You’re Fired!

Imagine for a second that you have a full-time employee working on your business. (Maybe you already have one.) I don't mean a pay-per-job kind of employee, I mean a salaried employee you pay every single month.

  • You pay for this person's health insurance.
  • You pay for sick and vacation days.
  • You pay into their retirement account.

Their job is to build you a web presence and create new products and sites, write sales copy, buy advertising, and so on.

Despite all this, your employee frequently visits forums, checks e-mail, chats in instant messengers, and generally puts out products at a snail's pace... let's say 1 or 2 products per year when he could be producing one per month, easily.

Now that you've got that pictured in your head, tell me... are you that employee?

Do You Deserve To Be Fired From Your
Self-Employed Internet Marketing Job?

I am still following the daily video challenge and I hope you are too.

I recorded five videos instead of just one on Monday, to make up for my trip away from home at Disneyland... that was some nice downtime and recharged my batteries, by the way.

When I record a daily video:

  1. I make sure Camtasia is running, and that I have my headset on so I can talk about what I'm doing.
  2. I open up Notepad and write "Appointment with myself: Finish chapter 5 by 6:30 PM" (I set that to whatever the time is half an hour from now and whatever chapter I'm working on.)
  3. I set my alarm clock for 10 minutes -- use a kitchen timer or Cool Timer.
  4. I haul ass for ten minutes and stop immediately when it runs out, then explain what I'll be doing for the next ten minutes.

The above formula works wonders to keep me motivated.

Sometimes I'll start out and not feel like working, but within a couple of minutes I'll be in the exact mood I need to be in.

I recently discovered another hidden bonus about recording yourself at work: You have indisputable proof that you are working!

If you are one of those people trying to convince a spouse or family member that you are doing more than just clicking around on the Internet all day, give them access to the daily videos you are recording.

(Show them how to fast-forward to skip the boring parts.)

You can respond by saying, "Look, today I wrote 50 pages."
Or, "Today I wrote four sales letters."

If you didn't meet your goals, you can explain in the video, exactly why you didn't write that many pages or why you didn't make as much money as you wanted to that week.

Heck, it could also remind you what you were working on yesterday.

  • Are you using a similar formula?
  • Are you using video to document your work?
  • Do you have some OTHER tip to keep yourself motivated so that you don't disappoint the people in your life?
  • Should you really be fired from your self-employed job (or at least put on probation) and what will you do to make up for it?

Please comment below and let me know... I would really appreciate it.

Filed in: Video Challenge

Comments (24)

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  1. Favorite Blog Posts I’ve Read This Week… | Keith Goodrum | April 12, 2008
  1. Awesome post as usual, Robert… what are you going to do with all those videos you are recording?

  2. Arun Agrawal says:

    That’s a nice analogy Robert. While we get frustrated when the employees don’t do the assigned work or fool around chatting, working on personal emails in office time and other misc. work, we feel it is our right to be complacent about our work because we are the boss.

    I will be more careful from now on πŸ™‚

  3. Amin Motin says:


    stimulating post, as usual. I must say the idea of firing yourself is an interesting one – who do you turn to for a reference?

    But the point you make is a valid one. We’d NEVER allow that kind of behavior from a paid employed and yet too many people think they’ll succeed by playing on the web all day.

    I recently decided to up my game and I’m 6 sites up from where I was just over 2 weeks ago. It’s rather nice to look back after a job is done.

    There’s an acronym for doing some of the ‘hard’ work. BANJO. Just play BANJO every morning, before you do anything else.

    It stands for Bang A Nasty Job Off. In the UK that means finish, although I’m not sure how it would translate to Americans.


  4. John says:

    Interesting article on keeping up the momentum and how to arrange a plan to actually get things done.

  5. I use simpleology to stay motivated and on track. It really is amazing how much more productive I am using it.

  6. Anon says:

    robert- i made a horrible video today as part of your challenge…

    its REALLY horrible- but i uploaded it to youtube and hope it will bring me some traffic.

    ill replace it with a better video soon, but in the meantime, i feel accomplished…!

