Stop the “bucket brigade”—and start building pipelines

Ever heard of the book, “The Richest Man in Babylon”?

One of the key takeaways in that book is this:

“Don’t carry buckets, build pipelines.”

In other words, build a machine that generates results without your direct involvement.

Most people hear that and jump right to the idea of creating products to generate “passive income” 24/7 instead of billing out your labor hour by hour.

That’s definitely one application.

But this is a principle you can apply in many places.

For example:

I’ve mentioned my goal for 2016 of getting this email list to 10,000 subscribers. (Talking about my marketing list here; my big Sublime Text list is still alive and kickin’ in case you’re wondering.)

And I’ve decided that the way I’m going to get traffic is through guest blogging.

Recently I’ve been working on getting a few guest posting slots lined up.

Turns out, it’s a real hassle.

I have to come up with a great idea and write a killer headline and summary (basically doing all the hardest parts of writing a blog post).

Then I have to figure out who the heck handles guest posts at the site I want to publish on, set my hair on fire on social media to get their attention, and get their email address.

Then I send them the pitch, which of course they don’t read…

Then I follow up 3X until finally they reply and say they kinda like the idea but I need to rework it a little and resubmit…

Then I finally write the article…

We go ’round and ’round with edits…

And finally the post gets published.

Every time I want to publish on a new site, I have to do this same routine all over again.

Carrying buckets to the max. What a drag.

I could easily spend 10 hours to publish a blog post that only took 2-3 hours to write.

Here’s what I’m doing instead:

Instead of pitching one-off stories to dozens of smaller sites…

I invested some extra time to go after a “whale”:

I had to pound away at it for a while and work my network, but after a couple of weeks I got the attention of an editor there, and I got accepted as a contributor.

Now I have a publishing “pipeline” that eliminates 90% of the overhead from doing guest posts.

I’m able to write stories and submit them without doing the whole “pitch and tweak” dance…

And I can focus on writing fantastic articles instead.

You can apply this to just about any area of your business.

The guest posts I’m writing are another form of pipeline—each one will send me traffic for years to come.

And they’ll feed my email list, which is a pipeline for high-paying client work.

Powerful concept.

You can check out the book here: