Congratulations …
AWAI Announces Winner of “New Hopes, New Goals, New Life” Video Contest

Congratulations to AWAI’s “New Hopes, New Goals, New Life” video contest winner – Steve Roller!

As Grand Prize winner, Steve will be our guest at Bootcamp this year, including his airfare and hotel.

I was a little concerned when I heard Steve say in the video that he walked away from a good-paying job two months ago.

When I called him to tell him he won the contest, I asked him if he’d mind sharing with us how he managed it. Here’s what he said …

“A few years back, I left a very good direct-sales position with a fundraising company. I was traveling a lot, my wife was home with the kids, and it just wasn’t working out. She was trying to start a mural-painting business, and we didn’t want to do daycare for the kids. So, I took an unorthodox job – as a 3rd shift (9 PM to 7 AM) call center supervisor for M&I Bank (the largest bank here in Wisconsin). I worked at night, watched the kids during the day when my wife painted, slept when I could, and did it all over again, week after week.

“What I thought was going to be a six-month temporary gig turned into seven years, unfortunately. But it did provide the income we needed, insurance, a new house, etc.

“During this time, surfing the Internet at work (!), I stumbled upon AWAI. I was stoked by the whole idea – combining my passion for sales, which I was pretty good at and wanted to get back to, and writing. It seemed like a perfect fit. I got the copywriting program, went through it, loved it, but with working an average of 60 hours a week, I just couldn’t seem to make any inroads. There just wasn’t time.

“Flash forward to two months ago. My wife’s mural-painting business was starting to hum, our youngest child was in kindergarten, we had some savings … so I decided now was as good a time as any to quit.

“So far, we’re not tapping into savings, and I don’t intend to. Between my wife’s business and an ongoing client who’s been giving me work every month, we’ve got things covered.

“I’ve also done a few small jobs for people I know: a fundraising letter for a past colleague of mine, and a letter/flyer to promote a friend’s cleaning business. I’m also writing resumes, courtesy of AWAI’s awesome Pro Resume Writer Program. I have a few spec pieces I’m working on, too.

“I’m a planner, organizer, and strategist – by no means was this just a ‘I’m sick of my job, I’m gonna quit next week and become a writer’ kind of thing. I have a long way to go, and I’m a bit anxious about not having a paycheck every two weeks. It’s a leap of faith, to be sure, but I’m putting the pressure on my activity – trying to do something every day to move me forward.”

And, a piece of advice from Steve: “I went to Bootcamp last November, even though I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I walked away with confidence that I could do it, skills to put into action right away, and contacts and friends I still keep in touch with weekly. Whatever it takes, find a way to get to Delray Beach this November. It could be your defining moment.”

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: June 18, 2009

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