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Impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations time-wise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process. The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home. Christopher Sommer
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« Setting up systems (Reader's Query) | Main | What stops me from finding things quickly? »
Sunday
Feb072016

An Effective "No List" System? Yes!

You may recall that in my article about what is required in an effective “no list” system I said that I was in the process of developing a new time management system based on the “no list” method. I reported that I had got as far as the following:

Re-entering tasks. I’ve solved the problem of multiple re-entered tasks.

Simple to work. Yes.

Urgent stuff. Not as good as I’d like. This is the main failing, though I don’t want to give the impression that it makes the system unworkable - far from it.

Keeping the list short. The list is always kept short and  relevant throughout the day.

Getting tasks done. All unfinished tasks get worked on multiple times during the day.

Remembering tasks. I’ve solved the problem of multiple task entry.

Not deceiving yourself. Absolutely ideal for monitoring exactly how much you have succeeded in doing during a day.

I was in fact satisfied with everything except how the method dealt with urgent tasks. I’m pleased to say that I’ve now solved that problem too.

Using the system (including even its imperfect state) I have now blogged for 17 continuous days, set up a Facebook page, replied to 52 comments within a few hours at most, initiated reader’s questions, and advanced many things in my private life - all without any resistance or procrastination.

All I’ve got to do now is to work out how to make lots of money out of it!

Suggestions?

 

See also:

Why No-List Systems Work

Reader Comments (55)

1. Sell an ebook "single" describing the system for a moderate amount ~$5 to $10
2. Offer consulting and workshops on the new system
3. Create a new book or series of books on it
4. Give it away for free, but prominently suggest that people donate
5. Provide limited licenses/copies, which are determined by a bidding process each week or month
February 8, 2016 at 1:04 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Freckleton
Julian:

<< You could do a ransom model. If you don't receive X cash by X date, you NEVER release it to the public. >>

I like it!
February 8, 2016 at 2:14 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
Really keen to see this. Will pay!!!!!
February 8, 2016 at 2:17 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Jane
Ryan Freckleton:

<< Sell an ebook "single" describing the system for a moderate amount ~$5 to $10 >>

That's the obvious route, but knowing the likely audience I'm not going to make a fortune out of that.

<<. Offer consulting and workshops on the new system >>

That's too much like hard work!

<< Create a new book or series of books on it >>

Same applies as with the ebook. The only advantage of conventional publishing is that one gets an advance.

<< Give it away for free, but prominently suggest that people donate >>

The problem with this is that I'm sure many people would give, but even more wouldn't!

<< Provide limited licenses/copies, which are determined by a bidding process each week or month >>

Yes, that's a good idea. I will follow that one up. Thanks.
February 8, 2016 at 9:44 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Sarah Jane:

<< Really keen to see this. Will pay!!!!! >>

How much???
February 8, 2016 at 9:48 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
1. Use it to create money making schemes
2. Market it
3. Prove its effectiveness and sell it to a high performing, high stress business
4. Accept a role as Personal Effectiveness Guru in a professional services organization
5. Flog it through professional institutions such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Look at Jon Moon's business model (basically books and courses) for his high impact documentation methods.
February 8, 2016 at 9:48 | Unregistered CommenterWill
Vegheadjones:

<< Kickstarter? >>

Yes, some form of crowd funding sounds good.
February 8, 2016 at 9:51 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions - and please keep them coming!

I basically want to make lots of money out of a very simple document - probably no longer than my instructions for any other system. I think something like crowdfunding or releasing limited numbers would be in the right direction.

For instance I might auction x copies per week/month on Ebay. I don't even know if the Ebay rules allow that sort of thing, but that's the sort of direction my mind is tending to favour at the moment.
February 8, 2016 at 9:57 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Will:

<< Use it to create money making schemes >>

Yes, it's a powerful tool and of course while I'm the only person who knows how it works, I have the advantage over EVERYONE! mwahaha!

<< 2. Market it 3. Prove its effectiveness and sell it to a high performing, high stress business 4. Accept a role as Personal Effectiveness Guru in a professional services organization >>

All good suggestions, but possibly a little too much like hard work for my liking!

