Hi, Everyone...

I spent 25 years in the Army and during that time, was in many military sponsored courses, training programs, etc. I also pursued civilian education, having started with a high school diploma, and ending up with quite a few advanced degrees.

Add to that the 'boots on the ground' experience in various parts of the world doing different missions, from humanitarian to peacekeeping and otherwise. Over different seasons, years, and decades. Some good times, some bad.

Through it all, I survived and lived to tell you today about a couple of lessons I gleaned from this period.

What I ended up after those years in the military was a lot of proven ideas on how to succeed at whatever it is that you choose to pursue. I literally lived what worked and what did not.

How Does That Relate To Affiliate Marketing?

Glad you asked...It has EVERYTHING to do with your eventual success at this business...or not.

I know that whatever you get into, having a plan will help keep you focused and help push you to attain the goal you set. If you do not have a plan, you cannot know where you are going.

Not only that, you may not know when you get there.

Once you have spent some time determining what that end goal is, however unattainable it may seem today, you have your end point. That is the start. The next steps are to start doing the many tasks to get there.

Of course as you move along the path towards that goal, constant change that happens around you and within you means that you need to constantly reassess what that end goal is and the actions you are taking right now...

The 'right now' is what this post is ALL about.

I see many people working mightily day after day, knocking out many tasks, and going to their bed exhausted thinking they have done well. They have completed 10 things off their 'to-do' list, and those things are in the bag, done, finished.

Good job they tell themselves!

But...

This daily activity is where you need to focus your attention, because unless you are thinking strategically and not tactically as you complete tasks you will not achieve everything you can possibly achieve.

Here is why I say this...

Strategic Versus Tactical Actions

First you must understand the difference in the two terms.

Tactical thinking is where you are looking to get that task done, and only consider it as one more thing to knock off. It might be creating some content, or making a video, or adding some fresh material to your social site, etc.

Strategic thinking is more big picture thinking. Everything you do is in congruence with the ultimate mission or goal. When you do these daily tasks, you are not just trying to get them completed, you are shaping HOW you complete them with that end goal in mind.

If you use strategic thinking, it means that as a whole, in totem, your tasks will get done in such a manner that they DO help you along the journey to that desired end state...This seems very easy to grasp I think...

Unfortunately, those that cannot make the connection and shape their day and work routine to strategic thinking will have a much tougher time succeeding.

This is fact.

I will give you a few examples...

- Just getting an article posted should not be the goal. Creating one that supports the entire program you are building may have a much different focus and content.

- Just creating a video so you can say you published something means little if it does not help get you more traffic that will move your forward on your quest for success.

- Just posting some nonsensical material to your supporting social account and platform does little to help you move ahead towards that strategic goal.

There may be the outlier that succeeds in spite of themself, but I would not count on that happening. Better to think with the big picture in mind as you go through your day and activities.

There is one more thing that is important...

Add In This Task To Your Daily Routine

Make your bed when you get up in the morning.

I know this sounds kind of silly and simple, but the thought process behind this suggestion is real. It CAN make a big difference.

I have lived it every day since I was 17. It started during basic training when the bedsheets had to be tight enough so a quarter coin would bounce at least 12" when dropped on the bed...

No kidding.

Think about it. What is the first thing you do in the morning? Do you sit looking at the floor, run to the coffee machine (this is what I do), or something else?

What about that bed?

Getting into a routine of making the bed every day as soon as you get up (or shortly after) means that no matter how good or bad the day may be, you have done SOMETHING. You have taken your first positive ACTION.

Even if the day is crappy and nothing goes right, when you get back home and decide to retire, guess what? That bed is made and ready for your lovely self, inviting - and in order/made!

It also means that you start getting into a routine of DOING things. If you are working from home or have an office, does not matter. Procrastination is a time killer, and we all have only so much time - do not waste it.

This routine starts your day off right!

Bottom Line:

Two takeaways:

(1) Think and Act Strategically. Turn your daily routine into meaningful activities that move you towards the end goal, whatever that is.

(2) Make Your Bed. Train yourself to be an action taker, someone who GETS THINGS DONE.

Remember, the most successful people are those that can make the leap from thinkling tactically (just doing things) to strategic.

EVERYTHING they do daily is one more tiny piece of the puzzle to attaining the end goal. Also, most of them make their beds in the morning...

I believe in ALL of you!

Cheers!

Dave : )

P.S. What do you think? Are there some tips, ideas, disagreements with my line of reasoning? Share below and let's have some fun! : )

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Swangirl Premium
This made me laugh but also made me happy since I am a big picture person so I think I am pretty good at the strategy part.

My husband teases me about planning everything. It kind of drives him crazy actually. He is more the be prepared to deal with whatever pops up on the spur of the moment kind of guy. He was a Marine so he prides himself on being able to handle anything that comes along and planning for him involves having a knife of gun or flint and steel ready to use, as well as food, fire starter etc.!

He actually has to plan a ridiculous amount in his job which is coordinating prisoner transport involving dispatching State Troopers to go to different prisons at certain times to pick up certain prisoners, figure out which cells to hold them in when they get to the courthouse where he oversees the whole thing, respond to emergency calls from the courtrooms and security points into the buildings, watch the cameras, answer the phones, talk to judges, attorneys, clerks, the U.S. Marshals, arrange evictions etc. etc. etc. It is crazy busy, stressful, overworked and underpaid! So, when he is not at work he doesn't want to plan anything. We are quite the pair since I was actually a "Planner" for the State of Alaska...I plan at work and at home.
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DaveSw Premium
You have the conditions for the best of both worlds it would seem.

