How Much Time Do You Spend Thinking vs. Doing?

Hey Everyone! Dan here with another blog post to help you make more money from your online business. I want to discuss the difference between thinking and doing, and what levels of each you should apply to your business.

So first things first… what exactly do I mean by “thinking” and how much of it should you do?

Active thought invested in your business throughout the day is what I mean by thinking. It is a very crucial element of making your business successful. Here’s what I’ve noticed when progressing in my ventures:

The more thought I invest in my business the better I do.

If you are lazy and don’t feel like working, you sure as hell better be thinking your a** off.

I’m not talking about thinking about which car you want to buy with all your money you’re about to make online, or what you are going to do after you are done building your website either…

We’re talking constant thought 10 hours per day on how you can improve your business and reduce your work load:

  • When I am driving my car, I am thinking about my business.
  • When I am going to the mall to pick up lunch, I am thinking about my business (in fact I came up with the idea for this post while I was in line waiting to pick up my food)
  • While I’m playing video games I’m thinking about what I need to do next in my business.
  • While I’m falling asleep for the night I’m going through a list in my head of what I accomplished that day and what I was unable to accomplish so that when I wake up I can put those unfinished tasks on my to-do list.
  • And so on, and so on.

A lot of my thoughts are also centered around cutting the amount of time I spend actually working:

  • “I’ve got 3 days to reach my deadline but I don’t really feel like doing the work so who is it I need to talk to, to have the work done for me?”
  • Whenever I start doing any kind of tedious task my mind immediately switches to how can I automate this so that I don’t have to do this boring crap again?
  • If I have outsourcers working on active projects I’m thinking about how to coordinate everything while they are working.
  • I’m thinking about meeting deadlines: If I have 7 days to complete a project and the project involves working with two people, I want to make sure I think out the proper dates to have materials ready for each person. On a recent project I’ve been working on, it involved working with 6 different people. 5 of those 6 people required work from the one person before they could even begin their work… so I had to make sure I thought out my deadlines correctly so the 5 other outsourcers had time to get their stuff done.
  • If one of my workers fails to come through, do I have a backup plan? If I don’t have a backup plan, how long would it take for me to do the task if it’s worse case scenario?

That leads into something else important

As you start delegating your work out to people, you’re going to quickly discover that not everything works out how it should. Sometimes your outsourcers fall through. That’s why it’s crucial you know how to do EVERYTHING you have your outsourcers doing. If they fall through, you’re going to have to suck it up and put in some work. While you don’t have to be a master of every task, it’s very important you know how to do the basics of each task.

This is for two reasons:

  1. You know your outsourcer isn’t messing with you
  2. You can work on a fix for the problem… and while the fix may not be as good as what the outsourcer can give you, it’ll work just “good enough”. An example of that recently on a project of mine was that one of my web designers was slow on getting me the images my video guy needed to start working on the sales video. If I didn’t know how to work with photoshop, I’d be screwed right now. Sure it may not be the best work ever, but it sure is better than having nothing…

Now we lead right into the “doing” aspect of the busienss… how much time should you spend doing?

Here’s something that is really funny to me…

You all know I take the lazy angle for a lot of my products I make, and I sometimes get some flak from people saying it’s fake because making money online requires hard work…

I often hear these comments from article writers and ghostwriters… people who think that making money online can only be done by slugging it out hour after hour doing some annoying task. In my opinion,  this type of mindset is derived from working as an employee where you think you have to put in 8 hours a day of work to receive 8 hours of pay.

I’ve got news for you folks: we are not employees… we are entrepreneurs.

I can tell you right now if you aren’t leveraging your time online, you might as well be working a job. If you are writing article after article yourself every single day, you might as well be working somewhere from 9-5. The advantage to being an entrepreneur is you can leverage other peoples time so you don’t have to do the work yourself.

I learned this very early on with my hosting company when I was 16. I was in school all day, and eventually my company got so big I simply couldn’t do the tech support myself. My options were to spend all day responding to tech support tickets and put a cap on what I could earn per month, or I can outsource my tech support so I can spend the two hours that I had a day to work on my business pushing it forward.

Do you see where I’m getting with this?

Figure out everything you need to do in order for you to work no more than 2 hours per day while growing your business, and I guarantee you that you will see your income explode.

Any comments and thoughts? Feel free to share ’em below.



40 Responses to “How Much Time Do You Spend Thinking vs. Doing?”
  1. Brock says:

    Thanks for the article. I love delegating…it’s my favorite part about being an entrepreneur. I’m outsourcing all of my writing, most of my design, and eventually all SEO (once I master it).

    I think that what you say about learning each part before outsourcing is important. If you want to run a restaurant, you better know your way around the kitchen!

  2. Fran K says:

    Great post – and you had a hosting company when you were just 16?!

