Productivity, Staffing and Mindset Tips

By Mark Ling
Productivity, Staffing and Mindset Tips


Hi Everyone,

Over the weekend I've been in Auckland, New Zealand, hanging out with Mark Joyner (New York Times bestselling author and founder of, Marc Lindsay (, and another successful marketer called Joshua (who sells garden sheds online).

Marc and Joshua flew in from Australia, I flew up from Christchurch, and we went to catch up with MJ for the last time before he moves back to the United States (he has been living in Auckland for 7 years).

Anyway I thought I'd share a few tips I picked up from over the weekend:

Productivity tip

If you have staff or outsource workers working for you, get them all to fill in a short questionnaire detailing: a) What they did yesterday b) Any obstacles they came across c) What they are planning to accomplish today?

Even better, if you work in teams, get them all to do this in person or over the internet live so they are able to give feedback to each other. This should take no more than 15 minutes if done live. 

Personally I find that I get a LOT more work done in any given day when I start the day by writing down or punching into my iphone exactly the tasks that I want to have completed by the end of the day. This is a variation on that idea and in my opinion would be a helpful addition to just about any organization if it doesn't have a similar process already. 

Mindset tip

Every time I spend time hanging out with MJ, Marc and other successful people, I find my mind always seems to expand. This is both in the number of ideas that I have, and also in my overall inner belief system as to what is actually possible.

Personally I need to challenge myself to try to meet and spend time with people who are considerably more successful than me. That's easier said than done but there are ways and I feel I have a lot of online experience to share with others who may be incredibly successful offline.

MJ was telling me about how last time he was in New York, he hung out with a Billionaire, bumped into Helen Clarke at a party, and met several other influential people.

This isn't luck on MJ's part, it has come about due to years of hard work, intelligent marketing, diligence, reputation enhancing, branding, networking, friendship building and lots of other factors.

Personally I don't expect to ring up Richard Branson tomorrow and hang out for a week at his mansion. But I will be actively networking, helping others as much as I can, and building my own reputation through my various high quality websites and the growth of those businesses and I do intend build my reputation through authoring my own bestselling books too (my plan is to start with my first in the middle of next year).

You’re probably wondering... ok Mark, that’s great for YOU, but how can I get to know successful people?

For you guys reading this, here are some tips on how you can get to know millionaires:

1. Have a strong mindset. Be the kind of person who strongly believes they can do anything. And be a resourceful person, there is nothing wrong with asking questions to other people, but at least try to find the answer first yourself.

Don't be the person who emails in to support, what is 'ppc' or what is 'ebay'. Be resourceful, Google it first.

If you are asking other people to take time to give you advice on anything, just make sure you've at least spend 60 seconds looking for that answer yourself first.

You need to have the attitude that others are there to help you when you can't help yourself. Our customer support doesn't mind answering any kinds of questions, but that kind of mindset is usually symptomatic of a larger problem that you will need to overcome if you truly want to succeed big in the long run.

In short, be resourceful as a habit. Don't ask 'can I do it', ask 'where do I find the information on how it is done'.

2. Assuming you have the above attitude, one way to get to know internet marketers in particular is to be their most successful student.

Personally my most successful students aren't usually on the members forum for an hour a day, they are quietly going about their business only to give me an email 6 months later telling me how great they are doing.

There is nothing wrong with hanging out on a members forum and asking questions and helping others, that's great too, but go in there with a purpose, ie:

a. You can't find the answer in the members area of the product, or on Google, so you go there to find out the answer.


b. You go in there to spend x minutes of time helping or inspiring others. 


c. You actively choose to go in there AFTER you've done your work for the day on your website(s) and are in there for your own entertainment (if you are one of those guys that just love being in there :))

Just don't go in there out of habit or addiction. If you do this, you are taking time away from time you could be actively working on your business and being successful and you are only spending time surrounding yourself with people who are just getting started like you.

Successful people don't hang out on forums, they spend the majority of their time actively working on their business and moving it forward.

3. Flood yourself with information from highly successful people. Buy info products from reputable people, implement what you learn, buy books from from people like Mark Joyner, Richard Branson, Jack Welsh, and so forth. Through consistent flooding of your mind over a period of time (it can take over a year), you'll upgrade your mindset to that of the people who are influencing you, then you'll see the bigger picture and probably by then you will be a LOT more successful than you are right now.

