The 365 Commitment

SPAM with a Little WOOP on Top

My methodology for getting something extraordinary done in a short period of time.

This week I am writing a blog series on the art of getting someting significant done. There is a activity that I have been “working on” for several weeks and I am making slow progress. The progress is frustrating. This is because I get distracted by other activities that I have going on. These are all important, but the one thing I want to get done gets delayed, again. And again. So how do I combat this?

My concept that I want to experiment with this week is making a giant leap forward in my progress. A leap with concentrated, focused effort. Could I spend everyday, in dedicated time and effort with an aim toward a single and solid direction? What would happen? How would I go about doing that? Would this be a way to catapult me forward in my evolution toward a larger goal?

What I chose to focus on this week is of little importance. What matters is the how. What process that I follow. I make a commitment, and then follow a process and have success. That could then be repeatable. So for a few moments, let me focus on my goal for this week. This is for context and understanding. For the last 10 years, I have had total immersion into the arena of enterprise technical sales. This is a relationship sales strategy. People have or build relationships with executives and over time trust builds. That trust can lead a sales team toward providing a pathway for purchasing. A company or person needs a product or service? They will flow that through the established relationship of trust.

This is not the most common way sales happen. In the enterprise tech world it is, but everywhere else? There is another phenomena going on. For lack of a better term, I am going to call it outbound marketing. Several months ago, I got into a conversation with someone who was targetting me as a prospect. I went along with the sale, because I was curious. How did this happen? What was the process? I begain to realize how scientific this had become. The number of products, services and tools available had mushroomed. This outbound marketing concept had exploded in the last 10 years. I first remember hearing about products like HubSpot several years ago and shrugging. That world has blown up and is now its own industry.

I have always had a bias. Whenever I hear a sales person tell me that “cold calling is dead,” the word lazy comes to mind. Outbound marketing and inbound marketing used to be different concepts. One was the act of cold calling your potential clients. The other was putting bait out there and hoping to pull them in. Nowadays the two concepts cross connect. These activites are in concert and modern tools have made this rather easy. Hence, my experience with the young man who was calling me. He had been tracking me for months. What did I click on? What did I respond to? What site did I look at after reciving a message? When did I pick up the phone? When did I not? What activites was I posting online? Who did I know? What did I seem to have an interest in? This was all in front of this young man and he seemed to know me. At least well enough to spark a conversation.

I want to learn, understand and gain a fair degree of competancy in this new form of marketing. We have always had business development people, but now I am realizing how far behind we have always been. There is power in process and tools that bring intelligence right to the person engaging. When a contact comes in through a publication or offer there needs to be a way to improve the likelihood of a next step. The same if the contact comes in from cold outreach. What is the proven, data backed, way to encourage the next step in buying behavior? So my high level goal is to learn this world enough to monetize it for my own purposes.

My first concept this week is that a high level abstract goal is not enough. The nebulous idea of learning a new marketing strategy is only an idea. I need something more tangible for this week’s effort. Something that I can get behind and feel is real enough to tackle. The first lesson here is that goals are great motivators, but not enough to see concrete action.

The best thought that I have seen on this topic is to eat spam. Meaning, sit down and plan out one or more specific and measurable objectives. We call it SPAM because we want our obectives to have a specific call to action with a measurable result. People talk about this a lot, but rarely do you see a format that you can follow. Here is mine:


OBJECTIVE 1 – A statement that is as specific as possible with a measurable outcome implied.

STRATEGY 1 – A task to perform that will be a helpful step to achieving the objective.

STRATEGY 2 – Another task to perform. I always come up with a list of at least 3 strategies per objective.

MEASURE – Every objective must have a measure. What is the mechanism by which you are going to determine success? I have learned over the years that this is the most important part of the SPAM format.

Continue this outline for as many objectives that you need. I will usually only have 1 to start. I have seen many people create 2 to 3 and that seems to work.

I will use my example of what I want to achieve this week to demonsrate how this SPAM process works. I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to achieve and how. I searched around and found articles on the topic and got some ideas. This, btw, does not have to be perfect. That is not the point, at all.

GOAL – Become an outbound marketing campaign expert in one week. I want to understand how to use modern tools to sell products and services and amazing growth rates.

