The 25-50-25 Formula

Issue #2313

  • WEALTHY: How to invest during a period of stagflation (Rick Pendergraft)
  • HEALTHY: A food that can help build healthy muscle (James LaValle)
  • WISE: Glenn Wilson on information overload


  • A simple way to cure "analysis paralysis" brought on by info overload (Bob Bly)
  • You’re welcome to millions of dollars’ worth of our most valuable treasure (Charlie Byrne)
  • It’s Good to Know… about dust-borne germs
  • Add "redound" to your vocabulary

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And that’s just ONE of the things you will learn at our Profits in Paradise conference this April.  For more details, click here.

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The "S" Word

By Rick Pendergraft

The financial press is a-buzz with talk about "stagflation." But you won’t know how to handle the hype unless you know what stagflation really means for you and your portfolio. calls stagflation "a condition of slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment – a time of stagnation – accompanied by a rise in prices, or inflation."

Right now, we are looking at a possible scenario in which the economy slows dramatically and, as a double whammy, inflation runs higher than normal. The average fixed-income investment won’t keep up with the higher inflation rate, and most stocks will drop in value because of the slower economy.

So how do you invest during a period of stagflation? Very carefully. 

During periods of high inflation, natural-resource investing is one of the best ways to outperform the market. Gold, uranium, silver, and other natural resources tend to move higher. 

Resource investing is not my area of expertise, but my colleague, Dr. Rusty McDougal, is an accomplished natural-resource investor. He writes the Resource Windfall Speculator newsletter, which can help you through a difficult time like this in the market.

[Ed. Note: Rick Pendergraft is a professional trader and market analyst. In Rick’s new investment service, he reveals how you can make hundreds – even thousands – of dollars just by playing a simple game of "guess the pattern." Learn more here.]

"Information overload can reduce a person’s ability to focus as much as losing a night’s sleep."

Glenn Wilson

The 25-50-25 Formula for Business Success

By Bob Bly

"I was quite eager to learn about marketing, and began reading everything associated with it," one of my subscribers, KM, told me in a recent e-mail. "However, with AWAI’s Golden Thread e-zine, ETR, and, of course your insightful newsletter, I find myself reading more than applying. How do I sift through the worthy (but time-consuming) information that would benefit my business? Sometimes I force myself to read, fearful I may overlook some exceptional nugget. Help! Where do I stop?"

I hear similar stories all the time…

You are interested in some aspect of marketing – whether it is copywriting, Internet marketing, whatever. But you are overwhelmed by all the information being offered on the subject. (After all, we live in the Information Age.)

So you go "information crazy"… buying every course, attending every conference, reading every e-book, listening to every recording, and dialing into every teleseminar you can find.

Before you know it, a month… six months… or a year has gone by – and you are no closer to your business or career goal. That’s because you’ve spent all your time reading, studying, and learning the thing you are interested in… rather than actually DOING it.

Sadly, you are suffering from a syndrome I call "analysis paralysis."

All the information you are taking in has overloaded your circuits. You can’t process it all, sort through it, and figure out what to do first. So, instead, you do nothing. You take no action – other than to order yet another course or report to read.

You have become a marketing-information junkie – avoiding the harsh realities of the business world by retreating to your favorite comfy chair with yet another neat marketing book.

You spend all your time reading about starting a business. So there is no time left to actually start or run a business. You are an "armchair entrepreneur" – more enamored with the idea of entrepreneurship than the actuality.

Fortunately there is an easy solution: the 25-50-25 rule. It provides a simple guideline to help you get unstuck.

The rule says there are only three ways to learn a process (e.g., how to start an Internet business) or a skill (e.g., copywriting): studying, observing, and doing. The 25-50-25 rule says that to master a skill or process, and put what you learn into practical action, you must divide your time as follows:

  • No more than 25 percent of your time studying – i.e., reading books, going to bootcamps, attending workshops, listening to recordings in your car.
  • No more than 25 percent of your time observing – watching what successful people in your field are already doing. If, for example, you want to become a direct-mail copywriter, this means reading and analyzing the direct mail you get in your mailbox.
  • At least 50 percent of your time actually DOING the thing you are studying and observing. For example, if you want to sell information products on the Internet, you are spending 50 percent of your time creating your first product… designing your website… or building your list.

The idea is similar to Michael Masterson’s Ready, Fire, Aim approach. He says that you should take action right away, and then learn as you go.

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

KM’s worry that, by not reading everything, he may miss a "nugget" of information is accurate: You will never know everything there is to know in your field, or even most of it.

But so what?

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

For example, there are hundreds of strategies for making money on the Internet. But you can make a six-figure annual income online using only a few of them, even if you never bother to learn the others.

In freelance copywriting, there are many top writers who write only one type of promotion. Or work in one narrow niche. And they make a fortune doing so.