<< 5. Flog it through professional institutions such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Look at Jon Moon's business model (basically books and courses) for his high impact documentation methods. >>

Yes, I'm already looking at how other people market their products.
February 8, 2016 at 10:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Glad to see that two commenters have taken the 5-point model on board - don't forget to come back to it tomorrow!
February 8, 2016 at 10:04 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
It sounds great, Mark, really pleased your new system is working so well for you. Will loyal followers get a heads-up or some kind of beta opportunity? I've bought all your books over the years and would be happy to pay for this system, provided the price isn't too prohibitive.
February 8, 2016 at 10:56 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming
"MWAHAHA"

Share it with a loyal core of dedicated minions...

Raise their natural state of friendly incompetence to a frightening, supercharged fury.

Take over the world.
February 8, 2016 at 10:56 | Unregistered CommenterWill
Hi Mark,

I'm no authority at all on such matters however my view is that it seems reasonable to set a fixed price for a product. Having to bid would turn me away I think. Not meaning to be critical to others though as its great to offer ideas.

I purchased an amazing online ukulele package around a year ago for around £10 - £15. The quality was excellent and it represented great value. There was a series of instructional videos and instructional material too. It launched from the seller's own website. Perhaps you could do a periodic live webinar / online class for a sign on fee too if it warrants it?

In terms of pricing then I guess it would depend on the product offered. I imagine I would pay up to £20 for an article from you that describes the system and gives clear rules. Part of my reasoning is that I trust your work and there is a loyalty part to it. However, the masses would likely expect to pay less.

Just my thoughts, for what they are worth. Best of luck !
February 8, 2016 at 11:01 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Neil Cumming:

<< Will loyal followers get a heads-up or some kind of beta opportunity? >>

I'd certainly like to reward loyal followers in some way, but it's too early at this stage to know how that might fit in with the overall picture.
February 8, 2016 at 12:11 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Will,

<< Share it with a loyal core of dedicated minions... >>

I'd have to give them a slightly less effective version in order to maintain my SUPERIORITY over them.
February 8, 2016 at 12:12 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Leon:

<< my view is that it seems reasonable to set a fixed price for a product >>

Fixed prices are not actually that common. In fact it's illegal in this country (United Kingdom) for a producer to set a fixed price for distributors to sell at. If you think of all the discounts, subscriptions, sales, auctions, special offers, limited period prices, loss leaders and negotiations (otherwise known as haggling) that go on you can see that a fixed price is the exception rather than the rule.

<< I purchased an amazing online ukulele package around a year ago for around £10 - £15. >>

That is quite extraordinarily cheap for that sort of product. It was probably a loss leader for the follow-up packages.
February 8, 2016 at 12:23 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark:

1. Move the "contact" tab furthest to the right. It's the most intuitive place for it.

2. Add another tab as yet unmentioned and position it near the left.

3. The new tab can be called Subscribe!/Login or perhaps, "Closed List". This new tab links to a "subscribers-only" "closed list" subsection of your website (or an external site or second SquareSpace "subscribers-only" account).

4. Post the system, its updates, any new updates to previous systems, and all related discussions there. Ask that updated system dynamics not be discussed openly on the "open list" forums and dismiss revealing posts that make it through.

5. Charge a subscription fee for the "closed-list". $5-10 monthly subscription charged quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.

6. Profit.

7. Cha-Ching.


Or...

1. Make a certain amount of your present website and forums accessible to the general public and convert the rest to a "closed list" for subscribers-only.

2. Profit
February 8, 2016 at 12:27 | Unregistered CommenterMichael B.
Michael B:

Yes, good thinking. That's definitely one possible way forward. And as you can see I've already actioned the contact button!
February 8, 2016 at 12:34 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Set up a Patreon account so loyal readers can donate $1/week or $1/blog post. When you reach a specified per week number of dollars, release the instructions to only those patrons who have donated.
February 8, 2016 at 13:25 | Unregistered CommenterMike Brown
Mike Brown:

<< Set up a Patreon account... >>

Wow! I've never heard of them. It sounds just the job. Thanks very much for that.
February 8, 2016 at 14:52 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Another idea.

https://www.patreon.com/

Start up a Patreon... thing (not sure of the terminology). People sign up to make an ongoing donation to support your work.
February 8, 2016 at 15:36 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
I didn't read closely enough, since someone already mentioned Patreon before I did.
February 8, 2016 at 15:38 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
You could give away the rules for free, but start a paid-only forum for further insights, discussion, etc.

