There I was last Sunday of January at the end of the longest summer holiday I have had for many years and contemplating going back to work the next day.  I was feeling sad that my extra-long holiday had come to an end and a bit anxious at returning back to the daily routine.

I am what is now called a Human Resources Business Partner and have a job which I enjoy.  But it is a busy job full of lots of challenges as it involves all aspects of managing people in a typical corporate environment.

It was not that I wasn’t looking forward to going back.  Going back to my day job would mean the time I would have to develop my Affiliate Marketing business would be a lot more limited.  I had used some of my time off to work on my business each day and had enjoyed the progress I had made.  I was beginning to worry that with less time in my day, I would fall behind, not see any results for my efforts and not have the energy to keep going regardless.

So, I decided to approach this the same way that I had built success in the past.

Approximately six years ago, I decided that I wanted to improve my fitness, health and lose a little bit of weight.  I had been trying for many years to do this, with some success at times, but struggled to keep it going.

Then along came James Clear’s Atomic Habits best-selling book and this changed the game for me.  I applied his approach to my fitness and health goals and never looked back.

I put down my ultimate success to a range of things.  My top five are:


  1. Start from your identity. For me this meant identifying myself as someone who is fit, strong and trains every day and by owning this identity meant my behaviours would need to be a match. Each day I trained reinforced this new identity and build the self-discipline needed to become the person I was trying to be.
  2. Make it easy. So, I joined a gym next door to my workplace and had all my gym gear in the back of my car ready to go. I don’t like driving home in traffic so the choice to train each night became very easy.
  3. Hire a coach. I had been reluctant to do this but have now had the same coach for 6 years and this has made a massive difference.  It is great to have someone guide you over a longer period and hold you accountable for your progress.
  4. Set small daily habits. For example, my small goal would be to just go to the gym, get changed and do one set of exercises as a minimum. In truth I never did just one exercise and go home.  I would stay much longer and often these times were my best sessions.
  5. Track my progress. I worked out how to track my diet and exercise and then monitored my progress. I kept it easy to begin with and got more sophisticated over time.
  6. Focus on the process and let the outcome take care of itself. This is my personal mantra. I intentionally set more open goals as I wasn’t sure exactly what my results might be. I focused on what I was doing each day and more importantly, how to make it fun for me specifically.  In my case, that meant building relationships with the people that I was training with.

I don’t know which of these made the difference or if it was the combination of them that helped me achieve my goals.  It doesn’t really matter as long it is works.

So, what does this all have to do with my Affiliate Marketing business.  Well, everything because, as Martha Beck says:

In returning to back to my paid job, my challenge is to apply the same principles to my affiliate marketing business to ensure I could achieve my goals. So, this means:

  1. Setting my identity as an Affiliate Marketer and being clear who I need to be? What would I be doing and what would it feel like to do this every day?
  2. Making it easy to do my marketing tasks each day. To achieve this, I set up a clear space and desk at home with everything on it so that I can hop into affiliate marketing mode straight away and get going.
  3. Coaching, which in this case, comes from Dean Holland each week and at end of the month.  Due to time zone difference, I am not able to attend the coaching sessions live but make sure I watch each session every week.
  4. Setting small daily habits. For this my small habit is to aim to do a minimum of half an hour each evening that is focused the traffic strategy I am using.  Building a regular habit, even on days when I feel tired or my will power is lacking, means I am building my self-discipline and reinforcing my identity as an Affiliate Marketer.
  5. Track my progress. For this I fill out the Tracking Sheet each day and track progress of adverts in my MS Adverts account and in Aweber.
  6. Focus on the process and let the outcome take care of itself. In this case the process involves tasks such as watching and applying the weekly training, creating blog posts, blog hopping, working on my traffic strategy, etc.

This project is still a work in progress, and much like my fitness journey, it didn’t happen overnight. However, I am confident that as long as I keep showing up each day and follow the same principles I will get there.

10 thoughts on “Becoming an Affiliate Marketer – Lessons from a (senior) gym junkie”
  1. Hi Neal,
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
    Regarding setting my identity, I think it is important to look at yourself as a business owner or the CEO of your business instead of just an affiliate marketer.
    I believe many people struggle with affiliate marketing because they treat it as a side hustle instead of running a real business, which is something I have been guilty of in the past.

