Ever heard of the two-day rule? No? Well, then it’s your lucky day. The two-day rule is something I’ve adopted to increase productivity and boost my follow through. Basically, if I miss a daily habit, I’ll do my best not to miss it two days in a row.

How to Follow the Two-Day Rule

There’s an app I love to use called Habit List. I use it record the habits that I want to make sure I’m doing on a daily basis. I can basically put an X in the checkbox for a habit or I can skip it for that day.

All my habits are listed there and when I start to hit each of my habits for a couple days in a row, Habit List starts a chain. Your goal is to not break the chain for as long as possible. It’s a simple kind of gamification, but it motivates me a ton.

When Seinfeld was training to be a comedian, he had a calendar where he would mark an X next to each day when he completed a habit, like telling new jokes. He would just keep marking it, and his goal was to not break the chain.

That’s why I implemented the two-day rule. At the end of the day, we’re only human. If we can’t do something every single day—that’s okay. But we don’t want to slack off too much, either, because that’s how you break a habit.

For example, let’s say your target everyday habit is going to the gym. If you go out on Friday and get wasted, chances are you broke your chain and you’re unable to go to the gym on Saturday. Well, that’s fine. If you’re following the two-day rule, then you just have to go on Sunday. The chain is not broken.

It seems so inconsequentially arbitrary—but psychologically it makes a world of difference. Once you get used to hitting your habits, you will do everything in your power not to miss two days in a row and break the chain.

Related Content: Hooked Author Nir Eyal On Mastering the Art of Habit-Forming Products

How I Apply the Two-Day Rule to My Own Life

A lot of people have asked me how I can keep my habits so consistent. For example, I do Marketing School every single day with Neil, and I also do Growth Everywhere once a week. I’ve missed only a handful of weeks in the last three years at this point.

The reason I’m able to so consistently hit my daily and weekly goals is because I use apps like Habit List to keep myself accountable and to motivate myself to be productive. I decided to give myself a one-day grace period, max, and the two-day rule hasn’t been too hard to follow. Now, if I had held myself to a strict no-skip rule, it would have been a lot harder to make any of my habits stick because I would have gotten discouraged.

That’s the weird thing about new habits and goals. Most people will either aim for 100% perfection or they’ll let a new and promising habit completely drop off their radar. But it doesn’t have to be so black and white. Perfection is not worth it in the long run because even if you can’t commit to every single day, these habits are going to build up long-term success regardless.

Related Content: The Best Way to Be as Productive as Possible Every Day

Whether it’s going to the gym or waking up earlier or writing in the morning or doing these Facebook Lives, for example, celebrating these small wins every day adds up in the long run. It’s what’s going to get you ahead of your competition and it’s going to be what helps you hit your goals every single time.

This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:

Content Expansion - Why I'm Writing a Book

Every morning, I write or rewrite or edit 500 words. Right now we’re past the first draft and we’re in the process of reaching out for endorsement deals for the book. I’m also trying to get forewords from influencers to help promote it.

I want to talk about why I decided to write the book in the first place, and the route that I’m taking. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress, so I’ll continue to give updates on this over time.

It all started when I did a podcast interview with the founder of Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi.

Joe Pulizzi Content Marketing Institute

At the very end of the interview, I always talk to people about tangential stuff. Joe happened to say at the end that publishing a book is a game changer. Once you do that, it changes everything.

It got me thinking about the progression of my professional life. I have Single Grain, a growing and profitable business. I also have two podcasts now (Growth Everywhere and Marketing School), and I’ve spoken at different events.

What’s next? Write a book.

How I’m Writing My Book

It’s been over a year since I started writing Level Up, and the process began with me taking a bunch of Post-Its and throwing all my topic ideas together. I figured out what I wanted to write about in each chapter, and then I just started talking into my phone every morning and recording my thoughts with Rev, and that was how I got the ball rolling.

At the same time, I started listening to this podcast by Copyblogger on how to publish a book, which was really helpful. What I’ve found is that most successful books go through more than five drafts. That led me to decide whether I should self-publish and get it out quicker, or try and wait for a big publisher.

Related Content: How to Repurpose Content (And Write Your First Book!)

E-book or Publisher Route?

Neil happened to be releasing his first book, Hustle, and I asked him, “Hey, can you introduce me to the guy that helped you with your book?” And that guy’s actually helping me with my book now, and we’ve decided to take the publisher route.Hustle Neil Patel

Having a physical hardcover book is powerful. People tend to treat it more seriously and respectfully compared to an e-book. It’s something that you can hold in your hand, and having it backed by a big publisher is serious validation, so I’ve decided to go down that route. 

How Do You Pitch Your Book to Publishers?

The first step to approaching a publisher is to put together a book proposal, which is basically an outline of your book, and why it’s unique. It includes a marketing plan as well. You need to show potential publishers that you have a plan for marketing your book on your own before they’ll help you. This is where you include details like how big your e-mail list is and how big your website is.

Publishers want to know what firepower you can put behind the book to help push it, because they’re interested in selling as many copies as possible.

What Level Up Is All About

The concept of Level Up is that gamers actually learn a lot of the skills needed to become an entrepreneur by playing games. In other words, playing games can actually help you level up to playing the game of life and business. At the end of the day, you can gamify just about everything, and in fact the most successful people do gamify their lives.

The ultimate game, I think, is eventually “beating” the game of business and moving on to philanthropy. One of my favorite books, The Billionaire Who Wasn’t, is about Chuck Feeney, the main founder of Duty Free Shopping, who’s given away nearly his entire fortune of $7.5 billion during his lifetime. 

The Billionaire Who Wasn't Conor O'Clery

He indirectly inspired Warren Buffett, and in turn Bill Gates, to try and do the same thing with their Giving Pledge.

The Giving Pledge

So the premise of Level Up is, how do you go from gamer to entrepreneur? And how do you then play the game of business really well, to the point where you build up your wealth enough to move on to the game of philanthropy?

I’m hoping that because there are so many gamers out there, this book will inspire some people.

Related Content: How to Create Quality Blog Posts that Convert Customers

Current Progress: Still in progress

Right now, we’re done with the first draft which is about 60,000 words. It’s still a really rough draft, but the process has been really enjoyable. Very excited to see what happens with it. For now, my goal is to reach out for endorsement deals and forewords.

Fun fact: I got Mark Cuban to respond the other day. Unfortunately, he’s not going to be a part of it, but at least he responded. We’re trying to get endorsements from studios and producers like Electronic Arts and Sony, too.

Ultimately, if I were a parent and my kids were playing a lot of games, I’d want to give them this book. My parents used to think gaming was a waste of time, and to an extent it can be. If you overdo anything, it ultimately is unproductive, and can become harmful. But if you do it in moderation, you can learn a lot.

When I look back at my gaming history, I would say I probably did overdo it, but it’s the same thing with a lot of entrepreneurs, right? We’re all obsessives, and it’s partially why we succeed.

On Being an Author

If you haven’t read it before, definitely check out Seth Godin’s 19-point checklist Advice for Authors. One of the key points? If you’re writing a book, don’t expect to make a lot of money. It’s just good to get it out there for your personal brand, and if it takes off? Cherry on top.

If you create a lot of content already, I highly recommend that you think about writing a book, because you probably have a lot of the content published anyway. I think it’s going to be really rewarding.

This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:

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