Ramit Sethi is a good example of this approach - giving away almost everything for free, but then you pay (a lot) for advanced material and his special paid-only Facebook forum.

This has also been the trend for mobile apps: basic functionality is free; advanced functionality is paid.

Here's a list of lots of other ways to give away content for free but generate revenue in other ways. Some of them involve a lot of work -- which you are trying to avoid! But many of them seem like they'd work great. For example, they include the patronage idea. http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Without_Intellectual_Property#When_copying_is_free
February 8, 2016 at 16:53 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
Seraphim:

Yes, I like the patronage idea, and it would be very simple to implement.
February 8, 2016 at 18:15 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Any way to pay you for it right now? I'll throw you $10!
February 8, 2016 at 19:03 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
Monetization is a difficult topic. I think seminars and consulting while alot of work hold promise as the payoff is good relative to the time investment. Publishing is tough. When I look at the results of my few efforts at publishing, giving away for free to promote an adsense site or donations, the results have been very small. The methods I have created have made me personally a lot of money as I have applied them to my chosen career. In all actuality had I saved the countless hours I spent writing my three ebooks and blogging about the topic I would be much more well off financially.

Gerry
February 8, 2016 at 19:56 | Registered CommenterGerry
1. The instructions are rewarded on a lottery basis. People can buy multiple tickets, but they're given out at a fixed percentile which may change over time. I.e. first month 10% of tickets get it, then another 10% the next month, so and so forth.
2. multi-item bidding for licenses http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/multipleitem-or-dutch-ebay-auctions.html
3. Incrementally reduced price over time. I.e. charge $100 first month, $90 second month, etc. incrementally reducing the price each month.
4. Create and sell a MOOC/online course on it ala http://www.udemy.com/
5. Charge a largish fee for people to sign up, which gets partially refunded/incentivized for each person that's referred. For example, charge $20 base price, but refund $5 for one person referred, $5 and $2.50 for second person referred, or something similar.
February 8, 2016 at 21:29 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Freckleton
Gerry:

<< I think seminars and consulting while alot of work hold promise as the payoff is good relative to the time investment. Publishing is tough. When I look at the results of my few efforts at publishing, giving away for free to promote an adsense site or donations, the results have been very small. >>

When I was working full time, I used to reckon that I would get approximately one third of my income from each of coaching, seminars and books. That seemed to work out year after year. It had the additional benefit that the coaching would feed into the seminars, which would feed into the books, which would feed into the seminars. So rather than time spent on one of three subtracting from the time spent on the other two, they would each enhance each other. These were proper books of course - the type you find in bookshops, which I regarded not only as sources of income in themselves, but also as brochures for my business which were distributed around the country and filed so that people who were interested in the subject could find them. But unfortunately that synchronicity doesn't apply now.

<< In all actuality had I saved the countless hours I spent writing my three ebooks and blogging about the topic I would be much more well off financially. >>

I agree. If it wasn't for the fact that blogging has basically been my retirement hobby and therefore I enjoy doing it whether I'm paid or not, I would have given it up long ago. But on the other hand it has been an excellent way of developing my ideas.
February 8, 2016 at 21:38 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Ryan:

Thanks for some excellent ideas. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm not that keen on bidding or lotteries - though I may change my mind - but I think the others could work well.
February 8, 2016 at 21:49 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hello Mark,

From a purely selfish point of view, I'd love a subscription service with lots of exclusive content, but you'd be committing to an indefinite amount of work.

I think an ebook would be an attractive propostion if it was bundled with private forum access and free access to a webinar explaining the system. For some reason webinars have far more perceptual value than ebooks. By making a recording of the event available to latecomers, you'd only need to run it once.

I attended a webinar recently, which lasted just over an hour and cannot have taken more than a day to put together. I enjoyed it and thought it was reasonable value. Running the numbers of attendees, it must have made the host a few thousand pounds for a very modest investment of effort.
February 9, 2016 at 14:25 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Duckworth
Mark the "problem" with all your previous systems is that have been you have made them available free and that generates a lot of discussion. You are going to need some form of paid "firewall" with the instructions and any subsequent discussion behind the firewall.
February 9, 2016 at 18:45 | Unregistered CommenterSkeg
John Duckworth:

Thanks for the ideas. Definitely on my "possible" list.
February 9, 2016 at 20:08 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Skeg:

It's very easy to do a paid firewall on this site. So that's also one of the options I'm considering. Thanks.
February 9, 2016 at 20:09 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Have to say I have recently experienced a subscription model (as described by Mchael B in his comment) and found it very good. The site I subscribe to charges $10 per month and I get an email with a link to a website every few days. The content varies, a video, text, a challenge, etc. The content changes every month, which might relate to the various aspects of your new system. The content is always available to me, so I can read or participate at a rate of my own choosing, or go back and re-read or watch again. I agree this will generate quite a lot of work but worth considering maybe?
February 9, 2016 at 21:59 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Thanks, Sue. That's certainly one of the alternatives I'm considering.
February 10, 2016 at 9:12 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I've got some really good ideas about how you could make money from your idea ... but before I write them on here, I need a way of making loads of money from them!

;)
February 10, 2016 at 14:54 | Unregistered CommenterDAZ
Hi Mark,

I'm guessing that the fact you are looking to make some financial gain (and I don't blame you) from this system, where you have not before, means that you perhaps consider this your "ultimate" system, or as near as is maybe possible?
February 10, 2016 at 21:02 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming
I think you should just publish this for free.

What are your motivations for wanting to make 'lots of money out of it'? If you've already retired and, I assume, living comfortably wouldn't you prefer to get your system out there and it be famous as the person who came up with the ultimate time management system? What a legacy that would be!

I can see a few potential problems with trying to get money from this:
* How much can you realistically sell it for? It's only a time-management system that will be one side of instructions. Your latest book, which covers this and more only retails for £10. I think it's great that people area already offering to pay $10 for this system, but I think the number of people willing to do this will run out very quickly.
* You've stated that you thought previous systems have been perfect in the past, what's to say that this system won't be improved in the future?
* I'm not comfortable with buying something without seeing it at all. I really like your other systems, but what if this isn't a good fit for me? Do we just have to take your word for it that it is the perfect system?
* Is there a market for it?

I think having a paid for section of your website is a different thing (and I think 'Closed List' is a great name for it btw) - this would add ongoing value to users, making it worth paying for regularly. I'd move the answers to specific questions to this section, but make your more general writing free to all.

If this really is the perfect time management system then making it free and open would allow any problems to be ironed out by a collective effort and then the word would spread quickly. I'm sure this would then lead to lots of opportunities to make money from being the creator of this ultimate system.
February 10, 2016 at 21:56 | Unregistered CommenterDAZ
Neil Cumming:

<< I'm guessing that the fact you are looking to make some financial gain (and I don't blame you) from this system, where you have not before, means that you perhaps consider this your "ultimate" system, or as near as is maybe possible? >>

It seems to be working out that way. It's so far ticked all the boxes.
February 10, 2016 at 22:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Daz:

<< I've got some really good ideas about how you could make money from your idea ... but before I write them on here, I need a way of making loads of money from them! >>

You could start by giving a link to your website on which you have written at length in the past about ways of making money from ideas, plus details of the books you have published on the subject, the people you've successfully coached and the seminars you've given. In other words establish your credibility.
February 10, 2016 at 22:20 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
DAZ:

<< How much can you realistically sell it for? It's only a time-management system that will be one side of instructions. Your latest book, which covers this and more only retails for £10. I think it's great that people area already offering to pay $10 for this system, but I think the number of people willing to do this will run out very quickly. >>

Well, that's the question, isn't it? But consider that my first time management system was published in a book for less than £10 and yet I lived for many years selling the same information for many times that to people who came on seminars - and I never had a shortage of supply for them.

<< You've stated that you thought previous systems have been perfect in the past, what's to say that this system won't be improved in the future? >>

Actually I think I've specifically disclaimed that I think any time management system is perfect, including this one. Nevertheless I could include an update provision in the sale.

<< I'm not comfortable with buying something without seeing it at all. >>

Yes, but how about if you see the results of it? Wouldn't you be prepared to buy it then?

<< I really like your other systems, but what if this isn't a good fit for me? >>

Then you can put it in the ledger against all the other systems of mine which you do like and have had for free.

<< Do we just have to take your word for it that it is the perfect system? >>

See above.

<< Is there a market for it? >>

See above.
February 10, 2016 at 23:18 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I'm willing to pay for this system. Mark's track record for me has been very good, and I've only been reading his stuff and using his systems for less than a year.