  3. Steve Reed says:

    Hi Dan

    Nice post indeed. I probably spend too much time working, but still don’t get enough done. I do, like you, spend a lot of time thinking how to do less via outsourcing etc. I’ve started a blog on using the 80/20 principle to reduce the amount you do, but increase productivity. One great thing is only focussing on what you do really well, and either dropping the stuff you are bad at, or outsourcing it if it is genuinely adding value to your business.

    I’m at the early stages in implementing this strategy, it goes against all out instincts and learned behaviour, but streamlining is definitely the way to go. I lovethe last paragraph, 2 hours a day will suit me nicely. In reality, I might do 3-4 hours, and now make 50k a year. But I want to make 200k and work 2 hours. Best put the thinking cap on 🙂

  4. Sean Breslin says:

    Hello Dan, I liked this post and agree with the thinking and the working aspects… Just getting started doing two hours a day seems to be troublesome to me at the moment!
    Your comments on website hostingwhere very interesting and something I would like to know more about!!!

  5. Rob Jones says:

    Awesome post Dan! Leveraging your time is so important. It’s on my short list of internet marketing rules I constantly stress to my email subscribers.

    Leverage your time.
    Build assets.
    Create repeatable systems for everything you do and document them.
    Continually progress.
    Leverage every piece of work you do, whether it’s an article, video, website, email, whatever.

    With the entrepreneur outlook, like you mention, you are capable of achieving so much more.

    And I can honestly say without a doubt that I get the most work done when I am away from my office, away from my laptop, doing nothing at all related to work, but with my projects mulling around in the back of my mind.

    It’s like a mental game of chess. You play around with your projects in your mind, looking at them from every angle, imagining different scenarios and outcomes, until finally something stands out. I have been going through this process for weeks now as I prepare for my internal product beta launch. Suddenly something will click in my mind, and then I will start the process of making it happen…the actual doing, which is usually way less complicated than the thinking, strategizing, and planning. And my best results usually come from a lot of thinking that leads up to a little bit of doing. Then it’s usually just a matter of coordinating a few things and setting the cogs in motion.

    Plus when an epiphany finally hits after all of that thinking, it usually lights a fire under my ass, and I crank out the results in no time. And that is without a doubt when I am the most motivated, and I do my best work.

  6. Giovanni says:

    Daniel, thanks for your insights

    You brought an important point when you talk about outsourcing. We, as entrepreneurs, should only focus on the things that actually will bring more value to our businesses. Anything else that can be automatized, should be done with systems and processes. Our time is probably the most precious asset we have, and we must use it exclusively in thinking (as you said) about our business – even if it includes doing it in the shower, while taking a beer or naping.


  7. Shane Woods says:

    I love the post and I must say I totally agree with you. I’m always thinking about two things and that my business and my little girl and I work like a mad man. However, drive is one of those special skillis I have. The hard one for me though is to outsource more of my business. I outsource things like article writing and some link building task but I need to let go of more control and outsource even more. Good post though I enjoyed it.

  8. Ramon Elias says:

    Excellent post Dan… mainly we: software developers have that problem, where we think tha we must do everything ourselves, website, product, help files, SEO… everything… and that’s the problem.. we don’t learn how to delegate those tasks to others.. and try to automate most of them by documenting and sending the steps to your assistan.

    Right now I’m in the middle of that learning, and I know that it will help us to grow our business a lot.

    Nice post!!

  9. Olivia says:

    Just great advice. Especially about the thinking. I find that I do this myself. The tricky part is finding the balance between constructively thinking about what needs to be done, and obsessing.

  10. Hitesh says:

    You misspelled business – “busienss”…lol just messing with ya dude 😀

  11. rich jer says:

    What the reason we wanted to make money for online to begin with was to stop working!

    This all make good since to me.

  12. April says:

    This is a great post. I do want to outsource more. For now I outsource the graphics and any trouble that I can’t figure out, I have my family memebers to help me out…I for now write the articles but my mom proofreads it for me .can’t beat free…actually it’s not …when I make the money, they will get a check. Having a great support team is key when starting out whether it’s for emoitional support or able to physically help out. I thought I would be able to outsource the articles to couple of my family members but found out it was a weakness of theirs. They felt bad, but I told them no problem I’ll find something else that they would be good at. Or I’d tell them what they are good at and that helps me out a lot. I’m making do with what I have and can afford. It is fun that this has become a family effort. Always, trying to think outside the box, but most of my thinking ends up thinking about the abused and neglected horses whom I have rescued and is trying to help them heal and feel confident again. Alot on plate, I know. is the website and this is the whole reason why I’m doing what I’m trying to achieve.

  13. You know what this is a very good post. Really has put a lot of things on the table for me to think about. I’ve always been afraid to delegate work to others.

