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The 900-Pound Monkey On Your Back

Copyright (c) 2006-2022

Many years ago, I was a young, U.S. Air Force major, working an office job Hawaii. This "seasoned," gruff-but-fatherly colonel peered over my shoulder as I worked, and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was writing a paper to help another major document a problem for the general. He asked why, and I explained that I was the expert on the topic.

The lesson that colonel taught me that day changed my life, and continues to help my online business grow. You see, I had allowed the other major, who had a big challenge, simply pass it along to me because it was something I felt very comfortable with. I had TONS of other things I needed to get done, but I had allowed a co-worker to get me to do his work.

What that colonel explained to me that day was that all my life I would have people come to me with "900-pound monkeys on their backs." He explained that often there's nothing they would like better than to take the monkey off their back and put it on someone else's. He went on to explain that it's nice to help people, but often DUMB to just let them dump their work on you.

As I look around me in the online world everyday, I witness people allowing others to take 900-pound monkeys that are on their backs... and place those monkeys on other's backs. I see this as a PROBLEM many times because in the process of agreeing to take on someone else's problem, the "volunteer" often puts his own projects on hold.

I often hear those who've taken on others' problems complaining about not having the time to finish their own projects. I sometimes politely point out that it's their fault.

Let's look at a few concrete examples...

Often, I see people on discussion boards ask how to fix an html problem, modify a graphic, or perhaps improve on a webpage. Sometimes, those of us who are very comfortable with doing these things volunteer to take a minute and quickly fix the problem. This only becomes a "900-pound monkey" when it takes longer to do the favor than expected, or we get talked into making additional changes or revisions. Then a favor can quickly turn into a JOB that you should be charging for!

I often see us volunteering to do these favors for others as a means of procrastinating. We have a major project that we really should be working on, but it seems so massive that we look for other things to do to prevent getting started. Any convenient excuse will do, and that excuse is often that someone else needs our help. The fact often is that OUR projects are what need our attention :-)

I'm NOT saying that you should not do favors for others. However, you do need to fully define the scope of what you're volunteering for. You need to confirm that you're not offering to transfer that 900-pound monkey onto your back so that the other person can go sit around on the beach.

Examples of things Internet marketers often volunteer for that turn into 900-pound monkeys...

- Fixing an html or script problem - Rewriting a salesletter - Designing a graphic - Fixing up a PDF file - Editing some audio

The list could be a lot longer.

Now here's the really strange thing about the things we often volunteer to do for others. They are often things that we have personally grown to consider "not the best use of our time." So we have started outsourcing these things when they need doing in our own businesses. Yet we often volunteer to do them for others.

As you go through your day, and find yourself feeling overwhelmed with so many things to do, stop for a second and consider... if part of the problem might not be that you're simply taking on too many problems that aren't even yours. If that is the case, learning to refuse that monkey, from time to time, takes a lot of weight off your shoulders! (Pun intended)


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Willie Crawford serves as a consultant, mentor, and confidant to some of Internet marketing's top income earners. You can tap into his 9 years of online experience and million-dollar, success-creating advice at: http://BlueprintToInternetMarketingSuccess.com

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