Even if I hate it and think it's horrible I won't feel ripped off. I mean I've already gained lots of free stuff from Mark. I'm happy to pay him just for his effort.

(That said Mark, I'm dying to pay you and get this system! I'll even take a photo of your handwritten notes!)
February 11, 2016 at 3:35 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
Mark:

<< You could start by giving a link to your website on which you have written at length in the past about ways of making money from ideas, plus details of the books you have published on the subject, the people you've successfully coached and the seminars you've given. In other words establish your credibility. >>

Touché!

Great response.
February 11, 2016 at 9:26 | Unregistered CommenterDAZ
Mark:

<<<< How much can you realistically sell it for? It's only a time-management system that will be one side of instructions. Your latest book, which covers this and more only retails for £10. I think it's great that people area already offering to pay $10 for this system, but I think the number of people willing to do this will run out very quickly. >>

Well, that's the question, isn't it? But consider that my first time management system was published in a book for less than £10 and yet I lived for many years selling the same information for many times that to people who came on seminars - and I never had a shortage of supply for them.>>

I agree there certainly be a follow on market for such as system, my question was whether people would pay a premium just to get access to the system. People will always want to hear more about a successful system from the guy who invented it. This goes back to my point that if you release it for free then you increase your reach which eventually gives you a bigger audience to monetize.


<<<< I really like your other systems, but what if this isn't a good fit for me? >>

Then you can put it in the ledger against all the other systems of mine which you do like and have had for free.>>

Good point. I probably would pay for it (I'm very intrigued about it already) and you are right that there is a ton of free material on this website that has been very useful and interesting to read, so in a way any payment could be thought of as also being for previous benefits accrued.

Could your new system be incorporated into a new book? This feels like an easier sell to me. 'Do It Tomorrow' is my all-time favourite time management book, so I'd always be keen to buy more books.

One thing that still puzzles me is after creating so much high-quality material on this site and giving it away in the past, how come you now want to make lots of money from this idea?
February 11, 2016 at 9:37 | Unregistered CommenterDAZ
DAZ:

<< Could your new system be incorporated into a new book? >>

It certainly could. And this is one of the options which I am actively considering.

<< One thing that still puzzles me is after creating so much high-quality material on this site and giving it away in the past, how come you now want to make lots of money from this idea? >>

I have three sources of income: pensions, investments and royalties. All three are coming under heavy pressure at the moment.
February 11, 2016 at 10:16 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,

<<<< Could your new system be incorporated into a new book? >>

It certainly could. And this is one of the options which I am actively considering.>>

Have you heard of the concept of the Beta Book? I came across it being used by the Pragmatic Bookshelf (http://pragprog.com/frequently-asked-questions/beta-books )

Basically you sell your book before you've even started writing it and then send out early versions of each chapter to the people who have bought it. You could start by giving the details of your new system, then send an outline of the chapters to the book, then send a copy of each chapter as you draft them.

The benefits of this approach are:
Money up front (always a good thing)!
You get a team of dedicated people reading your book and spotting errors
You get valuable feedback early on that can then feed in to subsequent drafts of the book
Beta readers will be spreading the word about how good the book is, so when it is released there will be a ready made market for it
Beta readers may have skills and start developing resources for it (for example building an iPhone app for the system)

You could offer an early bird discount to the first 100 or so people who sign up. If you release each chapter on a closed page of your website with discussion then the discussion may also open up new topics for future chapters or generate new ideas.
February 13, 2016 at 11:05 | Unregistered CommenterDAZ
I would like to pay $50 for the instructions and maybe $5/month for a subscription to a closed membership forum.

Can I pay right now because I'm desperately in need for it?
February 15, 2016 at 16:18 | Registered CommenterTheo
Theo:

<< Can I pay right now because I'm desperately in need for it? >>

Sorry, no, though I appreciate the offer. I'm still working on it at the moment.
February 15, 2016 at 16:28 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
DAZ:

<< Basically you sell your book before you've even started writing it and then send out early versions of each chapter to the people who have bought it. >>

That's a good idea. It's a bit like crowdfunding, though less glamorous! I might consider something on those lines.

I did at one stage think of showing the successive drafts of my blog posts as a way (hopefully) of getting people to keep coming back to the website - and also as a useful lesson in how repeated drafting works. Unfortunately it would mess up the blog feed and probably also put people off who didn't know what was going on!
February 15, 2016 at 16:34 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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