    It would free up a lot of time and allow me to do things that are more important to me. I’m wearing all the hats at this and point and I do find my self doing way more thing than doing. I have huge ideas and little action sad yes I know.

    Right now I am that person that is
    creating the product
    creating the sites
    writing the articles

    and it’s a hectic environment for me because I have about 20 sites I’m managing

  14. Good Talk Brock, it’s great to really use leverage and outsource your most mundane tasks. I personally love to use the 80 20 rule to maximize results.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  15. Carlos says:

    Hello, I’m 14 and I just got started on internet marketing, and I think many people of my age that are clever will do so, but it was probably very hard back then.
    Thanks for your post. Great Post. Valuable Info.

  16. Hey Dan you always have good post in your blog, man you are doing a great job helping people making money online, Congrats

  17. Shon Jimenez says:

    I spend most of my day thinking about ways to make money online. I have 35 websites and still aren’t making much money. I am falling your deadbeat affiliate program now, so hopefully I can turn my thinking into a full-time income.

  18. Roger Quick says:

    Thanks Dan……To date I haven’t used any outsourcing, and it shows. I could have a lot better articles etc. by using others that have the expertise. It seems hard to let go, but I am going to take your advice.

    Thanks again and God Bless

    Roger Quick

  19. Jim says:

    Hey Dan,

    I found myself doing that for a long time. Now that we are taking action we are looking to outsource some parts of our business as soon as possible. I know if we leverage other peoples time we will really start to grow.

  20. Sunganani says:

    Thanks for the post. I am thinking of blogging better with this kind of thinking

  21. Kathlene says:

    How much money do I need to make before I can outsource my work? I still am not making any money and I work my butt off at this stuff. All I know is if I quit I know it will be just days before the money starts to come in.

    Nice post and very apra po. Is that word?

  22. John says:

    Sound advice Dan. I’ll use it as a mantra as I’m guilty of of trying to do everything just now while I’m working on my first site.

    It’s slower way to do things but I think it’s no bad thing to learn to do things yourself if you can.

    And outsourcing might not be an option anyway if you’re starting out on a shoestring budget and there isn’t enough money to pay the going rates.

    Even if you have funds, it’s still difficult if you don’t know where to find reliable and competent sources and how much you should pay for their services. If you’re not careful, I guess it could be an expensive learning curve.

    Best wishes,


  23. Susan says:

    You make a very good point. I have noticed that during the time I unchain myself from my computer

    to perform other necessary, but sometimes neglected duties, such as housecleaning, cooking

    meals, eating, grocery shopping etc. My mind gets a much needed break. And even though I am

    still technically working, the much needed change of scenery and pace, is the only time when when

    all of my goals come into focus. And when all of your goals are neatly in focus mentally, that is the

    time when you are most creative and are able to make things happen. I now have my Desktop Day

    Planner/ journal in place with all of my goals and tasks carefully planned out for my business work

    day/week down to the hour. My goal is to work no more than 7 hrs per day and eventually drop that

    down to working no more than 4 hours per day once I get my working system (still being learned)

    completely in place. I do hope to start delegating at least two jobs, that I am terrible at before this

    Summer and which eat up ALL of my time. Another thing to keep in mind is how much time is

    wasted if you are disorganized, overworked and have no game plan. Been there, done that.

    Thanks for the great blog post Dan.

  24. Martoons says:

    Re: Kevin why would you want to get a refund? (No that I know your particular situation). Dan’s stuff is brilliant – the most down to earth straightforward and useful/practical info I have ever used to actually get my (review) blog online and in Google. All within a week. And get this — I tried many ebooks before that including Chris Rempel’s (great stuff by the way) but there’s nothing quite like videos to show you ‘how’ to do it. Just my thoughts on the matter bro… Hope it all works well whatever the case… and thanks DAN you the man! 🙂 Martin

  25. S.Pope says:

    Another great post Dan!

    I gotta say, I’m constantly thinking about my business, especially when I’m at work. I find if I’m constantly thinking about it, the work isn’t as daunting, and it helps me come up with new idea too!

    All the best.

  26. Francesco says:

    Hey Dan, thanks for this.
    True, I think about my next move every day, every minute…
    In my experience it is really important to daily sit down and try to understand what is working and what is not. This means that we should set clear rules to decide when it’s time to leave a non-profitable project and move on.
    Anyways, thanks again Dan!!

  27. Tim says:

    Dan as always you are the MAN constantly putting out PRICELESS ADVICE here on your blog! I am looking forward to seeing what you have in store with your new product as I am sure it is going to be amazing!


  28. Jean says:

    Thanks Dan for the great tips. I think I spend too much time thinking than doing. That’s why I am not doing well online. Taking an action is the key to the success. I will set up a goal and work on my goal until it is completed instead of thinking. Thanks a lot. I am looking forward to your new post.