4. Another way to get to know Internet Marketers is to run a strong online business then go to live internet marketing events and tell successful marketers about the success you are having and a certain % of these marketers will be keen to get to know you too.

5. Make sure it is a win-win relationship. This is essential if you want the relationship to be a long term one. You have to be able to help them as much as they help you (either that or you better hope you went to high school with them or they are a family member :)). Helping them doesn’t have to be in the way of great advice that comes from you and leads to increased sales for them, it can be a strong testimonial from you that they can put on their website, it can be through helping out their customers on their members forum, or through other means, you just have to put your mind to it.

6. Once you know other successful marketers, so long as it is a win-win relationship (ie you give helpful advice as much as you receive it), there is a strong chance that they will happily introduce you to others in the future as you will be a good person for other marketers to know.

Note: Another thing you may need to do is weed out negative people from your life (or at least spend less time with them).

Health, Family and Friends first

Make sure you keep fit and healthy, keep spending time with your family or all the money in the world won't make you happy.

Productivity Tip (advanced only)

I'm looking into Agile development (with regards to managing software projects). I won't write up about that here as this has already become more of a novel than a blog post, but you can google it if you are interested. :)

Productivity Tip (advanced only)

Always make sure your staff know what their KPIs are as they will help them measure their progress towards the goals of the team they are in and of your company.

In short a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a quantifiable measurement agreed to beforehand that reflect the critical success factors of an staff member. You can also have overall KPIs for your overall organization.

Another analogy is ten pin bowling. Imagine playing a game with no pins... how would you know you've done well? You need the pins there to enjoy the game and to know what your score is. KPIs are like the pins in ten pin bowling.

Staff hiring (quick notes)

I'm going to be checking out Top Grading and also BrainBench.

One thing one company does is they offer their staff $2000USD to leave, they do this during the 3 month probation period. Sure it sounds costly but it helps eliminate people who are not there for the right reasons and will save a lot more in the long run.


I'm going to be checking out Shipwire. I've looked at and but haven't been overly impressed thus far, but am still investigating. Any tips anyone?

One key for me is quality of packaging, I want to be able to get my own plastic die cut so it looks quality when my cds, books and dvds go out.


Well that's it from me, what a long blog post! Phew!

All the best!


Matt Carter 15 years ago
Hey Mark,

Excellent post. I strongly agree with your first point of being resourceful and trying to do as much as you can yourself. This was and still is one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my career. People who want everything but don't want to do anything to get it will not attract much support from other successful people.

Also your point about family is spot on. Internet marketing can be an all encompassing thing if you are not careful, and family must always come first.

I appreciate you sharing your insight and tips for success.


Matt Carter
Sean Morrissy 15 years ago
hey Mark, great tips there.

I get my staff to email me those three things daily too. It helps me gauge where they are with their work. When your staff are spread out across the world, it's sometimes hard to keep track of what they're doing without something like this.

And I definitely agree with the point about getting to know other successful people. You mentioned that your mind seems to expand after you meet with people like Mark Joyner and that's exactly what happens to me after I've spoken with you.

Have fun,
Sean Morrissy

Ben Shaffer 15 years ago
Cool post Mark.
I find that taking action or creating productivity can be one of the biggest waste of resources. Something I have done recently which is due to Mike Filsaime on behalf of Tony Robbins (a bit of a chain there) is to tell myself that no matter what else happens during the day, I will definitely accomplish three tasks. And then, literally no matter what, I make sure that those get done. May sound a bit obvious, but I think it is as much of a mindset as anything else.

Another tip I have is to make use of Experts Exchange. Unlike forums, you can be reasonably confident that the answers that you receive are going to be correct. Obviously Google for the answer first, but don't spend an hour looking for an answer if you can get an answer in just a few minutes.

I think the thing you didn't mention was the importance of taking some time out from your normal work so that you get a new perspective. It seems that this post was inspired by doing just that...

Keep cool,

Ben Shaffer
Andrew 15 years ago
Hey Mark,

Great post! As I sit here reading it at 7am all I can really think is "So True!".