Your husband has his hands full taking care of the tactical tasks that are quite complex and important for everyone's safety, a hard job for sure...

Meanwhile, since you are more the strategic planner and thinker, that base is covered for the two of you. That can be really good when you find yourself swamped as your husband is...

That really is ideal...Think if you had two strategic planners in the house - that might get hairy hehe...It is kind of like splitting up chores, over time, things just seem to iron themselves out...A good thing for relationships!

Cheers!
Dave : )
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TopAchiever Premium
Great advice to being motivated to keep going despite results not coming in as expected.

Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration!
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DaveSw Premium
Hi Edu....Thanks for your kind words, means a lot! Cheers! Dave : )
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AlexEvans Premium
Hi Dave,
One of the best things that we can do when we start out is to think in terms of the end game and then every action that we create is a part of creating the process.
It is kind of like the training here at WA it contains everything that we need to get going and build momentum. Once learned it is all about where we take it and having the overview can be so helpful when we get to where we are going it is just a case of redefining where we are going next, thank you for the insights in your post, real food for thought.
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DaveSw Premium
I could not agree more with your sentiments and thoughts Alex, thanks for stopping by! Cheers! Dave : )
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Kickbacked Premium
Very excellent post! I never thought in terms of tactical or strategic terms of thinking before! I added it to my notes, great advice! And yes, make your bed is a great way to start your day! And routines are good also, for they get you going into a direction of getting things done so you can work on more important things later. Finish small tasks so they do not become large and cumbersome!
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DaveSw Premium
Living in Southern France I can understand the tendency to procrastinate. As with Taetske (below comment), the beauty that surrounds you (and it iS beautfiul there) is captivating...

I can remember stopping off myself and spending hours enjoying the food, the drink, and the people in various regions in that part of France...Never mind the work to be done...It happens...

Only through such tactics as making a bed in the morning am I able to pull myself from the entrancing happenings around me (whether in France, Spain, Germany, or Thailand) and focus on the tasks at hand...

It seems to me that you have the best of both worlds at your fingertips...A short dose of all that is around you can suffice to give you the energy to charge through the work to open the doors to enjoying more...

Many people dream of the situation you find yourself in...Thanks for the feedback, and do enjoy the heaven you are in (I am so jealous from here in the sands of Dubai at this moment -- kidding!).

Cheers and thanks for your feedback!

Dave : )
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Kickbacked Premium
Quite poetic!
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JulietAA Premium
Well said Dave,
You are so right!
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DaveSw Premium
Thanks Juliet! : )
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BradBurns Premium
Great post Dave,

Can't disagree with anything you have in your post. I am actually thinking the same now.
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DaveSw Premium
Great minds think alike? : ) Glad you enjoyed Brad! Cheers! Dave : )
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BradBurns Premium
Thanks Dave
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laparra1 Premium
Good afternoon Dave,

I enjoyed your post, it had some good tips, thank you.
This bit about making one's bed is more important than one might think at first glance. I have been living alone on and off for long periods in my life. I always stuck to my own made rules and making my bed was one of them. It is too easy to become lazy.

Greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske
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DaveSw Premium
Hi, Taetske, when you are in a beautiful place with nice weather, scenery, and water, becoming lazy can be hard NOT to do. I admire your tenacity to stick with your rules...It does make a difference in what you accomplish in life...Not to mention the satisfaction...Cheers and enjoy! Dave : )
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TaniaHersel Premium
I enjoyed this post. Planning strategically and carrying through.
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DaveSw Premium
Glad you enjoyed and got somethinig out of it Tania...Have a great day! Dave : )
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CowboyJames Premium
Great post, simple to understand. But do I have to make the bed? I get up a couple hours before the wife, she frowns when I make the bed while she sleeps. Maybe I will just get a shower. Thanks for the post
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DaveSw Premium
Haha, My advice is not to make that bed! Cost might be pretty high and guarantee a bad day! Cheers! Dave : )
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Droseh Premium
Your background in the military is serving you well. I agree with you. We have to have the big picture in mind instead of just checking off daily tasks. Great analysis. Debbie
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DaveSw Premium
Thanks Debbie...This is how I approach the business...Any business really....Cheers! Dave : )
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MKearns Premium
tactical: making your bed. Strategic: ensuring there is a place to put your bed
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DaveSw Premium
You got it! : )
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jvranjes Premium
I had compulsory one year of military service, and I hated making bed and shaving (the latter was compulsory as well). This was 30 years ago, and I have never shaved after that.

But I see the point of your blog. Thank you for sharing.
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DaveSw Premium
Yes, Jovo...

The shaving thing I gave up too...I do keep it somewhat trimmed...Also I have long hair (have had for years)...

I guess this is one form of my rejecting some of the things we were all forced to do and had to get used to (there are tons more I could mention)....

The one thing I still do from those time is make that bed every day...I also find that I like order (order in disorder maybe? Maybe also why I fit into Germany well...

Definitely I understand where you are coming from...

The biggest thing that I gave up after those years was all weapons and shooting anything (to include hunting)...No taste for this...Only shoot pictures and videos these days...

There is some merit in establishing discipline and routine in the day, as long as it does not go overboard...Like shaving!

Cheers!
Dave : )
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