  29. Tim says:

    Hitesh just saw your comment, PLEASE NOTE PEOPLE Hitesh is the REAL DEAL as well! Make sure too visit his site!!!

  30. Rex says:

    Hi Dan,

    I’m always thinking about my business. In fact, I often get my best ideas by thinking about it at night when I go to bed, and when I awake the next day, I usually have an answer or an idea for my business. Funny how the mind never stops working even though I’m fast asleep.

  31. Les says:

    Thank you Dan for that article. It makes a lot of sense. I am new and have no idea where one could outsource, how to pick the right people and what the costs of each job should be. So far I have learned each step and that takes a lot of my time after I get home from work and after taking care of my wife and daughter with stuff like violin lessons, library, dentist, grocery shopping, etc.

    I’m takecourses late at night and early in the mornings before work to learn things like: how to write articles, how to build a website, how to build links, how to use Gimp, how to use my computer, how to search for niches, how to search for products, everything. Now I am trying to find out how to learn how to make a header for my site. Everything I do right now is to wing it, just to get it moving. I have a site but it could be better. It has 7 pages which I started a year ago. It is my first site to make money and I am happy, though I know it could really be better and be built out more.

    Your course and emails and other people’s courses I have taken have helped me a lot and gives me inspiration to continue. But after all this I am so so exhausted. Before I started doing I was learning each step over the last five years or so and trying to find a business model that I was comfortable with..

    I just started to make about $200 a month, since March, 2 months now. I am so happy, but tired. Any ideas where I could go to get a header made or should I learn how to do it first like your article said to be able to do everything first? Thank you Dan for all you do and everybody’s comments here because I try to learn from everything I can.

    God bless,

  32. Diana says:

    Another great post Dan…..You say that you spend most of your time thinking about the business and it sounds to me like it takes up most of the hours in your day…couldn’t you outsource the thinking part of your business also…Just a thought 🙂

    Do even greater things!!!

  33. Scott says:

    Great post Dan,

    It’s always a good reminder to consider outsourcing. Like someone above said (software developer) my biggest problem is feeling confident in outsourcing certain tasks as I’m a designer so I usually feel I should get the designs of my projects done myself. But, this is most time consuming.

    Re: articles, backlinks, etc. I’ve vowed I’d never buy a “banklink” or “spinner” again, I’ll outsource all that stuff. I’d rather spend $97 on getting 10-30 articles written/rewritten than mess with writing/spinning myself. Certain tasks I’d absolutely outsource but again, design stuff or laying out my product websites I have yet to outsource but then again, I’m new to product creation. I have recently outsourced 2 wordpress plugins and a video software though so I just need to get the sites built.

    It’s quite a learning process from start to finish, considering email marketing, sales funnels, etc. If you’re still new to some of these tasks (or at least doing them in a way to help you profit most) then there’s still learning to do. I’m waiting for that moment, that epiphany when all of a sudden….everything clicks. Once that happens, that’s when I expect my biz to BLAST to the next level…until then, still work to be done.

    Getting back to your post though, I agree about the importance of thinking about your business. My next product will tie in with my last product and my future products…so that each product my customer buys my other products will complement the other thus making their lives easier and increasing my bottom line. It’s all just starting to get fun! lol

    Great post mate!

  34. Bruce says:

    If Hitesh is the real deal, how come his subscription page = “page not found” and his “contact us” takes you back to the site itself?

  35. Tim says:

    @Bruce, TRUST ME when I say he is the REAL DEAL I don’t care what his page looks like! I can assure you he has probably made more this past year than you have made the past 5 years. He has way more products and sites out there than that 1 page!

    Not trying to knock on you or anything like that by saying he has made more in the past year than you have in 5 but it is the TRUTH!


  36. Bo McIntyre says:

    Thanks Dan, just trying to get started and need to focus on getting rid of information overload. Your comments made me stop and think about a new approach.

  37. Good post.

    I was thinking the other day that life will never be simple again once you get the “Internet Marketing Bug”. I stopped watching TV and listening to the radio and started listening to audio books on marketing and advertising, trying to get the most out of every “free” minute I have… Your job is never done as there is ALWAYS something to do, even if you outsource everything.


  38. Allen Sayer says:

    Cool post Dan… certainly not lazy.

    Just on the subject of ‘lazy’ it’s all quite relative because compared to a doctor, lawyer, accountant (and similiar professions) making it online can be quicker and easier. A lazier way to make the same kinda money — although always open to debate!

    I know a lot of people also do unproductive thinking… coming up with ideas but not committing them to paper or following through on those thoughts. Been guilty as charged with that – great ideas that end up on scrap paper and used as a bookmark but never making it to reality.

  39. Anne says:

    Good post, thank you! Lots to think about, let alone do!

  40. Eric says:

    Do you still own your own hosting business if so what’s the name ? Sell that as a business model!

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