Bob Bly’s 25-50-25 Rule

“There’s so much to do. Study. Read. Webinars. Classes. It’s like I’m caught in an avalanche and don’t know what to do!”

This is the way Circle of Success member Stephan put it in an email to me the other day. He felt he had so much to learn and didn’t know how to deal with it all.

And he’s not alone. Many AWAI and Circle of Success members have told me something very much like this.

I have my own strategies for making sense out of this avalanche of tasks I face when I have a new assignment or when I’m learning a new skill. But, rather than tell you my strategies, I decided to turn to master copywriter Bob Bly to see what he has to say on the matter.

Why Bob? Easy answer! He’s the author of over 80 books (and counting) … a respected authority on copywriting and marketing, one of the most popular presenters at AWAI’s Bootcamp … and someone I respect greatly – as a copywriter and as a person.

Bob’s the reason I’m a copywriter. Almost 20 years ago, I picked up Secrets of a Freelance Writer and rewrote my history. All because of Bob.

Bob’s also a great presenter, as he’s shown time and again at Bootcamp. And, he’s more generous with his time than any other copywriter I’ve ever met. So I knew he’d have an approach to managing your learning tasks that made sense.

Taming the “have to get done’s” …

Bob’s approach to managing learning is similar to mine. But I’d never put numbers to it like he does. Not surprising, since he’s at heart an engineer.

He calls his strategy the 25-50-25 Rule of Time Management.

Bob explains this rule in his eBook, Don’t Wear a Cowboy Hat Unless You Are a Cowboy and Other Grumblings of a Cranky Curmudgeon …

“There are only three ways to learn either a new process (e.g., starting an Internet business) or a new skill (e.g., copywriting): studying, observing, and doing.”

Bob says you should spend no more than 25% of your time studying. This means reading books and articles … going to webinars and Bootcamps … listening to CDs … or listening in on teleconferences.

Another 25% (but no more) should be devoted to observing: Analyzing successful promotions or watching and emulating what successful copywriters do in their careers.

The most crucial task …

What should you do the remaining 50% of your learning time?


And, as a copywriter, doing means writing. Bob puts it this way …

“At least 50% of your time is spent actually DOING the thing you are studying and observing. If you want to sell information products on the Internet, you are creating your first product … designing your Web site … or building your list.

Acquiring business knowledge is a worthwhile activity. But without action, that knowledge is worthless to you.”

“Without action, that knowledge is worthless to you!”

Bob isn’t the only master copywriter or marketer who says this. Mark Ford has preached this same sermon as long as he’s mentored new copywriters.

Clayton Makepeace, Mike Palmer … they train their cubs by having them write.

Are you spending at least 50% of your learning time devoted to writing? If you aren’t right now, start today. Bob’s right on the money when he says …

“You don’t have to know everything — or even most of what there is to know — to succeed in most endeavors.”

Learning from the master himself …

I’ve quoted Bob heavily in this issue of The Golden Thread because he can tell you his strategies far better than I can. And his “25-50-25 Rule” is just one of the many strategies he’s used over the past 36 years to become the multi-million-dollar success he is today.

This coming March, 60 lucky copywriters are going to have a golden opportunity to learn directly from Bob Bly the secrets of his success. He’s going to do it in three days of intensive training … training that’ll include a good amount of “doing.”

Joshua Boswell asked Bob what the 60 copywriters at the training can expect. Here’s what Bob said …

“After leaving this event, they will have essentially learned in one weekend what it took me 36 years and tens of thousands of dollars to discover through hard trial and error about earning a six-figure income and accumulating a seven-figure net worth as a freelance copywriter.”

Bob has asked Katie to limit attendance to absolutely no more than 60 committed copywriters. He wants a small, intimate setting with tons of hands-on teaching. He knows he can only do that if the numbers are this strictly limited. And 60 slots fill up fast!

Interested? You should be … at least enough to want to learn more, which you can do here.

Please do it now. I’d hate for you to put off reading about this event for a few days … then deciding you wanted to be one of the select few … only to find out that you were #61 … and missed out completely.

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: January 26, 2015

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