Just Go for It!
Copywriting Success Lessons From a Former 9-to-5er
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
It happened seven years ago.
The fear of letting her life pass her by as she endured stressful daily commutes to a job she didn’t love was too great. So she finally did it.
AWAI Wall of Famer Heather Robson quit her job as 9-to-5 technical writer cold turkey and jumped in with both feet into the world of freelance copywriting.
Today, business is great. Every year is more lucrative than the next.
Many aspiring copywriters are in a similar situation that Heather was in seven years ago. Problem is, taking the kind of action Heather did can be downright frightening.
Here are Heather’s tips on how to push through the fear and make things happen in your life:
- Make a decision. You’ve got to decide and commit that you’re going to become a freelance copywriter. Know that the rewards for doing so will far outweigh any risks you’ll be taking. Once you’ve made the decision, you’re halfway there. The other half is to commit to a plan and take action.
- Create a plan. A plan will help you take focused action. This is so you know exactly what needs to be done and so you can accomplish as much as possible in a short amount of time. The sooner you see some small success, the more encouraged you’ll be and the more you’ll keep trying. Your plan should also address issues like getting health insurance, or having a small savings cushion in the bank for emergencies. In Heather’s case, she already had a few freelance clients she was doing work for. And for health insurance, she did a little research and found a company with reasonable rates she was able to afford.
- Have a “Plan B” ready. Having a stand-by plan helps ease your fears of total failure. But just because you have a back-up plan doesn’t mean you should resort to it at the first sign of trouble. Realize it’s there to refer to only if you’ve exhausted all other options and when continuing forward would be detrimental to you. For Heather, “Plan B” was that she and her husband would pack the car and move to Vegas, where Heather would wait tables.
- Keep going. Says Heather, “There’s no such thing as failure if you don’t stop. If you keep trying, then you haven’t failed.”
- Adopt an attitude of gratitude. This is something that kept Heather positive even during tough times. Once a day, make sure to be grateful for the things you have in your life, regardless of your current circumstances. No matter what, you can find something to be grateful for. Even if it’s being grateful for a beautiful, sunny day.
- Heather’s BONUS tip! This is a neat little tip you can use to quickly build a resource of endless ideas to pull from when first starting out. Before flying solo, take the time to read the great e-letters that some of the best copywriters in the biz publish. Almost all of them are free. Every day, read and jot down one or two great ideas you get from them. Keep it all in a journal.
After a few weeks of doing this, you’ll have amassed an impressive library of results-boosting, control-crushing ideas. And, you’ll have a VERY valuable resource you can turn to whenever you get stumped on a project, or if you simply need a few tricks to “wow” your clients and beat their current control.
Listen, there’s never a perfect time to go after your dreams. There will always be “something” you’ll be tempted to use as an excuse for not making the leap. If you feel there are things you need to do before taking action, limit them. Have maybe three or four goals set up for yourself. When you accomplish them, you know it’s time to go for it.
Just beware of getting caught up in having too many conditions to meet before taking action on your copywriting dreams.
According to Heather, “At some point, you need to take a deep breath, and take the plunge.”
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