Note – it is acceptable if your goal is unobtainable. That is actually preferred. You want your goal to be out of reach, that is what makes it motivating. You will achieve the objectives, not the goal.

OBJECTIVE – Develop 1 opportunity from a prospect discovered using an outbound marketing campaign.

Note – this objective is simple. It will demonstrate that I know how to do this, that I figured the process out. I will have verifiable and measurable proof that it worked. At the end of the process I will have 1 potential customer interested in a product or service.

STRATEGY – Create a compelling product or offer that someone will want to learn more about.

STRATEGY – Create a target profile of a client that my offer fits. Create a list of potential clients that fit that profile.

STRATEGY – Design a sequence of activities that I will perform to grab the attention of my target list. Start this sequence by executing the first activity.

STRATEGY – Collect data, analyse and determine the success of each step and use that to improve. As the steps in the sequence progress, use real time data to adjust the strategy with a given prospect.

STRATEGY – Create a method to remind myself to perform each step in the sequence for every member of the list.

Note – I created 5 key strategies. This way, I have one strategy to focus on during each business day.

MEASURE – Develop a report that shows the success and failures of each step in the sequence. Make sure the measure indicates the key success criteria for opportunity creation.

There my first day is almost done. I have come up with something that I want to do. I have committed myself to achieving an imposisble goal. This has support of a specific and measurable objective. I have eaten SPAM.

I wish that was complete. Unfortunately, there is a lot that can go wrong with our plan. No SPAM exercise is complete without adding a little WOOP on top. WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan. Go to for credit on this idea. The concept is simple. You determine the clear obstacles that will get in your way and come up with a plan. Instead of getting destroyed by the first thing that pops up, you will have preparation.

Think of it this way. If you were a young teenager and had made a promise to your parents, “I will not do drugs.” Is that enough? We all know from experience that it is not. A teenager must have a plan to deal with the most obvious obstacle. One day a friend is going to offer you to take some illicit drugs. When that day happens, what are you going to do? The people that always succumb to peer pressure are always the ones without a plan.

WOOP thinking is like saying no to drugs. You make a plan for any obvious obstacles that will come up and you get yourself prepared. You think like this.

I (W)ish that I could achieve this goal. If I do then I will get this awesome (O)utcome. Yet, there will be a few (O)bstacles that I will encounter. When I do, I will have the following (P)lan.

I will use my example of becoming a marketing genius in one week to illustrate WOOP.

I wish to achieve this goal of learning how to use modern tools to be awesome at outbound marketing. If I do this then I will be able to gain a new client by the end of this week though this process. I am going to have a few obstacles that come up. When they do, I want to plan on how to handle them.

Obstacle – Travelling. I am going to be travelling a lot next week. So I am going to have two days where I have to travel to the airport and then get to a location. That will chew time up in my day and prevent me from focusing on my strategy.

Plan – For Tuesday and Thursday this week, I need a way to handle the travel obstacle. My plan will be to preprepare work I can do on the airplane. That will be 1 hour, each way that I can use to my advantage. Instead of a rental car, I will pay a little extra and use Uber. I can have work to perform during those Uber rides.

Obstacle – Tired. I tend to get tired while travelling. All the running around gets me distracted. I am not that excited about working when I finally do check into a hotel room.

Plan – Instead of trying to fight through tiredness, I will go to bed. Plan on waking up earlier on the days I am in a hotel. I tend to do better when I wake up and work on a desk. This way, I can rest after the travel day and then get some solid work done in the morning.

This is WOOP thinking. The concept is simple, plan for your obstacles before they happen. This way you are ready for when challenges come up. You also can be more honest with yourself about what causes you to derail or falter.

Now I have used an example from my own ambitions to showcase this process. This is by no means complete and requires some more thought for sure. Yet, this basic flow the idea. I now have a process that I can do daily and at the week actually claim, that “I got something done.”

If you have ambitions, goals or ideas that you want to get accomplished. How do you go about doing that? You cannot “hope” that one day you will “find the time.” You have to carve this out of your day, figure out how to get yourself to achieve it. Crafting specific and measurable objectives and handling obstacles is the way. Using these tools, you can put yourself in a position of strength as you start out the week and each day. Knowing and understanding a clear path on what to work on each morning is a key to helping you focus.

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