The money is not in the list

Author: Matthew Shelton

The money is not in the list from Matthew Shelton on Vimeo.

The money is not in the list. “The money” isn’t in article writing. The money isn’t in youtube videos. The “money” isn’t in facebook advertising. The money isn’t in adsense, or cpa, or ad swaps, or email marketing, or niches, or blogging.

The money is in doing the work and following through – the rest is just downloads and fancy sales presentations and stuff sitting on your hard drive.

Now this may seem obvious, but it is contrary to all the messages blared at you, in the form of:

  • The money is in
  • I made money in
  • How I made a killing doing
  • The secret of generating X amount in Y time


Everything, and I mean everything, takes more time and more steps than you think it will. You can easily buy 20 different ways to make money online in one day, and they don’t do anything but deplete your bank balances.

In fact, those purchases are quickly forgotten or else they sit in the back of your mind, whispering “do me now” when there’s tons of other “do me” things already on your mind and/or on your list.

I do a lot of work as a music producer and content producer of different forms. It seems obvious but if I get too caught up in other things like paperwork or promotion and don’t do the work, then my skills suffer.

So the secret then is making yourself work on a certain method that you already have downloaded or already know about, and keep working on it until it is out on the web in a form where it can be bought or consumed in some fashion. Stopping production before something can be seen or downloaded or bought is just silly – I ought to know, I’ve done it plenty of times.

But the times I’ve followed through are worth about a thousand times more than the times I just let the project go.

So how to do it? There’s tons of stuff on “finding your why” or “making dream boards” or managing your time in some fashion.

For me it works best to have both push and pull, or negative and positive motivations, both engaged. Remember how Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol goes? Scrooge sees horrible visions of what happens if he continues on his path and doesn’t take certain actions. That’s a good little motivation exercise to do for getting yourself going – just plug yourself into the Scrooge role and your circumstances into it too and there you go.

The positive part is easy – beaches, boats, freedom, smiles, love, kittens – it’s all over the web to put on your hard drive and customize for you to look at for motivation. The negative, “push” part is harder because it is not ready-made, you have to go through the Scrooge process.

Don’t do the negative motivation without the positive, though – you don’t want to depress yourself.

Try it – push and pull. The “money” or whatever it is you are looking for, isn’t “in the list” – it is in doing the project until it is out there!

6 comments for “The money is not in the list

  1. March 2, 2013 at 12:20 am

    You mean I have to work at this? I can’t build a huge list and get rich or make huge profits from a tiny list? LOL

    Yes, it definitely takes work and follow through. I suck on the follow through part a lot more than I should be, but I am a “chase shiny objects” expert.

    I have a post it note on my computer with the motto, “Just do the damn work!” That’s what it takes. It is nice to have a list of people who are waiting on your next project, but if you don’t get the products out there, the list does you no good.

    Over turned potato truck, eh? You must be from the south, cept you didn’t call it a tater truck. 😉

    • ematt
      March 2, 2013 at 1:21 am

      Hi Patti, yeah us IM people don’t chase ambulances, we chase shiny objects! And you are so right, I realized later that I did not say “tater” and actually almost felt guilty about it 🙂

  2. March 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Hey Matt

    You’re quite right, the money is in putting the work in, sticking with it and following through to the end.

    I like the way you brought in the negative, not just the positives. “Push/pull” is a great tool and I use it often both with myself and with clients.

    Great blog!


    • ematt
      March 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Thank you Shan! Keep on pushing (and pulling)!

  3. March 6, 2013 at 2:26 am

    I’ve been guilty of jumping from one shiny object to another without fully learning how to do the first one. I’m trying to correct that. Not too surprisingly, the more I learn about a specific method, the more likely I am to make money at it.

    • ematt
      March 6, 2013 at 4:46 am

      Katie, you are absolutely right – even the courses that say “comprehensive and no stone left unturned” give you all the steps and all the answers – only doing it (and sometimes muddling through) gets it done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *