“Words may show a man’s wit, but actions his meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

Several months ago, I got home from work to find a box on the floor next to my wife’s nightstand in our bedroom.

“What’s this, honey?” I asked her.

“I ordered Tae Bo,” she replied.

Tae Bo is an exercise program created by trainer Bill Blanks. The videos have generated millions of dollars in revenues through wildly successful infomercials.

Well, last week I noticed that same box still lying on the floor. It had been opened. I could see the videos inside, but they were still sealed in their shrink wrap.

I asked my wife if she thought she’d get fitter, trimmer, and stronger just by opening the box… and perhaps letting some of Billy’s energy seep into the air surrounding her as she slept. “Or maybe it’s like reverse kryptonite,” I suggested helpfully. “The videos generate a positive radiation that gives you energy and strength instead of taking it away!”

I slept on the living room couch that night.

But I also learned an important lesson that can help you succeed. The lesson? Good intentions are nothing. Action and results are everything.

Even if my wife had unwrapped the Tae Bo videos and watched them, she would not have benefited in any way. The only way Tae Bo – or instruction in anything else – has any practical value is if you actually do what the teacher tells you to do… and put the ideas and strategies into practice.

Attend any Internet marketing seminar, and every speaker is selling an elaborate – and expensive – packaged course or program. These cost $300 to $1,000 or more, and typically include multiple workbooks, DVDs, and CDs.

Seminar attendees rush to the display table at the back of the room, checkbook or credit card in hand, to buy the speaker’s “package” – a huge box of how-to Internet marketing materials. What they do with it when they get home breaks down this way:

The first group feels great that they have invested in their marketing education. They pledge to dive into the materials as soon as they have time. But, of course, there is work… the kids… weekend barbecues… vacations… TV… yard work… taking the cat to the vet… painting the kitchen. Years later, they throw out the package, unopened, because the speaker has a new course and the one they own is now obsolete.

The second group opens the package, reads all the manuals, watches all the DVDs, and listens to all the audios. They then write the speaker a nice note about how much they enjoyed his program, and ask if he has anything else they can buy.

The third group is the only one that succeeds in starting and building their own Internet marketing business. That’s because they actually follow the steps – and do what the course they bought tells them to do.

Now, I am not against study… or research… or educating yourself on the business you want to pursue. In fact, I recommend it. But there comes a point where you have to stop studying and reading – and actually start doing.

Reading books others have written can help you avoid mistakes they made – and learn from their “expensive experience.” But you can’t really master a skill or a business until you actually take the leap, create your first product, offer your first service, and make your first sale. Until then, it’s all theory, and you are just a fan or an observer – and not a participant.

My advice? When you buy a wealth-building or how-to business program from ETR or anywhere else, start going through it – and begin to implement the ideas – within 24 hours.

For instance, if you buy a how-to course on Internet marketing and Step One is to choose and reserve a domain name, go to godaddy.com or one of the other domain name sites and do it that same day.

In my experience, self-help and success programs are like the Sunday New York Times. You know that if you don’t read the Sunday paper by Tuesday, the whole thing goes in recycling.

Recommendation: If you have bought and read three or more programs on Internet marketing, copywriting, or any other business you want to pursue… do not buy any more material until you have taken concrete steps to create your product, write your sales copy, put up your website, and generate your first sale.

The time for words is past. The time for action is now.

[Ed. Note: Master copywriter and best-selling author Bob Bly is a core contributor to ETR’s brand-new Internet Money Club, an Info Marketing program that gives you an all-inclusive, A-to-Z blueprint for starting your own powerhouse Internet business. Of course, to get the most out of this breakthrough program, you must take action. That means opening the package, using the easy-to-follow website building program to set up a website, following our experts’ instructions for creating your first product, using our marketing and copywriting secrets to make your first sale, and taking full advantage of the dozens of other goodies this program includes. Put the Internet Money Club strategies to work and you could wind up with a business that makes $100,000 to $25 million a year. We’ve limited the number of spots to 250, and, as of today, we’ve only got a few spots left. Sign up for Bob’s free monthly e-zine, The Direct Response Letter, and get more than $100 in free bonuses.]

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in business-to-business and direct marketing. He has been hired as a consultant by such companies as Sony, Chemical Bank, J. Walter Thompson, Westinghouse, and Prentice-Hall. Bob is also the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Targeted Public Relations, Selling Your Services, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Keeping Clients Satisfied. A phenomenal public speaker, Bob will share with you how easy it is to start your own business. Whether you’re ready to quit your job or are just looking to make a little money on the side, you’ll want to hear Bob’s advice.

Bob Bly

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in business-to-business and direct marketing. He has been hired as a consultant by such companies as Sony, Chemical Bank, J. Walter Thompson, Westinghouse, and Prentice-Hall. Bob is also the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Targeted Public Relations, Selling Your Services, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Keeping Clients Satisfied. A phenomenal public speaker, Bob will share with you how easy it is to start your own business. Whether you’re ready to quit your job or are just looking to make a little money on the side, you’ll want to hear Bob’s advice.