I just finished the book “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance”, by Atul Gawande.  It was a good book… not as good as his first book “Complications: A Surgeon’s Note on an Imperfect Science.”  But a good read on how to improve performance.

Two things really stood out to me after reading it.  I like to learn about performance and success in different disciplines and see what I can apply to my own endeavors.  And here are 2 lessons that I think apply amazingly well to internet marketing…

First, Gawande talks in one chapter about improving the odds for seriously ill patients.  And here’s what I find fascinating… He writes about the enormous amount of money spent each year on medical research.  Spent on programs seeking cures for cancer, AIDS, and cystic fibrosis and all kinds of other diseases.

Now, there’s clearly nothing wrong with spending money trying to discover cures for these illnesses.  It’s a worthwhile effort that has led to significant medical “miracles.”  And it should certianly continue to be a priority.

But here’s the really interesting thing.  While nearly everyone else iw waiting for a new medical wonder drug to save lives there are a lot of creative doctors looking for different solutions to save these lives.  And what they’re discovering is fascinating (to me, at least).

You see, there’s a huge variance between what doctors know in medicine and what they do.  Take cancer survival rates, for instance.  With access to the exact same technologies as everyone else, the top cancer centers in the U.S. have remarkably better survival rates than typical centers.

So why the difference?  You may laugh at how simple it is… they just do a better job at using the knowledge they already have.  Seriously.

Sometimes it’s as easy as washing hands everytim they’re supposed to.  It could be just being more diligent in the application of physical therapies that are wildly known and used.  It could be a lot of things… but here’s the key:

They know they don’t have time to site around waiting for that miracle cure.  They need results.  Now.  And to get them they work on perfecting what they already know.  They are diligent beyond reason.  They are passionately committed to results.  And they pay attention to the details with an almost obsessive compulsion.

And they get amazing results.  Borderline miraculous.  Repeatedly.

With no more technology.  No more knowledge.  No more skill.  Nothing.

Just a higher dedication and trust in what they already know.  When that has to be good enough they just make sure they do what they already know better than their peers.  Better than anyone else, in fact.

And that leads me to the parallels in marketing.

Look, I’m probably a lot like you.  I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for that magical silver bullet of marketing/money-making.  You know what I’m talking about… some fabulous new technology or method that’s foolproof, works instantly, requires no money or time and can be activated with the flip of a switch.

There have been some pretty cool “miracles” in marketing over the past few years.  From affiliate programs to AdWords to blogs to (fill-in-the-blank).  Many millions (billions?) have been made from the advances in online marketing.

But I can’t tell you how many would-be marketers never take the first step because they’re waiting for the next “big thing.”  They are discouraged that all the good stuff has already been used.  Or the market they want to get into already is being served.  Or whatever.

But I also know a lot of really (*really*) wealthy people.  And guess what?  Few of them did it from some new, never-before-seen product or method.

They did it the same way exceptional doctors acheive seemingly ridiculous results… by doing what’s already out there better.

A lot is written these days about the death of AdWords.  Oh… and the death of AdSense.  And don’t forget the death of affiliate marketing.  And, of course, the death of everything else that ever worked.

And guess where there’s still millions to be made?  That’s right.  AdWords, AdSense, affiliate marketing, and just about every other way ever invented to make money.

Instead of constantly looking for what’s next, what if you just focused on doing what is already known.  Just do it better.  Pay better attention to details.  Take it more seriously the next guy.

Because that’s still how most of the serious earners make their money.  If you think capturing lightning in a bottle is your ticket to wealth and abundance than you’d best get comfortable and settle in… because you’re probably in for a looooooong wait.

Want the real secret to succes?  Take action.  Now.  Pay attention to details.  Do it better.

Since this has already turned into a longer post than I intended I’ll tackle the other “a-ha” in another post.

Do it!