  2. Neal, when you said summer holiday, I thought you meant Christmas holidays. You must be on the other side of the world if these are your some holidays. I hope you enjoyed them. Now you’re back to reality it’s a great beginning to the year with you reading the atomic habits book. It’s quite coincidental that yesterday me and the family went out to the shops and my son bought that exact book atomic habits. He’s 19 and he’s doing his degree apprenticeship and is becoming quite entrepreneurial. I would like to think I have something to do with it with the endeavours I have embarked on with the affiliate marketing. It’s great to see how you’ve taken the lessons and plan from the book and then applied it to your own affiliate marketing. Reading through it makes complete sense. Well done really good blog. I look forward to reading where you go with this. How are you finding the blogging , are you finding enough things to talk about? What challenges are you finding? Many thanks take care, Atif

    1. Hi Atif.
      I live in Australia so for me summer holidays and Christmas are the same. Not traditional Christmas but the people in this part of the world still celebrate it. Beach holidays are very popular. Interesting your son bought the same Atomic Habits book. Quite easy to read and is full of some very applicable concepts. Highly recommend it and has made a difference to many of goals, not just my fitness. I am starting to enjoy the blogging more each week and I can see my skills developing each time. I find the main challenge is deciding what to write about which sounds like might be a common struggle point for most. Before I write I spend some time thinking about different topics with a focus on what I have learned or done during the week in the Affiliate Marketing space. I look for times when I have been challenged by something that I have had to overcome as this can be a source of material. Or if I have learned something specific from the weekly or monthly coaching sessions that I think others might benefit from. I do journal each day and sometimes I have gone back over my notes to see if there is anything worth writing about. Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate the time you took to read and comment on my post. All the best. Neal

  3. Hey Neal…Such an awesome post!
    I was just as interested in your weight loss and fitness journey as I was in your Affiliate Marketing journey.
    While they are different journeys, the principles of planning, mindset and goals to achievement are the same.
    I haven’t read Atomic Habits but I will put that on my ‘To Read’ list for sure, it sounds sooo good!
    Because you already know that applying those principles worked so well for you in your weight loss and fitness journey applying them in your Affiliate Marketing Journey is perfect – great stuff!!
    I work full time too, Outside of that I am investing most of my time into building what I want my future to be so I am happy to put the work in to get to where I want to.
    Thanks for such a great read, I look forward to visiting again to read your future posts and watch your progress.

    1. Hi Karen.
      My fitness and weight loss journey has been quite something.
      I am not as young and fit as I used to be, so training regularly is very demanding physically.
      Have to be careful and focus on recovery a lot. My results though have quite surprised me and can now do things I never thought possible 5 years ago.
      The journey has taught me so many lessons which are applicable in all areas of my life, including my Affiliate Marketing journey.
      Appreciate your feedback and highly recommend you get a copy of the book. Easy to read and apply. Take care. Neal

  4. Neal,
    I had to read your starting sentence twice as you said summer holiday. But then i realized you are in Australia,
    and it is summer for you. Here is the US, more specifically North Carolina we are only dreaming of summer right now. I too have read the book Atomic Habits and what a great book it is. Your top 5 goals are spot on in what I am sure will help with your success. I am rooting for you. I look forward to following your progress.

    1. Hi Sherri, pleased to hear you have read Atomic Habits. It really did play a major part in my success in my fitness goals plus other ones that I was working on last year.
      Would be interested to hear if you apply some of the principles and if they help you with your affiliate marketing journey too.

  5. Hi Neal,
    That was an amazing post!
    The way you laid out a plan to reach your goal is so detailed and not complicated.
    As you mentioned not knowing which made the difference, I think it was the combination.
    I appreciate you sharing the book you read that helped you, I’ll put it on my list!
    Onward and forward 🙂

    1. Hi Denny,
      Great thing about the book is it is a very easy read.
      I am a big reader of all sorts of books but this one stands out as being one that is practical and effective.
      Onward and upwards.

  6. Wow, Neal!
    I have heard of Atomic Habits and that it is potentially really helpful. I will definitely check it out now.

    Your article is so helpful. I’m going to take notes and apply these steps for myself.

    What do you mean by you set more open goals? I’m so unsure of what to expect in my business time-wise that I need to do the same, but I’m not sure how to go about it. I suppose I should focus on the process. Writing a blog post that gets more comments, sending emails with an increasing amount of engagement, etc. Really set my mind on small steps of progress along the way and in the end the income will take care of itself.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for your insight. This is a thought-provoking post. I’ve really enjoyed it!

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