  7. Darran says:

    Firstly I have to say nice post mate … it did the job you intended and got me thinking more about how I “get the job done” …

    not sure if I should thank you for that though πŸ™‚


  8. Totally off topic – but what is the plugin you’re using in the upper right of your blog that allows us to enter our CB id, then send traffic? Very neat!

    Okay, back to reading…


  9. faraz ahmed says:

    Hi Robert,
    I think this is common for most of us.
    What I do is write a to do list at the beginning of the day and then tick off the things I have completed.

    And there’s one thing that I keep in mind is to write a crappy article or create a crappy video and then keep on improving it rather than waiting to do it perfectly.Most of the times, we keep waiting for months and then just forget about it.


  10. Robert Plank says:

    Totally off topic – but what is the plugin you’re using in the upper right of your blog that allows us to enter our CB id, then send traffic? Very neat!

    Jeanette, that’s JV Plus… hence the “Powered by JV Plus” link below it. πŸ™‚

    What I do is write a to do list at the beginning of the day and then tick off the things I have completed.

    I try to do that too but I find that if I have more than 4 or so items or try to plan more than a couple of hours ahead, my brain tries to think even further ahead to the next couple of days. And then I can’t get as much done.

    That’s just me. For some reason I have to stay inside the 30-minute box.

  11. John Taylor says:

    I’m glad I don’t work for you Robert, you’re far too soft! πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, I’ve been working in 30 minute chunks for years.

    I’m so much more productive when you can see your objective can be achieved within minutes rather than months.

    Take care


  12. Robert, although I probably won’t go as far as videoing myself, I love the idea of 30 minute chunks. I have always chunked my jobs – e.g. make the header graphic for the website, write the headline, write the intro paragraph, and so on. It has worked well for me, but I will start to log my completed tasks to give myself a boost *8>)

  13. MikeRogers says:

    I not only want to fire myself, I want to kick my own ass!!


    I understand what you’re saying, Robert but I’m still not to the point where I want my internet marketing to be a chore or a J.O.B. just yet.

    Anyways, my wife stays mad enough at me for the both of us without me being madder at myself.


  14. Tom Dean says:

    No I don’t video my work day – seems a bit strange & I have no need show it to spouse or family. Now when I had a corp. job we videoed everybody’s work day.

    You wouldn’t believe the amount of unproductive time discovered after it was installed and all the employees new it was there.

    When I’m ready to “get things done” I get up early instead of sleeping in & use a timer. I can get a lot done very quickly when i have at it πŸ™‚

    Your post did remind me today that I was a slacker and got little done due to goofing off in forums and such.

    I should be at least be Put On Probation & Given A Reprimand.

    I’ll make up for it tonight as a condition of ongoing employment.

    Just don’t send a “send me your work day video” or unsubscribe email. πŸ™‚


  15. Hello, my name is Steinar and I come from a small island called Iceland. Your post is quite fun…..

    Well, I have been searching all over the web for some great business opportunity like EVERYBODY ELSE. But you never know when you are getting fooled by someone who is greedy and are just traying to get rich with out honestly.

    I know you get where I’m going with this.

    Recently I was reading e-book about how to make money by blogging. So in the book he explained and it was really simple, but this book is like 2 years old and all those search engines has changed, like yahoo, msn, and google.

    And in the book I read, it’s so easy to get like 5$ bucks for one day for blog and that could be like 1950$ per month. But I have read all this book and sign in to like 20 different programs and now I don’t know what I’m even supposed to do know or how I’m supposed to earn money by blogging.

    (sorry for my english, and for long text :))

    But the point is, I’m so desperate to find so good business and I can see that if I put much effort into my work and do everything in honest way, and willing to help people to get what they want, and can see that I get paid for that kind of work I would be so pleased and happy but when is this going to work?!

    This is my two websites:

    I hope you’ll have a wonderful day!

    Bye, Steinar Arason

  16. Robert Plank says:

    I understand what you’re saying, Robert but I’m still not to the point where I want my internet marketing to be a chore or a J.O.B. just yet.

    Why not, Mike? That step is unavoidable.

    It’s like if you owned a sandwich shop. As the owner you have to do the same work as all your minimum wage employees, work tons more hours, come in if someone can’t make it to work, worry about rent / payroll / taxes, and all that. But at least you own that business. In the long term you make more money.

