April 29th, 2013 by Bob Bly
The other day subscriber LG wrote to me to tell me that the
Kindle version of my book “The Copywriter’s Handbook” (Henry
Holt) displayed some odd symbols on some of the pages.
Though I thanked him, the truth is: I don’t care and, not being
the publisher, I can’t do anything about it.
In fact, I was unaware that there was a Kindle version of this
Does this fact – and my lack of interest — shock you?
The reason I don’t care is: bandwidth and focus.
While an author with one or two books may agonize over every
screen of the Kindle version of his book, I have 80 published
books. And I don’t have time to proof the Kindle version of even
one of them, let alone all of them.
Also, I have a full load of copywriting assignments, and my
copywriting clients are my #1 business priority – and serving
them takes most of my time.
It comes down to bandwidth: I have a finite amount of time and
energy, and therefore I can only attend to a limited number of
And it also comes down to focus: I have to set priorities, which
means focusing on only the most important tasks – and letting
the others go.
I must do this if I am to be successful in my copywriting
business, which is of prime importance to me.
I find almost universally that people who have not achieved the
level of success they desire lack focus: they feel they have to
pay attention to everything, no matter how small or trivial -
even though doing so can seriously impede the achievement of
For example, there is a small group of people who scan the
dozens of articles on my web site and seem to take great delight
in finding and pointing out a typo to me. I wonder why they are
doing this instead of perfecting their own web site. Do they not
value their time?
Here are my recommendations for accelerating your progress
toward your goals:
1-Don’t waste your time on unimportant, trivial things.
2-Focus on tasks that are important and contribute to your
3-Treasure your time like, as Dan Kennedy says, the gold in Fort
4-Get busy. Most successful people I know are busy.
5-Work hard. Whoever said “work smart, not hard,” was wrong.
Successful people work smart and hard.
6-Focus on what you do best. Farm out everything else.
7-Don’t feel you have to do something just because someone asks
you. Learn to say no.
8-Set priorities, because your bandwidth, like everyone else’s,
9-Become obsessed with ROTI – return on time invested – for
every activity you undertake.
10-There is plenty of success advice out there from people who
are not successful. Ignore it.