Thanks for the iPhone tip, which you gave me many months back... great stuff, and it really really helps the day to day management!

For those reading this that are yet to experience the level of success they desire online, pay close attention to what Mark had to say about forums.

While you may get some great information on forums when starting out, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do NOT get trapped there. It is like an addiction, so be careful. Hanging out in forums is not a business building activity (in 99% of cases). As Mark said, if it's something you enjoy then that's fantastic, but go there AFTER you've ticked off your daily tasks and not a moment before.

The tip on KPIs was great, but is sadly something most online marketers neglect to do with their 'virtual' staff. I must get better at it myself :)

At the end of the day, it is all about friends and family, as that is what's really important. Oh, and its really important to make sure you find time to watch Australia beat the Black Caps :)

Thanks for the great post Mark!
Grady Pruitt 15 years ago
Great post, Mark!

Over the last few years, I've taken part in something called NaNoWriMo (It's a 30 day contest to write a 50k+ word novel), and one of the things that I have found to be a key part of my success is encouraging others. The strange thing is, in encouraging others, I have found that I, myself, are encouraged. Especially when you're encouraging someone else to reach a goal that you are also trying to reach, congratulating them when they've gotten there (even if they get there first), and urging them forward if you arrive at the goal first.

I am still working on managing my time (and other resources) better, but am making progress. Thanks for your tips!


Mark Mulcahy 15 years ago
Great stuff Mark
A good day is when you learn something new, today I learnt about Agile development...Thankyou to you, as well as Google, Wikipedia and a few others...what a great concept, the book sounds great!

KPI's sooooo important, if you are not measuring how on earth do you know how you are doing?
Especially when you are spending $$$'s for a result. EG one business I owned the first time someone contacted with the business, the staff were trained to ask " So how did you hear about us?" Referral, Newspaper Ad, Yellow Pages etc. That was then recorded and if that prospect turned into a client the lifetime value of the client could be attributed to the source. If not you still had the leads, prospect source and the conversion ratio if they became a client.
So when you sit down and evaluate where your best clients are coming from you then know where to spend your money.
When the Yellow Pages rep rings to get you to renew your $15,000 a year adspend with them you are able to look up the numbers and decide on cold hard facts, not hype about how great the Yellow Pages are for business or not as the case may be.

Love your work Mark, will pop in next time I'm in ChCh, hopefully before the end of the year.

Kia Kaha
Jim Tsang 15 years ago
Great stuff. Now I am going to do more to improve my skills.
Jon Pastorizo 15 years ago
Very detailed and powerful stuff Mark! For fulfillment services have you checked

Hey Matt! Nice to see you hear.

Dan DeLuca 15 years ago
Thanks Mark - all good points. When I get a staff, I"ll implement your suggestions. In the meantime, I'll do it for myself!
Mark Ling 15 years ago
Thanks Renato, I checked out Kunaki, their packaging is not the quality I'm looking for. When we send out packages from here they are good quality because we have our own die cut. I'm looking for a place that can send out proper high quality home-study-course type packaging. One that can cut a custom die if we need them to for our purposes.
Jon Pastorizo 15 years ago
Hi Mark,

Yeah, Kunaki is more of a simple fulfillment company more focused on CDs and DVDs. I just thought that I shared that with you cause it is the one used by some of the students of Russell Brunson using the Micro-Continuity business model to ship out their Free CDs. I am actually going to use for the product I am developing in the leadership/management market. is what StomperNet uses, but you've not been impressed...I will let you know if I come across a company that maybe within the quality standard you're looking for.

Have a good day!

Jeremy Lawson 15 years ago
too true! really good post. thanks for the tips!
Viju Dallon 15 years ago
These tips can only help! The biggest problem in affiliate marketing is to beat the negative mindset! Nice and cool tips.

Viju Dallon
Branna 15 years ago
Perfect work!,
Onalikonns 15 years ago
Very interesting site. Hope it will always be alive!,
Eddie Robertson 14 years ago
Awesome post Mark, I really appreciate your emphasis on mindset as i believe it is fundamental to success. Like you I genuinely believe I can do anything I put my mind to and know it's just a matter of time until it manifests.