How The Seinfeld Method Can Help You Achieve Your Goals
A priest, a rabbi and a young comic walk into a comedy club and spot Jerry Seinfeld backstage …
The comic approaches Seinfeld and asks him, “Jerry, what’s the secret to your success?”
Jerry replies, “I don’t start any joke with a priest and a rabbi …”
Okay, I think I better leave the joke telling to Jerry Seinfeld …
Everyone knows Jerry Seinfeld. But before he became the iconic comedian of our generation, he was just another comedian in a sea of other struggling comedians.
Yet, he managed to rise up and become very, very successful.
What’s more, Jerry Seinfeld’s work was remarkably consistent. His live performances, along with his long-running TV series of 180 episodes, were consistently original and funny.
So … what separated Jerry from all the rest?
Well, it’s known as … The Seinfeld Method. And, though it may appear simple at the surface …
It’s something I first used to gain early success with my screenwriting career, and am now using again to become a successful copywriter.
It’s a method you can also put into practice starting today to help you achieve your own writing goals … including living the writer’s life.
The first step to the method involves something you’re likely already very familiar with, if you’ve been around AWAI for a while …
And that’s to write every day.
Jerry followed this rule religiously, and credits the simple act of writing a joke every single day with his incredible productivity and consistency.
To make sure he followed through, he developed a simple system for tracking his efforts.
That’s where I got the idea for my poor attempt at humor up above …
You see, I read an article where Jerry shared his method with a young comedian who found himself in a club where Jerry Seinfeld was performing. The young comedian looked for Seinfeld backstage and asked him if he had “any tips for a young comic.”
What Jerry actually said was, to be a better comic you have to create better jokes … and to create better jokes you have to write every day.
He advised the young comedian to get a big wall calendar that had the whole year on one page and hang it on a wall where he would see it every day.
Then he needed to get a magic marker. Jerry told him, each day you write a joke, cross a big X over that day …
Jerry said, after a few days, you’ll have a chain of Xs … and after a few weeks, you’ll enjoy seeing the chain of Xs grow.
Jerry then told the young comedian that his only job was to – not break the chain.
Jerry didn’t say the jokes had to be good …
He didn’t say, write only when you feel motivated or inspired …
He just said, don’t break the chain.
That’s it! That’s The Seinfeld Method.
You can use this technique to achieve any writing goal you may have, whether it’s finishing The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting or any copywriting assignment.
All you need is a 365-day, one-page poster calendar and a magic marker, along with a commitment to complete a task that allows you to mark an X on your calendar every day. That way, you can start (and maintain) your chain.
Maybe you’ll mark an X if you write an email to an imaginary prospect …
Or, if you hand copy successful writing samples within your niche …
Or, if you complete a task that helps build your website …
Or, just give yourself an X for every day you work your way through The Accelerated Program …
The point is to choose something that will enable you to start your chain of Xs …
And then, make a commitment to “not break the chain.”
This simple task is a foundational habit that can help you build your own writer’s life.
I encourage you to pick up a year-at-a-glance wall calendar and a box of colored markers today …
Then, let me know in the comments what goal you’re currently working on that you could use The Seinfeld Method to help you achieve.
Tomorrow, I'll reveal the difference between activity and action … and how to choose the right task to help you achieve your goals faster!
Till then … don’t break the chain!
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 »
OOps, my fingers got crazy. Anyway, when I saw the "don't break the chain" email, I felt a kinship with others who strive to fulfill a goal. I'm doing this. Period. See you all at Bootcamp!!
Bob, you really made the act of writing every day make more sense than ever. I write an email every day to my list and it has paid off incredibly so far. I won't break the chain!
William S –
Great idea. I think I will give that a try. Unless I'm fishing, I will break the chain for fish.
Guest (grumpa) –
As I pursue my copy writing career, I do hereby set the following goals:
a) Read and write every day.
b)Study and do every assignment before the due date.
c)Try very hard to finish the entire program as early as possible.
d)Do my best to become an excellent web writer.
e)Network with fellow copy writers.
With these goals in mind, by God`s grace, I will do all that I can to not break the chain, as I have learned from Seinfeld method. Thanks.
I'm glad you made the daily task so interpretive. Ie. working on your website, sending an email, OR telling a joke will all garner an 'X'. I've been wondering how to handle the different elements I need to work on - a different X for each? Do I do just poetry one year, and just comedy the next?
Guest (chani) –
I have been writing my whole life, but didn't know I was a writer. Since recently joining AWAI and The Barefoot Writer Club, I have written half of my young adult fantasy novel, submitted poems to a greeting card company, and scheduled a meeting with a prospective client for writing their advertising copy. Today I will be starting the Accelerated Program, and intend to add an X to each calendar day until I finish.
This is exciting! WHOO HOO!
Guest (LJ Butler) –
hi Bob,great with the analysis about Seinfeld method,for me i thought i don't have to write,or pursue certain goals until am really motivated with inspirations to do so,but right now am beginning to have a different opinion about that,which include write whether you feel motivated or not doesn't really had to be a good one all the time,just write and create a chain of activity which you most not break,wow! that's a good one...
Guest (Inspire Ativie) –