    What obstacles do you need to overcome to make it into a chore? Because it’s only after I made my internet marketing efforts into a routine that I was able to KEEP my monthly income consistently above $10,000.

  17. Hi Robert,

    Still plugging along with the Video Challenge and I can see where it is going – making it easier to do a good video when I am ready to post them for the world to see. Would anybody really want to see my “winter” deck and me in a big old parka, sitting in the snow – listening to Internet Marketing MP3’s – celebrating Easter ? Ya easter!

    Your working in chunks is a great idea and I find that is the way I end up getting things done. Only becuase I work on a number of different things each day and then there is the multitude of Internet Marketing info bombarding my in box to deal with as well.

    Anyway, great post and keep it up.

    Harry Crowder

  18. Bob Stovall says:

    I haven’t commented in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Yet another great post, Robert. I really look forward to your posts – and I can’t say that about too many blogs. I almost always click your links immediately (though not this time :-))

    Firing yourself isn’t just for people who waste time playing around in their businesses. If you just know you are in the wrong business, wasting your time and getting nowhere even if you are working your butt off, it might be a good thing to fire your own ass and move on to something else.

    I’ve done that more than once in my life and I am the better for it today.

    Have a great day!

  19. Hi Robert,

    I just came across your video challenge, and it looks great. (Sorry, slow starter).

    I totally understand where you are coming from, I recently chose to become redundant from my job (not because I was slack) so that I could concentrate on my Internet Business.

    I must say, it has been a challenge and I’ve been struggling to get my daily routine going.

    If I was an employee of my Internet Business, I would fire myself as I feel I can work a lot harder, but tend to procrastinate, maybe it’s the fear of the unknown.

    I’ve been using a post it note program on my desktop to write down thoughts and I’ve been putting in daily to do lists to try and keep me on track.

    I like the idea of recording my day or keeping a diary as it will help me to keep track of progress.

    The hardest part is getting started, another thing that saps energy for me is when I get a rude email from a person.

    I had one of those yesterday that told me to get (four letter word starting with ‘F’) all because I declined their article on my article directory.

    This took a lot of energy to get over, but I just told myself to toughen up.

    I then fired them. I deleted their account, banned their ip and reported them to their isp.

    Then I posted an entry on my blog to help to release the tension.

    After all of this I was ready to start my day.

    Keep up the good work mate.



  20. Mikael Rieck says:

    Why I haven’t found this blog earlier is beyond me. But I’m glad that I did. You truly have a point about setting up a method that will keep you focused and effective in what you do. And the part about being able to remember what you did yesterday could easily become useful to me πŸ™‚


  21. Hi Robert,

    I run a health and wellness business online and agree with your point – which is to verify that we are not wasting our time during the day. Your idea seems easy enough to do but also seems a little overboard. I find it easier to jot down a priority list of ‘things to do’ in the late evening or morning breakfast without time frames. Then proceed to do the list. Whatever is left at the end of the day, I put at the top of the list for the following day. Frankly, I rarely get everything on my lists done each day but at least I then have a record of what I do during the day.

    Everyone should have a system of organization that works with his/her own lifestyle. Your way is a great way to start. I suppose the ultimate goal for all of us is to be able to outsource all of the work and daily marketing routines we do.

    Top Wellness Products

  22. Dale Maxwell says:

    Hi Robert,

    My Process:
    I start with Keynote (mac Version of PowerPoint) Create the outline and then print it out and have it Proofed for typos and flow.
    Fix the errors
    Listen and watch
    (re-record as needed)
    Create a Page to land on that I display on the video
    convert to flv
    place on libsyn (hosting without a meter)

    Thanks again for pushing the process forward

    Dale Maxwell

  23. CK says:

    Hi Robert,

    Just stumbled on your posting. Though it may be a little outdated but thought it was a great suggestion in using video to record what I am doing.

    As for me, I normally plan my tasks for the week on Sunday evenings. Eg: complete landing page for campaign X, write article for campaign y, set up ppc campaign for project x… Then I will review them on Friday afternoon to see what was done during the week.

    My opinion, it’s not the quantity of activities that you do everyday but the quality of it.


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