in my gym is younger and fitter than I am. I don’t care.

11–Don’t avoid going to the doctor because you are either stoic, macho, or afraid. Delaying going to the doctor when you have symptoms could literally kill you, as it did my grandmother and my father.

12–Exercise at minimum 3 hours a week. Three out of ten Americans do not exercise at all. I had a period of a few years when I did not. Terrible.

13–Don’t waste too much time with social media. Real life is better.

14–Be humble, not arrogant. Humble people are forgiven if they stumble; arrogant people are not.

15–Be a nice and kind person. Treat others with good manners and respect.

Sincerely,

Bob Bly

P.S. One other tip: Just because you can do something to someone else doesn’t mean you should do it.