When we were kids, our parents and teachers told us to study, study, study. But I see many people today much more enamored with studying and reading about marketing and entrepreneurship than actually doing.

Well, I understand that. Reading about marketing is fascinating – and fun. But the money is in the doing, not the reading.

Follow the 25-50-25 rule, and you’ll be doing – and making money – at least half the time.

[Ed Note: Freelance copywriter Bob Bly is the creator of The Direct Response Letter, the author of more than 70 books, and co-creator of ETR’s Direct Marketing Masters Edition program.

Learn specific strategies for how to take action on all your business and personal goals with ETR’s Total Success Achievement program. It’s not too late to sign up and learn how to make your longest-held dreams come true. Click here to learn more.]

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Praise for Ready, Fire, Aim : "I found myself asking some tough questions about my own business."

"I found Ready, Fire, Aim to be very thought-provoking and practical. I don’t enjoy business books that don’t help me actually apply what I am reading and learning. I found myself asking some tough questions about my own business as I was reading. I spotted some definite areas that could use some tweaking, and I will start to do a few things differently as a result.

"My own valuation of a book is: Did I learn something I can apply that will improve my business in a tangible and significant way? If so, the book was well worth the 2 hours I invested.

"This book was well worth the time."

– Drew McLellan

Des Moines, IA

ETR Insider Report: Your Invitation to Rob Us Blind!

By Charlie Byrne 

Want to legally and ethically rob Early to Rise of millions of dollars’ worth of our most valuable treasure? Well, now you can – and there’s no jail time or pardons involved. Let me explain.

I recently received a letter from ETR reader Lois Bartholomew…

"My children and I are creating a website relating to ideas for the home and family. I have selected several ETR articles to use on the site, complete with the little paragraph that you have the link to at the bottom of each issue of ETR. (‘This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit’)

"Do we need to do anything else to legally publish these articles on our site?"

Lois Bartholomew, (coming soon)

The answer is "No, Lois, you don’t have to do another thing! It’s all yours!"

You can select content from over seven years of Early to Rise issues that we’ve been printing since June 5, 2000… more than 6,000 articles… and somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.5 million unique, useful, and actionable words.

And all our other Early to Rise readers are welcome to do the same.

Good luck with your business, Lois. Please write and keep us updated on your success.

[Ed Note: Charlie Byrne is Creative Director at Early to Rise. Sign up for e-mail delivery of his blog.]

Whey Cool!

By James B. LaValle, R. Ph., CCN, MS

One of the things that bothers many of my male patients about growing older is losing the strong, muscular body they enjoyed in their youth. There are lots of good reasons to want strong, healthy muscles. While "washboard abs" may not be a realistic goal for you, strengthening your abdominal muscles can play a big role in protecting your back against injury. Plus, a muscular body burns more calories than a fat body – even when you’re not exercising – by simply raising your "basal" (resting) metabolic rate.

Muscle in your body is constantly being built up and broken down. That makes whey protein an excellent food to consider. Whey comes from the liquid that remains after milk has been processed into cheese, and there are very good reasons why it’s so popular with body builders. In one study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, whey not only increased muscle more than casein (the protein found in cheese), but also contributed to loss of body fat.

But whey can do a lot more than help you build healthy muscles. It can help you build a healthy immune system and boost your metabolism, thereby helping to keep your mood upbeat and sunny. Simply put, its whey cool!

You can pick up whey at any health food store. Blend it into your favorite shakes or mix it into an eight-ounce glass of milk. You can also find lots of recipes online for other tasty beverages.

[Ed. Note: Jim LaValle is a licensed pharmacist, board certified clinical nutritionist, and doctor of naturopathic medicine, with more than 20 years of clinical experience in the field of natural therapeutics and functional medicine. He is a contributor to ETR’s free natural health newsletter and the author of 13 books, including Cracking the Metabolic Code.]

It’s Good to Know: Dust-Borne Germs

You know that sneezing, coughing, and unwashed hands are common ways to spread germs. But recent research by a pair of Swiss scientists indicates that microscopic dust particles can also spread bacteria. And those particles can be carried by windstorms across oceans and continents. The good news is that most of the bacteria that cause sickness in humans are not hardy enough to make such a long journey. But the researchers say this discovery provides important proof of the strong links between all parts of the planet. 

(Source: National Geographic )

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Word to the Wise: Redound

To "redound" (rih-DOWND) is to have a consequence or effect. The word is derived from the Latin for "to be in abundance or excess."

Example (as used by Edward L. Widmer in Young America): "[John L.] O’Sullivan busied himself writing would-be contributors, outlining his plan for the enterprise and how its glory would redound to all associated with the project."

[Ed. Note: Become a more persuasive writer and speaker … build your self-confidence and intellect … increase your attractiveness to others … just by spending 10 VERY enjoyable minutes a day with ETR’s new Words to the Wise CD Library.]

Copyright ETR, LLC, 2008