It's a constant feud between entrepreneurs about what's more effective: working hard or working smart.
In my experience and humble opinion, the answer is divided. It depends on the situation, what's at stake and the business you're in. And there is always a time for both planning and execution, one of the relevant questions in this case is how much percentage of time should go into the two.
Execution vs planning
The biggest success factor when it comes to affiliate marketing (and many other things) is massive action. Your ability to get stuff done, i.e, perform tangible actions, will be the most important thing without doubt. Remember that.
Exceptions exists when it's vital to spend more time on careful planning than on the execution, but it's more rare than you think. Although there should always be a time for planning and building a strategy, people tend to spend too much time on that.
Execution is the hard part. You should focus on the hard part.
When should you execute?
There's generally three situations where you should go hard on the execution part
- When there is no risk. When the worst case scenario is simply losing the time it takes to execute (unless it is considerate) – always execute.
- If the money at stake is such an inconsiderable amount that learning the mistake supersedes the value, which is very often the case.
- When planning is exhausted and the only way to learn or excel is to move forward with action. Also, this is often the case.
- If everybody generally over-plan in your area, you'll do better with execution.
Also go right to execution when there's an inconsiderable amount of money at stake.
When should you plan?
Situations where planning can be beneficial
- When you would only get one attempt or one go at something, which is rarely the case.
- When there's something valuable at stake, such as reputation or large amount of money.
- In a scenario where everyone over-execute, then you may find great opportunities with planning.
Input vs output – acquiring new information effectively
This dilemma is similar to execution vs planning, and the answer is also very similar. Once again, finding that balance, will be the most optimal way to go about it. But how do we do that? Where do we distinguish valuable information from useless?
One can argue that all information is valuable, but I strongly disagree. More information than ca be used only tends to confuse and paralyze you. Reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos and all that can be valuable to some extent, but it doesn't serve any purpose unless the information given can, and will be, directly applied to what you are doing.
That being said, let me just be clear: it's vital that you do focus on knowledge. Learning as much as you can.
The micro-experiment approach
Ask why you should do it, and then do it.
You need to figure out the smart way, and then work hard doing that.
What is the right thing to do next? Not what you could do, but what you should do
How to use todo lists
Most people never get where they want to go because they over-plan. You need to learn the balance and become better at execution.